Steaming in the bath is not only pleasant, but also healthy. And we are talking not only about banal relaxation, but also about the prevention of a fairly wide range of diseases. To achieve the desired result, you need to choose the right filling for the stove, that is, the stones. There is a mass of subtleties in how to choose stones for a bath: which are better, how they differ from each other, where you can collect stones, and where you cannot.
How to choose stones for a bath: basic requirements
There are a number of parameters that must correspond to the minerals for the bath. If you do not understand this issue, you can consult with a specialist or simply buy a ready-made set. Ignorance in this case can lead to very disastrous consequences, since many natural minerals absorb harmful substances, which are then released along with the steam. For example, in no case should you take stones for a bath near the railroad bed, since they can be impregnated with creosote – the strongest poison.
If you buy minerals in a store, then the package should be marked that the products have passed radiation control. An interesting alternative to natural stones is cast iron balls. The steam from them does not have any healing effect on the body, but the iron perfectly accumulates heat and gives it away for a long time.
If you decide to buy stones for the stove in the bath independently, then they must meet the following criteria:
- resistance to high temperature – the minerals for the sauna stove should not crack or crack in the fire. In order to verify compliance with this requirement on the spot, you can hit a stone with a hammer or other stone. Another test option is to heat a cobblestone in a red-hot fire, and then throw it into cold water. A truly high-quality stone will not crack;
- correct shape and size – this parameter strongly depends on the type of furnace. If you use a conventional wood-burning stove in your bath, then it’s better to take large cobblestones with a diameter of 70–130 mm. For small electric stoves, you will need smaller stones – 50–60 mm. As for the form, it can be any, but it should be borne in mind that flat stones are easier to lay and fit more into the furnace. The number of cobblestones also depends on the size of the furnace.
- the ability to keep warm – the higher it is, the longer the stones will release heat. This moment can be checked by the specific gravity of the mineral – a well-accumulating heat stone should be heavy, dense and with a homogeneous structure.
Helpful advice! A universal version of the stones in the sauna heater is a salt brick. They are purchased in specialized stores and have optimal performance.
Most minerals can boast the presence of certain healing properties. Therefore, choosing an option for a bath should take into account the peculiarities of each type of stones and their needs in terms of health.
The usual river or sea pebble is the most economical option of minerals for a bath. Such stones can be assembled free of charge on the shore of the reservoir, they are characterized by an attractive appearance and high strength. In addition, pebbles can be oval oblate, which is very convenient for uniform placement in the furnace. Laying pebbles can be so dense that water will not fall on the metal of the furnace, evaporating exclusively on the stones.
When choosing a pebble is worth paying attention to its color. Cobblestones should not have red spots or streaks, which indicate the presence of iron oxide. The redness on the stones indicates that when heated in a fire, substances harmful to health can be released. Also, it is not necessary to take near-limestone as a stove stone in the bath. Under the action of high temperatures, it quickly collapses, and with steam, lime dust gets into the air, which accumulates not only on the shelves, but also on the teeth. It is very difficult to get rid of limescale, so you simply should not use this type of mineral in the steam room.
Good samples of pebbles can be found not only on the river or the seashore, but also under the power lines. In Soviet times, all power transmission towers were filled with high-quality and fairly large pebbles, which can now be safely taken for use in the steam room.
Gabbro diabase is another very low-cost version of the mineral for the steam room. In appearance, it resembles dark marble, characterized by low water absorption and high strength. This type of stone is mined in Karelia and is of volcanic origin, which indicates its ecological purity.
In terms of heat absorption, gabbro diabase cannot boast of special advantages, since it absorbs the heat for a very long time, but cools down very quickly when the fire is attenuated. In addition, when heated, it expands, it should be taken into account when laying.
If the mineral is heated too much, it begins to emit an unpleasant odor. It is also not recommended to use it with various aromatic tinctures or essential oils, as this inevitably leads to the formation of soot on the surface of cobblestones. This mineral is recommended to sort out and discard worn samples so that they do not contaminate the furnace grates.
In fact, the only significant advantage of this mineral is its low cost. For the rest of the parameters, it is much inferior to other stones for a bath, reviews of which can be read on the Internet.
Talkohlorit is an environmentally friendly mineral, which differs from others primarily in heat capacity. Even stone stoves are veneered with this stone so that they do not lose heat any longer. Using it as a stone for a steam room will allow you to get a large amount of steam when laying a relatively small amount of cobblestones.
The use of soapstone for bath is also good because when heated it does not emit any harmful impurities. The only unpleasant moment that these stones can deliver is the release of fine dust. But this can be easily avoided if before the first use the stones should be washed and calcined.
A significant advantage of talcochlorite is its healing properties. If you regularly use it in the steam room, then you will feel a surge of strength, you will strengthen the immune system and the metabolism will normalize. And the heat from the soapstone is very mild, similar to the sun. By the way, it can be used not only as a filler for the furnace, but also as a material for the walls of the heater. So the useful properties will only increase, and the stone oven is always better than the metal one.
Helpful advice!In the presence of any chronic diseases associated with a weak immune system, it is recommended once or twice a week to take a steam bath in a talcotlore bath.
