Having a sauna at home can be one of the ultimate luxuries – especially if you frequently go out to one anyway.
Fitting a sauna into your bathroom can give you a place to relax, a place to entertain guests if it’s big enough, and make it easier to switch away from pricey gym memberships to enjoying all the comforts of the gym right in your own home.
However, they’re still pricey to install – and most homeowners will find they’re a large investment.
In fact, the average cost of a home sauna ranges from about £900 to over £17,000. The lower price range is a simple sauna kit in a tiled room. The higher-end price range is for a larger room, waterproofed, fitted with wood, and insulated to retain heat.
However, on average, you’ll pay between £5,000 and £10,000 for your home sauna.
Why Have A Sauna At Home?
For many people, having a home sauna is a simple luxury – allowing you to enjoy the steam and relax without going anywhere. That’s true whether you convert your bathroom or a spare room – or you choose to have a sauna built outdoors. In either case, you can choose either prefab or custom-builds.
In addition, you can choose anything from a 2-person to a 12-person sauna, with options based on whether you want to relax on your own or with one other person –or take your friends to the sauna.
You may also see reduced costs. If you estimate that the average sauna visit costs £20 per person, or £8 at a gym (and possibly free if you have a £40/month membership), a home sauna can quickly save you money.
If you go to the sauna three times a week for 15-20 minutes, that’s £32-£60 per week per person at the gym and about £3 at home. So, if you spend £5,000 installing a sauna and two people use it twice a week, it could pay off in as little as a year.
And, if you’re swapping an old gym membership for a home gym and sauna, you’re dropping a gym membership that probably costs £40 – which for one person takes about 3 years to pay off and for 2 people, about half that.
Estimated Home Sauna Costs*
A home sauna can cost anywhere from £900 to over £17,000. Here, pricing considerations typically depend on what kind of sauna you’re building.
|Type of Sauna||Prefab||Custom|
|Indoor 3-5 Person||£3,750-£12,500||£4,500-£14,500|
|Outdoor 2 Person||£900-£13,500||£4,000-£8,500|
|Outdoor 3-5 Person||£2,760-£7,980||£4,500-£12,000|
|Outdoor 6-10 Person||£4,800-£17,000||£4,800-£12,500|
*Please note, these cost estimates are based on quotes at the time of writing in May 2023. Actual rates are subject to change and may be different depending on the time of reading.
6 Home Sauna Price Factors
The cost of your sauna will depend on several factors, like how you build it and what you do with it.
For example, installing a ready-made steam unit in a fully waterproofed bathroom will probably cost you around £800-£3,000 – but chances of having that fully waterproofed bathroom are highly unlikely.
1. Labour and Fitting Costs
In most cases, you can expect to pay about half of total costs in labour – unless you’re buying a prefabricated sauna kit. Normally this means paying a general contractor about £150 per day.
You’ll also have to pay a plumber about £375 per day. How long the work takes depends on the extent of the job and what kinds of modifications you’re making.
For example, if you’re building a sauna into a spare room, you might find that the work involves:
- Stripping the room
- Running pipework
- Laying waterproofing membrane
- Recovering the room with tile or wood
- Treating the tile or wood
- Installing the steam unit
- Waterproofing the doors and windows
That can cost well over £4,000 in labour.
On the other hand, if you’re installing a prefab kit into a large bathroom, costs could be much lower.
2. Prefab Sauna Kit vs Custom Build
Prefabricated sauna kits typically start out at around £900-£7,950 for a 2-person unit and go up to £17,000 for a bigger unit. These are normally designed in wood, waterproofed and come with all of the equipment included.
Depending on what you buy, that may include infrared or a standard steam bath. All you have to do is make sure the piping and electrical supply are in the right place to fit them.
On the other hand, you may choose to build your own sauna into your home or garden. Here, you’ll have to design the build and construct it.
For example, if you have a large bathroom, it’s not a bad choice to wall off half of it, tile the walls and ceiling and turn it into an enclosed sauna. You could also buy a steam shower to achieve the same thing.
Designing and building a sauna means you’ll pay less for materials but more for labour. For example, if you want an exterior building with brick, total costs typically work out to about £66 per m2 including materials and labour.
You’d then have to add waterproofing membrane and interior finishing, at another £40-£60 per m2. That means you’ll pay 120 per m2 before you get to electronics and piping.
Most saunas are made out of a combination of waterproofing membrane, softwood (pine, fir, cedar) and relevant electronics. That means either choosing a sauna kit or buying:
- Lumber (cedar or pine), typically tongue and groove cut – £40-£55 per m2
- Sauna door – £200-£400
- Screws – £5-£25
- Wet/dry rated lighting – £30+
- Outlet – £20+
- Electrical wiring for heater and light – £20+ labour (£150+)
- Foil barrier – £15-£30
- Insulation (fibreglass is the norm) – £5 per m2
- Sauna heater/steam unit – £800-£3,000
In addition, some people prefer to build the exterior of a sauna out of brick. That may also include converting a shed into a sauna. In this case, you’ll have higher costs – but your outdoor sauna will be less vulnerable to the weather.
Ways you can save money include:
- Opting for glass facing and windows instead of wood panelling. A 2.2 x 1.7 metre glass door costs from about £300 and the same in wood panelling starts from £440.
