Posts Tagged ‘soaking tubs’

Steam Shower vs. Soaking Tubs

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Most of our Daily Basis Choices are pretty easy. Coffee or tea, subway or bus, sweater or jacket. You know, the “nice” decisions. And then, there are the Big Massive Home Choices. The ones we toss-and-turn over. Stainless steel or ceramic, wood or tile, EGGSHELL OR BUTTERCREAM??

(Sorry. We got a little out of control.)

Wouldn’t it be nice if some of those Big Massive Home Choices came with a little cheat sheet? Well, here you go: your insider’s guide to one of the biggest decisions about your bath – should I soak, or should I steam?

Steam showers and soaking tubs are two of the most popular bathroom upgrades, and with good reason. They both offer a luxurious spa experience from the comfort of one’s home, and can increase the value of one’s remodel. But which is the better investment? What nets you a better return? And which offers more utility?

First, what is a soaking tub, and what is a steam shower? Soaking tubs are deep bath basins – usually crafted in slightly different dimensions than traditional tubs (in addition to the greater depth, soaking tubs typically feature a narrow taper, and can come in an oval or circles shapes). Most often free-standing, so they’re rarely connected to a shower hookup. And they range from simple, basic varieties, sporting only a faucet and spigot, to more ooh-la-la versions, with tingly jets or built-in lighting. Available in a bevy of materials (from economical acrylic finishes to luxurious stone-crafted vessels), soaking tubs are beautiful, relaxing, and spa-esque, but don’t provide many more benefits (beyond that of size) than what you get out of your traditional bathtub.

 

Oh, did someone say benefits? Why yes, Steam Shower, over there, waiting to be defined, we DID say benefits. When it comes to health and wellness perks, steam showers rule. The unit itself consists of a generator (which can be housed either in your bathroom or, in certain cases, farther out for convenient installation, like ThermaSol’s generator units, which can live up to 50 feet beyond the bathroom) that delivers steam through your stall shower. Set your desired time and temperature, turn it on, and the generator delivers a luxurious stream of steam that envelops the stall, and invigorates your body. Steam showers are proven to have myriad medical benefits for your skin, your muscles, cellular recovery, and so much more.

So when it comes to a better investment for your body, steam showers have a significant edge. But let’s talk about that other kind of investment…the wallet sort. Like most things, soaking tubs and steam showers are available in a range of prices and qualities. Soaking tubs can be procured for as low as $500, and as high as $8,000, based on size and material. And while a soaking tub itself requires little maintenance, it can put a strain on two things: space and your water bill. Unlike a steam shower, which can be installed in a space as small as four feet by four feet, a soaking tub is an additional element in your bath. Which means that if you have the space, great – by all means, soak away. But if you’re lacking for room, wedging a soaking tub in a tiny bath not only limits utility (of the basin and the bathroom as a whole), it isn’t ideal for resale. And then, there’s the H20 factor. Because soaking tubs are deeper than traditional bathtub vessels, it’s very time-, energy-, and water-consuming to regularly fill a soaking tub…and your water bill will reflect this usage. (Plus, the million dollar, ahem, million gallon question…how often will you REALLY spend a half hour to fill and use your soaking tub?)

Steam showers are a different story when it comes to the quality of their investment. With a steam shower, your initial overhead is a little higher than that of a soaking tub. If your bath already has a stall shower, any modifications needed to make it steam shower-friendly are usually pretty minor. And the steam shower components – typically a generator and a controller – are available at a mid-point of around $3,500. So while you might spend more at the outset, post-installation, there are very few lingering costs. ThermaSol’s MicroTouch and Temp Touch technology, for example, has the power to generate heat and steam within seconds; and water usage for a 20 minute steam shower consists of a pretty memorable amount: ONE GALLON. Which all boils down to this: steam showers have a significantly lower impact on your water bill and your electric bill.

The spa-nalysis: in the short term and the long run, the better bang for your buck is a steam shower. The slightly-higher initial cost is well-worth what you get back. A steam shower is an upgrade that provides unique health and wellness benefits (versus a soaking tub, which has such limited advantages over your already-existing bathtub), a space-conscious luxury add-on – proven to be a hot resale amenity – an eco- and bill-friendly installation, and a piece of equipment that can be initiated with such speed and efficiency, you’ll actually use it. Our take: join Team Steam!

