Steam room in the comfort of your home; why not? A relaxing steam bath is a perfect solution for a stressful day, wouldn't it be nice to have your own at comforts of your own home? What's exciting is you can actually make use of your existing bathroom for this DIY project. Read on to know how to build your own steam room at home.
How To Build A Steam Room At Home
Dear James: I like sitting in the steam room after a workout at my health club, so I've been thinking about how nice it would be to have a steam room in my home. I know where to buy a small steam generator. Will I need to replace my bathtub, or can I just add some new glass doors? — Lynn J.
Dear Lynn: A steam bath can be relaxing and therapeutic. Although you would think steam baths are used more often during winter, they are used year-round. Summer can actually be a more stressful time for the parents of children involved in various activities, so a relaxing steam bath will be welcomed.
Depending on how your bathtub area is built and the materials used, you might be able to add tight-sealing glass doors and install a small steam generator. In most cases, though, it would be much better to convert the bathtub area to a steam room with new materials or build an entirely new room for it.
The problem with a steam room is the high level of warm water vapor.
If the room or bathtub area was not designed for it, this moisture can penetrate walls and gaps and slowly destroy building materials inside walls and ceilings.
You might be able to find special steam room doors at your local home center store. If not, try a professional building supply outlet or a custom bathroom/kitchen shop. Steam room doors look similar to standard shower doors, but they cover the entire opening and are well sealed.
A personal home steam room does not have to be large. A 4-by-5-foot room is adequate. If you can get by with a small room like this, you should be able to install a tiny steam generator that uses standard 120-volt current. This eliminates the need to install 240-volt wiring.
Tile is one of the best wall coverings in a steam room because tile is impervious to warm water vapor and is easy to wipe down and clean.
The thinset on the walls, which the tile is placed over, will seal reasonably well. By selecting various tile colors, you can create attractive, relaxing patterns on the walls.
The steam-generator manufacturers and dealers can advise as to the proper size steam generator required for various sized steam rooms. If space is limited, the steam generator can be located up to 20 feet away from the steam room and be connected with a long pipe. If possible though, locate the generator near the steam room for better efficiency.
When installing tile, place backer boards over the wall and ceiling lumber. For a steam room, always use cement backer board. Although it is more difficult to work with, it is much more resistant to moisture than drywall.
Don't try to fit the backer board perfectly. Leave gaps at the mating edges and fill them with caulk. This will seal well and allow the boards to move slightly without breaking the seal.
Even with a tile steam room, it is best to first cover the walls with a plastic vapor barrier film before applying tile. Use a heavier film on the floor and run it several inches up the walls underneath the film on the walls. If any vapor does get through the tile, it will condense and flow into the floor drain.
Send your questions to Here's How, 6906 Royalgreen Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45244 or visit www.dulley.com.
To find out more about James Dulley and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2009 CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.