A bath is a structure that, by its definition, has to be environmentally friendly, warm and comfortable. For a long time, steam rooms were made of wood, and it is just such a bath that today represents the majority of people. But a frame bath or a bath of wooden logs in the present conditions is too expensive, because the prices of natural materials have soared incredibly lately. And the quality of sold materials leaves much to be desired. Therefore, a bath from foam blocks made of cellular concrete has become a worthy alternative to timber. And cellular concrete (foam concrete) does not contain hazardous chemical compounds in its composition and is distinguished by high operational performance.
In this article we will talk about how to build a foam block bathhouse with our own hands, give step-by-step instructions, as well as photo and video materials.
A foam block is similar in its properties to wood, but is fireproof and has a lower level of radioactivity. It also has a small mass, which, with relatively large sizes of foam blocks, is especially convenient for transportation, masonry and mounting.
What is the difference between foam blocks from other materials
To build a bath from foam blocks without extra effort, thanks to that this material is perfectly sawn, cut and even scraped with a traditional hacksaw or a hatchet (economic / tourist). The fasteners are also well driven into the foam concrete.
The only flaw in this loose material is poor resistance to moisture. Therefore, for the construction of the bath it is better to choose high-quality foam concrete with high strength, containing a waterproof primer. Such foam block walls will practically not absorb moisture. The popular brand of the manufacturer and high-quality foam concrete material should come first, because any fake will absorb moisture like a sponge.
The foundation of a foam block bath
During construction of a bath of concrete-containing foam should competently lay the foundation. For this purpose, a ditch is pulled out with a depth of 60 cm and a width of 30 cm. Then, using the laser level, it is necessary to drive four pins along the edges of the dug hole, stretch the rope and hammer in additional, intermediate rods along the entire length of the base every 1.9 meters. This is necessary so that later there will be no difficulties during the verification of the foundation for evenness according to the two-meter rule.
Variant of the foundation scheme for a bath
At the end of the above-described reinforcement (with an iron thickness of at least 12 mm) is the frame. Formwork is made of planks, the approximate width of which should be 20-30 mm. Then the foundation is evenly poured with concrete, preferably grade 200. The resulting base height of 70-75 cm is enough if a small-sized foam concrete bath is being constructed. In addition, in the thickness of the basement, a sewage system with a ten-centimeter spillway receiver (ladder) should be installed. On top of all put steel mesh. After a couple of days, you can resume activity on fully frozen cement.
After laying waterproofing (polymer films or fiberglass layers) on top of the base of the bath, the wall construction stage begins. General recognition among the builders of the baths earned the M25 foam block with a density of D700. Its dimensions are the best for any construction work - 10 * 30 * 60 cm.
Scheme of insulation and wall cladding
By means of the construction level, the highest angle of the structure is determined and the subsequent construction of the foam block walls is carried out from it.
Foam concrete blocks should be laid on the edge, and seams should be made minimal - it is required that the building does not lose its heat through them. After all, despite the fact that foam concrete is one of the most heat-saving materials, the priceless heat of the steam room can still “leave” along the so-called “cold bridge”.
The first row of laying is the most significant and decisive step. In this series, the fixing of the blocks between themselves is carried out using a conventional cement-sand mortar. After completion of the row layout, the surface is required to carefully level and compensate for all differences in the height of the foundation and irregularities with bumps. And it is this stage that determines how convenient the subsequent work will be. Therefore, the laser level should be applied regularly, and all blocks should be installed in its place with the use of a mallet with a rubber head. To build more comfortable, you can pull the line between the corners of the future bath.
Laying the second and subsequent rows requires mounting on a special glue - it can be diluted with water directly at the construction site. Buy this glue is most often possible in bags in the form of a dry mix.It usually takes about 5-10 minutes to prepare it. The use of this glue is minimal, and its thickness during laying is never more than half a centimeter.
Features of masonry walls
A foam bath built with this adhesive has dense walls, virtually no joints and transition bridges.
Professional masters advise you to put foam blocks in three rows, placing a reinforcing layer of fine-meshed steel mesh between them. This must be done to fully strengthen the integrity of the structure. And to block the door and window openings in the foam block walls is not at all difficult if you fill the formwork with concrete or use typesetting elements of factory production.
For laying the initial row of walls from a foam block, it is necessary to select blocks of maximum density, adjusting them by means of cementing. The following rows will require specific glue. It is prepared from bulk mixtures containing glue. For cooking you need a small-diameter tank and a drill with a whisk.
Do not expect perfect curing of the adhesive. It is quickly spread around the entire perimeter of the block, the foam blocks are laid on top, they immediately level off with a mallet.
Walls of foam block
It is important to adhere to the horizontal and vertical levels. They can be verified by building or laser level.
After the walls are built, the rafters are mounted under the shed ( being boards of 10 * 40 cm) and uterus (cross logs for roofing) from a board of 15 * 50 cm. The batten should be fixed with a gap of half a meter. The ideal gap between the rafters is 10.2 cm. A 2.5 cm wide preliminary canopy is placed between the queens, and a foam layer 19 cm thick is placed on the next layer. Then an attic plank floor 2.5 cm thick is laid on the uterus.
In the ceiling of the foam block, you certainly need to make a couple of holes for ventilation. It is desirable to cover the roof outside with a professional flooring, and to fix the pediment with roofing felt.
Any concrete containing foam to create a bath is vulnerable to moisture - even the most expensive. From this it follows that waterproofing (protection against water penetration) is paramount.
The waterproof insulation itself of the surface of the foam block walls of the bath is made by impregnating them with water-repellent compounds, supplemented from the inside by laying a specialized protective film.
Creating a foam concrete bath often involves exterior finishing for aesthetic purposes. The best method of external veneering for foam concrete is the newest ventilated facades of the mounted type, which give excess moisture from the thickness of the blocks to the atmosphere. Most suitable for this are such types of siding (non-combustible materials for wall cladding), fixed to the frameworks:
To keep air movement free, the skin should be protected from the surface of the wall at least 5-7 cm. In the sauna room, steam insulation is arranged by means of synthetic vapor-proof membranes embedded in the space between the lining and the wall.
Inside the bath, it is stitched with wood, covered with synthetic paint over plaster or laid with porcelain tiles. It is pleasant to many people if there is a woody smell in the bath. Therefore, the lining of wood foam walls from the inside is quite popular. But not any tree is suitable for a bath because of its specific wet-temperature structure. The best for this purpose - conifers, pine or spruce (except steam). But in rare cases, they can cause allergies.
Aspen or linden should be used for covering the steam room, which are excellent thermal insulators and do not heat at high temperatures. It is important that the selected timber is of high quality, and there are no subsequent distortions due to increased dampness. Also, before covering the wood must be processed by removing the outer layers, most susceptible to the undesirable effects of water. They are cut and covered with an already prepared tree with a specialized waterproof insulating compound.
So, for a fairly short time and without extra effort, a strong, light, warm and environmentally friendly bath is being built from foam blocks, which can be called a worthy successor to traditional log cabin steam rooms.
Pay attention to the possibility of warming the bath outside: