Steam and Sauna: What Are They?

A steam room is usually the same space as your shower. The room fills with hot, invigorating steam that you breathe in and that deep-soaks your body. A sauna is a dry-heat wood room that becomes very hot to make you sweat intensively. Basins of hot rocks can be added and water poured on them for steam to enhance the experience. SODECO can provide the products and experience you need for either.

What Are the Benefits?

Health benefits, detox and relaxation are often used to describe the steam and sauna experience. Both methods date back thousands of years as treatment for a myriad of illnesses; they’ve been considered beneficial luxuries for decades. Some cultures have social activities designed around experiencing a sauna or steam room and they’re considered a necessity.

Technical Aspects and Cost

There are numerous details to do either of these jobs and advance planning is necessary. SODECO has all of the products and expertise you need to help you with this process. Steam generators run around $1500-2000 each, although there are additional costs involved with properly building a steam room.

Sauna packages include all of the specially treated wood and the hot rocks heater; a complete materials package for a 5×6’ room starts around $5000. If you need additional work done or you’re looking to improve your current water quality, contact us today! We’ll be happy to help you solve your water problems and add a touch of luxury to your home.

HELPFUL ADVICE

Here are some basic issues to consider when planning and installing your sauna or steam bath.

WHAT SIZE?

A good size for a home sauna is 6 x 6 or 5 x 6. The inside height should be 84″. With this size, you should be able to lie down the long way and have enough depth to allow an upper and lower bench that aren’t on top of each other.

   

Commercial saunas are up to 12 x 12, also 84″ ceiling height. The low ceiling height is so the heat stays down in the room. The upper bench will be hotter than the lower bench.

A steam room is ideally big enough to sit down in and also put your feet up. Ceiling height of 7′ is recommended. Slope the ceiling so water drops don’t rain on you. The material you use for walls and ceilings have an important influence on the size of the steam generator needed and the length of time needed to heat up the room.

ELECTRICAL POWER

Both sauna and steam rooms will need 240 Volt power, with the Amps determined by the size and construction of the room. Plan ahead! Many installations are inadequate because the electrical supply was run before calculations were made.

Circuits are dedicated, although not GFCI. Always use a competent and licensed electrician who knows the codes and proper installlation. SODECO can help with the calculations needed.

CONTROLS

Simple is better, Steamroom “on-off” controls are usually preferred to many-choice settings that rarely get used, cost money, and complicate the installation. Fancy controls do have some advantages, so plan each job based on the particular needs of the customer.

Sauna controls are usually mounted outside the room but can be on the heater itself. The standard control sets the temperature, time, and light, and has a delay feature.

PLUMBING

A steam room is usually the same space as your shower, so the usual shower plumbing will be there. The steam generator will have 1. water in 2. steam out 3. pressure relief valve 4. drain so you can clean/flush water through the unit. Plan ahead with your plumber so the proper lines are in place.

There is no plumbing in a sauna. The only moisture is when you sprinkle water from the wooden bucket onto the hot rocks.

EXPENSE

A typical residential complete sauna package is $4500 – $5000. This assumes that you create the framed, insulated, space and run the required electricity. The “package” includes the walls, ceiling, floor, benches, door, heater, accessories, and trim. The sauna package takes about one full day for a carpenter to install.

Don’t assume that you can just go buy the materials and build your own sauna. There are safety issues, specific construction requirements, and special wood has to be custom ordered. You’ll probably save very little and have a lot more work.

Steam generators cost around $1400 – $1800 for basic units. Add for fancy controls or automatic drain valves. With steam, you have other expenses such as electrical, plumbing, special door, room structural modifications, etc.

Regarding electrical use, it only costs when it’s on. For example, a 6kW sauna heater, running full heat for an hour would cost $0.60 at Albuquerque electric rates.

If you are considering the healthful luxury of a sauna or steam room, shop with SODECO to make sure you get what you really want, and that it works the way it should.

We provide all types of water treatment for commercial buildings. Call 505.883.5061 today!

 


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