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.

Luxury Bathroom Renovation: Add Resale Value to Your Home

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

It’s true that not all home renovations can add significant resale value to your home, but a luxury bathroom upgrade with the right products certainly can. In fact, the bathroom is such an important and personal space to many home buyers that they often head straight for it when looking at a house on the market. While expected recoup value on your remodel investment is going to vary according to where you live and the state of the housing market at the time of sale, below are a few rock solid, luxury remodel product and amenity options that that should afford you some peace of mind that you’re making a good investment.

Steam Shower

steam shower

ThermaSol Steam Shower

Perhaps the number one item that homeowners are getting excited about these days is steam showers. It has long been known, and in recent years widely rediscovered, that the health benefits of steam therapy are significant. Steam has been known to soothe anxiety and foster a sense of well being, alleviate symptoms caused by the common cold, detoxify the body, and improve circulation, among many other benefits. ThermaSol®, creator of the first steam bath unit for the home, is designing and building the finest and most technologically-savvy steam bath and sauna environments available today. They offer you the only 100% digital, fully networked steam system in the world, and their showers feature proprietary technology like FastStart™ and SmartSteam™, for an unparalleled steam experience. Furthermore, their steam showers are available with amenities like the Serenity Light and Music System, a self-contained, shower proof, compact 10” diameter module that produces high-intensity full spectrum light and sound for the most relaxing chromatherapy experience. For a home remodel, a steam shower from ThermaSol’s impressive line makes an ideal choice. (more…)

The Tub Experience

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

When creating a sensuous, spa-like bath environment, designers know that every detail counts. Other than the shower experience and all of the accoutrements that are associated with vertical bathing, the tub is the unspoken grande dame of the bathroom. Immersing oneself completely in water remains a sensuous experience unlike any other. What differentiates today’s bathtubs from the old standards are the shapes of the tubs and the materials. You are no longer restricted to porcelain as the only viable option. Stone, teak, copper, even steel are materials now used in tubs. We’ve become intrigued with creative uses of materials like silk, Corian, and polyminerals; all smooth and sensuous, they are redefining the everyday bath experience into something much more. The ‘ahhh factor’ plus the ‘it factor.’ Below are a few tubs from Hastings Bath & Tile. All images provided by Hastings.

Hastings Round Tub- A

Hastings Round Tub- Atmosfere

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Soaking Tub or Whirlpool?

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009
Whirlpool Soaking Tub

Whirlpool Soaking Tub

When it comes to the bathtub, people can pretty much get anything they want. From whirlpools offering various massage cycles to colorful chromatherapy, the bathtub has become automated and can even be operated via remote control. However, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal, homeowners may be trading their high-tech whirlpools for something a little more simple: the soaking tub.

“The trend began in the mid-1980s with the physical fitness and health craze, as well as the cocooning trend,” said a source from the Wall Street Journal. “In the ‘90s, we saw the trend surge and evolve into an interest in yoga and day spas. Now the trend is moving into the home.”

With wellness and alternative medicine becoming more popular, several studies reveal the many health benefits of soaking tubs. For instance, they are said to reduce stress, alleviate insomnia, and lower blood pressure. A recent study by the Mayo Clinic showed that soaking in hot water reaps the same benefits as exercise. And the National Sleep Foundation found that soaking in a bathtub filled with 104 degree Fahrenheit water for 15 minutes before bed is helpful in promoting restful sleep. The warmth and buoyancy that soaking provides can also help alleviate arthritis symptoms.

Bathtub manufacturers have introduced several different styles of soaking tubs for Zen peacefulness in the bathroom. From the deep, full body immersion models in sleek stainless steel inspired by the Ofuro bathtubs of Japan to the ones that allow you to float chin-high – there is something for everyone. Some soakers even feature a unique overflow design, allowing the bather to be fully immersed, with any displaced water trickling over the sides of the tub, creating a haven for relaxation and therapy.


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