A few decades ago, it you wanted to soak in a hot tub, take a dip in the pool, or sweat it out in a sauna, you had to either join a gym or stay at a luxury hotel. But with new technological advances and more affordable prices, a lot of this equipment can now be installed in the home. However, what if you want to have a combination of all these fixtures? What if you want to have a soak, a sweat, and a bath all at once? Then you may want to look into steam showers which provide all three capabilities and more.
Steam showers are a traditional stall with regular heads and fixtures. And though you can take a regular bath within the enclosure, you also have the ability to turn this space into a steamy sauna. A generator heats the water to a boil and then this hot water vapor is pushed out through jets that line the walls and ceiling. The surfaces are constructed of specialized material made to withstand the extreme heat without damage (the surrounding temperature can range anywhere from 90-115 degrees). Plus, the unit is thoroughly sealed so moisture cannot enter the bathroom to ruin wallpaper, paint, or drywall.
You may be wondering: Besides the obvious extravagance, why would you want to invest in these contraptions? First off, they're very relaxing, which is great after a long day of work. But relaxation also has many health benefits as well.
Increased Circulation: Hot air helps thin the blood and enhance the body's circulation, which alleviates arthritis, fatigue, and soreness.
Humidity Therapy: Moist air raises the metabolism and improves the respiratory system. Plus, it works up a sweat which helps to remove toxins from the body.
Hydro-Acupuncture: The jets can work together to provide a body massage in order to relax, rejuvenate, and relieve muscle aches. You can even get a foot massager installed to help rub down those doggies after a long day.
Aromatherapy: You can also add essential oils and scents to the water vapor to create a relaxing atmosphere. It helps to reduce stress, calm the body, and lift your mood.
Steam showers aren't just functional; they're also luxurious, decadent, and completely comfortable. It's supposed to create the feel of a spa, retreat, or resort. Therefore they come with all kinds of fun features to make the experience more enjoyable and tranquil. The options range from simple to splendid depending on your budget and personality. You could simply install a timer to control the length of a soak. Or put in a bench seat: this straight-forward installation goes a long way in terms of relaxation. But there are also high-end innovations, such as television, telephone, and audio/video jacks (you can even have inputs for your iPod). Something you may want to consider is an emergency button: it's not a luxury as much as a necessity. These call for help in case of a fall, or they notify customer service if you need help with something.
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Steam Shower Dilemmas
There are downfalls to these installations, but each one comes with an up-side as well: First, they're not cheap, often ranging from $2,000-10,000. So you may have to save up to buy one but they also add value to the home when it comes to reselling.
Second, they use a lot of hot water quickly, but they're also energy efficient since, overall, they use less water than traditional bath and stall units.
Third, pre-made models take up quite a bit of space so you may need to do some pre-planning. Plus, they may not come in the exact design you want (if you're bigger or smaller, it may not fit your particular size). However, you can buy customized units specially made for your requirements, though it's also a bit more expensive due to extra work and specialized labor.
Fourth, although they are made with mildew-resistant materials, they'll still need some cleaning, occasional draining, and periodic inspection of the electrical components.