Categorized | Design

Steam vs. Sauna – The differences

Posted on 06 November 2008 by Lynda Ziemba

Do you L·O·V·E to take a steam shower or sauna bath? Ever wonder what the differences between a Steam Room and a Sauna Room are? Many people believe them to be one and the same or use one term for both. While many of the wonderful benefits of these environments are, indeed, the same, these rooms and how one uses them vary a great deal. Lets take a look at some of the main differences:

Equipment Location – In a steam room, the only equipment located inside the environment is the control and the steam outlet. The steam generator itself can be located in a vanity, closet, basement, or an attic. In a sauna room, the heater is located inside the environment while the control is mounted outside. The sauna heater plays an interactive part in creating the desired atmosphere.

Heat Carrier – Steam rooms utilize heated water to create the vapor which enters the room through piping. Sauna rooms utilize heated air which circulates naturally throughout the room.

Room Temperature – Most steam rooms are operated at 100º -130º. Most sauna rooms are operated at 180º -200º.

Room Heat Up Time – A Sauna Room generally takes 30-45 minutes to heat up while a Steam Room can be used immediately. Steam Shower environments offer many unique bathing experiences depending on when you enter the room. Learn more about these Unique Bathing Experiences.

Humidity – Adding humidity makes any temperature feel hotter. Steam Rooms operate at 100% humidity while Sauna Room operate at roughly 40% humidity.

Surface Materials – Steam rooms must be constructed of non-porous, waterproof materials from the floor to the ceiling. Sauna rooms are generally constructed of cedar or other dried woods and need not be waterproof.

Ceiling Slope – While Steam Room ceilings are generally constructed with a slope to divert condensation, Sauna Room ceilings should be flat to aid in maintaining even heat dispersion.

Floor Drain – Ideally, the Steam Room and the shower are in the same environment. These wet environments require a floor drain. A Sauna Room is a dry environment and does not require a floor drain.

Venting – Steam Rooms should be closed up tight during use, not allowing the steam/heat to escape the room. Sauna Rooms are designed to utilize venting to effectively circulate the heated air in the room. A vent grille is generally located on the wall opposite the door, hidden below the benching, and the sauna door leaves an opening at the bottom to allow for air flow.

So that’s it! Now you are all set to begin designing your ideal environment. To learn about the design and construction of these environments, please visit our Steam Shower Design or Sauna Room Design sections.

1 Comments For This Post

  1. RYErnest Says:

    Nice post u have here :D Added to my RSS reader

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