Interior design23.05.2011

Helo and Koskisen’s co-operation spawns interior plywood for the sauna

Taika interior plywood attracted in design fairs a lot of attention, especially among the younger fair visitors.

Taika interior plywood attracted in design fairs a lot of attention, especially among the younger fair visitors.

Is plywood suitable for use in a sauna? It is, in fact, perfectly suitable, as proved by Koskisen and Helo.

Taika interior plywood for wet rooms was launched last autumn at the Habitare furniture, interior decoration and design fair. At the ‘Own Home’ home building and renovation fair, it attracted a lot of attention, especially among the younger fair visitors.

The black, 180 mm wide plywood panel was designed for Helo, a sauna and sauna heater manufacturer. Koskisen’s Kokoa Product Manager Minna Luomalahti says that co-operation with Helo was started on the customer’s initiative.

- We brainstormed together with Helo and examined the suitability of plywood in the hot and moist sauna environment. We tested the plywood, surface treatment and adhesive hundreds of times in sauna conditions, equal to five years of use. We discovered that the plywood cracks and undergoes some other small changes in time, but it just results in a patina that adds to the product’s attractiveness. Plywood panelling is just as safe in a sauna as regular panelling and doesn’t emit harmful substances, Luomalahti assures.

Black is back

The black colour of the TAIKA sauna panelling was chosen based on the customer’s wish. According to Helo’s Business Manager Heikki Palmu, black is now in as far as sauna interior goes.

In the spirit of the traditional smoke, or chimneyless, saunas, black is very popular, particularly for the walls.

- If the Taika panelling is successful, we may build an entire product family around it. It’s hard to predict its demand, as we haven’t really put any effort into marketing it yet. So far we’ve been presenting it at fairs and in some of our stores, Palmu says.

According to Luomalahti, Koskisen has the capacity to produce the Kokoa Taika interior panelling for wet rooms in different colours and to deliver it in various sizes to projects and construction companies.

Continuous product development

The development of the Kokoa product range has been very active recently. In addition to the Taika sauna panelling, the new planed and profiled panels designed by Tapio Anttila and introduced in his home can also be used, for example, in dressing and washing rooms.

- The new pine panelling comes in three profiles, which can be combined to create a fun and varying look, says Luomalahti.

The new planed and profiled panel is available through Kokoa b-to-b sales. According to Luomalahti, Kokoa interior panels in general, like the white Arkki and black Matta, have also found their way to consumers’ homes.

Taika interior plywood for wet rooms can be used in saunas.

Taika interior plywood for wet rooms can be used in saunas.