Kamenka for a bath and sauna: the nuances


Already at the design stage of the steam room, it is important to determine the design and location of the stove. After all, the sauna stove can be heated both from the inside of the steam room and from the outside, including from the street.

In addition, the heater is a rather heavy structure, especially if it is made of brick. And a foundation should be laid under it, which means the impossibility (or great difficulty) of transferring the furnace to another place.


The bathing steam room assumes the presence of wet steam in it, which is formed at the moment when water hits the heated stones. Simply, the water from the ladle is splashed onto the pebbles in order to «succumb to the park.» In the steam room itself, they bathe and wash.

The steam in the bath is soft, the temperature is comfortable, and staying here has practically no contraindications.

The Finnish sauna excludes the presence of moisture — only dry steam, people with cardiovascular diseases cannot stay in such a room for a long time. They wash and take a contrast douche outside the steam room. It is the sharp contrast of temperatures that gives a positive effect, deeply cleansing the skin and strengthening the immune system.

Obviously, the difference between the designs of stoves for baths and saunas. The simplest water heating tank is built into the first one, for example, a cast-iron boiler with a lid. In the second case, if a container with water is present, then the water inlet and outlet is located outside the steam room, which is more structurally difficult.

The unifying structural element is the presence of a firebox, an ash pan, a chamber between the firebox and the chimney and, in fact, the chimney.

The firebox for iron stoves should be made of cast iron or heat-resistant steel. Other materials will not be able to provide you with durable work.

In brick ovens, the furnace is made of fireclay bricks.

At the bottom of the firebox, closer to the door, there is a cast-iron grate that separates the firebox and the ashpit (blower). This structural part of the furnace is responsible for maintaining combustion at the beginning of the kindling process, providing an influx of oxygen. When the heat reaches its maximum, the blower door is usually closed in order to keep the heat in the oven longer.

The grate must not be removed from the door, otherwise the kindling process will be accompanied by strong smoke.

The chamber between the firebox and the chimney is filled with hot air and it is very important that the smoke travels as far as possible through it, keeping the heat inside. To do this, the chamber is divided by horizontal planes of cast iron plates.

The chimney itself has no design features (with the exception of specific models). But it is important that it be:

  • insulated at the point of contact with the ceiling of the steam room;
  • equipped with a cap to prevent the formation of air vortices;
  • not less than 50 cm above the ridge of the bathhouse or the building adjacent to it.


The answer to the question of the material of manufacture of the furnace directly depends on the functionality of the building. If this is a country bathhouse where you plan to spend half a day or a day, then a metal heater is best for you. It quickly heats up itself and just as quickly warms up the steam room.

Another argument in favor of «iron» for a Russian bath is the pulling of moisture by a brick, as a result of which the next kindling may be delayed and accompanied by smoke. The exit is a mandatory valve device in the chimney. How it works, read the section «Proper Kindling of the Heater» (later in the article).

In a dry steam sauna, such problems will not arise, provided that the premises are well waterproofed from external factors.

If heating (relevant for the cold period of the year) also depends on the heater and adjacent premises, for example, a rest room or even the entire summer cottage (water heating), then a brick stove is the best option. Although it heats up slowly, it keeps the heat for a long time. Plus, it can be heated in slow burning mode — close the blower and close the valve by 2/3.

Iron heaters warm up very quickly and begin to “give off” heat. But red-hot iron quickly burns out dust in the air and oxygen, which creates discomfort for breathing. Therefore, the metal walls are covered with heat-resistant stones that accumulate heat.

Iron stoves not protected by stones are provided with iron lining. It minimizes excess shortwave radiation, creating a protective shield. A tank for heating water is also built into it. The diagram above shows a design that can serve as a heating boiler and at the same time a heater. To do this, the upper plane is sewn up with a metal grate and laid with stones.

The chimney pipe is also lined with stones. Here the main goal is to maximize the time of heat transfer and the duration of burning inside the furnace with the same consumption of firewood.

And, of course, the stones are laid out on the outer horizontal ceiling of a brick stove (it is made of a cast-iron plate) in order to maintain heat. These stones are traditionally poured with essential oils or herbal infusions to improve the microclimate.

Number of stones determined by the size of the steam room:

  • 5-6 kg per sq.m. or
  • 1 part per 50 parts of the volume of the room.

STONES for saunas and baths, they choose the «correct» ones in every sense of the word.

The surface should be relatively smooth, the shape close to a flat oval. This is ideal, but in reality, these are usually fragments with edges erased due to machining (boning, tumbling). The optimal size is 7-15 cm in cross section.

As for the physical properties, these are necessarily rocks with a high density, which ensures the accumulation of heat and its slow release.

According to the chemical composition, the rock must be clean both from external contaminants and in terms of the absence of harmful impurities: mica, any inclusions. Reddish veins containing iron are especially undesirable.

In the process of heating, the elements of the periodic table will be released from the stone, therefore their radiological control is especially important.

river pebbles — for some, these are the most accessible stones. They do not have a special healing power, but they regularly perform the function of a heat accumulator. They will have to be changed every year, because the pebbles are destroyed by frequent temperature changes.

More healing for a steam room sea ​​pebblecontaining iodine and useful minerals. But it is as short-lived as the river.

Granite has a higher density, equal to 2600-2700 kg / m.cub. It is quite affordable and quite resistant to temperature changes.

Basalt — a rock of volcanic origin. It was born from red-hot magma, and therefore it serves for a long time, almost as long as the furnace itself. The density is similar to granite and ranges from 2520-2970 kg/m3.

This stone can be used as a base stone, and more expensive minerals with healing properties can be placed on top of the heater.

