Ready for a spa day? The downside of visiting a spa, no matter how luxurious, is the end of the day, when you have to get dressed and go back outside to go home even though all you want to do is savor that boneless feeling in your extra-plush bathrobe.
You can get that incredible spa feel right before you crawl into bed, turning every day into a potential spa day (masseuse not included) with an in-home steam shower!
Sounds like an unattainable luxury, doesn’t it? But a steam shower isn’t a full-fledged sauna room that you only find in mansions; you can fit one into your existing bathroom at a much lower cost than you’d expect. They’re also eco-friendly; many use just 2 gallons for a 20-minute steam!
Here’s how to turn your shower into a mini spa and experience all of the benefits of steam – stress relief, metabolism increase, skin cleansing, toxin elimination, respiratory and arthritis relief, to name a few – regularly in the comfort of your own home.
- The shower stall. Consider:
- Materials. Steam can damage certain materials more than water; choose a non-porous surface like tile (natural stone may be susceptible to damage)
- Waterproofing. The shower must be completely enclosed by an insulated, watertight door and enclosure
- Slip-proofing. Add textured tile or anti-skid strips to the floor to prevent slipping
- Slope and drain. Steam shower installation is not a casual DIY project; the floor must be graded and equipped with a proper drain; consult a professional
- Height. Steam showers should not exceed 8 feet in height; if yours will be taller, you’ll need a more powerful steam generator (there are larger commercial steam generators for full-fledged steam rooms)
- Existing fixtures and features. Any windows in the shower must be double-paned; do not install heating or air conditioning vents in the steam room or shower
- The steam generator. The generator itself may be installed up to 60 feet from the steam shower, depending on the model; it is generally compact and can be installed in a closet, vanity, or heated attic or basement.
- Generator size will be determined by several factors; manufacturers like Mr. Steam have online calculators to help you figure it out
- The control. In-shower controls should be placed:
- in a location within reach of seating
- 4 to 5 feet off the floor
- not within direct steam flow
- The steam head. For optimal steam, the head(s) should be:
- 6-12 inches off the floor
- opposite the seating area
- away from the door
- cool to the touch
- Seating. Who wants to stand while they’re steaming? If space is an issue, get a flip-up wall-mounted shower seat or bench; if not, consider a stationary built-in for extra comfort and convenience. Look for teak or other waterproof materials
To up the relaxation factor in your steam shower, consider adding:
- Extra heads for more steam or a different kind of steam delivery
- Timer so that you don’t have to wait around for your steam to be ready (though it doesn’t take long)
- Touchscreen controls for easy use (waterproof, of course)
- Remote or mobile control for added convenience
For a truly luxurious experience, add some extras to your shower. Try:
- Aromatic essential oils for natural aromatherapy
- Lights for targeted chromatherapy (all light fixtures must be vapor-sealed to prevent damage)
- Sound system and speakers to pipe in your favorite tunes
Who needs a “real” spa day, anyway?
Just in case you aren’t convinced yet… several steam shower products are on sale now at Quality Bath! Now’s the time to upgrade your spa experience.