Last time, the subject of our conversation was showers, which sellers call “simple”. That is, those in which, apart from the shower, the pallet and the doors, there is nothing else. Just in case, we recall that there are a great many modifications of such cabins: from a wide variety of pallet shapes to all kinds of sash types..
In addition, we have already said that there are stationary (that is, closed on all sides) cabins that can be placed anywhere in the bathroom. And there are the so-called shower enclosures: they do not have back walls, they can only be installed in the corner of the bathroom. Such cabins cost from 300 to 1000 dollars. Of course, the price in this case is influenced by what, for example, the doors are made of: acrylic or glass. Acrylic is cheaper. The price is also influenced by the cost of the material from which the pallet is made. There are so-called simple cabins that cost more than $ 1,500, mostly made in Germany. For this money, we are guaranteed high quality and durability of the shower enclosure. Did you know that when buying a shower enclosure, you can get in addition to everything, for example, a bath or a whirlpool tub? These showers are called “multifunctional”.
Combined option: shower cabin with Jacuzzi bathtub (price $ 10,000)
Thus, if the shower stall has more than one function (shower itself), then such a stall can be called multifunctional. But this does not mean that all such cabins have the same set of functions. For example, it is not at all necessary that a bath is necessarily provided in the shower cabin of your choice. Or that all multifunctional cabins have the same set of massage modes. In each case, everything is individual.
Shower and sauna in one bottle
Each manufacturer of multifunctional shower cabins (and they are represented on our market by Swedish, Finnish, French, Spanish, Italian and German companies) has a whole collection of such cabins. Bath, for example, is only in those that are equipped with a steam generator. Is it possible to determine this “by eye”? No you can not. Better to ask the seller. Another thing is that sellers sometimes go too far when advertising their goods. Knowing the love of our compatriots for the Finnish sauna, they are happy to report that, they say, they have just such a sauna in their cabins.
So, I hasten to upset you: there are no Finnish saunas in showers and cannot be.
In order not to burn yourself, a wooden pallet is provided in the steam bath (price 1600 $, the pallet is included in the price)
And that’s why. In a full-fledged Finnish sauna, the air temperature must be at least 80 ° C. So, most often multifunctional shower cabins are made of plastic, and, as you know, it heats up very quickly. At such a heating temperature, accidentally touching it with your booty or other parts of the body, you would instantly receive a severe burn. That is why, instead of a sauna, multifunctional cabins have a light (in terms of temperature) mode – a Turkish bath.
For those who do not know what a Turkish bath is, I will explain what I mean. At 100% humidity, steam heats up to 40–45 ° С. And it happens that up to 50 ° C. Don’t assume that this temperature won’t be enough for a good steam. Everything is counted. Just such a temperature is the threshold of skin pain sensitivity, not everyone can withstand over 45 ° C.
So, if one of the sellers will convince you that in “his” cabin the steam warms up, for example, to 60 ° C, do not believe it. Firstly, this cannot be, and secondly, it is not at all necessary and even dangerous..
I must say that steam bath cabins are very popular today. This is understandable. First, it is good for health. And besides, having come home on a cold winter evening, I really want to warm up well. No, you can, of course, lie down in a hot water bath. But the effect, I assure you, is not at all the same. The water in the bathroom, of course, cools quickly. And in a closed cabin this will never happen – worry until you get bored.
In addition, most multifunctional booths have an aromatherapy or inhalation function. It is arranged like this. As a rule, there is a special box on the rear wall of the cab (on which, in fact, almost all the “functions” are located). Pull it out and pour in some aromatic oil (you can take any medicinal balm for inhalation). Then you turn on the “bath” function – and the steam, passing through this box, will be filled with a healing spirit. An important nuance: if there is a steam bath in the shower, it is very important that a fan is installed on the steam generator. The fact is that steam comes out of the hole located at the bottom of the cabin. The fan creates air circulation (that is, simply put, it drives air through the cab). And if it is not there, the steam will rise up, which means that the legs will be cold, and the head will be too hot. And the fan will “blow” the air evenly, maintaining the same comfortable temperature.
Want a massage? Count the nozzles
The multifunctional shower has several options for hydromassage.
Even in multifunctional shower cabins, hydromassage is provided. Moreover, this function is mandatory for every multifunctional cab. Another thing is that in some shower cabins there may be more massage modes, and in others less..