Gabbro diabase — another base stone for a stove-heater, which is of volcanic origin. It is characterized by low price, high density (3070 kg/m3), high heat capacity and long service life.

porphyrite — stone of volcanic origin. Impurities of igneous rocks are released when heated and fill the air with the «breath of the mountains». It is believed that this is the only mineral that improves potency. In addition, it normalizes blood pressure and relieves headaches.

The density is low — 1450 kg / m3. This means that porphyrite should be combined with other more heat-intensive stones.

Crimson quartzite — a beautiful and useful mineral with a density of 2630 kg / m.cub. It gives off soft heat for a very long time, has a beneficial effect on the circulatory and urinary-genital system of a person, relieves headaches, joint problems and helps to neutralize meteorological dependence.

white quartz has a unique glowing texture from the inside. But beauty is not the only advantage of this mineral. Heated and abruptly cooled with cold water, white quartz releases atomic oxygen, saturating the steam room with ozone. At the same time, electromagnetic oscillations arise that correct the human energy field.

Density 2650 kg/m3 Frequent temperature changes destroy the stone, but it is «death» that gives life.

Soapstone the most popular mineral for the heater. The heat it gives off is soft, the steam is light. Infrared radiation, which gives off any heated object, in soapstone is similar to the radiation of the human body. Contact with him is akin to a session of a biotherapist.

In addition, it improves immunity, strengthens bone tissue, lowers blood pressure, improves metabolism, and helps in the fight against respiratory diseases.

Density 2980 kg/m3 A well-heated stone is able to retain heat throughout the day. Before laying in the oven, this stone must be thoroughly washed, since it forms a dust coating on its surface due to friction.

Jade beautiful and useful. With a density of 3430 kg / m.cub. it is characterized by high heat capacity, low water absorption and unique healing properties.

Enriches water with metasilicic acid, restores the energy field of the body, heals joints, nerves, blood vessels, heart, helps with diseases of the urogenital area and the endocrine system.

In general, the stone is unique, but also expensive. However, for a heater, it is enough to purchase several large stones, placing them on top of more accessible ones.

The service life is 5 years, after which the healing effect disappears and the stones need to be replaced.

Jasper — a universal healer with high energy: stops bleeding, cleanses the blood, promotes healing in the «female part», they say, can relieve mental disorders, insomnia and nightmares. Used for healing purposes, laying on the top of the heater.

It has different shades depending on the deposit.

Peridotite (dunite) — the heaviest stone with a density in the range of 3200-4400 kg / m. 90% consists of chrysolite, which, being in a heated state, normalizes the cardiovascular system, lowers blood pressure, and can have a beneficial effect on the functioning of the organs of vision and hearing.

It is used in open-hearth furnaces, and therefore in your steam room it will be an almost eternal filler for a stove-heater.


In a sauna heater, a container with water is mounted in the upper, side plane of the stove, attached from above around the pipe.

The most reliable solutions are usually simple designs. In the case of a sauna heater, this is a stove with a boiler built into it (+ a wooden cover). At the same time, a tub of cold water is installed in the steam room or a water pipe with a tap is brought into it. The stove can be either brick (traditional, but not always practical due to damp bricks) or iron (preferred option).

There is another simple solution: a plumbing coil built into the chimney (furnace) of the heater.

IMPORTANT: in any case, a steam bleed valve is provided in the upper part of the sealed container with hot water.

FIREWOOD FOR HEATER must also be «correct». How they are chosen and stored — read here.


Dry wood is highly flammable at 400 degrees Celsius. A lower rate requires a constant supply of oxygen.

Therefore, at the beginning of kindling, it is important that the blower door is ajar, and the furnace, on the contrary, is tightly covered.

The higher the temperature, the more they cover the blower. When the heat becomes sufficient, all doors are tightly covered.

To ensure long-term combustion and maximum heat transfer, the presence of a valve in the furnace pipe will help. For an iron heater, it is not necessary to do it, but in a brick one it is desirable if it is a wet steam bath.

At the moment of kindling, the valve is fully retracted. Upon reaching the maximum heat, they are pushed in half, and after the firewood burns out, the valve is closed by 2/3 (but so that the smoke does not come out of the furnace hole). This simple maneuver will ensure that the heat is maintained for a long time and will help the steam room dry out faster.

At the end of the firebox, if it was fired with birch, it is advisable to throw raw potato peelings on the coals in order to clean the chimney from tar.

At the end of the process of smoldering coals, the valve is completely closed.


The lining of the steam room should not come into contact with surfaces with a temperature close to 400 degrees Celsius. In the area of ​​​​the heater, it is better to overlay the walls with stone or brick.

In the bath, lighting is provided by natural light through a window or a lamp in a moisture-resistant shade. The wiring is led out through the wall and the switch is located outside the walls of the steam room. Under the bath sheathing — no wires!

Hot iron surfaces of the heater are protected by a wooden parapet to avoid burns.

In a hotter sauna, windows are usually not made, but electric lighting also requires compliance with certain standards: a heat-resistant cover for the lamp, no wiring under the casing, a direct output from the lamp through the wall to a cool room.

STEAM ROOM VENTILATION carried out according to the principle: fresh air inflow at the bottom near the stove (not higher than 30 cm) and exit on the opposite wall under the ceiling.

For a stove that is kindled from a steam room, there must be a hole on the opposite wall of the steam room and at the lower level. They do it to eliminate the possible accumulation of carbon monoxide. It is known to be heavier than air and always sinks down.

The inlet at the furnace is simply closed with a ventilation grill. And the exit holes on the opposite wall are provided with forced exhaust ventilation.

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