Jeff Carney, Steamist’s VP of Sales and Marketing, was happy to oblige. If you thought you knew steam before, check out the latest gear that’s on the market now… Now I want one of these!
Here’s why, in Jeff’s own words. FYI, Steamist calls their system a "steambath," rather than a steam shower. They are essentially the same thing:
Here are a few benefits of adding steam to your master suite:
- From hydrating skin and soothing sore muscles to providing relief for allergies, asthma and arthritis, the health benefits of steam are unrivaled.
- Taking a steam shower saves water compared to filling a tub or taking a shower. A 20-minute steam shower uses about a gallon of water, whereas filling a soaking tub may require 60 to 70 gallons and even an average shower uses approximately two-and-a-half gallons of water per minute.
- A home steam system is incorporated seamlessly into the shower stall, so it does not require the extra space needed for a large tub and does not change the appearance of the shower.
- Steam showers are now available for almost any size space, making them an easier-than-ever, affordable luxury for your master bath remodel.
It’s easy to see that steam has a lot to offer. But what does it entail? The components of a basic steambath are a generator, a control and a steamhead. Here’s a quick look at each of these elements:
- The steam generator is the heart of the steam experience. Generators are about the size of a briefcase, so they can easily be installed almost anywhere – in a cabinet, closet, basement or insulated attic up to 50 feet away from the shower.
- The control is the brain of the system. The primary controls mount inside the steam bath, and basic functions include an on/off button, a programmable timer and temperature readout. Simpler on/off controls are also available for mounting outside the steambath to allow you to turn the steam on before stepping into the shower.
- The steamhead is – you guessed it - the source of the steam. Available in a variety of finishes, steamheads feature a sleek, low-profile design that mounts on the shower wall and distribute steam evenly from all four sides.
This basic system, which ranges in price from about $1,600 to $3,000 (depending on shower size and construction materials), allows you to enjoy the relaxation and rejuvenation of a complete steambath at your convenience, from the comfort of home.
Getting one for your home
Since a steambath needs to be professionally installed, a plumbing contractor should be consulted to provide a quote for converting an existing shower during a remodel or installing a steambath in new home construction.
One important consideration for adding a steam system to an existing shower is that it’s absolutely essential to fully enclose the shower walls and door so the steam does not escape. Most existing showers can be updated to include steam, and a qualified plumbing contractor can quickly determine what adjustments need to be made.
Bells and whistles
For those of you interested in taking your home spa experience to the next level, there are some exciting new features available. These include advanced digital controls that allow personalized user profiles; a remote control that allows you to turn the steam on and off from other rooms in the home; instant steam generator; chromatherapy from various colored lighting; aromatherapy infusers, and in-shower audio with Bluetooth® technology to connect a smartphone, iPad, iPod touch or any Bluetooth-enabled music player from up to 30 feet away.
While any of these features can be selected individually or paired in any combination, the price for a fully-equipped steam system with all of these advanced, optional components is approximately $7,000.
To begin the process of sizing and selecting the various components of a steam system, start by visiting a local bath showroom, talking with a bath designer or contractor, or doing your own online research.
Inspired to learn more? Check out Steamist’s site or Google "steam shower" or "steam bath" for more information.
(All photos courtesy of Steamist.)