The bathhouse has become a traditional resting place in our country for a long time. Today it is a great opportunity to combine wellness procedures and socializing with friends. This is the best remedy for winter depression and boredom. Bath today is an integral part of most projects of country houses and summer cottages. Building a good bath that meets all your requirements is not an easy task. However, once having built a high-quality bathhouse and understanding the intricacies of construction and design, you can enjoy the results for more than a dozen years.
Depending on the needs of the customer, modern construction companies offer a variety of projects - from compact one-story houses 3x3 to two-story spacious baths with a swimming pool, a bathroom, a terrace and a gazebo, in addition to the main premises - a washing room and a steam room. The bathhouse can be a separate building in the local area, or it can have a common roof with the house, or be connected to it by a covered gallery.
A modern bathhouse is built from the usual wooden beams or logs , but also from expanded clay blocks, SIP panels, bricks and other materials. The choice of options is so great that you can choose a project that 100 percent meets all your requirements and budget. It is necessary that the bath also meets safety rules (first of all, fire), GOST, building codes and regulations (SNiP).
It was mentioned above that materials for building a bath can be very diverse. Each type of material has its own characteristics, advantages and disadvantages.
A wooden bath has many advantages. This is environmental friendliness, and a pleasant smell of wood in the room, and good thermal insulation. Wood releases health-promoting substances when exposed to high temperatures, thus creating an aromatherapy effect. A wooden bathhouse will last at least 10 years. Wood specially treated with antiseptics can last 2-3 times longer.
A log (rounded or chopped) is a traditional material for building a bath. When choosing the type of tree, it is better to stay on conifers, for example, pine, spruce, larch. They are suitable for all rooms, except for the steam room, due to the strong smell of resin. For a steam room, wood species such as aspen, linden, birch or oak are more suitable. Baths made of rounded or chopped pine logs are durable and not subject to decay. Often, birch, oak and aspen or linden logs are used to build a bath. Linden and aspen keep warm well, and do not burn the skin when heated. The construction of one floor of a bathhouse requires about 10 rows of logs. In most cases, preference is given to a rounded log with ready-made corner joints and grooves for insulation.
Wooden bar is considered a highly environmentally friendly material, durable, has low thermal conductivity and therefore is perfect for a bath. A timber bathhouse looks aesthetically pleasing, the walls are smooth and pleasant to the touch. In construction, a conventional profiled or double beam is used.
A double beam consists of several layers: internal and external, between which insulation (ecowool) and various substances (antiseptics, boric acid, etc.) are laid, ensuring the fire safety of the building. The double timber wall has a high thermal efficiency, despite the fact that it is only 220 mm thick. The small thickness of the timber also provides a quick heating of the bath. Another important advantage is that a timber bath is built in a short time (about 3 months) and at any time of the year.
Brick is used for the construction of a bath quite often, since it is environmentally friendly and more durable than wood, looks aesthetically pleasing and does not require additional cladding, and has good thermal insulation. The main advantage is fire resistance and safety from the point of view of external influences. The main disadvantage is the high price, long construction time and the cost of additional insulation and ventilation system. A brick bath takes a long time to warm up - the heating time can reach several hours. However, such a bath will serve for a long time; after a few years, only the replacement of the interior decoration is required.
Expanded clay blocks are made from a mixture of expanded clay, cement, water and sand. They are considered environmentally friendly, durable (subject to certain operating rules) and a fairly budget material. Due to their low thermal conductivity, expanded clay blocks are frost-resistant. The blocks for construction are quite large - the average block has dimensions of 390x90x188. Thanks to this, in contrast to a brick bath, such a building can be erected in a very short time.
In construction, various types of blocks are used: wall, partition, chimney, front, ordinary, corner or dressing. Therefore, if a set of blocks is ordered, it is important that they have a certain marking. There are also blocks to choose from: solid or hollow.
The main disadvantage of expanded clay blocks is their high hygroscopicity, due to which moisture can accumulate in the block. This leads to the destruction of the walls. Therefore, when building a bath from expanded clay, it is necessary to think over the ventilation system very well in order to exclude the accumulation of steam in the walls. Calibrated (multi-slot) blocks with groove-ridge connection are excellent for building a bath. Due to the presence of many longitudinal slots, heat transfer is increased, thereby increasing the strength of the walls.
