In 2020, homeowners caught onto the trend of adding amenities such as a gym, an arcade, or a spa to their homes. The home steam shower was another upgrade. Installing a steam shower in your bathroom provides a more luxurious showering experience.
Although installation might sound like a difficult task to take on, it’s very doable if you follow the correct steps and take the right precautions. In this post, you’ll find out what exactly a steam shower is, what is required to install one, what to check before you start installation, and a step-by-step installation tutorial.
What is a steam shower?
A steam shower combines a steam room and a regular shower.
Like a steam room, it’s fully enclosed and can be installed anywhere you’d put a shower or bathtub. A steam shower releases vapor at one end, which fills the bathroom and surrounds your body, and it releases water at the other end, for washing and rinsing. You don’t need any special materials to keep the steam in — a steam shower can be made from tile, fiberglass, stone, wood, etc.
You’ll also have a control panel to adjust the temperature and the amount of steam. For extra convenience, consider adding a smart control panel to use voice commands to adjust the temperature and steam levels of your shower.
What You Need for a Steam Shower
To build a steam room, you can buy an all-in-one steam shower kit, purchase parts individually, or you can mix and match the features you want to customize your tranquil getaway.
A few of our favorite luxuries include:
Somewhere to sit
After a long day, it’s impossible to relax properly without sitting down. The option to sit in your steam shower makes the space more inviting. If you’re worried about space, try a pull-down bench that stays out of the way when not in use.
A next-level showerhead
A great steam shower will offer both the relaxation of heat on your body and the cool relief of water from the shower. Incorporate lights, sounds, and the soothing feel of rain cascading around you with a smart rainhead— more than just a step above a normal showerhead.
Optional steam shower accessories
If you want to feel like the world doesn’t exist outside your bathroom, there are steam kits with ambience options. Lighting can make a huge difference to your steam shower experience, as can speakers and even hands-free control from your phone. Thermasol has a steam shower system with just about every option you can think of.
What to check before installing a steam shower
Before you install a steam shower, make a checklist of the changes required in your bathroom. Steam will affect any parts of the space that aren’t sealed or waterproofed. The last thing you want is to invest in your dream steam shower only to have it damaged later.
- Whether there is any exposed plaster or drywall in the area, including the ceiling.
- How to best seal your shower door (very) tightly.
- Whether there are holes in your grout or around the shower, which need to be filled with a sealer.
- Whether there is a drain for the water and steam.
- Whether your ceiling is higher than 8 feet, in which case, you’ll need a more powerful steam generator.
- Whether any lights in the steam area need to be vapor-sealed and how many windows will need to be equipped with a double pane.
Find out more about residential steam shower planning.
How to install a steam shower, step-by-step
1. Make modifications for long-term usability
After you’ve made all checks in your bathroom, replace any lighting necessary, and prepare to modify your walls to create an enclosed space.
2. Create an optimal (and safe) space
Because steam eventually turns into water, it can get slippery in your personal steam shower. Add anti-skid strips to your floor to prevent slips.
3. Choose your material
If you’re rebuilding or replacing the material in your enclosed shower space, consider something with low porosity or non-porous materials. Porous materials will absorb the steam, so they are not suitable. Good materials to use in a steam shower include ceramic tile, acrylic, or porcelain. Even though concrete glass blocks and marble can look beautiful, they’ll dissipate the heat quickly. This will defeat the whole purpose, so avoid it if possible.
4. Determine placement of accessories
Once you understand the instructions for your steam shower kit, find out where your steam shower generator will be placed. It should never go in your home steam shower. Instead, you should put it within 60 feet of your sauna room. Places like the basement or the closet work well. Leave excess space around the sides and top (about a foot on each side), keep the space ventilated, and make sure it can’t freeze in the winter.
Put the steam head 6 to 12 inches above the floor opposite the seat and away from the door or entrance for your steam room. Next, work out where to place the steam shower control. It should be away from the flow of the steam and high enough for easy access.
5. Connect plumbing and electrics
Get a professional to help connect the following:
- A water line
- A steam line
- A drain line
- Household electric power to the generator (check the voltage)
- One circuit breaker for the power supply and one for the steam generator unit
Once everything’s in place, it’s time to test out your new shower steam room and enjoy your home spa experience.