A domestic Turkish bath is not a pipe dream nor a luxury that only a very few privileged people can afford. Most likely not everyone knows this, but today there are several possibilities that allow you to create, directly at home, a wellness area worthy of a real Spa.
Obviously, everyone will orient themselves according to their preferences and according to their possibilities, both economic and space.
There will be those who prefer hydromassage and those who prefer chromotherapy; those who prefer the sauna and those who can’t wait to immerse themselves in a nice Turkish bath. Even among the latter, however, only a few will be able to afford to create a real dream Turkish bath, luxurious, spacious, and comfortable, to be enjoyed even in company.
However, this does not mean that even those who do not have many square meters available will be able to find a solution for a home hammam, perhaps replacing the classic shower, or even opting for portable solutions that allow, if necessary and when desired, to be able to take a steam bath at home!
Let’s see, then, to understand first of all how it is made, how a Turkish bath works, and what beneficial properties its use entails. Secondly, then, we will analyze the various possibilities that the market is able to offer today, so that you can orient yourself correctly in your choice, following the option that best suits you.
– Turkish bath how it works
The Turkish bath, otherwise known as a hammam, is nothing more than a steam bath, which is obtained by immersing yourself in a closed environment, at a high temperature, up to over 40 ° C, and high humidity, between 90 and 100%.
Although very often experienced as a “beauty” practice, the Turkish bath actually guarantees beneficial effects on the whole organism, both physically and mentally, and can even be effective in the treatment and prevention of certain specific pathologies.
Brief historical notes on the Turkish bath
The Turkish bath boasts ancient origins. Traces of this practice are found already among the Egyptians and the Greeks. Certainly, however, the steam baths also occupied an important role within the Baths of ancient Rome, characterized by various paths, including Calidarium, Frigidarium, and Tepidarium.
These peoples, in fact, despite not having particularly advanced medical and scientific skills, had found that the steam generated by high temperatures was able to invigorate, relax and regenerate not only the body but also the mind.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Arabs resumed the tradition of steam baths through the so-called Hammam, a term which in Arabic means “to heat”. The Hammam thus became the place par excellence in which to dedicate oneself to the well-being and care of one’s body. Unlike the vast Roman baths, however, only small groups could be accessed inside the Arab steam baths, because they were much smaller in size.
Today, not only at the Thermal Baths and Spas but also in all the relaxation areas of modern gyms and wellness centers, it is almost entirely obvious to find a Turkish bath, generally flanked by a sauna and a nice Jacuzzi.
– The beneficial properties of the Turkish bath
The Turkish bath is a hydrotherapy treatment that guarantees various beneficial properties.
Normally, inside a Turkish bath, you sit, or even lie down, on stone or masonry benches and relax by inhaling the lukewarm vapors. These act on breathing and at the same time the heat dilates the blood vessels, favoring circulation.
The greatest benefits that this type of treatment guarantees, however, concern above all the epidermis, which undergoes a deep purification. Obviously, the heat also promotes sweating, dilating the pores of the skin and eliminating all accumulated toxins and harmful substances.
A good gain is also achieved aesthetically because, after a hot steam bath, the skin immediately appears smoother and more luminous; so much so that by repeating the treatment regularly, the skin recovers its natural elasticity, appearing almost rejuvenated. The sweat, in fact, stimulates cell renewal, and to facilitate this process a lot at the end of the Turkish bath recommend you switch on the body a mitt, so as to remove the epidermis are dead cells.
Finally, the hammam allows you to relax, thus reducing stress and easing the tensions of everyday life.
Difference between sauna and Turkish bath
Many still confuse the sauna with the Turkish bath. In fact, although these two treatments have something in common, they are profoundly different.
The benefits that can be obtained are similar: purification of the skin, which appears smoother and more elastic, reinvigoration of the lymphatic system, elimination of toxins and superfluous fats, tissue regeneration, vasodilation, and regularization of blood pressure.
While the sauna, however, is a very hot, but very dry environment, with almost non-existent humidity, equal to 10-15% and with a temperature between 50 and 85 ° C; the Turkish bath, on the other hand, is very humid, characterized by high but decidedly lower temperatures, ranging from 20-25 ° C on the ground, up to 40-45 ° C at the level of the head.
This, however, is the reason why inside the saunas we find wooden seats and surfaces, while in the hammam these are typically covered in stone, mostly marble, but it is possible to use various other materials, the important thing is that guarantee correct waterproofing.
– How to make a Turkish bath at home
Now that we have a clear understanding of what a Turkish bath consists of and what beneficial effects it allows to obtain, let’s dive into the more practical issues, analyzing how to create a Turkish bath at home, to carve out a small spa in your own four walls…
In modern homes, we find more and more frequently many elements that were once the exclusive prerogative of spas. This is because body care takes on an ever-greater role in our life, just as it is very important to ensure perfect psychophysical well-being. It does not matter whether it is a Turkish bath or a sauna, rather than a shower with chromotherapy or aromatherapy, or even a Jacuzzi or even a small swimming pool.
