Mineral Review

What is the most useful stone for a bath?

Hot steam from hot stones in a bathhouse helps remove toxins from the body, improves blood circulation, strengthens the immune system, relieves nervous tension, and has an additional healing effect. However, not all stones are beneficial. Some rocks can break down and “shoot” when heated, while others can release toxic substances and even radiation.

Properties and requirements

  1. Heat resistance – resistance to temperature changes. The stone in the steam room must not only withstand high temperatures, but also cope with changes. It should retain its properties when water is suddenly poured over it to increase steam. If a stove is installed where the stone comes into contact with an open fire, the heat resistance should be paid attention to first. Some stones are not heat-resistant enough, so they “shoot” or crumble when heated. For this reason, sandstone is not suitable for use in a bathhouse.
  2. Heat capacity – ability to retain heat. A stone for baths and saunas should heat up quickly, give off heat well, and cool down for a long time. Stones with a uniform structure and high density retain heat better. Some of the most heat-intensive are soapstone, jade, and porphyrite. We recommend combining “long” stones—those that take a long time to heat up and give off heat for a long time—with “fast” stones. “Long” ones can be placed on the bottom of the heater – they will receive heat from the stove. “Fast” ones, as a rule, are laid on top. They release steam and healing microelements upon contact with water.
  3. Security. A bath stone should not emit harmful substances when heated. Therefore, it is necessary not only to choose the right breeds, but also to collect them in safe places. For example, a stone that was located near railway tracks or industrial enterprises accumulates toxins.

In addition, when choosing, it is important to consider its service life. Some types need to be changed every 2-3 years, others last 10 years or more. But even if the stones are designed to last 10 years, it is recommended to reposition them every 2 years. It is necessary to remove them from the heater, wash them, and remove those that are cracked or have other defects.

What should I look for?

We recommend paying attention to the following characteristics:

  • Size — if an electric stove is installed in the steam room, it is better to use small stones no larger than 7 cm. Thanks to this, the bath will warm up faster and be filled with uniform steam. If you have a Russian stove installed, a size of 7-15 cm is good for a heater. Large stones are better placed at the bottom, and small ones at the top. The laying should not be tight, so that there is a small distance between them. This will ensure good air flow from the stove.
  • Type — distinguish between chipped and polished. The crushed ones heat up faster. Therefore, many bath attendants choose split rocks for the Russian stove. The advantage of polished stones is good air circulation. Thanks to their rounded surface, they provide more uniform steam in the steam room. In addition, the rounded shape looks more aesthetically pleasing. But such stones take longer to heat up than crushed stones.

If you need help choosing, leave a request on the 6 Facets website. We will help you buy not only safe, but also useful types of stones.

Popular stones for Russian baths

We will introduce you to the most popular products and tell you about their properties:

  • Jade It has a greenish tint and has many beneficial properties. When heated, it ionizes the air and releases substances that have a beneficial effect on the nervous system and blood circulation. Jadeite is not only useful, but also beautiful. Thanks to the special shade and shine of jadeite, the steam room will look more elegant. In ancient China, this breed was used to decorate the bathhouse of every emperor. Nowadays jadeite is bought not only for heaters, but also for wall cladding.
  • Porphyrite Practical, inexpensive material, but it is not very well known among steam room lovers. But in vain. It retains heat well and therefore maintains temperature. Its therapeutic effect is varied. It cures headaches and is good for the skin. Treats colds.
  • Raspberry quartzite A heat-intensive and extremely useful stone with a service life of 4-5 years. It retains heat well – can withstand temperatures up to 2500 degrees. Microelements released during heating normalize blood pressure, the cardiovascular system, and relieve joint pain. If you fill the stove with quartzite, your bathhouse will turn into an “all-Union health resort.”
  • White or milky quartz The second name is bath boulder. Quartz does not have a long service life and has a low heat capacity. But its beneficial properties outweigh its disadvantages. When cooled, heated quartz fills the air with ozone. This stimulates brain function and has a good effect on skin condition. Thanks to white quartz, the bathhouse will rejuvenate the skin no worse than a beauty salon.
  • Talcochlorite Heat-resistant rock that retains heat well. It has a beneficial effect on human immunity and normalizes metabolism. The heat coming from soapstone coincides with human heat. Therefore, the steam room is filled with velvety soft steam. Suitable for all types of furnaces, including those where the rock is in direct contact with the fire.

Where can I buy a stone for a bath?

