What Kind of Floor Mats and Material Work Best in a Sauna?

By Kyle Schurman Created: April, 2021

When seeking sauna floor ideas, it’s important to think about comfort and safety. Without the right materials in use, sauna floor mats could become slippery with the heat and steam in the room. The floors should not become so hot that they burn the feet of those using them, however.

Foam rubber and PVC plastic are among the top materials for this use case. The best products for sauna floor ideas include:

  • Life Floor Slate Tiles
  • Life Floor Ripple Tiles
  • SoftFlex Floor Tiles
  • Patio Outdoor Tiles
  • StayLock Perforated Tiles
  • Heronrib Wet Area Safety Matting Rolls

Whether the sauna installation occurs at home, in a hotel suite, in a fitness center, or in a spa, selecting the right floor to use is an easier process when you have an understanding of how these floors work.

Should You Cover the Concrete in the Sauna?

In many sauna installations, the subfloor will consist of concrete. After sealing the concrete to give it waterproof capabilities, you then can place other types of flooring material over the top of the concrete for comfort and safety.

When dry, concrete is fine as the primary flooring in a sauna. However, a sauna rarely is a dry environment, becoming damp from steam and moisture. Once concrete becomes damp, it creates a slipping hazard in the room. Placing sauna floor mats over the top of the concrete creates an environment that’s safer for walking.

If desired, customers can place other types of flooring over the top of a wood floor in a sauna. Sauna floor mats and tiles offer a nice level of cushioning for those walking on them versus the concrete or wood.

The flooring could have some insulative properties, too, helping to hold the heat inside the sauna room, rather than allowing it to escape through the subfloor.

For sauna floor ideas as a temporary option, look for interlocking floor tiles that pop together quickly. Should the installer want to remove the flooring or replace it in the future, being able to lay out the tiles or mats without the need for adhesive is important.

What Are Some Sauna Floor Ideas With Solid Surface Tiles?

Installers can create a solid flooring (without perforations) in the base of the sauna. If a person is walking across the flooring in bare feet, the solid protective design in these tiles will provide plenty of comfort. The following solid floors work especially well for installations in saunas.

Life Floor Slate Tiles

The Life Floor Slate Tiles product is made for indoor or outdoor use around areas with significant moisture, making them a perfect choice for sauna floor ideas. These tiles consist of a mixture of PE and EVA foam along with rubber materials, which delivers a significant number of benefits, including:

  • Slip resistance
  • Durability
  • UV stability
  • Anti-fungal materials
  • Anti-bacterial materials
  • Anti-microbial materials
  • Water resistance
  • Non-toxic materials

To provide a sense of style in the sauna flooring, these Life Floor tiles have a slight texture on the surface that resembles slate and stone flooring.

Installation of these sauna tiles works well as a DIY job. Each one measures only 3/8 inches in thickness and has a 2-by-2 foot size that simplifies the layout. Use adhesive on the tiles to create a permanent installation. They also work around a hot tub or a pool.

Stylish colors including sandstone, terra cotta, sepia, and Mojave are available.

Life Floor Ripple Tiles

As another easy-to-install type of tile for use in a sauna, consider the Life Floor Ripple Tiles. These tiles also measure 3/8 inches in thickness and 2x2 feet in size. Each tile has a weight of 1-1/3 pounds, so one person can perform the installation alone.

These tiles use the same mixture of PE foam, EVA foam, and rubber materials as the Life Floor Slate Tiles to deliver the perfect mix of durability and softness.

This material will stand up to constant water and dampness, whether from a sauna, a pool, or a hot tub, creating a non-slip surface that’s safe to use in a commercial gym, a hotel, or a residential setting.

The Ripple model of tiles includes a slight texture in the surface of the tile that creates a grippy surface. These tiles are available in neutral colors like sepia and a dark blue/gray. There are also bright yellow and green colors in this model.

Are There Sauna Floor Mats With Perforations in the Material?

With perforations in the sauna floor mats, any water that collects on the surface of the flooring will drain away to the subfloor, reducing the possibility of slipping in a pool of water. The perforations extend through the entire thickness of the tile, yet they don’t affect the integrity of the flooring.

