Recently, we were asked how to properly seal a window in your steam shower. It's an important question. After all, many showers include windows, which can make it challenging to keep moisture in the enclosure where it belongs. Windows that are improperly sealed can also lead to energy waste.
A poorly insulated window anywhere in your home can lead to unnecessary energy loss and uncomfortable drafts. Just think of that feeling you get when you walk past an unsealed window in the dead of winter. Brrrr.
The same holds true when you are installing a steam shower, except in this case you may have not only an external window, but an internal one as well. You need to address both types.
Sealing External Windows in Your Steam Room
Heat, naturally, moves toward cold surfaces. So if you have an exterior window in your steam room, you need to ensure that it doesn’t allow any of that steamy vapor to escape outdoors or penetrate the window itself. Kris Lee, Technical Sales Representative at MrSteam, explains that for maximum protection you should ensure that your external window is composed of double paned glass to prevent any heat or cold from coming in or going out.
The editors at Fine Homebuilding magazine also encourage the use of vinyl-clad windows, cement backer board, a waterproof membrane, and a good quality silicone caulk.
>> See Waterproofing a Window in a Tiled Shower for more steam shower installation tips.
Sealing Interior Windows in Your Steam Shower
Most steam rooms have glass panels or internal windows that face the inside of your home. Special considerations need to be made in sealing these windows, too. According to Lee, it’s best to seal doors and glass panels with a gasket or rubber glazing strips to hold the glass in place and keep moisture in the shower area.
Steam, like all moisture, can damage your home if it is not properly vented. Excess humidity can cause paint or wallpaper to peel and also promote mold growth.
According to the editors of Buildipedia, the key to successfully installing waterproof glass panels start with a thick bead of silicone caulk on shower curbs and side rails, as well as any joints where the frames meet the walls.
>> See How to Install a Glass Shower Enclosure for more tips.
Some air, especially around the shower door, allows you to see the steam form. "If your shower is completely air-tight, you won’t get that puffy white vapor,” explains Lee. A balance must be found, and a steam room designer could be very useful in this area.
In short, if you do have windows in your steam shower, you don’t need to worry. As long as they are properly sealed, they won't in any way detract from your steam room benefits.
At MrSteam, we’re dedicated to answering all of your questions regarding steam room installation and design. If you have questions about steam, let us know in the comments.We want you to fully enjoy the health and wellness benefits of steam.
For more information on anything steamy, please visit www.mrsteam.com.