In our online store there are stones for Russian baths for different types of stoves.

Advantages of our products::

  • A wide range – from budget gabbro-diabase to semi-precious jadeite and jade.
  • High quality – our company offers stones that have no external damage and are absolutely safe. We take into account not only the natural properties of the rock, but also the location of extraction. Stones are mined far from industrial facilities, power plants and railway tracks.
  • Delivery in Moscow and the Moscow region.
  • Low price.
  • Free consultation on styling and care.

Our employees will help you choose a good material with the set of useful properties you need. You can get a free consultation by phone or come to us at the address: Moscow, st. Marshala Proshlyakova, 26, bldg. 3, page 6.

To buy a breed, leave a request on our website or call: +7 (495) 021-50-08.

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Make an application on the website, we will contact you as soon as possible and answer all your questions.

Correctly selected stones for a bath not only allow you to retain heat longer and decorate the interior of the steam room, but also enhance the healing effects of steam. That is why most bath attendants recommend giving preference to natural stones, which preserve the natural structure and energy. Moreover, stones made from different materials have different properties. In this article we will try to understand the similarities and differences of minerals that are suitable for using stones for a bath.

What parameters should be taken into account when choosing stones for a bath:

  • Density. It is believed that the higher the density of the stone, the better.
  • Heat capacity. This is the ability of a stone to quickly accumulate and retain heat when heated, and then, when cooled, to slowly release it into the environment. Heat capacity is measured by the amount of heat that a body can absorb per unit mass. When choosing stones for the stove, you can find and compare these indicators for different breeds.
  • Heat resistance. This is the ability of stones to withstand sudden temperature changes over long periods of time. There is a simple test that allows you to determine the quality of stones based on this characteristic, however, it requires appropriate conditions to carry it out, so it will not be possible to carry it out before purchasing the stones. But with its help you can weed out low-quality stones. The stones must be heated as much as possible, and then lowered into ice water. Accordingly, those stones that are cracked or have a porous structure will become unusable.
  • Ecological compatibility. If you collect stones yourself, choose an environmentally friendly area away from landfills, railroad tracks, and industrial zones. Ask for a certificate of conformity in the store. This is also important because unscrupulous sellers may sell you another cheaper type of stone instead of one, so be careful and first study photos and videos of the mineral that suits you.
  • Uniformity of structure. Firstly, it means the absence of inclusions of other rocks in the main mineral: they may have different heat resistance, which means that such stones will be more susceptible to destruction. And secondly, it is important that the surface of the stone is relatively smooth, without cracks. If you carefully check each stone, you can also knock them against each other to reveal hidden cavities, if any.
  • Uniformity of size and shape. This is also an important characteristic that ultimately affects all other indicators. Stones of approximately the same size and shape will ensure uniform heating of the air in the bath, harmonious circulation of air and steam. Round or oval stones with a smooth surface, approximately the size of a fist or slightly smaller, are considered optimal. Although it is believed that chipped stones have a larger surface area and therefore release more heat, round stones will last longer because they are less prone to cracking.
  • Lack of carbonates on the surface of the stones. These are white spots that look like plaque. They are easily scratched with the help of sharp objects, which means they will just as easily get into the air in the form of dust when the stones are exposed to temperatures and moisture.

How to care for stones in a bathhouse

Over time, natural stones deteriorate. Because of this, sauna stoves lose from 15% to 30% of heat output per year, depending on the frequency of their use. Therefore, it is important to change stones in a timely manner and carry out quality inspections. Experts recommend completely sorting out and rearranging the stones in the sauna stove at least once or twice a year, and completely changing the stones once every 2 years.

When inspecting, the stones must be removed from the oven, washed with running water and sorted to identify chips and cracks. Stones that have begun to crumble also need to be replaced, because dust from them easily gets into the air and can be harmful to the lungs.

To understand how many stones are needed in a particular steam room, several calculation options are used. You can take 5-6 kg of stones per m2 of steam room, or you can count 1 part of the volume of stones per 50 parts of the volume of the steam room. Of course, you still need to take into account the characteristics of the furnace. By the way, with an open heater, where the heating temperatures of the stones are much lower than with a closed one, you can use less heat-resistant rocks.

How to properly place stones in a sauna stove

Before placing stones directly into the oven, it is recommended to first carefully inspect them, then calcinate and cool them, remove stones with flaws, and soak those that have passed the test for a couple of hours in a weak saline solution. Then we begin to place the dried stones in the heater. If the stones are not uniform enough, then it is recommended to place larger specimens in the lower rows, and smaller ones on top.