If we talk about how to choose a stone for a bath in nature, characterized by the greatest strength and resistance to overheating, then the first place in these parameters is basalt or volcanic. Among its advantages can also be noted a very low water absorption and high heat capacity. Basalt does not crack due to sudden changes in temperature, does not emit harmful substances when overheated, serves for a long time and is a very good option for use in the steam room.
Steam differs from basalt not only in intensity, but also in good healing properties. It copes well with pathogenic bacteria in the body, helps with age-related diseases of the musculoskeletal system, migraines and inflammation of the joints. Also take a bath on the basalt stones is useful for colds, eczema and low blood pressure.
Of course, basalt is more expensive than pebbles or gabbro diabase, but the beneficial properties of this mineral are much higher than a number of others.
Buy jadeite stones for a bath means not only to get a thick and pleasant steam, but also to give a stylish look to the sauna stove. The fact is that this mineral is semi-precious and differs in a rich emerald color. Naturally, its attractive appearance also has a downside – the price is quite high, so now the steam room with jade is worth a lot of money.
As for the other characteristics of the mineral, it is characterized by high strength and heat capacity, low water absorption and a large amount of steam when heated. In addition, it has a stabilizing effect on the human body, so it is not only pleasant to take a steam room with jade, but also good for health.
Another “elite” mineral for the sauna is raspberry quartzite. Its characteristic feature is a rich purple color. Like jadeite, this entails a fairly high price, but the original look of your bath is worth it. The density of cobblestones is high, and water absorption is low. In addition, the properties of a quartzite stone for a bath include increased strength and wear resistance. This means that you can safely pour cold water on the stones and not be afraid of cracking, even if they have been in the oven for a very long time.
Quartzite can be used for a very long time, it will not release harmful impurities, become covered with soot or lose the attractiveness of appearance.
When buying quartzite should pay attention to its shape. It must be natural, without mechanical splits, otherwise cracking may occur when heated.
Among the beneficial properties of raspberry quartzite, there is an improvement in blood circulation and pressure stabilization, so it is useful to take a steam room with it to people suffering from low or high blood pressure.
Helpful advice! Do not forget that a long stay in the bath can adversely affect your health, regardless of what mineral is used. Using quartzite as a stone for the bath should not be abused while you are in the steam room.
White quartz, unlike other minerals for the bath, can not boast of either durability or resistance to high temperatures. When heated, stones often crack and crack.
Why, then, use it for a bath? First, it looks very attractive. Translucent white stones will not only give a lot of steam, but also look very stylish in the oven. Secondly, when water enters the hot quartz cobblestones, ozone is released from them. These two factors make white quartz one of the most expensive minerals for the steam room, but also one of the most sought-after connoisseurs of a good bath.
Porphyrite is one of the most underrated stones for a bath, about which you can find reviews on the Internet. Moreover, its performance is above average, it gives off heat for a long time and maintains a high temperature. The healing properties of this mineral help with headaches, and also have a beneficial effect on the respiratory system and improve skin condition.
When first used, porphyritis can crackle in the fire. This is a normal phenomenon, which ceases after several warm-ups. Before each heating the mineral is recommended to be cleaned, then the steam from it will be as thick and clean as possible.
Himalayan salt does not belong to the stones, but it can also be used for the steam room. Of course, it is not worth talking about any durability and heat resistance, but the amount of useful substances released into the air by the hot salt is impressive. These include potassium, magnesium, iodine, calcium, iron, manganese and others. All this in a complex positive effect on the respiratory tract, helps strengthen the immune system.
When using Himalayan salt there is one catch – if the humidity in the room exceeds 74%, then the salt turns into a solution. Therefore, in the bath will have to install a special ventilation system that will drain the room and ventilate it.
There are a number of general recommendations that will help you not to be mistaken in the choice of filling for the stove in your steam room:
- if you choose between sea and river stones, then preference should be given to the latter. The cobblestones from the sea collapse faster and cannot boast of high strength, but the river stones withstand high temperatures much better;
- The shape of the stones depends mainly on your aesthetic preferences. If you want the masonry not only to give a lot of steam, but also to please the eye, then the most beautiful stones of the correct shape should be laid on top;
- if you are not sure what stone is needed for the bath, as well as how many boulders to put in the furnace, then it is worthwhile to read the instructions, which are attached to the package with stones. It should indicate how many stones you need to put, as well as the healing properties of a particular mineral;
- if you do not want to buy cobblestones, and prefer to collect them yourself, it is better to do it in the field, and not in the water. The fact is that the “field” stones have already undergone severe hardening by the sun, wind, rain and other natural phenomena, therefore, the temperature drops in the furnace must be transferred without any special problems;
- How to choose a stone for the bath of the correct form? The cobblestone should be round and have a smooth surface. The presence of cracks and chips can lead to premature cracking when heated;
- the structure of the mineral must be homogeneous. In the presence of impurities and impregnations, the stone can quickly crumble or even burst directly in the furnace. In addition, various impurities, such as iron oxide, can emit harmful substances when heated.
Despite the fact that in nature there is a huge variety of rocks, not all of them are suitable for use in the bath. It is best to lay cobblestones of magmatic origin into the furnace, since they are already hardened by high temperatures and high pressure, therefore they can boast of high density and heat resistance.
When choosing the type of minerals, their size, shape and other properties, always pay attention to exactly what qualities your chosen stone has. For example, minerals, steam from which increases the pressure, is not recommended for people with high blood pressure, and so on.