In order to adapt to the demands, the bathroom and wellness sector market has concentrated a lot in this direction in recent years, creating a multitude of solutions, of various kinds, suitable for all budgets and capable of satisfying every desire and every space requirement.
As for the Turkish bath, it is possible to build a masonry solution or opt for one of the many prefabricated solutions, containing costs and limiting work and inconvenience.
If your shower cubicle is large enough, it is also possible that you will be able to adapt it to transform it into a small home hammam, something that with the sauna, however, is absolutely not possible. Having said that, even to build a Turkish bath at home there are fundamental requirements, both constructional and plant, to be met.
In any case, first of all, it is essential to check the capacity of the existing electrical system, since this must be able to guarantee that the steam dispensers work properly, reaching the necessary temperature.
A question of primary importance will then be to understand where it is possible and where it would be better to place the much desired Turkish bath, which must be connected not only to the electrical system but also to the plumbing one.
Finally, it must be taken into account that, although there are monobloc systems with integrated steam generators, in a Turkish bath for everything to work properly it is not enough that there is steam, but certain characteristics must always be respected. Let’s see which ones.
The height and size
The ideal height of the room or of the “box” dedicated to the Turkish bath should be around 2.2-2.3 meters, so as not to disperse steam unnecessarily. It will therefore be necessary to create a lowering, within which the plant engineering part can be inserted. Better still, if possible, orient yourself towards a sloping ceiling, inclined with a slope of about 15%, or rounded, domed, on the model of those of the oriental hammams. Only in this way, in fact, can the occurrence of the annoying rain effect, caused by the dripping of steam at the ceiling, be avoided.
As for the size of a home Turkish bath, the only limit is given by the space available to each and also by its configuration. If the lucky ones can create a real room in which to host even more people at the same time, most people will opt for decidedly more compact solutions: already using a 120 × 120 cm box you get a comfortable and respectable result.
Other essential factors
If you want to create a Turkish bath inside your home, it is also essential that the access door to the dedicated room (whether large or small) is glazed, but can be closed in an absolutely watertight manner. This, of course, also applies to the already pre-established solutions, which are born as a sealed box.
Similarly, the floor and walls must be carefully waterproofed, so as to allow an optimal flow of steam.
On the market today there are various surface coatings, absolutely tested, which allow obtaining the desired result. Stone is the material of tradition, but alternatively, you can choose tiles, mosaics, or resins, with an unparalleled degree of customization.
In order to enjoy a satisfying experience, which guarantees real relaxation, it is desirable that the environment dedicated to the Turkish bath is able to accommodate at least one session, even better if heated.
Then, obviously, if you want to exaggerate, you can complete everything with a series of optional accessories, such as diffusers for essences, stereo speakers, massaging water jets, or lights for chromotherapy. In all cases, we are dealing with elements that allow you to amplify the feeling of relaxation and well-being that you get when immersed in a steam bath.
For the record, it is fair to say that currently on the market there are also portable and super-compact steam generators, as well as inflatable saunas, which have very low costs, in the order of a few hundred euros.
You can easily understand, however, that a portable Turkish bath will never guarantee compliance with all the aforementioned requirements and therefore also the benefits that can be obtained with it will be really limited.
– How much can a home hammam cost?
Here we are at the painful notes. If the idea of creating a Turkish bath inside your home appeals to you a lot, at this point you are probably wondering how much it can cost. Obviously, it is difficult to provide a single answer. In any case, just go to a specialized bathroom and wellness center to understand that there are various types of solutions, some cheaper and others really extra-luxury and hyper-expensive.
Much, however, depends not only on the size of the Turkish bath you want to create and on the accessories you decide to include but also on the fact that you opt for a solution to be built on-site rather than a preconceived one.
As you can imagine, the boxes are perhaps the cheapest solution and above all the one that involves less inconvenience and shorter times, because they allow you to avoid masonry and above all waterproofing work. The aesthetic impact is however pleasant and today it is possible to choose between various models, with different sizes and finishes.
In these cases, however, it is good to distinguish between the multifunction showers and the Turkish bath cabins’ real own. While among the former you can also find products at prices just over a thousand euros, for a serious hammam you must be willing to spend at least 3,000-4,000 euros, to reach even 10,000 and more!
But be careful, having a spa at home does not only involve an initial outlay of money, linked to its construction and installation. A Turkish bath, like a sauna, consumes a lot of energy, with absorption ranging between 3 and 5 kW, which is why it is always necessary to request an increase in power on the domestic energy supply contract and prepare for higher bills than normal.
– In conclusion
As you may have understood, being able to create a spa area with a Turkish bath in your bathroom, or in a dedicated corner of the house, is not an impossible task.
Everything is about identifying the solution that best suits you and then, after a long day of work, whenever you wish, you can immerse yourself in a regenerating steam bath, to get rid of the accumulated stress.