The construction of a bath made of aerated concrete or foam concrete is cheaper than other materials.The main advantage of aerated concrete blocks is the speed and ease of construction. They are also energy efficient and have good thermal insulation. The service life of such a bath is longer than that of wood. The blocks are lightweight, do not load the foundation, and are suitable for building a bath in any place. When choosing lightweight concrete panels as a building material, you must definitely think about insulation and siding (outer cladding). From the inside, the walls of the steam room are decorated with wood treated with an antiseptic. This has both utilitarian and aesthetic implications. Wood is pleasant to the skin, does not burn, retains warmth and looks beautiful. After several years of use, only the replacement of the interior decoration is made, the concrete blocks remain in the same condition and do not require replacement.The inner walls of the washroom are most often laid out with non-slip ceramic tiles.
For the construction of a bath, a rather fashionable material today is suitable - SIP panels. They are made from compressed wood chips and polystyrene foam insulation. The walls of the bathhouse made of SIP panels are light and do not require a deep foundation. You can build a bathhouse from panels in just three days. Another advantage is good thermal insulation, thanks to which the bath heats up quickly and well. If you use special SIP panels (made of OSB-3 plates), you can protect the walls from rotting and mold. It is better to build a bathhouse from SIP panels not independently, but to turn to the help of masters. It is very difficult to build such walls with high quality yourself. Among the shortcomings, one can note the high cost of the material, fragility and deformation at temperatures from 120 degrees.
Subtleties of design
Before building a bath, you need to decide on a project. You can use ready-made projects, contact the specialists or draw up a project yourself. This is an important stage, despite the fact that the construction of a bath does not require obtaining a permit and project approval. Preliminary design will allow avoiding mistakes during construction and with calculations of materials and budget for construction.
First you need to decide on the number and size of the premises.
The choice of the size of the building will depend on several factors. First, on the size of the local area. Secondly, on the size of the family and the companies with which you will rest there. Thirdly, on financial capabilities, since high-quality materials will be quite expensive. The bathhouse can be a separate house or be under the same roof as the house. A separate bathhouse should be at least 10 meters away from the house. This is necessary both for safety rules and to exclude the ingress of smoke from the stove into living rooms. Baths with a lean-to roof or a shed under the garage look modern. Modern design companies offer many different models and styles of baths, you just need to decide on the area for construction.
Bath projects larger than 10 m2 usually include a dressing room (vestibule). It performs an important function in construction. This is a place for storing a stock of firewood, outerwear and shoes, and most importantly, a transition zone between a street with a low temperature and a heated bath. The dressing room can be equipped in a relaxation room or combined with it. For comfort, this part of the bath should occupy an area twice as large as the steam room. The front door opens outward, and it is better to place it on the south side, then the drifts in front of the door will be lower. Double glazed windows are positioned 1 meter above the floor.
Ideally, the stove is located in the break room and heats both it and the steam room. In this case, the firebox is located in the recreation room, the heater - in the steam room. The shelves in the steam room must be positioned so that there is room for the stove and for the passageways to the shelves. The location of the shelves can be different depending on the position in which the visitors will bathe (sitting or lying). If the steam room does not have a ventilation box, then it is necessary to place a small double-glazed window in it to ventilate the bath.
The steam room door is usually smaller and has a height of about 1500 mm with a high threshold. The steam room can be combined with a washing room and separated by a small partition. It should be borne in mind that in this case the room temperature will be slightly lower and the air more humid.
The washing room is most often designed as a separate room. Depending on the size of the bath, it may contain a shower room, as well as a plunge pool or a pool, as well as a bathroom in a separate area. In case of space restrictions, the pool and hot tub are located outside. The size of the washing room should be larger than the steam room, otherwise it will not be comfortable to use it. There is also a window in the washing area. It should be located under the ceiling, 1.5 meters from the floor, to avoid drafts.
