How to choose a steam shower?by David Timothy (1st March 2007)
A computerised steam room is a high grade shower controlled by a digital control panel, functioning both as a shower and a steam room. With many different companies selling steam showers at varying prices, shapes, quality, reliability and levels of customer service, it is important you choose the right company and product with whom you spend your hard earned cash. Knowledge implemented is power, and the following knowledge is what you need to empower yourself in making an educated, smart buying decision.
Price: Some steam shower companies don't offer free shipping, therefore their prices appear lower. To make a true assessment regarding price, it's important to take into consideration the following:
- Delivery Cost: Does the quoted price include delivery of the steam shower to your home? If not, enquire into this price as this can add a fair amount more to the over all price. Delivery costs can range from £50 to £300 and beyond.
- V.A.T: Ensure V.A.T. is included as some companies don't include this in the price they advertise; therefore the quoted price will increase by 20%.
- Quality / Service: Lower price companies who sell steam showers at rock bottom prices usually compromise on the product quality and after sales service.
- Scenario: There is a steam shower being listed for £1000 on a website or in a shop. If the price listed doesn't include V.A.T. the £1000 becomes £1175. On top of that, if the stated price of the steam shower doesn't include delivery to your home, the actual price could be from £1325 to £1425 plus. The actual price you will be paying far exceeds the stated £1000 price tag, therefore do your homework and don't take the price of the steam shower at face value.
As a steam shower is a big investment it's important not to base your buying decision solely on price as you may regret the decision in the future. It is important to consider a number of factors when purchasing a steam shower, not just price alone.
Style and Design: There are many different styles of steam shower available from which to choose. These include finishes in crescent, square, multi-sided or rectangular frontal shapes and are available in single or double seated models. Another recommendation is to choose a steam shower that is the same colour as the toilet and sink, which will ensure continuity in the design of your bathroom.
Size and User: Decide how much room is available in your bathroom and who will be using the steam shower. Knowing this information will make the process of choosing a steam shower a lot easier and quicker.
Steam Shower Quality
Customers who haven't seen a steam shower before, may be unaware of the large differences in steam shower quality. Some steam showers are sturdy and some feel extremely cheap and flimsy. Some steam showers have well built electronics while some may have poor faulty electronics. There are many companies and individuals in the market place, some supplying steam showers at a cheap price. In most of the cases the quality of the steam shower and after sales support will be very poor. Consider the following in your steam shower buying decision:
Shake Test: A simple quick way to test the general quality of the shell and construction of the steam shower is the shake test. Simply shake the unit. You will be able to tell whether the unit is flimsy or whether it is solid and is well constructed. If the steam shower sales man is reluctant in letting you shake the steam shower, ask yourself why? Is the steam shower going to fall apart or break?
Sealing: The door of the steam shower should be made with high strength tempered safety glass. The doors should be well sealed such as with magnetic door strips. A well sealed steam shower reduces steam and water leakage dramatically.
Acrylic and Fibreglass: Many steam shower models are constructed using acrylic panels. Ensure that these panels use high quality acrylic. The thickness of the acrylic on the steam shower will determine the strength and sturdiness of the unit, therefore choose a steam shower with thick acrylic. Also ensure that the steam shower has been reinforced with fibreglass in important areas such as the seat, base and bottom of the back panel. The steam shower is acrylic on the inside and fibreglass on the outside. There are many grades of fibreglass on the market. Cheap steam showers use poor quality fibreglass which discolours over time, turning yellow, while high quality grade fiberglass shouldn't discolour.
High Quality Acrylic: The acrylic should be fade proof, scratch resistant and durable while the finish should be bright and easy to maintain / clean.
Metal Fixings: An indicator of quality may be to identify the inclusion of high quality metal fixings on the steam shower. Some companies use cheap plastic fixings as they cannot be seen before buying. For example, instead of plastic being used for the tap and water inlet valves, choose a steam shower that uses copper inlet valves. Also ensure the steam shower is assembled with stainless steel screws.
Aluminium: If the steam shower has metal columns on the interior or exterior of the shower, ensure the metal is high quality and cannot easily be dented. Look for a steam shower that is made with aluminium of a thickness of 1.2 to 2mm.
Safety Glass: A major component of a steam shower is the glass. Safety glass is important to ensure safe use for both you and your family. Glass in a steam shower should be toughened.
Certificates: The manufacturers of the steam shower should hold an ISO9001 certificate. This will reassure you of good manufacturing practice, correct product monitoring and a level of quality control. Other certificates that should be checked are the ETL SEMKO for electrical product testing and CE mark for meeting applicable EU directives.
Quality Control: It's important you receive a steam shower which is in working order, therefore the highest quality steam showers are tested before being dispatched. For example, each Di Vapor Steam Shower has been tested for half an hour before sending the shower to its customers.
There are many different features a steam shower can have. A steam shower will have a varying number of the features listed below depending on its price, size, manufacturer and aesthetic target market. Deciding which features you desire is down to personal preference. Steam showers may include the following features:
- Overhead shower
- Handheld shower
- Digital control panel with remote control
- Foot massage
- Hydromassage body jets
- Music connection (connectivity for an MP3 or iPod)
- Phone connection
- Built in radio and speaker
- Steam generator
- Fluorescent overhead light
- Ventilation/Extractor fan
- Thermostatic controller
- Whirlpool bathtub
- Ozone sterilisation
Safety and Service
Anti-Slip Base: Anti-slip grooves are important in steam shower and hydromassage bath bases. Steam showers without anti-sliding grooves are hazardous to ones safety and increases the risk of falling in the shower or bath.
Service and After Sales Support: Buying a steam shower is a big investment, therefore it is critical to choose the company from whom you buy a steam shower from with a bit of wisdom and common sense. Purchasing from auction sites such as eBay has some benefits but can leave the customer with a sour taste in their mouth. Countless people have bought a steam shower from an auction website only to find that after a while a fault develops with the steam shower. When the customer tries to contact the company they bought from they find the company no longer exists, refuses to pick up the phone or won't offer any support.
Choose a steam shower company who knows what they are doing and one who is going to still be around in ten years time. Customers who buy cheaply from poor steam shower companies often find themselves contacting the proven steam shower companies in the future to sort out the problems caused by the poor steam shower companies. Save yourself a lot of hassle and buy from a trusted steam shower company.
Note: Di Vapor is not responsible for the views, opinions or advice represented in the articles on this site. You are advised to seek medical advice before following any such information. Copyright © March 2007 Di Vapor.