How to determine how many modes are installed and which zones they affect? It’s very simple: count the nozzles – the holes located on the walls of the multifunctional shower stall. To be sure, you can check with the seller. But in any case, there are always at least two rows of nozzles that are needed, as they say in the instructions, “for massage of the back and lateral parts of the body.”.
In addition, many manufacturers have several massage modes. For example, there is not only “vertical back and side massage”, but also the so-called cascade – neck or shoulder massage. Moreover, the vertical shower can be of two modes: as again follows from the instructions, “only the back in a sitting position and the whole body in a standing position.” They say a very useful feature.
And further. As the managers of one firm, which sells whirlpool baths and showers from the Jacuzzi firm, assured me, there is a difference between massage and massage. That is, massage functions in cabins can be considered as such only if water is poured in a certain mode. Simply put, for a massage to be real, it is not enough just water that beats at one point. For a “correct” massage, it is important to create good blood circulation. Therefore, in the Flex Tower cabin, for example, the back is massaged by … a traveling wave. In this case, the water flows from the vertically located nozzles at different times. First, a few seconds – from the very bottom row, then from the next, and so on to the very top. Then everything is repeated from the beginning. If there is no such wave, then this is not a massage, but an ordinary shower..
It is ideal if the massage jets are rotatable. In this case, they can be rotated, directing the jet in the desired direction. In addition, in some cases, you can even adjust the “shape” of the jet: make it quite thin or, conversely, increase the power of water supply.
The Hydro-box Evian cab does not have an electronic control panel. Instead, there is a manual thermostat. Sellers claim that it is more reliable for inexpensive cabins (price $ 2700)
This is how a more or less standard set of hydromassage functions works. But today some manufacturers in pursuit of a buyer come up with more and more new modes. For example, looking at one multifunctional shower stall, I saw a massage mode called “waterfall”. They explained to me that 170 liters per minute are poured out of the hole in the cabin ceiling, that is, a whole barrel of water is rapidly falling on your head. But there is a problem: our water supply system is unlikely to cope with such a pressure of water. The instructions say that for a “waterfall” you must first collect a certain amount of water in the sump (of course, after plugging the drain), then the pump pumps the water up to the top of the cabin, and only then you can arrange this “waterfall” for yourself. They say that in our “country of contrasts” there have already been many waterfall lovers.
By the way, about contrasts. Some multifunctional shower cabins have a contrast shower function: cold water will be “injected” for 5-10 seconds, and then warm water will flow again. At companies and in stores, I was told that our people buy such “invigorating” showers with great enthusiasm..
How to find her right?
Water flow and temperature are regulated by a mixer. The rest of the functions can be controlled using an electronic scoreboard. As a rule, it shows all the functions, and by the light on the screen, you can understand what exactly you turned on. However, there are cabins with manual thermostatic mixer.
Which is better? Many sellers agreed that in multifunctional showers no more than $ 2,800, a thermostatic mixer is better than an electronic regulator. They explain this by the fact that in such cabins there cannot be electronics of the same quality as in models at a price, for example, about $ 10,000..
Other “bells and whistles and bells and whistles”
Modern multi-functional cabins, mostly made in Spain, also have a radio. And they willingly demonstrated how it all works. I hasten to inform you that the noise of the water does not drown out music, news, or news from the fields. And one of the Jacuzzi models even has a telephone. You stand in the cockpit, take a steam bath. And in between times you talk on the phone with your friends, but if you want, you listen to the radio.
Now back to the harsh reality:
When purchasing a multifunctional shower cabin, you need not only to pay attention to music, phone or recount the number of functions, but first of all to assess whether the requirements for the shower cabin as a whole are met.
What to consider?
In the Boston booth of the Spanish company System-pool, in addition to the basic functions, there is even a radio (price $ 5515)
The first. Almost all parts of the shower stall are made of plastic. Everything – except for the shutters. They are made of glass by all manufacturers, and are made of special “tempered” glass. So breaking such a door is almost impossible. In one of the firms, a manager specifically for example knocked on the doors quite hard, and nothing happened to them. By the way, such plastic is not harmful to health. Special and absolutely harmless plastic is used for the production of cabins. But the quality of the plastic is still different. For example, German plastic is considered to be of the highest quality among our sellers. And, for example, for the production of its shower cabins the Jacuzzi firm uses precisely German plastic. Another thing is that even the highest quality plastic cabin will last a maximum of 15–20 years, then it will have to be thrown away.