If the stove is metal and small in size, then it is better to use small stones. For an electric oven, small stones that can be easily placed between the heating elements are more suitable. And for large wood-burning stoves, large stones may be quite suitable. So focus on the model and functionality of the stove.

Too large stones in a metal heater, due to large gaps between them, can lead to water getting into the metal, and this creates unpleasant, hard steam, which is why it is so important to evenly distribute the appropriately sized stones inside the stove.

Should I buy stones for a bath or mine them myself?

This often depends not only on a person’s financial capabilities, but also on his preferences. For example, you can’t assemble jadeite yourself, even if you really want to. But river or sea pebbles may be within easy reach, and such a walk will bring a lot of positive emotions. However, it is also a matter of time, of course.

If you decide to collect stones for a bath with your own hands, then be sure to choose the right place of extraction in order to be sure of the purity of the collected stones. It is advisable to evaluate them not only from the point of view of the presence of chemicals or other contaminants, but also from the point of view of background radiation, because stones accumulate radiation, and even if the background radiation around is relatively safe, the stones should be checked additionally. Therefore, it is better to have an appropriate dosimeter with you to measure radiation levels.

Stones can be checked for the presence of chemical compounds by heating: when heated, an uncharacteristic odor may appear.

If you buy ready-made stones, then you have an additional choice from different rocks.

The best types of stones for a bath

If you compare different types of stones according to indicators important for a bath, you will get this layout:

  • the most durable: ceramics, jade, peridotite
  • maximum heat capacity: porphyrite
  • the densest: jadeite, jade, peridotite
  • relatively cheap: gabbro-diabase

Jade

This stone rightfully occupies a leading position in the ranking of bath stones. It has only one drawback, but it is significant: being a semi-precious stone, it is expensive. But this does not bother many because of the pronounced benefits of this mineral:

  • High heat capacity. Jadeite has a very dense structure and gives off heat over time.
  • Does not form cracks, expanding and contracting evenly with temperature changes.
  • The therapeutic effect includes air ionization, saturation of water with metasilicon acid, disinfecting effects, and leveling of the human energy field (according to bioenergeticists). Jadeite is considered especially useful for joint diseases or predisposition to them.
  • Attractive appearance. The stone has a deep green color, pleasant to the eye and suitable for almost any interior.

Considering that jadeite is still an expensive mineral, you can use it in combination with other stones, for example, by lining only the top layer of the heater with jadeite. The service life of jadeite is no more than 5 years, after which it completely loses its properties and must be replaced.

Nephritis

This stone also belongs to the category of semi-precious minerals and, in terms of basic properties, is close to the characteristics of jadeite. In its usual form, jade also has a green tint, but much depends on the impurities. There are jades in pink, brown, and even black.

The impact of jade on the body is comprehensive; in eastern countries it is considered almost a panacea for all diseases. We can definitely say that it has a general strengthening effect.

It is important not to confuse jade with the cheaper serpentine stone, so be careful when purchasing. Serpentine is much less durable and does not have the same healing effects.

Talcochlorite

Experienced sauna attendants call this stone the “king of saunas.” Soapstone has a high heat capacity, heats up very quickly, and the heat waves that emanate from it when cooling are close to the natural radiation of the human body.

The stone has a pleasant gray color (there are different shades of gray), gives a very soft, comfortable warmth, releases substances beneficial to health in high concentrations and lasts a long time. Its only drawback is its high price.

Porphyrite

This is a rock of volcanic origin, which is based on silica. Porphyrite is loved as a stone for sauna stoves due to its good heat capacity, however, being heterogeneous in structure, this stone is quite susceptible to destruction. However, it is usually enough for a couple of years of service.

Before purchasing porphyrite, it is important to evaluate its sulfide content. This can be done by briefly examining the surface of the stones. Sulfides appear as grayish veins with a metallic sheen. May look like golden inclusions. A small amount of them in the rock is quite acceptable, but if such inclusions are common and occupy more than 5% of the surface of the stone, then it is better to refrain from purchasing. When heated, stones with a high sulfide content have an extremely unpleasant odor and cause a sore throat and stinging in the eyes.

Properly chosen porphyrite generally copes well with its task, but bath attendants who have the opportunity to compare steam from different bath stones are still not in its favor. However, porphyrite is popular because of its affordable price. And the unpleasant “sulfur” smell, as a rule, completely disappears after several heatings.

