Juniper panels for the sauna – a beautiful and useful accessory


Modern saunas are equipped with various accessories – LED lighting in different colors, remote controls and other modern gadgets. Juniper panels are a classic addition to a Finnish sauna. In this article we will look at the advantages and uses of juniper paneling, and how and where to install it.

Why juniper?

Various materials can be used for construction in the sauna, but among the most common decorative panels is juniper wood. Why? What makes it so unique?

  1. The healing properties of juniper have been known since ancient times. Juniper essential oils kill up to 30% of germs in indoor air. They can help relieve headaches, stress, insomnia and even high blood pressure. Inhaling resinous fumes is helpful for respiratory illnesses, nervous tension, and physical fatigue. It strengthens the immune system and metabolism.
  2. The aroma is delicate, pleasant, slightly tart, with a hint of bitterness. The scent of juniper is unobtrusive and does not tire as with more aggressive and pungent fragrances.
  3. Natural material – these days there is a great demand for naturalness. Juniper panels fully meet modern fashion and needs.
  4. Beautiful texture – like any wood, juniper has its own characteristic pattern on the cross-section. Thin, tightly compressed annual rings create a unique pattern on each cut, making it unique.
  5. The density of juniper wood is a very valuable property of the material for use in humid environments. Juniper does not absorb moisture well, does not swell when wet and does not shrink. It does not crack like many other types of wood.
  6. Juniper wood is resistant to rot – also an important feature for saunas, where it is always humid. Resin-treated wood is not susceptible to fungus and mold. If dried and treated properly, it will last decades in the panel.

Juniper panels for the sauna - a beautiful and useful accessory

Where to install a juniper panel in a sauna?

In most cases, the panel is used as an independent decorative element. Assembled on the principle of a mosaic of small elements, it decorates any room.
Designers recommend covering the largest wall in the room with it. This is best done by placing it in front of the front door. A stylish decoration on the ceiling of a steam room or rest room. The panel would also look great above the benches, especially if you decorate it with RGB lighting.

Just use your imagination, and you will come up with many options for where to hang the juniper panel in your sauna. 🙂

Note, however, that the panels must not be hung next to the stove or near the water containers.

Can I make a juniper wood panel myself?

Yes, you can make a panel of juniper wood yourself.

If you managed to buy sawn juniper branches, you are already halfway there! If you only have access to whole tree branches, you will need a tool for trimming and polishing.

The best raw material comes from the natural drying of the tree. Juniper trunks gain the strongest aroma for several years. This is then released for decades when using products made from them.

The size of sawn wooden coils is small, about 2-5 cm. The smaller the size, the more time it will take to compose and glue.

For a more pronounced effect, it is advisable to choose pieces in different shades. Such a technique will give a half-shading or zoning effect, which will further beautify the handicraft.

Plywood and wood panels are used as a substrate. The best option is a panel made of cedar wood. Its wood is also endowed with a pleasant fragrance, which will be a harmonious companion to the smell of juniper.

Arrange the pieces as tightly as possible, so that there are almost no gaps between cuts. The best quality panels are made from strips of wood that have been stripped of bark. The wood cuts are glued to the base with glue. Sometimes self-tapping screws are used, but this is not very nice.

To make the wooden pieces smell bright and strong, they must not be treated with any impregnation. Oils, varnishes and all other preparations close the micropores through which juniper essential oils are released.

If the panel’s fragrance wears off over time, it can be “rejuvenated.” Simply remove a thin layer of wood from the surface with a sander, thereby polishing it. The sauna will once again be filled with a resinous, healing scent.

Frequently asked questions about juniper panels

How to take care of the panel?

Periodically wipe the surface with a dry cloth. Do not use any detergents, as they block the pores of the wood.

How long can a juniper panel smell?

It depends on the quality of the material. A good tree gives off an odor for more than 10 years.

How are the juniper slices attached to the base and what are they made of?

Juniper slices are attached to the base with heat-resistant carpenter's glue. The base is most often made of plywood.

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Since 2011 I have had my own business selling sauna building materials, sauna cookers and sauna accessories. I know all about building a quality sauna!