Depending on the size of the area, the layout of the first floor of the bath includes a terrace or a summer veranda. It is important that the bathhouse and the veranda are built from the same materials, and also be located at a distance of 10-15 mm from each other, that is, without a rigid bundle of foundations. The distance between them is filled with elastic material and covered with platbands. The bath floor should be 50 mm below the veranda floor. This is explained by the fact that the weight of the bath with the stove and the verandah are significantly different, therefore, rigid fixation of the roofs and soles can cause the building to skew and deform. In this case, the veranda must be designed together with the bath. If the bathhouse has already been built, then you can attach a terrace instead of a veranda.
The bathhouse on the second floor serves as a summer cottage , a place for guests to spend the night, and for relaxation and recreational water procedures. In the projects of two-story baths on the second floor, you can think over the placement of living space: a guest room, a bedroom, as well as a billiard room, rest rooms and a balcony. Instead of a full second floor, you can also equip an attic floor as a guest or bedroom. If the bath is necessary to allocate a dressing room, the rest of the space is 2 floors or an equipped attic. It is necessary to think carefully about the location of the supporting structures and a solid foundation, as additional load on the foundation is created. The second important point is heat and vapor barrier between floors. Otherwise, it will not be possible to avoid the appearance of mold on the ceiling.
Designing a corner bath can cause some difficulties in zoning, but it can significantly save on space. The layout of the corner bath assumes the location of the rest room and the steam room on both sides of the stove (the firebox goes into the relaxation room, the stove goes into the steam room). The entrance to the bathhouse is covered on both sides.
The most common projects of small one-story baths with a size of about 16 m2 imply the presence of three main rooms: a steam room, a washroom (shower) and a rest room. It can be a 3x3 or 4x4 square bath or a rectangular one with a wall ratio of 5 by 3 or 6 by 3. A 3x5 bath is quite suitable for one person or a small family. The size of the steam room is no more than 4 m2. For example, a project of a small 4x3 bath. We divide the entire space into 2 parts: a steam room and a small shower room, separated by a thin partition, together make up half of the area (2x3), the second half is a relaxation room also 2x3 in size. Such a bath can be either a separate building or an extension to the house. Today, many customers are attracted by combined projects, for example, baths with a utility block (with a barn) under one roof.For a small bath, a foundation on piles is suitable.
Such a bath can include, in addition to the three main rooms, a place for a kitchen, as well as a veranda or dressing room. The layout can also be with a separate toilet. The lounge has enough space for upholstered furniture. This is a bathhouse where you can spend the night if necessary. It rather resembles a mini country house. A typical project of an average 6x3 bath can have the following layout. We divide the entire area into three parts along the long side: a rest room (3x2), a washing room (2x2) and a dressing room (1x2) in the middle, a steam room (3x2). The rest room, washing room and steam room are located one after another in this order. From the dressing room - the entrance to the recreation room. Another option for an average typical summer cottage is a square one with 3-4 rooms, measuring 5x5. For a medium bath made of wood, you can use a columnar foundation. This is a simple construction,which is perfect for light timber buildings.
A large one-story bath with a size of about 40 m2 is suitable for a summer residence with a large local area. It may include a separate dressing room, a larger veranda and kitchen, and a pool and barbecue terrace. You can make a project with a small font. A huge number of projects of large baths with dimensions of 6x8 or a little more - 9x7, with terraces and a vestibule, are presented by eminent designers. A bath with walls 6 by 8 accommodates all the necessary components of a good bath: on the ground floor you can place a steam room, a washing room, a relaxation room, a bathroom, a terrace and a vestibule. A bathhouse with a wall ratio of 7 to 9 is, in fact, a small country house. Even a one-story bath of this size can be equipped with everything you need for a good rest.
Depending on the size of the bath, the entire space can be divided into 3 or more zones. Even a bath of a minimum size of 2x3 is recommended to be divided by internal partitions, and not to leave one room. Firstly, a small-sized steam room warms up faster, and secondly, the washing room should be separate so that the steam room does not smell of dampness. And, finally, the dressing room must be protected from steam, otherwise it will not be comfortable to be in it.
