If you want a personal sauna in your home, you have two basic choices: construct a free-standing sauna outside or convert an existing area in your home. The master bathroom is probably the most obvious option for a home sauna, but what if that doesn’t work? Is it possible to put a sauna in the garage?
A garage can be an ideal location for a home sauna: additional construction will be minimal, there is existing electrical wiring nearby, it is likely affords easy access to a shower post-sauna, and it will have its own entrance and changing space for guests. However, an uninsulated garage will take longer to heat and the ambiance may be lacking.
Keep reading to learn about the pros and cons of installing a sauna in your garage, plus what you’ll need to do it.
Is it possible to add or install a sauna in your garage?
A sauna in the garage may initially seem a little far-fetched. Is it possible?
Installing either a dry or infrared sauna in your garage is possible, also there are certain requirements that will need to be met. Garage saunas also have some particular advantages that can make them very appealing, including ease of installation and easy access from outside.
Saunas come in a wide range of sizes, but if you want to install a sauna in your garage you will need a ceiling height of at least seven feet and floor space at least 4 feet x 4 feet, plus room for opening a door. Power requirements include access to at least 220 volts of electricity to support most stoves. As long as your garage meets these requirements, you can install a home sauna in there.
Sauna sales are growing, with about 15,000 units sold per year in the United States alone, with about 1 million home saunas installed nationwide. People most frequently install saunas in their basements because it allows extra space and drainage, but they can also be installed in closets, guest rooms, and, yes, even garages.
There are lots of great things about installing a sauna in a garage:
- Access to electricity and flat floor space
- No need to build or add on to your home, reducing costs
- Close proximity to shower for after sauna treatment
- Space to relax and cool down after use of the sauna
- Built-in changing area for guests
- Some garages are insulated, reducing time for sauna to heat
- Separate entrance/exit for guests
- Easy venting
- Using your garage for something positive instead of just junk storage!
Pre-built saunas are especially easy to install in the garage as they are simple to put together, take up as little space as needed, and don’t require a lot of space for assembly. You can put it together and pop it in the garage in just a few hours.
Traditional dry saunas
A traditional dry sauna uses a physical source to heat the sauna room itself, such as an electrical heating element with warmed stones. Water is sometimes poured on the stones to create humidity in the air.
Dry saunas are a good choice for installation in your garage because they only require:
- 240 volts of electricity
- 40 amps on a 2-pole circuit breaker
- At least 4 feet x 4 feet of floor space
- Ability to place vents
Electrical requirements may vary by size of heater and manufacturer, so always check what is required before installation.
Infrared saunas, on the other hand, use infrared bulbs that emit infrared light and energy which, in turn, heats your skin directly.
An infrared sauna can also be used in a garage that meets the following requirements:
- 110/120 volts of electricity
- 15-20 amps on a circuit
- At least 4 feet x 4 feet of floor space
- Ability to place vents
Again, electrical requirements may vary. Always check with your sauna manufacturer.
Is the garage the best place to install a sauna in your home?
Many opt to place a sauna in the basement. Others may install saunas in guest rooms or large closets. Still others build dedicated spaces for their saunas. Increasingly, people are placing saunas in their garages. It’s your home, so you be the judge!
A garage can be a great choice for your new home sauna because it doesn’t require any new construction, has existing electrical access and its own entrance/exit, and is a productive use of space that goes to waste in many homes. However, many garages are not insulated which will make it more difficult and time-consuming to heat in colder months.
Let’s go a little further into the pros and cons of installing a sauna in your garage.
Pros to garage saunas
- No new construction needed
- Easy electrical access
- No infringement on living space in the home
- Proximity to shower
- Built-in changing area and cool-down space
- Separate entrance and exit for guests
Cons to garage saunas
- If the garage is not insulated, sauna may take longer to heat
- Detached garages will not allow easy access to home interior
- Garages often used for storage, so visual appeal may be lessened
The best sauna for a garage
Maybe you have decided a garage sauna is for you, but you’re not sure what kind of sauna to purchase. What is the best sauna for a garage?
The biggest consideration here is how handy you are, and how much time you want to put into installing your sauna. While pre-built saunas are quick and easy to install, DIY options may allow for more customization. You will also need to consider how much space you have available. Either type will work in a garage.
Read on for a few thoughts on pre-built and DIY options for placing saunas in your garage.
Pre-built or prefab sauna kits are already partially assembled, which makes putting them together in your home quick and easy.
You can typically assemble pre-built saunas in just a few hours, and no special tools are required. Typically, the pieces slide together, and some use of a screwdriver may be required.
These kits can also be taken down easily and reassembled elsewhere, which is great if you plan on moving in the future. An average pre-built indoor sauna runs around $2,450, though depending on size and materials may be less or much more.
Pre-built sauna kits are ideal for people who want a quick and easy installation, have limited construction skills, and don’t want to pay more for assistance with assembly.
Do-it-yourself sauna kits, or sauna materials packages, give you everything you need to build your home sauna, but more extensive construction skills are required.
You are typically required to build the walls, add insulation, and finish the exterior of the sauna. These are usually more permanent constructions, so if you move, you will probably leave this type of sauna behind.
DIY sauna kits allow for greater customization, giving you options as to shape, number of benches, decor and trim. Given customization options, DIY kits are often more pricey with an average cost of $4,500.
DIY options are great for people who have a bit more time for building and moderate construction skills or the ability to pay someone for assistance.