May 14th, 2013
When it comes to making an investment in your home, installing a steam shower isn’t just good for your health—it can also increase your home’s value. According to the 2013 Houzz & Home survey, home renovations are on the rise. Next to kitchens, bathrooms are the second most popular room to remodel. As this surge in popularity continues, high end amenities for the bathroom are becoming an increasingly sought after request. For homeowners looking to sell, these aren’t just luxury items— they’re necessities for increasing your home’s value. Let’s take a look at some bathroom trends worth considering for your next remodel.
While once a primarily utilitarian space, bathrooms have gained status as “home spas”— bigger, more open spaces meant for private relaxation. Because space is more valuable, homeowners are replacing their bathtubs with more luxurious spa-style showers. As showers become more upscale and streamlined, it only makes sense to add extra features to help set them over the edge.
While a steam shower is one great way to set your shower apart, don’t overlook the technological features as well. As our lives become more intertwined with technology, homeowners are seeking out more futuristic advancements— Yes, even for the bathroom. Bathrooms that offer touch-free fixtures and the ability to connect to personal devices are increasingly in demand. ThermaSol’s Serenity and Light system allows homeowners to bring their iPhone or iPad in the shower with them to control its features.
Not ready to make a big change? According to Consumer Reports, five simple items can help make a big difference when it comes to bathroom remodeling: heated flooring, stain-resistant grout, skylights, framed mirrors and heated shower mirrors. The smaller amenities are just as important as the larger ones, which further help set your bathroom apart.
Remodels are necessary to keep up to date and offer amenities that no one else has. As the upswing in home renovations continues, the need for homeowners to stand out in the market is more important than ever. So when it comes time for your next bathroom remodel, know the investment is well-worth the effort.
April 16th, 2013
When in Rome…steam as the Romans do! As we explore the history of steam, we journey back to ancient Rome, where the Roman baths weren’t just a place to get clean— they were a way of life. As a gathering place for relaxation and socialization, the typical bath also served as a community center, a fitness center and even a performance venue. The Baths of Diocletian, the grandest of public baths, covered 32 acres and could accommodate 3000 bathers at a time.
Each bath was built around three principal rooms: the frigidarium (cold bath), tepidarium (warm bath) and caldarium (hot bath). The caldarium was designed to open the pores with hot, steamy air that could go well above 100 degrees F. The floor was directly above the hypocaust, a below ground furnace. The hypocaust would heat the floor and air, which would run through the hollow walls before escaping through the chimney. A round basin called a labrum held cold water for pouring upon the bather’s head before or she left the room.
Some Roman baths also included sudatoriums or “sweating rooms.” These vaulted rooms provided patrons with a moist steam bath. The sudatorium was made from square bricks and featured a suspensura, a raised floor slab that was heated underneath by the hypocaust. Hot air passed through through the walls lined with terracotta flues, allowing steam to circulate throughout the room.
While the Romans may have preferred a social steam bath, today’s modern steam showers offer a more private oasis. No matter what century you’re in, steam has always been an essential source of renewal and relaxation.
March 26th, 2013
In this ongoing series on the history of steam, we journey back to Ancient Greece, home of some of the first steam rooms. An ancient Greek steam bath was called a laconia, which consisted of a circular room with a large domed roof. The laconia was heated up with fires underneath the floor or rocks heated in a fire and placed in a tray in the center of the room. Patrons or workers would pour water on the rocks to create steam, sometimes adding aromatic herbs for therapeutic enhancement (and for some ancient aromatherapy)!
While the laconia sounds like a modern day sauna, the use of steam for promoting good health is hardly a new invention. In 450 BCE the Greek historian Herodutus wrote that the Greeks used steam to induce sweating as a form of bathing and to maintain good health. Today’s home steam showers are a great way to get the same health benefits as the Greeks. Thought to support the respiratory system, steam inhalation can help allergy sufferers and relieve sinus infections. And of course steam produces the major benefit of full-body relaxation. No matter what century you’re in, steam plays an important part in staying healthy!
February 19th, 2013
While steam showers seem like relatively modern advancements, they have a rich history with deep cultural roots. Many qualities of today’s steam showers can be found in the Eastern European tradition of the banya, or Russian steam bath. Dating back to medieval times, the banya is a cultural staple and one of Russia’s oldest traditions. Each village contained a banya as a place for cleanliness and bathing and was overseen by a guardian spirit named “Bannik.”
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August 6th, 2012
If you’re in London this week and you’re already feeling Olympic-overload, we suggest that you break from the festivities and visit one of London’s lesser known historical sites. The Kew Bridge Steam Museum celebrates the power of water and steam, and the ways it revolutionized life in Europe’s largest city and has become a major point of the European Route of Industrial Heritage. The museum has even starred in uniquely British television series such as Doctor Who and EastEnders, and films like Jude’s Law.
