If you want to recreate a luxurious spa experience without leaving the house, then a steam shower could be just what you’re looking for.
This home upgrade turns an ordinary shower stall into a personal steam room that you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home.
How Does a Steam Shower Work?
The beauty of a steam shower is that the steaming apparatus is managed with digital buttons. This means you can turn the moist steam on and off at will with basic steam controls, so you are in charge of your hot steam shower’s output.
A steam shower accomplishes steam bath-like effects by using a compact steam generator with an electric heating element. At the touch of a button, the electric-powered steam generator boils roughly a full gallon of cold water. Then, the resulting steam from the boiling water is piped into the stall at or below a safety threshold of 118 degrees Fahrenheit.
What about when you’re all finished up with your sauna-like experience and want to rinse off? A steam shower has the same features as a normal shower, so you can turn the constant steam cloud off and scrub away just like in a normal stall.
And in case you’re worried about going through too much additional water, you should know that bathroom steam showers only use about 1/25 as much water as a regular shower. Even with a water-saving showerhead, a regular shower consumes 50 gallons of water in only 20 minutes!
How a Steam Shower Produces Wellness Benefits
Maybe you’re sold on the idea of enjoying a fresh steam shower every day. If not, however, there are plenty of health and wellness benefits of steam showers to change your mind. Many of these perks are tied to the general wellness benefits of heat.
For instance, covering your body in hot steam can increase your serotonin levels, which helps your body produce a greater sense of overall well-being. In addition, a hot water or steam shower can potentially lower your blood pressure by improving your body’s circulation. This can bring its own benefits, such as superior cardiovascular health.
And if you’re a workout junkie, then a flow of steam may be just the thing to enhance your workout recovery. Among other things, a soft steam shower can help your muscles relax after you’ve given it your all at the gym. The result? Recovery from muscle soreness and less tension post-workout.
If nothing else, a steam shower gives you the chance to experience spa-level self-care right in your own home!
Design Choices for a Steam Shower
When deciding on the right steam shower design for your home, you need to consider both the appearance and functionality of your shower. After all, a nice-looking shower needs to work, and a working shower ought to look nice!
On the side of having a functional steam experience, for instance, your shower should use non-porous materials to make sure you have a faster heat transfer. This is because non-porous materials, such as ceramic tiles, transfer heat more efficiently, thereby allowing you to enjoy a warm shower experience faster.
Meanwhile, from the aesthetic perspective, your shower should catch the eye, almost like it’s the star of the show in your bathroom setup. One of the best ways to make a steam shower look appealing while also providing more of an at-home spa experience is to install a shower that uses chromotherapy (aka “light-based therapy”).
Basically, a chromotherapy-equipped shower can use different colored LEDs to display various colors. Not only does this allow you to take a relaxing shower that is suited to your desired mood (perhaps you’re feeling like a self-reflective “purple” today), but it also makes your shower that much more attractive.
Create an Insulated Shower Space
In order for the new shower to provide optimal clouds of steam, it needs to feature a water-tight, steam-proof enclosure that will trap steam for your enjoyment. To that end, the shower doors should reach from floor to ceiling.
The perfect place for an enclosed shower space is with a ceiling that is no taller than about eight feet. This is because extra-tall ceilings require a taller enclosed space, which may need a stronger steam unit to make up for the extra volume the steam needs to fill.
Other steam-trapping tips include using a backer board coated in a waterproof membrane. You can use a liquid polymer sealant that can be rolled directly onto your board. You can also use membranes that have been waterproofed through the use of flocked polyethylene.
And when it comes to insulating the shower space, as is the case with many home improvement projects, it’s hard to beat the sheer usefulness of high-quality silicone caulk.
Consider Seating in the Shower
One of the best parts about a sauna or spa experience is spending time relaxing by sitting down and soaking up the constant steam that envelops you. To replicate that sensation at home, it’s a good idea for your shower to include some form of seating.
If your shower is large enough, you may be able to install a unit with built-in seating, such as a bench top located on the opposite side of the steam head. Seating can be flattop or slightly sloped, whichever style you find to be more comfortable.
However, if your shower space is on the small side, you can also install a foldable teak shower seat. These wooden seats allow you to rest comfortably, then you can fold it up and out of sight once you’re finished with your steaming experience.
Make Sure the Floor Prevents Slips
The last thing you need interrupting your steamy self-care experience is a slip in the shower! Safety is such a major priority, especially in the shower (where, along with the tub, the vast majority of bathroom accidents take place).
The best way to prevent shower floor slips is to install anti-skid strips. These strips give your steam room’s floor the extra traction you need to stay on your feet and enjoy your at-home spa with peace of mind.
Use the Right Windowpane Materials
As mentioned above, keeping steam trapped through a complete enclosure is one of the most important elements of a successful steam bath or shower experience. Part of that success relies on having the right windows in your steam room.
For starters, the windows should be double-paned, which prevents heat transfer that could dampen your steamy experience. In addition, you can boost your steam room windows’ insulation by using vinyl-clad windows. This type of window covering is low-cost, low-maintenance, and high-efficiency as far as keeping the heat in.
How to Use a Steam Shower
A steam shower is relatively straightforward to use, but there are a few tips you should keep in mind. For example, since a hot shower affects digestion and circulation, you should treat it like a pool and avoid eating for an hour before getting into the water.
Also remember that too much of a good thing (even a relaxing blast of steam) can be harmful, including spending time in a steam shower. To avoid dehydration, don’t steam for more than a quarter-hour (or until you break out into a full-body sweat, whichever comes first), and always replenish your sweat by drinking lots of fresh water before and after your steam session.
You should also shower briefly both before and after your steam. The first rinse provides a flow of water that cleans your body of dirt, grime, and anything else that could clog your pores (which the steam will open). The second rinse will help your body return to its natural temperature level, preparing you to return to the outside world after your home sauna experience.
If you want to take your steam showers to the next level, you can try out accessories, such as aromatherapy steam heads that release essential oils into your shower space. Another luxury feature of steam showers includes audio speakers, which you can sync with a Bluetooth-friendly device to play your own music, podcasts, or meditation beats.
How to Maintain a Steam Shower
A custom steam shower isn’t too hard to maintain, provided you maintain a consistent cleaning schedule. Take time to clean all shower heads in your house (including your steam head) at least once per year. This will prevent debris buildup that could keep your system from working properly.
You should also keep an eye out for any mildew, mold, or other grungy growth. Clean your shower at least once a month (if not more) to keep any mold at bay and make sure your shower stays attractive and presentable.
Because an effective steam shower produces a large amount of moisture, it’s a smart idea to protect your steam room by installing a typical bathroom exhaust fan in the main body of your bathroom. As long as the fan is outside of the actual shower enclosure, you will be able to enjoy your steamy shower while keeping the rest of your bathroom from turning into a tropical rainforest!
Finally, pay attention to any changes in water pressure or other indicators that your shower isn’t working at its top capacity. If you see any issues, check your water lines for any leaks or similar issues. Doing so could save you a lot of headaches in the long run!
Contact GCS Glass & Mirror to Get a Quote!
If all of this sounds like a dream come true, then you need to contact the bathroom remodeling experts at GCS Glass and Mirror. We have the right experience to guide you through the process of designing the perfect spa shower, customizing it for your space, and installing it just the way you want it. Contact GCS Glass and Mirror today to get a free quote!