First, you need to allocate a dressing room, the rest of the space is for a washing room and a steam room. Usually, in a small bathhouse, a small area is allocated for him at the entrance, on one side of which there is a door to the street, on the other - to the washing room. In the smallest dressing room, there is enough space for a small bench. A third of the entire area is enough for this. If the bath has a size larger than 2x3, for example, 6x6, then a large area can be allocated for the dressing room, combining it with the relaxation room. Then you can allocate half of the entire area for this zone. If the area allows, then in front of the vestibule, you can build a terrace or allocate an area for a veranda. In this case, an indoor recreation room is not necessary, it can be equipped on the terrace and used in the summer. This option is ideal if the bathhouse is attached to the house and you can relax in the winter directly in the house.
Next, you should separate the steam room from the washing room. Combined washing and steam rooms are not uncommon, but ideally there should be a partition between them. If the bath is used by one person or a small family, then for the washing room it is enough to allocate an area of 600x600 mm. Only a shower can be placed in it. Equip the rest of the area for a steam room. If possible and necessary, you can also place a bathroom, pool or hot tub in the washing area. An example of a zoning of a 20m2 bath (4x5): a recreation room of 8.5 m2, a washing room and a bathroom of 2.2 m2, a steam room of 4.8 m2.
The most important bath area is the steam room. When planning the size of the steam room, you need to take into account that 1 m2 plus space for the oven is required per person. As a rule, the minimum size of a steam room is 2 m2. If the stove is not brick, but metal, then it should be separated by a brick partition to avoid burns. Also, the metal stove should be 1 meter away from the wall. This does not apply to the brick oven.
When zoning a steam room, not only the preferences of the owners are important, but also the fire safety rules and building standards.
The size of the steam room is determined by several factors:
- ventilation system device;
- the materials from which the bath is built;
- the size of the family that will use the bath;
- the features of the oven installed in the steam room (size, power, type);
- the number and location of shelves and other equipment in the steam room, the ergonomic parameters of the steam room.
In a small steam room, 1-2 seating places are enough, in a large one you can place several horizontal shelves. To save space, the shelves can be cascaded. Additional rooms and zones (billiard room, bedroom, kitchen) are allocated depending on the available area. Often these rooms are located on the second floor.
Interior finishing is a stage no less important than the design of premises. The design of the modern bathhouse has many variations, from traditional to highly original and innovative. One thing remains practically unchanged - the predominance of wood in the interior. The tree itself looks aesthetically pleasing in terms of design and interior design. Several important details in the interior will add even more atmosphere to the interior.
The walls and ceiling of the steam room and rest rooms can be upholstered with clapboard or boards. The following wood species have a pleasant texture and aroma: linden, aspen, poplar, oak, as well as the expensive African abasha oak.
Original designs "semi-antique" are often created through special processing of wood (brushing and firing). In such interiors, it is necessary to use embroidered textiles, forged elements, wooden accessories with carvings, and decorated walls with brooms. Thus, the atmosphere of a forest hut is created. This gives the interior a certain primacy. The protective grill on the metal parts of the stove, as well as the wooden frames of the mirrors in the washing and steam rooms can also be turned into a decorative element. Untreated logs and pieces of stones on the walls can be used as decor.
In most modern baths, you can still see perfectly smooth, even and often varnished boards and modern minimalistic decor. The shelves must be treated with oil, wax or aqualac. Instead of traditional lamps and lighting with wooden shades, small LED bulbs are used. In general, the lighting in the bath is calm, dim, creating an atmosphere of relaxation and intimacy. The decor in a modern bath, as a rule, is the minimum - these are chrome-plated mixers in the sink, tiles on the floor, and several interior accessories.
Rounded corners, flowing silhouettes of furniture in a bath - this is practically the rule today. Roundness in the interior follows the texture of wood and complements it, creating a feeling of fluidity and relaxation.
Bath floors can also be laid out with boards or clapboard. Today, tiles are more commonly used for floors, since they are easier to keep clean and look more modern. For a bath, calm pastel colors in everything, including the decor, will be most suitable. The washing room can be completely tiled, in the steam room only on the floor. For convenience, you can put a wooden grate on top of the tiles in the steam room. Instead of tiles, you can also use lining treated with a special aqualak.
Depending on the taste, preferences and needs of the owners and finances, the style of the bath can be very diverse - Russian bath, chalet, Finnish sauna, Turkish hamam, Roman baths, Japanese bath (ofuro, sento or furako), etc. Each type of bath has its own a certain style of construction and interior design. In addition, it can be built in the general style with the house and other buildings on the territory. Consider several styles of bath interiors.
