Having a steam bath in your home is a great way to enjoy some of the benefits of a spa. In fact, home steam baths are becoming more popular as the installation costs go down and home maintenance gets easier. Steam rooms are also very good for your health. They offer a great way to relieve stress, eliminate toxins, and can improve the immune system.
Installing a steam room in your home requires a lot of planning and professional help. However, after everything comes together, a steam bath can be a great addition to your bathroom, especially if you've experienced various health issues that can be assuaged with frequent steam treatments.
A steam bath, also known as vapor bath, is an enclosed space that generates hot steam. There are pre-made steam rooms that can be installed in your home, or special generators that can transform your shower into a steam shower.
Both options are used regularly by homeowners depending on the size and space available. If you have a large bathroom, a separate steam room might be a better option because you can enjoy a steam bath without disrupting your shower.
Surprisingly, there are only two differences between a sauna and a steam room. First, a sauna generates dry air, using hot coals, while a steam bath uses damp air, generated by a complex steaming system.
Secondly, a sauna and a steam room are built with entirely different materials. Saunas are built with wood because other materials like metal and tile will retain heat and can be potentially harmful. Wood also absorbs moisture, which helps keep the air dry and hot in a sauna. For steam rooms, however, the high humidity would cause wood to decompose and rot fairly quickly. That’s why steam rooms use materials such as tile, glass, or metal to prevent problems with extreme moisture.
Before you get started, it’s important to first consult a contractor who works with pools and spas to help identify the best place to install your steam room. The ideal steam room has a maximum ceiling height of eight feet. If you’re opting to install a steam generator in your shower instead, it’s important to enclose your shower to keep the steam in place. As we mentioned earlier, tile and glass are great materials to use in a steam room, just avoid using wood. And if you want to achieve ultimate relaxation, we recommend installing a bench or seating area inside the steam room to truly relax and enjoy all the benefits of the steam.
Like we mentioned, it’s important to consult a contractor before you get started. Installing steam rooms and steam generators properly will require knowledge of plumbing, electricity, and in some cases remodeling a whole bathroom. The process begins with planning the location of the steam room, since the steam delivery pipe, which will be coming from an outlet, will need to be far from bathers because of its heat.
Next, you’ll need to choose the right flooring, walls, and ceiling for inside the steam room. The flooring will need to be non-porous, like most standard showers, and have a drainage system in place. The walls will need to be sturdy and also use non-porous materials like tiles. The ceiling will need to have a gradient or slope to it so water and moisture can run away.
Once the steam room is constructed, you’ll need to select lights. We recommend IP-rated low voltage or LED lights which can handle intense heat and moisture. After you install the lights, you’ll need to consider your bathroom's current ventilation system and make sure it can support the additional steam and prevent unwanted mold and rot. Next, you’ll need to find a dry and accessible area for the generator, ideally within 5m of the steam room. After you hook up the generator to your steam room, you can choose accessories like speakers, mood lighting, and even scented plugins, to achieve ultimate relaxation.
Cleaning and maintaining a steam room starts with proper ventilation. Good ventilation will keep mold and rot at bay, and will allow less cleaning to take place.
Even with the right ventilation system in place, build-up of mineral deposits over time will need to be cleaned. To do so, you will need to remove water nozzles and soak them in non-abrasive cleaning solutions. The result will be full strength steam at all times.
Lastly, we recommend picking a strong wired brush that will help scrub away hard water stains and mineral deposits that develop inside steam showers over time. This will help keep your steam bath clean and functional for you and your family to enjoy for years to come.