Saunas, Status and (Ann) Sacks in Seattle

We went back into Seattle today for several things. First, we stopped at Olympic Hot Tub to talk about saunas. There is no other place in Seattle, that I can find, that sells saunas and I wasn’t impressed with Olympic. We want a pre-cut sauna that would be assembled on-site, but I want to buy the heater separately because I want a more efficient Tylö heater. The saleswoman had never heard of Tylö heaters! From what I can tell, that’s like a car salesman never hearing of Mercedes-Benz. They can have a sauna pre-cut kit made, so I asked what kind of wood they’re made out of. She answered “spruce or hemlock”, and seemed surprised that I’d want one made of cedar. Hmm. Before we left, we asked about hot tubs because we’d like to get one eventually. Coincidentally, the “tech guy” came into the showroom and I asked about heating a hot tub with the boiler in the house, since it’s much more efficient than an electric heater. This is a recommended thing to do if your house has a boiler. The tech guy looked at me like I was a martian. He and the saleswoman said they’d never heard of such a thing! Then the tech guy tried to overwhelm us with jargon. I’d had enough of that place and wanted to get out quickly.

We stopped at Baguette for some sandwiches and then to Cupcake Royale for cupcakes to bring to the house for the lunchtime status meeting with Doug, Mark and Jim from Schuchart/Dow. I brought up the sauna and how hard it is to find a place that sells saunas in Seattle. They recommended just ordering a kit directly from Finlandia and Jim, saying that they tend to look “too Home Depot” (they do), suggested that we just get the walls from Finlandia and to have the benches built custom. The cost will be about the same but will look much better. The doors on saunas also look either bad or really stupid, so he suggested we get a plain door and they can cut a window into it themselves. And they’d have the HVAC guy talk to us about the hot tub + boiler situation. We talked about the basement ceiling and whether to leave it unfinished or not and whether we should sandblast the pipes or just paint them. Jim had some good ideas on that. Tom suggests leaving them unfinished and we’re inclined to do that, but we’re still concerned about noise transfer to the floor above. We went through all the elevations with them to make sure everything’s clear and, more importantly, possible.

We finished there and then went to Gay’s regular OB/GYN appointment. Everything’s fine with the baby and it was a quick visit. Then we met Lara from NB Design Group at Ann Sacks to look at more tile for the master bath floor. I’m the holdout on picking a floor stone because I didn’t like the small sample I saw or the photo of an installation — it looked like a kid scrawled on it with a crayon. Everyone else (people with better taste than me) likes it, so I need to see the stone in person.

While at Ann Sacks, a long-lost friend Jimmie Steele walked in! Jimmie’s an interior designer living in LA, but has been friends with Eric and Steve for many years. I don’t think we’d seen him in 7 or 8 years. We got quickly caught-up. He’s working in both Seattle and LA and was there with a client of his also looking at tile. He’s considering moving back to Seattle. That’d be great.

On the stone, I like it better than I did from the photo. I’m not entirely convinced it’s the perfect stone, but I’m getting there. The photo I saw that really turned me off was where it was used on the wall rather than the floor, so Lara’s going to try to find some better photos of it in an installation. While I don’t love the stone on its own, it does fit the other surfaces well. And it all depends on which tiles you select and how they’re placed, so I think we’ll end up going to the warehouse and picking and laying-out the tiles ourselves to get the right ones to avoid the crayon-scrawl look.

As usual, we had to hurry to catch a ferry. We called in a pizza order from Zeek’s, picked it up on the way to the ferry and just made it onto the 4pm ferry.

2 thoughts on “Saunas, Status and (Ann) Sacks in Seattle

  1. Yeah, we’re going with Finlandia. Finlandia is a Finnish company but they make their saunas for the US market in Portland, Oregon with Pacific Northwest red cedar.

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