A Russian-style bathhouse , as a rule, implies the presence of only two or three rooms: a dressing room, a washing room and the steam room itself. Traditional "popular prints", wood carvings, brooms on the walls, an embroidered tablecloth and a samovar, as well as rugs on benches. The Russian bath is small in size, which makes it easy to warm up to the desired temperature. The average room temperature is from 45 to 70 degrees. Construction materials are usually wood, less often brick. An obligatory element of a Russian bath is a brick or metal stove. It is usually located between the relaxation room and the steam room. Ideally, a Russian bath is built near the pond. If it is not there, a baptismal font or pool is arranged next to the bath building.
The Scandinavian-style bathhouse (Finnish sauna) differs from the Russian one, primarily in that the air temperature in it significantly exceeds the temperature of the Russian bath and reaches 130-160 degrees. The Finnish bath has a very simple interior, a maximum of natural materials in decoration, a minimum of decor. Ideally, it should be located in a picturesque place so that after bathing procedures you can enjoy a beautiful view of the forest or lake. Finnish sauna interior decoration is usually made of light wood. The furniture also has simple clear forms, without patterns or carvings. Scandinavian style is an eco-style, therefore, emphasized environmental friendliness is visible in everything - from construction to decor. In the interior itself, there may be 1-2 bright accents, otherwise - neutral tones.
Sauna in the style of a chalet - an alpine house , also has some elements of the country style, as well as eco. For the interior, natural wood and stone are used, natural skins, blankets and carpets in the lounge, original lighting using LEDs, mosaics, etc., as well as a mountain landscape from the window. There is a lot of wood in the decor (logs, log cabins, hemp, etc.). The oriental style bath (Turkish hamam) is characterized by the use of mosaics and tiles with oriental ornaments. The decor has a lot of bright colors, red and gold. Figurines, ottomans, hookah, dressers, low tables and other furniture occupy almost the entire space of the rest room.
Before building the bath itself, it is important to select and design a foundation. It plays an important role both as a base under the walls, and as a protection of the bath from excess moisture. The main types of foundation are tape, screw, monolithic and columnar. The choice of the foundation depends on the size of the bath, the number of floors, the characteristics of the soil on the construction site.
Any soil is suitable for the construction of a strip foundation. It is necessary to take into account the size of the bath itself, as well as the slopes and subsidence of the soil. It is important to consider at what depth the water is. The strip foundation requires more time and effort to build, but it is perfect for heavy two-story baths. Excavation work for laying the strip foundation is necessary.
The screw foundation is suitable for any soil. It consists of steel piles with tips for screwing into the ground. Pile-pipes are of various diameters, solid or hollow, on which logs are installed for the walls of the bath. Immediately after installing the piles, you can start building a bath.
Columnar foundations are often used for small wooden baths. Often it is chosen by those who build a bath with their own hands. The column foundation is very easy to install. Pillars made of wood, concrete or metal are located at the corners of the building and at the intersection of walls. However, such a foundation is not suitable for massive and heavy baths.
Monolithic foundations are often used for the foundation of large baths and for construction of heavy materials. It provides a solid foundation for the structure, protects against subsidence and moisture. A monolithic foundation is a continuous layer of cement and crushed stone.
Separately, it is necessary to consider the foundation for the oven. If the total weight of a brick oven is equal to or more than 750 kg, then a separate foundation for such a oven is required. The weight of a brick oven is calculated by the formula: the volume of the oven is multiplied by 1350 kg. For a brick oven, a concrete foundation is suitable. It should be higher and deeper than the basement of the bath. To build a concrete foundation, you must first arrange a pit. Its bottom is covered with rubble and rammed. Next, you need to make a wooden formwork around the perimeter of the pit and treat it with hot bitumen. Roofing material is suitable for this. Further, large and small stones are poured into the pit.
The next layer is cement with sand in a ratio of 1: 3. After a day, you need to fill it with stones again and fill it with a cement-sand mortar. Repeat the layers every next day until the upper level of the foundation is reached. A week after the foundation is ready, you can start building a brick oven on it.