- Using existing walls rather than building new ones.
- Cost compare kits versus buying separate supplies to see which is cheaper.
In most cases, where you choose to build will control which materials you can use.
For example, an indoor sauna works well with treated cedar and waterproofing membrane. Outdoors, you might need something that can better stand up to the weather.
4. Size of Sauna
The larger your sauna, the more you’ll pay in total but the less you’ll pay per square metre.
For example, if you purchase a prefab unit, you can typically expect to pay £900-£7,950 for a 2-person sauna. On the other hand, a prefabricated 5-6-person sauna starts from about £3,075 and goes up to over £12,000.
In most cases, if you’re clearing a space or converting a room, you can also expect to pay per square metre. For example, costs are likely to be around £200 per square metre for the simplest builds and up to £800 per metre.
5. Indoor or Outdoor
The location of your sauna changes the cost factors you have to consider.
For example, if you’re building indoors, you have to consider waterproofing and insulating your sauna to prevent damage to the rest of the home. You need waterproofing membrane and foil to stop steam from escaping and causing mould on the walls. These are normally cheap and can be purchased and installed for less than £15 per m2.
In addition, you’ll need insulation to keep the temperature between the sauna and the rest of the home from changing too quickly so that it doesn’t condensate. Without insulation, the drywall can get wet and mouldy and the paint can discolour.
Outside, you normally have completely different issues. Here, the largest is getting a water and electric supply to the building. Doing so normally means digging a ditch between the home and the sauna (unless you already have an outdoor tap) and running a 20-amp spur to the location.
In each case, you’re looking at about a day of plumbing work and a £175- £500 fee from your electrician. However, you may have less need to insulate and waterproof – although you’ll still want both as well as the interior battening layer as a condensation barrier.
6. Building Regulations
Installing a sauna always means notifying building control. You’ll have to send information for drains, heating sources, new wiring, and new piping to your local council.
If you have the sauna installed by a plumber and electrician in the Competent Person’s register, they can handle this for you and self-inspect for safety. If you don’t, you’ll have to pay for a separate inspection.
In most of the UK, the cost of notifications is £170. However, if you’re in Wales and some parts of East England, costs will be higher, and maybe as high as £690. The cost of a safety inspection is typically from £100.
Types Of Household Saunas
There are four major types of saunas: traditional, dry, steam and infrared. Each has its own advantages.
Traditional or classic saunas use a steam device or hot stones to heat a room. Here, you typically have a tap or a bucket of water, which you apply directly to the heat source.
Alternatively, you might use an electronic control board to adjust the flow of water. This is what most people think of when they think of a “sauna”.
Dry saunas use a dry heater to increase the temperature of the room, allowing you to sweat and relax without increasing the humidity. These saunas induce relaxation and sweat but reduce the amount of moisture. This can make them better for home use – because you’ll have to worry less about steam escaping.
In addition, they reduce the risks of steam hurting the lungs or eyes. On the other hand, you can’t stay in them as long, because the reduced humidity means your skin, eyes and lungs start to dry out.
Steam baths or “Turkish baths” are similar to traditional saunas and typically involve creating heat with steam. However, unlike a sauna, the steam bath doesn’t have a heat source other than the steam.
In the sauna, the heat source is always running and heating the room. You add steam as you want it.
In the steam bath or steam sauna, you turn on the vent for more steam when you want more heat. This can reduce the heat while increasing humidity, meaning you sweat more with less heat.
Infrared saunas use infrared heaters to directly warm the room. This is a type of dry sauna that uses infrared to directly apply heat to your body.
These typically stay between 46 and 57 degrees, which is also safer to sit in. For most people, that means you can stay in the sauna longer. It’s also easier and safer to install in your home, because you’ll have to worry about steam and condensation much less.
Benefits Of In-Home Saunas
In-home saunas can offer a lot of benefits but you’ll obviously have to enjoy going to the sauna already.
A sauna is a great place to relax. That’s true whether you do sports and want to relax after, experience stress, or just like the feeling of relaxing in a sauna.
With a sauna at home, you can turn it on and 15 minutes later, enjoy the sauna. For many people, that’s the ultimate luxury.
Commuting to and from a sauna can spoil much of the relaxation of getting to go, especially if you only have time for a short visit.
Having a sauna in your home means you can drop in whenever you want, relax and then immediately move to the shower, your bed, or even to your garden.
Possible Cost Savings
It costs an average of £3 per hour to run a sauna. If you pay standard sauna entrance fees, you’ll recoup installation costs within a few years – even with one person. On the other hand, if you have 2 or more people using it, you might recoup total costs within a year.
So, if you’re not sure, calculate how much you’ve spent going to the sauna in the last year and see how it works out.
If you love the sauna, having one in your home means you can go whenever you feel like it, including just after you get home from work, before you leave in the morning, or when you get back from your morning run.
Having a sauna on demand is a great luxury.
Fitting your home with a sauna can give you options to relax, socialise and improve your health. However, it’s usually a pricey endeavour. In most cases, you can expect to pay £5,000 for your sauna. On the other hand, home saunas range from as little as £900 for a simple sauna kit to over £17,000 for a custom build.
If you’d like to have a sauna in your home, the best place to start is pricing local installers. Use the form above to request in-home sauna installation quotes and we’ll contact local fitters for you.