Installing a steam shower is one of the best ways to add a luxurious element of wellness into the home, and one of the greatest additions to increase a home’s value, but the process might bring up some questions. From building codes to placement and materials, asking your contractor the right questions will help you understand the process and ensure a safe, legally sound and lasting steam shower installation.
Read on below for the top questions to ask your contractor, whether you are looking for a new installation or a retrofit.
1. What technical and building codes do I need from the city?
Building codes surrounding safety are kept in place to ensure that homeowners are building in line with local city regulations and requirements. Contact your local municipal building department about what these codes entail. It is a good idea to stay in communication with them throughout the process to guarantee adherence to local ordinances and to avoid unnecessary time delays. Click here for Use a good guide to finding your municipality’s regulations.
2. What materials should I use in my shower for the steam shower installation?
Glazed ceramic or porcelain tiles are the easiest material for a steam shower because they are less porous than other materials and will stand up to the moisture of a steam shower while also retaining heat well. Materials that are more porous such as marble or stone absorb the heat and moisture of a steam shower, requiring a more powerful steam generator to make up for the heat and moisture loss, and require more maintenance, as they can be more easily discolored. Check out our tips on the best materials for a steam shower.
3. Where should my residential steam generator go?
The answer to this question depends on whether you are renovating an existing shower or are building a new one. If you are renovating an existing shower, those decisions will most likely already be made for you, as there will be nearby connections that have been there for power, waste, and water. If you are building a new shower, ask your plumbing contractor to recommend the best placement of the new drain and water supply lines. Sometimes, this decision will precede the shower placement itself and make for a smoother layout.
4. How should I waterproof my shower?
A proper seal on your steam shower is necessary not only for the best steam experience, but also to prevent water damage in the surrounding area from steam leakage. Installers use a viscous liquid waterproofing membrane painted over the entirety of the interior and add fiberglass strips to corners, benches, and shelves for additional moisture barriers. If an installer does not use viscous liquid, a wedi® board is sometimes used. This backer board is a waterproof, rigid foam tile that stops moisture from flowing out of your shower.
5. How should I design my steam shower?
After determining the building codes, the shower interior, the placement of your shower, and waterproofing methods, it is time to get started on the design of your steam shower. This is the fun part! Bathroom design trends come and go, and your plumbing contractor is likely briefed on what is the latest in bathroom trends. They should be familiar with the install process and you should ask to see photos of their work for other clients. Lean into their knowledge during the process and do some research into what will make your shower the most relaxing and enjoyable for you. It is, after all, your personal, luxurious bathing experience.
6. What is involved in the maintenance process?
Now that you have a beautiful steam shower installed, it is a good idea to understand how to maintain your steam shower. Fortunately, ThermaSol offers a PowerFlush feature on our PRO SERIES III generator that forces any build-up or debris out of your steam generator. Your contractor should also be able to offer any tips or tricks for your specific steam shower, just as their knowledge has been provided throughout the whole process.
When you are ready to start the installation process on a steam shower, reach out to us! We offer free consultations with our fully functional virtual showroom, Sol University, to help answer any questions and ensure a smooth steam and smart shower installation process. Schedule an appointment today!