Sauna Guide, Sauna Heaters

How To Convert an Infrared Sauna to a Hotter Traditional Steam Sauna

How To Convert an infrared sauna to traditional

We recently deleted our old post about how to convert an infrared sauna to traditional, even though it was getting thousands of views.  

Why would we do that?

It wasn’t up to our standards, and the post wasted too much of your time.  We used way too many words to tell you this:

Yes, you can convert your infrared sauna to a traditional sauna but you need to consider the following.

  1. Clearances – even a basic wall-mounted sauna heater like a Harvia KIP has clearances that may be tough to meet in an infrared sauna.
  2. Power – Traditional Finnish Saunas require 220-240v electric service that’s typically a hardwire from your electric panel. It requires an electrician.
  3. Walls and Floors – Good sauna kits are built with thick wood or full studded walls with rockwool insulation, a radiant barrier, and an air gap between the cladding and the radiant barrier. Your infrared sauna has much thinner walls and is not designed to handle the humidity. You may have put your infrared sauna on carpet or whatever flooring you had, but a traditional sauna requires tile, concrete, or other waterproof floor and would ideally have a drain.
  4. Ventilation – Traditional sauna heaters require an intake vent next to the heater and an exhaust vent on the opposite wall. Can the room its in handle the increased temperatures and humidity? Never convert an infrared sauna to a traditional sauna in a basement that has water issues. Always deal with that first or you’re asking for trouble.
  5. Your infrared panels, lighting, stereo, and other electronics should be removed if they are not meant to handle true sauna temperatures.

If you’re looking to make an infrared sauna hotter, you could try adding a radiant barrier and mineral wool insulation to the outer shell. If you can’t do the walls, the ceiling should have an impact itself.

But it’s really best to add an authentic wet/dry sauna heater if possible, especially to add steam. Finnish saunas get hot, can create humidity by tossing water on the rocks, and are used in research showing the benefits of sauna use.

That’s it.  We hope that helps, and saves you from reading an article that’s way too long like the one we used to have! Let us know if you have any questions in the chat.

For authentic indoor saunas, click here.

For sauna heaters that may (or may not) work in your infrared sauna, click here.

For the only infrared sauna we recommend, check out Finnmark Saunas who have combination heaters with infrared panels that can handle true sauna temps!