The laude of the ancient sauna was a wide platform, on which also the legs were stretched out. With the invasion of the electric heaters, the laude became a narrow bench suitable only for sitting up, and another, lower laude was needed for those who could not tolerate the extreme heat of the uppermost laude.

As mentioned in the Temperature and Löyly chapter, a good löyly requires plenty of löyly throwing, which in turn is possible only, if the sauna is not burning hot.

When the sauna is not burning hot, there is no need to sit on the laude leaning forward. One should lean back, raise the legs on the laude and relax. The legs can comfortably be raised on the laude, if the laude is at least 80 cm, 2,5 feet wide, preferably more.

When the lower laude is not needed for sitting, but only for entering up the uppermost laude, the lower laude can be only 20-30 cm wide. For the purpose of taking a sauna-bath, the only useful place in the sauna is the laude, so that it is sensible to make the laude as wide as possible.

Click to see this image bigger... Enclosed is a picture of the laude of a family sauna. The laude is 80 cm wide, which together with the length of 200 cm makes it possible for two people to sit legs stretched along the laude, and three people to sit with legs on the laude. If needed, there is space for a fourth and even for a fifth person, when three people sit back on the laude and one or two sit on the front of the laude.

The lower laude is narrow, only 30 cm, of which 10 cm is below the upper laude. There is a 70 cm distance from the stove, when the depth of the sauna is 170 cm.

There is a stove in the sauna, so that the laude is never burning hot. The laude is made of spruce, which is more durable and hygienic than porous apache.

The laude is made so that the planks are lengthways. The lengthways laude looks better than the stepladder-like laude and it is more comfortable. When one gets used to resting against the panelling, it becomes obvious that the buttocks slip easy, if the laude is stepladder-like. The gap between lengthways planks also restrains the slipping.

The stepladder-like laude is suitable only for a sauna with a heater, where the hot panelling cannot be rested against.

When constructing a laude, there are two other important things to take into account: The laude must be removable for cleaning and service of the stove. There must be a little gap between the planks to allow them to dry. Without the gap, there may appear decay, moisture and mould between planks. The gap is easily made for instance by inserting a slim peace of plywood between planks.

© Saunasite, 1997

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