These tiles consist of PVC plastic, which has a bit of flexibility to it, greatly simplifying the installation. PVC has a cushioned design that’s also highly durable. It will stand up well to the heat inside the sauna, and it’s safe to use around the heating element in a sauna, resisting the possibility of a fire.

Here are four sauna flooring options with perforations.

SoftFlex Floor Tiles

The SoftFlex Floor Tiles consist of waterproof materials, making them ideal for the damp environment of a sauna room. They will not allow the formation of microbes, keeping the area as safe as possible.

Along with the perforations in the tiles, the underside includes a series of pegs and drainage channels that further simplify the process of moving water away from the area.

Each tile measures only 3/8 inches in thickness, while covering a space of 1 by 1 foot. Should the installer need to cut the tiles to fit against the side of a sauna wall, it’s easy to cut through the PVC material with a sharp utility knife.

The SoftFlex brand of tile has some neutral and bright colors that will complement the style of any sauna room, including in a commercial setting. Some of the colors include charcoal, light gray, warm gray, tan, ocean blue, and teal green.

Patio Outdoor Tiles

For another easy-to-install type of PVC tile with perforations that extend through the entire material, consider the Patio Outdoor Tiles product.

Beyond being one of the best sauna floor ideas, these tiles provide outstanding results in a number of other wet locations, including showers, locker rooms, pools, hot tubs, and boats. They have UV stability built in, meaning they will work equally well indoors or outdoors.

The design of the Patio Outdoor Tiles model includes pegs on the underside of the tile, which lifts the tile away from the subfloor and allows any moisture to drain away faster versus a solid tile.

Those who install and use this tile in a sauna always give it a great review, as it has a high level of durability and flexibility.

Each tile measures just shy of 1 by 1 foot and has 1/2 inches of thickness, which makes the installation process go fast, even as a DIY project. Three color options are available of gray, terra cotta, and blue.

StayLock Perforated Tiles

For those who prefer a bit of fall protection in the flooring for a sauna, the StayLock Perforated Tiles are an excellent choice. They have an ASTM fall height rating of 20 inches, which provides a nice level of cushioning in a sauna.

An individual tile measures 1 by 1 foot with 9/16 inches of thickness. The installer can cut through the material using a sharp utility knife to create a clean edge for a wall-to-wall installation in the sauna.

Moisture drains through the perforations in the tile, leaving a safer surface area in the sauna. These tiles also work well in an outdoor setting, such as around a pool or on a patio that receives quite a bit of rain, as they have UV stability built into them.

Five different colors are available in this tile, including light gray, terra cotta, tan, light blue, and dark green. It is also available in black.

Heronrib Wet Area Safety Matting Rolls

To cover quite a bit of space quickly in the sauna with a perforated flooring, consider the Heronrib Wet Area Safety Matting Rolls. These are great sauna floor mats, as they roll out easily, providing comfort for those who will be walking across the material in bare feet.

When it’s time to clean the subfloor in the sauna, just roll up this material and perform the cleaning routine before installing the roll again.

Colors in the matting include white, charcoal gray, Oxford blue, ocean blue, forest green, and mulberry red. Each roll measures only 10 mm in thickness (about 3/8 inches), which simplifies installation.

With a size of 2 by 33 feet, installers receive a good value with this roll of PVC plastic, either for a thermal barrier in the floor or for a slip-resistant flooring.

What’s the Best Way to Care for the Flooring in the Sauna?

After installing tiles or rolls over the subfloor of the sauna, it’s important to maintain them properly to receive the longest possible lifespan from the products. Some of the techniques owners should use to keep these materials clean in the sauna include:

  • In a dry sauna, cleaners can use a vacuum or a broom to sweep any dry debris from the surface of the tiles.
  • For a wet sauna environment, using a damp mop with hot water should provide the basic cleaning required.
  • For those times when performing a deeper cleaning, look through the care instructions for the tiles to find a safe cleaning solution.
  • For removing soils or stains, cleaners can use a soft bristled brush to scrub the material without damaging it.
  • Rinse the tiles with a gentle setting on a pressure washer or with clean water and a mop.
  • All of the flooring options mentioned above (with the exception of the Life Floor products) can be removed for a deeper cleaning of the subfloor and then re-installed.

For more on this topic please review our Outdoor Flooring product page.