Archive for 2013

Build the Perfect Home Spa Experience

Friday, September 27th, 2013

When it comes to creating the ultimate bathroom oasis, the home spa calls for an environment that’s peaceful, luxurious and stylish. While channeling peace and luxury may be a given, style is an element that’s just as important. A space that doesn’t suit your specifications is hardly conducive to relaxation. Along with your residential steam shower, the right mix of bathroom fixtures and furniture work together to produce a personal retreat that’s truly reflective of you. For those seeking stylish inspiration, here’s a look at some of our favorite designs for a traditional or modern home spa.

Traditional

Stately and elegant, the traditional style represents luxury from a bygone era. Inspired by ancient Roman baths, Stone Forest’s Old World Bathtub is a stunningly-crafted testament to times past. Carved from a solid block of carrara marble, the bathtub features unique veining and natural coloring of the distinctive stone, which complements a rich, traditional aesthetic.

Distinguished by the sinuous, semi-circular projection of its basin, the Stone Forest Renaissance Console brings an“old world” feel to the bath. Also carved from honed carrara marble, this classic vanity sink combines the subtle detailing of the washbasin with traditional console legs in aged brass or polished nickel.

A stately sink requires a faucet just as luxe to match. With vintage styling, the Gramercy collection by Watermark Designs offers inspiration from one of Manhattan’s most historic and exclusive neighborhoods. Classic cross handles displaying timeless “hot” and “cold” labels, while the rest of the collection rounds out faucet, shower and tub filler fittings for your traditional bathroom.

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Steam Showers vs. Whirlpool Tubs

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

With home renovations on the rise, keeping up with the latest bathroom trends is more important than ever. Bathroom renovations have surged in popularity as homeowners have embraced the bathroom as a relaxation destination. Creating the ultimate home spa isn’t just great for calming your nerves — it can increase your home’s resale value as well. While whirlpool tubs were once must-have features in luxury bathrooms, homeowners are increasingly choosing steam showers to create the spa experience. Let’s take a look at these two installations and see how they match up.

Whirlpool tubs create relaxation by propelling warm water through jets to soothe tired muscles, while steam showers create a steamy, relaxing atmosphere to detoxify the body and alleviate stress. Both provide similar relaxation benefits, but steam showers take up significantly less space. Whirlpool bathtubs can occupy more than 5 to 6 feet, while a steam shower allows owners to create airier, more spacious bathrooms.

In addition, the headache of maintaining whirlpool tubs can far outweigh their relaxation benefits. Because water tends to sit in their internal network of pipes and jets, these tubs can be difficult to clean, which can result in algae growth. The steam shower company ThermaSol offers PowerFlush, a feature engineered to purge calcification build-up from the steam generator’s inner tank – making maintenance much easier.

Should mechanical problems occur, the maintenance costs that come with repairing the motors, pumps and other whirlpool tub parts can add up quickly. While whirlpool tubs usually offer limited warranties, ThermaSol offers lifetime warranties on select generators, meaning they will take care of any repairs should mechanical issues occur. This can be a huge relief and save a lot of stress in the long run.

Whirlpool tubs are often sought after for creating a calming or romantic atmosphere. However, their noisy pumps and motors don’t exactly create a quiet, meditative environment. ThermaSol’s Whisper Quiet technology prevents water hammer and noisy solenoid water valves from disturbing your steam session. With no distractions, you’re better able to relax and focus on increasing your overall well-being.

There’s also the environmental aspect. Whirlpool tubs require a lot of water, between 50 to 80 gallons worth to be exact. The amount of water needed to fill up the tub tends to drain traditional hot water tanks, which leads to higher energy costs. ThermaSol units typically use only one gallon of water to power a 20-minute steam shower session, quite a significant difference.

Because of these drawbacks, whirlpool tubs have declined in popularity and add little to a home’s resale value. Luxury bathrooms that offer increased sustainability, lower maintenance costs and technological advancements are now sought after by home buyers – making steam showers well-worth the investment.

The Importance of Investing In Your Bathroom

Tuesday, 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.

Steam of the Century: The Roman Sudatorium

Tuesday, 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.

Steam of the Century: The Greek Laconia

Tuesday, 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!

Steam of the Century: The Tradition of the Russian Banya

Tuesday, 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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