The walls of the bath, as mentioned above, are built of wood, brick, concrete, sip panels or expanded clay. For the walls of a bathhouse made of wood, a bar with dimensions of 95x145, 145x145, 150x150 cm or logs of 200-220 mm is usually used. As for the decoration of the walls inside, more often they use different types of wood (for the steam room), ceramic tiles (for the bathroom and the washroom). It is important to consider the properties of the material when heated. Wood is subject to decay, so wooden walls must be treated with an antiseptic solution. Conifers have a strong resinous smell and are therefore not recommended for steam rooms.
Several types of wood can be used for wall decoration , for example, combining dark and light colors. Linden, aspen have a pleasant shade and are comfortable for the skin, therefore, these types of wood are often used for the walls of the steam room. It is best to use fragrant cedar or juniper boards in the rest room. It is traditional for the Finnish sauna to use spruce and pine for the walls. As a rule, thermal lining is used for interior wall decoration, designed specifically for the walls of the bath (it does not form cracks, mold, fungus, it does not rot and does not dry out).
The sauna floor can be made of various materials. First, different materials can be used in each of the zones. It can be wood, natural stone or ceramic tiles. It is recommended to choose the tile so that the pattern matches the structure of the wood on the walls, and also has neutral pastel tones. The tiles must be non-slip. Otherwise, it is necessary to cover it with a wooden lattice treated with aqualak.
Roof construction is the last stage of external work in the construction of a bath. The roof for a bath is a fairly simple design, so it can be easily erected without the help of professionals. A rolled roof made of sheet steel, turf, tiles or slate sheets is suitable as a roof for a wooden bath. The next question that needs to be answered is whether the roof will be two- or one-pitched.
If the bathhouse is adjacent to the house, then the roof will definitely be pitched. More often the roof is just flat. A gable roof is more expensive, but it allows you to equip the space under the roof as additional rooms. The angle of inclination of the slope is determined by the preferences of the owner, financial capabilities (the higher, the more expensive) and varies from 2.5 to 60 degrees. The large angle of inclination is good because the snow on such a roof in winter does not linger, rolling down. However, a high roof is not recommended in areas where strong winds blow.
Air ventilation system is very important for comfortable use of the bath. It should be thought out at the design stage and correspond to the size of the bath. As a rule, mixed supply and exhaust ventilation is carried out in the bath. To do this, the project includes channels for air intake from outside and for exhaust air extraction. Air inflow is conducted through special vents and an additionally installed fan or ventilation pipe.
It is better to place the inlets next to the stove so that the air heats up faster. Exhaust openings and a furnace blower (a hole in the furnace below the firebox) allow steam to escape to the outside. It is best to place them opposite the inlets (on the opposite wall). If the exhaust vent is located closer to the floor, then a ventilation pipe must be installed to increase traction. It is better if the hole is at the bottom and at the top. You need to air the steam room every 20-30 minutes.
Tips & Tricks
If you are building a bath from a bar, it is important that the bar is smooth and even, without wormholes. It is necessary to choose the best quality materials for construction, since a well-built bathhouse can last for more than a dozen years.
When building a bath, fire safety rules, GOST and SNiP must be observed.
Gas, coal, fuel oil and electricity can be used for heating. The latter is the most convenient, albeit expensive in terms of equipment. For heating with electricity, a number of stove models are offered on the modern market. It can be an electric heater, warm floor, convector or boiler.
The arrangement of the shelves in a cascade in the steam room saves space and is very convenient for large companies. In this case, you can take a steam bath both sitting and in a horizontal position.
Wall clapboard upholstery is not only practical, but also aesthetically pleasing. The arrangement of the boards vertically and horizontally makes the interior of the steam room more interesting.
Modern sauna interior in dark wood. Stones can also be used as decoration.
The interior is in the old Russian style. Samovar, a lot of carvings on furniture, windows, doors, as well as dishes and accessories typical for the hut.
Chalet-style interior. Natural materials in the decoration and a few bright accents are characteristic features of the style.
Bath in Art Nouveau style with a glass wall and a view of the lake. Light shades of wood, picturesque view and simplicity of the interior create a feeling of complete relaxation and immersion in nature.
For information on how to build a bath with your own hands, see the next video.