Gabbro-diabase

Gabbro-diabase is also of volcanic origin, but is more durable than porphyrite. Its properties even resemble soapstone, but it is much cheaper and therefore more popular.

Gabbro-diabase is especially recommended for people with respiratory problems, asthmatics and anyone who is susceptible to frequent colds.

The disadvantages of this mineral are the possibility of an unpleasant odor, significant expansion when heated (this must be taken into account when placing stones in the heater) and a tendency to crack.

Raspberry quartzite

Otherwise, this stone is called porphyry. It has a pleasant brown or burgundy color, a strong, uniform structure and has a high heat capacity. In addition, this stone creates an excellent healing effect: normalizes blood pressure and improves vascular tone, reduces joint pain, reduces weather sensitivity, and has a beneficial effect on the functioning of the genitourinary system.

The steam from crimson quartzite is very light, the stone is durable in use and retains its visual appeal and healing properties for a long time. The disadvantage, as you probably already guessed, is also the price. In addition, due to its high density, it is difficult to process, so you will not find round or oval-shaped porphyry stones for baths, exclusively chipped.

white quartz

This is a very beautiful white mineral, sometimes translucent. It is also called “hot ice” because when heated it creates a cold glow effect. In general, this mineral looks very beautiful and perfectly complements any interior.

An important feature of white quartz is the release of ozone at high temperatures, which has a rejuvenating effect. Also, steam from white quartz helps cleanse the breath and is suitable for people with frequent colds.

However, it cannot be called durable; white quartz stones are recommended to be checked frequently (every 6-8 months) for cracks. In addition, this mineral is quite expensive in the quantities needed for a bath.

Dunit

This is an igneous mineral, which in its characteristics is close to jadeite, but is much cheaper due to its higher silica content. It has high heat resistance and the same healing properties, albeit to a lesser extent. This has a disinfecting effect, helps with joint diseases, and air ionization.

Basalt or volcanic

Essentially, it is solidified lava. Basalt is perfect as a stone for a bath due to its high density, heat resistance and ability to withstand numerous temperature changes.

In addition, basalt has a beneficial effect on the nervous system, normalizes metabolism and improves the functioning of the thyroid gland.

Chromite

This stone also belongs to igneous rocks and is excellent for our purposes. It is resistant to cracking, almost does not expand when heated, and its service life is about 5 years.

It is often used in baths in the Urals, where it is called “black bath stone”.

In addition, chromite is useful for people prone to colds and improves the functioning of the reproductive system.

Jasper

Not the most common type of bath stone, but with excellent properties, both technical and healing. This semi-precious stone comes in a variety of shades, often with a predominance of brown or red. Has high heat resistance.

Jasper steam helps with headaches, insomnia, diseases of the reproductive system, depression, and has a beneficial effect on the nervous system.

Calcite

A very impressive stone of a white or grayish hue, it is very popular as a bath stone in Russia. While relatively inexpensive, it still does the job well. In addition, calcite has pronounced healing properties and helps with diseases of the genitourinary system and colds.

Cast iron, porcelain and ceramic stones for baths

Of course, they are not stones as such, but they are named so because of their functionality.

The main advantage of cast iron stones is their durability. And when compared with natural stones, the thermal conductivity of cast iron cores is approximately 30 times greater. The steam from cast iron turns out to be very hot and dry, so experts recommend using cast iron cores together with stones.

This is a convenient, inexpensive option that has the highest scores in all technical categories. They have, in fact, only one drawback – their unnaturalness and energetic coldness. Therefore, lovers of natural materials still prefer stones.

Porcelain balls also fall into this category of non-natural stones. This is an inexpensive, durable filler that is also aesthetically attractive. So-called porcelain stones are made from aluminum oxide and clay. Heat-resistant and durable, they last quite a long time. And if, when laying a heater, porcelain is mixed with natural stone, the therapeutic effect of the stone is enhanced.

Ceramic balls are created from white clay, quartz, feldspar and animal bones. When creating such balls, all organic components are burned out and evaporated. Such balloons reach the end consumer completely safe.

Typically, cast iron, porcelain and ceramic stones are used in stoves with a closed heater. You can read more about such ovens in the corresponding article.

You can buy bath stones with delivery in our catalog – BATH STONES

Choose stones for the bath according to your taste and wallet, and enjoy your steaming!

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