A steam room home bathroom is a luxurious addition to any home, and creating one isn’t as difficult as you may initially think. To find out how you can bring the spa to the comfort of your own home, keep on reading.
The benefits of a steam room home bathroom
If you think your bathroom is looking a little outdated and needs some TLC, transforming it into a steam room is an excellent idea. Unlike a sauna which provides dry heat from wood, hot rocks or an electric stove, steam rooms are filled with moist heat from a generator of boiling water. Aside from giving your home a luxurious touch, steam rooms also have a plethora of health benefits.
Many people are under the impression that sitting in a steam room has beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system, particularly in older people. This was confirmed by a study conducted in 2012 which concluded that moist heat, provided by a steam room, can improve circulation by dilating the small blood vessels or capillaries. As a result, blood can then flow more easily and transport oxygen around the body. Improved circulation can lead to lowered blood pressure, a healthier heart and the healing of broken skin tissue.
Lowers blood pressure
When you sit in a steam room, your body releases hormones that change your heart rate. One of these hormones is aldosterone, which helps regulate blood pressure. Once this hormone is released, it lowers your blood pressure and makes you feel more relaxed.
Endorphins, otherwise known as our ‘feel good’ hormones, are released when you are soaking up the heat of a steam room, reducing stress levels. The heat also decreases your body’s production of cortisol, making you feel more in control and relaxed. Allowing yourself to get into a relaxed state, even if it is just for a few minutes, can have significant positive impacts on your mind and improve your focus.
The environment created by a steam room warms the mucous membrane and encourages deep breathing. For this reason, using a steam room helps to break up congestion inside your sinuses and lungs.
Aids in workout recovery
It is not uncommon for your muscles to feel sore and ache post-workout – this is called delayed onset muscle soreness. Heat has the ability to penetrate deep into the muscle tissue in order to soothe nerve endings and relax the muscles. Immediate application of moist heat after a workout can reduce pain and preserve muscle strength. Heat therapy is regularly used by professional athletes to help them recover from training workouts, so you too can use this method with your own steam room.
Promotes skin health
Environmental exposure leads to all sorts of toxins becoming trapped underneath your skin and the best way to remove them is through using steam. The heat produced in steam rooms makes you sweat, which then opens up your pores and cleanses the outer skin. The warm condensation rinses away dirt and dead skin that could lead to breakouts, resulting in clearer and more even-toned skin.
Loosens stiff joints
Pre-workout warm-ups are essential for loosening up joints, increasing flexibility and avoiding injury while working out. Using a steam room as part of your warm-up can allow you to reach maximum mobility during activities such as running or yoga.
Being inside a steam room increases your heart rate, which means using a steam room after you exercise will prolong your already elevated heart rate. In fact, it is argued that steam rooms stimulate your body in ways that typical exercise does not. However, it should be noted that you shouldn’t replace exercise with a steam room because any weight you do lose in the room is water weight, and this will need to be replaced by drinking water to avoid dehydration.
Boosts the immune system
There are many forms of hydrotherapy which are renowned for boosting the immune system, and steam rooms are no exception. By exposing your body to warm water, leukocytes become stimulated, which are cells that fight infection. Regularly using a steam room will give your bloodstream an immunity boost, which decreases the chances of you getting sick.
Now you know all the benefits of a steam room, the next step is figuring out how you can incorporate one into your home.
Adding steam to a new or existing shower enclosure
If your shower is waterproof enough for a hot shower, the chances are that it can accommodate for steam too. No matter what enclosure/door you have, steam is going to escape, but it is best to avoid choosing a door with obvious large gaps. To effectively add steam to your shower, you must first enclose the area. You can do this by fitting a steam dome above the enclosure. You should then add a shower seat so you can relax and get comfortable while you enjoy the tranquil atmosphere. If you are installing a brand new, bespoke shower enclosure, you may want to consider installing a permanent bench for the ultimate spa-like experience. The final step is to add a steam generator. Ideally, the generator should be located within 5 metres of the shower itself, meaning it can be stored in a cupboard, loft or garage.
Building a new steam shower room
If you are fortunate enough to have a spacious bathroom, you can transform the whole space into a steam room. Initially, you need to plan the layout of the room – this includes seating, steam outlet, lights and ventilation.
In terms of seating, there are many options you can choose from, such as a simple fold-away seat or even dedicated seating areas on either side of the room if you have enough space. For lighting, you are going to need IP-rated low voltage or LED lights for the steam shower. Depending on your preference, you could also opt for different levels of light, for example, bright for cleaning and soft for bathing. When it comes to ventilation, there is no need to install a special unit as long as you have an extract vent in the bathroom.
During the construction process, there are three main factors to consider: flooring, walls and ceiling. Just like a standard shower, the floor needs to be waterproof, especially where it joins the walls. Moreover, in order for the water to drain away effectively, you must ensure it falls to a waste gulley. The walls in your steam room can be constructed in blockwork, studwork or any other stable structure, which should then be lined with tile-backer board ready for final finishes. For the ceiling, we recommend having a gradient so that the water can run away. Styles you could choose from include central pitch, domed, barrelled or rolled.
The last stage of converting your entire bathroom into a steam room consists of finishing touches and accessories. Typically, people use tiles to finish off a steam room as they are extremely versatile and available in a variety of styles and colours. To give your steam room an added element of sophistication, you could add colour light therapy, a stereo system or an automatic essence dosing system.
Creating a dedicated steam room
Creating a dedicated steam room is a lot easier than you may think. With steam rooms in St Albans you are guaranteed to have a steam unit installed and approved by some of the highest rated hotels and leisure clubs in the country. Similarly to the shower steam room, you need to think about the room layout, construction and accessories to create a fully functional steam room. Of course, bathrooms come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, and this determines how your steam room will look when it is complete. One of our knowledgeable and dedicated team members will be more than happy to advise you on the best way to design your new steam room, so you can leave all the hard work to us. If you want to see examples of our exceptional work and give you an idea of how you can transform your home bathroom, view our portfolio of luxury bathrooms in Hatfield and Welwyn.
Your own personal spa
A steam room home bathroom is becoming an increasingly popular trend for UK households, so creating one yourself is a great way to modernise your home while simultaneously reaping the health benefits it provides. If you are still undecided whether this home improvement is for you, take a look at our steam rooms in Berkhamsted for inspiration.