What Makes Our Cedar Barrel Saunas the Best on the Market?
Faster Heat Up Times: We use larger heaters than our competitors to give you the fastest possible heat up time (10-20 mins)
Silent Heater Control: Some heaters have audible “”ticks”” as the heater timer counts down. Our electric heaters are digital so don’t have any count-down ticking.
Electric Heater Control On Front Wall: Several electric heaters on the market have their controls mounted directly on the heater. This means that you need to go into the sauna and get down on the floor to turn the heater on or off. With our convenient control display, which is mounted on the front exterior wall of the sauna, it’s much easier to control your heater.
You Can Pour Water on the Rocks: Both our electric and wood-fired heaters can handle water being poured directly on the rocks for that traditional sauna experience. Our electric heaters are CSA Approved for use in Canada.
Get it as a Sauna Kit or Assembled On-site: For customers in Vancouver, Squamish, Horseshoe Bay, Lions Bay, Whistler, Pemberton, Sunshine Coast, Nanaimo and the Gulf Islands, we’re able to offer an installation service. We’re also currently working to expand our installation services to Toronto, Muskoka, Collingwood, Whitehorse and Calgary with our network of trained carpenters. For customers in other locations, or even handy customers who want to save a bit on the delivery fees, we offer our units as a cedar barrel sauna kit, which comes flat packed and you can install yourself in less than a day (we recommend two people, but it is possible to do an install as one person).
A Word on Our Capacity Ratings
Our capacity ratings are a conservative guide for how many adults we suggest in the sauna. Most of our customers find they can fit more people in their sauna than what we suggest. For example, when we say 4-5 person capacity on our 6’5″” model, we mean 4-5 people can fit with plenty of space between everyone.
*Our capacity ratings for the wood fired units are lower than electric saunas of the same size, because the wood stove takes up more floor space than the wall mounted electric heater.
What Type of Wood Does Nootka Saunas Use?
All of our barrel saunas are made with locally-sourced Western Red Cedar. The cedar is kiln-dried to ensure it’s as dimensionally stable as possible. We use select tight knot cedar, which means that the cedar has some knots, which are purely visual and don’t compromise the integrity of the cedar.
Sometimes you’ll hear the rumour that saunas should only be made with clear cedar (ie: no knots). That thinking is valid when saunas are made with <1″ thick tongue and groove panelling, which allows knots to eventually “pop-out” after several heat cycles. Since all of the boards we use are 2″ thick (planed to 1.5″), there is no risk of knots shifting or ‘popping-out’ of the wood. That means you can rest assured that your sauna will withstand the test of time. We can also produce clear cedar barrel saunas for customers that want that options for aesthetic reasons. Clear cedar costs about 60-70% more than select tight knot cedar.
Should I Go Wood or Electric?
It all depends on how frequently you intend to use your sauna and where it’s being installed.
Electric: For customers in urban locations or who wish to use their sauna several times a week, electric is a great option. You can get the electric heater up to 90°C (194°F) and there is no issue pouring water on the rocks of our electric heaters. The electric models heat up in just 10-20 minutes and it’s as simple as hitting the “on” button to get it fired up. The electric heaters we use require a 40A (8ft sauna) or 50A (10ft sauna), 240V service run to the back wall of the sauna. Getting an electric hookup is often easier than you think and in most cases can be done by an electrician in just a few hours. For customers between Vancouver – Whistler, we recommend contacting Red Alder Electric to get a wiring quote. Our electric stoves are fabricated by a Vancouver-based company, Homecraft Saunas and they all come with a 1-year warranty.
Wood: If you have a rural property, have limited electrical capacity or just love the traditional method of getting a sauna fire stoked, then our Harvia stove powered saunas are a great option. The stoves are made in Finland and in our opinion they’re the best wood-fired stove out there. For customers with wood-fired saunas, temperature control can be done most effectively by managing how much wood you use as well as the the species (ie: cedar burns hotter than pine). Our wood-fired saunas, take about 20 minutes to heat up.