How to Choose Your Steam Bath System
Steam baths, or steam showers, are a great way to relax at the end of the day and are associated with a variety of health benefits. Many homeowners are opting to replace bathtubs and showers with steam shower stalls approved for steam use. Installing a steam bath requires plumbing work behind the walls, so careful planning in the beginning stages of a renovation or new build is important.
The Benefits of Steam
- Relaxation, stress and pain relief
- Steam baths increase blood circulation which helps tense muscles relax and can help reduce pain from muscle inflammation
- Sinus health
- Steam can help clear up stuffy sinuses and relieve congestion
- Skin health
- The gentle heat from the steam opens pores and increases perspiration which can help flush out skin irritations
- Weight loss
- Exposure to increased temperatures speeds up your metabolism which can help burn more calories.
Note: Steam baths involve prolonged exposure to high temperatures. Consult your physician before using a steam bath or sauna.
The difference between steam baths and saunas: Steam baths heat water to produce steam at about 100-110 degrees with 100% humidity while saunas generate a dry heat using hot rocks, stoves or infrared light and operate at temperatures between 160-200 degrees with low humidity.
Components You'll Need
Tip: Slope the ceiling to help divert condensation droplets from falling from the ceiling as they cool.
The first factor to consider when shopping for a steam bath system is the size of the steam stall in cubic feet (length x width x height). This will determine how powerful your steam generator needs to be. The material used in your steam bath stall will also impact your choice. For natural stone tiles, be sure to opt for a more powerful generator if your stall size is close to the maximum cubic feet range.
A good controller should be intuitive to use and easily accessible. Consider looking for a controller that is compatible with a remote control so that you can adjust the temperature or turn the system off without leaving your seat. Some controllers can even sync with smart devices via WiFi or Bluetooth and have a downloadable app that can be used to control the steam bath from your device.
The steamhead distributes steam and is usually available in a selection of styles and finishes. Each generator requires one steamhead.
Moisture can lead to mold and mildew so a steam proof stall that contains the steam is required for steam bath installation.
Some steam baths are compatible with add-on luxuries for additional sensory experiences. Some add-ons to consider are speakers, essential oils and colored lights that provide additional benefits for the mind and body. Other accessories to consider for comfort and safety are benches and grab bars.