Steam showers and saunas will be commonly talked about in identical breath, lumped together as a heat-based, health-beneficial spa. Nevertheless the similarities between each essentially stop there: the experience of employing them is different, the health rewards are different, and even the application, construction, and cost vary widely.
Saunas are built completely of wood, with wood planked wall surfaces, floor, and ceiling, not forgetting wooden benches along the walls. The sauna heater is contained inside the sauna room, and produces a high, dry heat somewhere between about 150 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, steam showers are usually made from non-porous material just like tile or glass, and usually incorporate regular shower functionality right into the design. The heating units, referred to as steam generators, are situated outside the shower enclosure and pump steam into it, producing a very wet but slightly lower (typically somewhere between 110 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit) heat to prevent scalding.
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Saunas and steam showers do share many of the very same health rewards. Each help promote blood circulation and muscle relaxation, and both can help ease pains and aches and encourage sweating, which will help the body detoxify and improve skin health. But the higher heat and drier environment of a sauna promotes more sweating as compared to steam bath, as the high humidity of a steam bath can help address respiration issues, improving breathing and clearing out of the throat and sinuses.
As the connection with using saunas and steam baths is superficially similar, the practical elements of assembly begin to vary greatly. Saunas are made to be completely freestanding. They do not call for drainage or ventilation, as they are obtainable in easily-assembled kits that will only have to be wired (or often times plugged in) for electrical power. Built in steam showers, over the other hand, need to be built off the subfloor up. The shower has to be fully plumbed, the ground, walls, and ceiling all should be well waterproofed, the ceiling for the shower should be fairly low and sloped to avoid condensation, additionally the whole enclosure has to be well enclosed and steam tight. Plus, the bathroom on the whole needs to have very, very efficient ventilation so that the water vapor doesn’t cause problems for the nearby area.
One other significant consideration is exactly how much space a steam shower or sauna is going to occupy. Each varieties are available to you in a broad range of sizes, from smaller stalls just big enough for one to a great deal larger enclosures. Saunas are designed with insulated walls, and that combined because of their use of electric heat means they can be very large (seating six or more people) whilst not exhausting the heater, and they’re far more flexible in terms of where they may be installed.
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Steam showers, regarding the other hand, are far more efficient in compact spaces. The larger the space, the bigger the steam generator necessary to fill it additionally the more water it's going to use. That said, because steam showers provide the full features of a regular shower, they may be installed in pretty much any bathroom which has space for a freestanding shower. While saunas need to be installed by themselves, steam showers can simply be scaled to suit the current space.
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Both saunas and steam showers are supplied in pre-assembled, freestanding models. With a sauna, purchasing pre-assembled will not mean an enormous difference between the final product, but could save time, labor, and electrical work, because they can commonly simply be plugged in. But pre-assembled steam showers do away with a number of the significant problems of built in steam showers. Because they are available in an individual solid, waterproof, steam-tight unit, they can be installed just like a shower or bathtub stall without having the equivalent worries for water damages. The bathroom will still should be effectively ventilated, yet the shower tends to be installed with no other great construction.