According to the museum website, by 1830 water quality coming from a public water pumping station in Chelsea had been deteriorating and so the Grand Junction Waterworks Company built a replacement pumping station at Kew Bridge, opening for operation in 1838. The station was powered by massive steam-powered engines, marvels of cutting edge engineering at the time, which drew water from the River Thames into London’s potable water supply. The power and capacity of these steam engines allowed city and regional planners of the time to supply the city with clean water, critical for fighting off persistent Cholera epidemics. Powered down in 1944, the pumping station became a national landmark and is preserved to commemorate the great change in sanitation and urban living made possible by man’s ability to harness and apply the power of steam.
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July 18th, 2012
ThermaSol®, which has been on the cutting-edge of steam shower technology innovation for more than 50 years, has announced the debut of the Solitude Mobile Application – the world’s first mobile app for their steam shower systems. When synched with an easily installed module that turns ThermaSol ProSeries and AF Series generators into a network peripheral, the app allows users to control all functions of their ThermaSol systems, including the generator maintenance, via handheld wireless devices.
The launch of this amazing app will be added to a long list of ThermaSol’s pioneering innovations: the development of FastStart™ technology, which provides steam in seconds not minutes; development of SmartSteam™, a patented innovation that learns your ideal steam room temperature and maintains it throughout the entire steam bathing experience; offering 100% digital, fully networked steam systems; and being the first steam shower manufacturer to include Bluetooth® technology in its packages.
“Our steam shower systems are designed for people to create a highly personalized spa experience at home,” said Mitch Altman, CEO of ThermaSol. “The Solitude Mobile Application takes our systems to the next level by allowing users to control every facet of their steam shower (temperature, light, music, maintenance and more) via mobile phone or tablet device from anywhere within their home’s WiFi range. This is a first for not only the steam shower industry but the residential plumbing industry as a whole.”
The Solitude Mobile Application is available for download through the iTunes® Store and Google Play™, and it’s compatible with iOS 4.3 and up and Android 2.2 and up. The app with the add-on module can communicate with ThermaSol ProSeries and AF Series steam shower systems developed from 2007 forward, true to “plug and play” technology.
The Solitude Mobile Application has a lot going for it:
- it’s compatible with a variety of mobile phones and tablet devices,
- it’s easy to install
- you have the option of setting and controlling steam shower preferences for multiple users
- you can remotely activate your steam session from anywhere within range of your WiFi
- you’re able to control light and music settings and access streaming music services like Pandora and Spotify
- you can watch YouTube videos and check your e-mail during your steam with the use of a water-proof case
- you can select music from personal playlists or from input channels wirelessly connected to any of your home entertainment systems
- you have access to all available diagnostic and maintenance features of ThermaSol products
Download the app and let the party commence!
June 29th, 2012
Seeking comfort and an array of medical benefits, people have been drawn to steam since the sprawling bath complexes of the ancient Roman and Greek empires were built upon natural hot springs. While many of us use a steam shower or steam room simply to unwind, evidence suggests that our skin stands to gain much from regular exposure to steam.
Author of 8 Weeks to Optimum Health, Dr. Andrew Weil
explains that the heat of steam activates sweat glands and our pores open to release the resulting perspiration. As sweat rises through our pores, it has the effect of flushing out toxins that have built up in the skin, an excellent treatment to combat acne. Weil calls sweating “one of our most important mechanisms of natural healing, since it allows the body to rid itself of unwanted materials.”
reports that a common treatment for mild acne and blemishes is to expose the skin to steam by draping a towel over your head and leaning over boiling water. As pores open, accumulated dirt and oil is released and whatever you want to put on your face is able to penetrate deeper, making it an effective part of a facial regimen. In hopes of improving their complexion, many sweat-seekers visit dry saunas which heat up air, rather than water. Due to the lack of humidity, saunas typically must be much warmer, at 160-200 degrees, than steam rooms and showers at 110-120 degrees, which can irritate nasal passages. As such, saunas are not ideal for those who suffer from allergy, sinus, or other respiratory problems. Conversely, the condensed moisture of steam works to relieve these ailments. Steam causes us to sweat sooner and at a much lower temperature due to the high humidity. Daily Glow
notes that “just as steam does wonders for cleaning surfaces in your home, the steam can help dislodge built-up dirt and grime in your pores, allowing you to simply rinse them away.”
People have been known to venture to the extremes in a vanity-powered search for clear skin, from Cleopatra’s olive oil facials to modern laser treatment. Through this evolution, the skin benefits of steam have remained consistent and accessible. Investing in a steam shower or time at the spa is certain to remain an increasingly popular choice for people, even if alternative and increasingly technological advances are made to do the same thing as simple water vapor.