Retrofitting your bathroom for steam

Every year, millions of Americans became proud homeowners to existing houses – a figure that speaks volumes for our economy, says tremendous things about the upward movement of our country…and, well, let’s face it: probably is not the most amazing stats when it comes to steam showers. Why? While new construction embraces all the accouterments on the wish lists of the modern homeowner, existing homes consistently feature fewer upgrades of this kind.

But never fear, you millions of Americans, as well as you other many million of Americans who bought existing homes in years this past year or earlier. Your luck is about to change.

One of the easiest home-centric projects is the process of retrofitting one’s bath to accommodate a steam shower. Unlike so many other house improvements that can take days/weeks/months, and limit your utility to the room undergoing construction, a steam shower retrofit is incredibly quick and easy…not to mention an extremely reasonable investment, historically shown to generate a superior return.

The first step is to assess what type of shower you currently have. (Sorry claw-footed-bathers…if you’re in a freestanding-tub-only relationship, with no other wash space in your house, yours is the only retrofit that requires a bit more work.

On the bright side, if no shower stall exists that you’re trying to retrofit, and you get to build one from scratch, that process alone will make a steam shower installation so much more seamless! #silverlining)

But where were we…oh, yes, your type of shower. Basically, all you need is an enclosed area that is (or can be) sealed in from top-to-bottom with a stall door. Most shower stall doors leave space open at the top to let steam escape, aka, the exact opposite of what you want your steam shower to do. But even if your current shower stall door isn’t perfect for a steam shower, as long as the stall space itself can accommodate a door that will seal the space from head-to-toe, you’re in great shape for a retrofit.

If you have a tub/shower combo (as in, not a stall shower) and are up for a quick re-model that swaps out your tub wall with a wall/door system capable of containing steam top-to-bottom, you’re also in business!

Now that you know what type of shower you already have (and what modifications need to or will have to be made to it), let’s make it steam-friendly. For most, this means making sure that the walls of your shower are conducive and well-protected against the heat of the steam, as the indulgent heated air can permeate even the smallest cracks.

Make sure your tile and grout work are steam-ready; if you think you’re in need of a re-tile before you retrofit your bath for a steam shower, look for paper-faced or film-faced glass tile for your shower walls. Porcelain is a perfect choice for steam shower floors (and speaking of floors, make sure you have a good slope going on, to maintain good drainage). And whatever you do…don’t forget to make sure your shower ceiling’s all ceil-ed up!

Conducive shower stall, check. Sealed walls, check. Sounds like someone’s ready for a retrofit! The next step is to pick your steam shower and watch the magic happen!

ThermaSol makes it incredibly easy to build a steam shower in your existing bath with an e-calculator that takes the guesswork out of the equation. You simply input your shower’s measurements (shorter-height showers are most ideal for a retrofit – under eight feet tall is preferred, to give you the steamiest experience), and ThermaSol recommends the steam shower generators that would be the best fit for your size shower.

Wondering where that generator’s gonna go? ThermaSol’s generators can be placed up to 50 feet from your shower, so if your bath space is limited, don’t fret. Attics and closets can be perfect spaces to tuck the generator. From there you choose your style and finish, your style of shower and accessories (as in, are you OK with your steam shower reaching your pre-set perfect temperature in seconds, and staying at said-temperature for the duration of your steam? ThermaSol thinks so, as evidenced by their Digital Smart Shower.)

Once ThermaSol outfits you with the parts for your steam shower, you get to work with your preferred home builders and vendors (plumbers and licensed construction professionals) to complete the installation.

When undertaking your steam shower retrofit, remember, nearly any size bath (even as small as a 3’x3’ stall shower) can accommodate a home spa. Just keep it sealed, keep it safe, and before you know it, your existing house is existing with luxury…a easy-to-install steam shower all your own.

And if you need more convincing that a steam shower is the perfect upgrade, check out this video

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