Second moment, which must be taken into account when choosing a cab. The shower cubicle must be at least 80 x 80 cm in size. Exception: if the cubicle is round, then it may be smaller. Experts explain this requirement by the fact that when a person is washing, he, naturally, does not stand in a pillar. In the process of washing, you and I, of course, turn around, raise our arms, legs … And if a rectangular (or square) cabin is less than 80 cm around the perimeter, then there will simply be nowhere to turn around.
Third point: pay attention to whether the pallet is reinforced. Especially if it is made of acrylic. The fact is that for some reason, acrylic pallets reinforced with one frame are most often sold in our market: it supports it only along the perimeter. In addition, the legs are located only in the corners of the cab. But this is not enough: there is a danger that such an acrylic pallet will sag under the weight of a person. To prevent this from happening, you need to buy such a shower cubicle where two crossed bars will support it from below (except for the frame and four legs). Better yet, there should be another, fifth leg in the center..
Electronic control panel
But if you made a mistake and nevertheless bought a “poorly reinforced” cabin, the pallet can be strengthened: let the workers who do the repairs place a couple of bricks under the pallet. Or they will even make a “pillow” of concrete. However, there are models of shower cabins where, even in the absence of additional “fastening”, the pallet is made very firmly.
I was told how such pallets are made. Even at the production stage, the acrylic sheet first goes to a special line. There, a reinforcing layer is applied to it from below – fiberglass, bonded with a polymer adhesive. Then a chipboard sheet is glued to this already hardened sheet and again covered with a reinforcing layer on top. That’s it – such an acrylic pallet won’t bend.
Hence the conclusion: ask the seller how the pallet is made in that multifunctional shower stall that you liked.
Fourth tip: Before you buy a multifunctional shower cubicle, ask if you have sufficient water pressure at home. This is necessary for the “massage” function to work. So, if the pressure is too small, it makes sense to buy only a shower cabin where the massage will work with a water pressure of 1.5 bar. Otherwise, no “function” except the shower will work..
Shower cabin “Magna 5000” is assembled from separate parts: a pallet, doors and a shower column (price $ 10,000)
Where can you find out about these same “bars”? The easiest way to ask about this is in the housing office. Any full-time plumber will share with you knowledge about the water pressure in your house – more than on which floor: how much and (which is also important) at what time. But note: not all manufacturers selling shower cabins have massage 1.5 bar. Most often, we are offered shower cabins that “include” massage with a water pressure of 2-3 bar.
So, for example, massage works at low pressure in the cabins “Hydro-Box” (Spain), “Jacuzzi” (Italy) and “Hoesch” (Germany). And further. It is not bad that the steam generator has a water purification function. If this function is present, all the equipment in the cabin will work much longer..
Fifth. If you decide to buy a multifunctional shower cabin with steam baths, be sure to choose a cabin with a comfortable seat. How can you tell if it’s comfortable? Sit on it. If the seat is too small and not very deep, you will fall off of it. If, on the contrary, you “drowned” in it, it will not work either. It’s bad if the seat is too low for your height or, conversely, very high.
Therefore, when purchasing a cab, do not hesitate and ask permission to sit on the seat.
And do not just sit like an idol, but stretch out the way you would do it, steaming. Keep in mind that for the desired effect (that is, to get a good steam), you will need to spend at least 20 minutes in such a shower. Well, do not stand the same pillar all this time, if you find it uncomfortable to sit! Therefore, the choice of a “chair” is an important point..
The “Flex Tower” shower cabin includes the “waterfall” function (price $ 6500)
And finally, the last. You should be prepared for the fact that when purchasing a multifunctional shower cubicle, you will have to carry out repairs in the bathroom. In each company, wherever you go, you should be provided with a scheme of “preliminary” work: ensuring the drain (if you put the cab in a different corner) and wiring.
Well, I think we’ve covered everything. You can go to the store, taking with you the issue of the magazine with this article. And guided by our advice and recommendations, feel free to choose a multifunctional shower cubicle. And finally, we will say that there are other options for shower cubicles. They cannot be called “simple”, but the definition of “multifunctional” does not fit them..
Then what are they? Well, for example, there is a variant of a shower stall combined with a bath. True, for this, I must say, a very convenient design, you need to pay $ 8,000-10,000. Or you can, for example, assemble a multifunctional shower stall from separate parts. That is, separately buy a pallet, sash, shower column (a panel on which, in addition to the shower itself, there are also shower nozzles). They say there are other interesting options … But this is a topic for a separate conversation. Let’s talk about this another time.