With the many options available for use at home, people are taking to installing steam rooms in the home. The simplest and quickest way to add one is to install a complete kit. If you are a do-it-yourselfer with a smaller budget, then buy a team generator and controls and build the enclosure yourself. The energy cost to operate a steam room is not as great as you might imagine. Since one is usually used only during the winter, the heat produced helps to warm your home. The moisture given off is also helpful. After a steam bath, a cool shower is common so less hot water is used. Many smaller reasonably priced steam room kits are available.
Small corner style models are ideal for a bathroom or bedroom as they take up little space and provide a comfortable option. They include a steam generator, enclosure, fold-down seat and padded head rest. Go all the way with a combination steam room enclosure/shower/whirlpool if budget is not a limiting factor. There are also larger, two- or four-person models available and they are sometimes called steam suites.
It is not difficult to build a steam room as you can purchase many steam room components. Basically a steam room has tightly sealed glass doors which are important to contain the hot steam, steam generator and outlet units with a built-in mirror and soap dishes are designed to fit between wall studs. Ensure that the steam generator is compatible with the steam room. If the generator is too large, it will be difficult to control the temperature. If it is too small, it will take too long to produce enough steam. A 100 cubic foot steam room should use a five-kilowatt generator.
Styles and Types
Steam units can be installed in custom showers, as well as in standard prefab shower enclosures or standard tub. Basically in any place that can be enclosed to keep the steam in. The ceiling in your steam room/shower should be seven feet high. Regardless of the installation, shower doors must be custom-fitted to completely cover the opening as the cubicles must be sealed. Conventional showerheads and controls will share the same space so you can shower off after your steam treatment.
A feature that steam units have in tandem is aromatherapy. Most offer a receptacle for aromatic scents that vaporize with the steam to provide an even more soothing environment.
What you will find in a steam room
An electro-mechanical device is normally what powers a steam unit, and that can be concealed in any convenient location adjacent to the shower enclosure, behind walls or inside cabinets. The only factor that would need aesthetical consideration is the controls, which come in a variety of design, as everything else will be hidden away from sight.
A suitable enclosure made of customizable materials will be needed for the heating unit. Most prefab designs use cedar because it stays cool to the touch, cleans easily with soap and water, doesn\’t splinter and resists stains and decay.
Options to Consider
You can place the steam generator in the vanity, closet or an insulated attic or basement. The system is almost maintenance free with low voltage controls that are easy to operate.
Install a seat so that you can relax and let the steam take effect while in your bathroom. Consider installing waterproof speakers connected to your sound system to pipe in some soothing music. Some steam units also have the capability for automatic back flush and drainage of the steam generator to prevent chemical or lime build-up. A drain line must be installed at the generator for this feature though, so decide on this before construction begins. The steam generator will need to be sized to fit the available space. Plan the location of steam nozzles so they won\’t injure a person seated in the enclosure. Slant the ceiling away from the seating area to ensure that condensing water won\’t drip on someone in the seat.
Consult an electrician before buying your steam unit. The place chosen for the unit must be accessible for service. Steam units require a dedicated electric supply line, providing a 220-volt line rather than standard 110 volts.