Timothy Mullally, MrSteam’s Building Category Manager, better known to all as TJ, is happy to respond to some of the most frequently asked questions about constructing a MrSteam steam shower in a home setting. This article is another in a series of MrSteam Team blog posts, in which we bring you first-hand knowledge you can use as you integrate steam into your home or commercial venue – from initial design through installation, use and maintenance.
As a builder, perhaps it’s your first time constructing a steam shower for a customer. Or maybe you’ve completed a few projects that included steam before, but want some information at your fingertips to explain to homeowners why a steam shower is such a wonderful addition to a home spa. With these thoughts in mind, TJ responded to nine of the most common questions builders have about MrSteam products, benefits, and construction itself.
Working with Your Customers before Starting the Project
1. How do you select the right steam generator and controls for your customers?
MrSteam has created the Virtual Spa, an all-in-one tool to help you work with your customers to plan and customize their shower solution. There are five simple steps:
- Enter shower dimensions and room materials to automatically select the right sized generator. The homeowner might rely on your expertise at this point to make sure they are inputting accurate dimensions.
- Choose a control package and finish that suits the customer’s taste. The various control packages are further outlined here – while specific finishes might be selected in consultation with a designer.
- The customer will select items a la carte, including seats and lighting.
- They can then opt for Steamtherapy accessories to enhance their experience.
- Finally, they can add a towel warmer from one of MrSteam’s many models.
Once they’ve completed this simple process, they can print or email their selections, find a local dealer, or even call MrSteam for additional help. Technical specifications are sent automatically with their email.
Learning About Steam Systems and Steam Installation
There are certain aspects to building a steam shower that every builder needs to know. These include:
2. What do I need to know about making sure a steam shower can be installed in a typical shower application?
Check the suitability of any materials with your current manufacturers. Walls and ceilings must be constructed of water-resistant, non-corrosive surface, such as tile, natural or man-made stone, molded acrylic, or other non-porous material. The ceiling should be sloped to control the direction of condensation, and you need to include a floor drain.
Windows that are part of the steam room should be double-paned and tempered safety glass. You want to limit the steam room ceiling to eight (8) feet in height. Exceeding this height, while it is possible, will require adding to the size of the generator selected.
3. What do I need to know about constructing the shower stall?
The shower, including the door frame, need to be fully enclosed. There is no need to include ventilation in the shower stall, but you will need to include a vapor barrier and/or waterproof material behind any surface material.
You can learn more about steam room wall preparation by visiting the Tile Council of North America, Inc., website. They can provide a guideline for steam room construction. Waterproof membrane is very important. Call (864) 646-8453 or go online to order your copy of the TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass, and Stone Tile Installation.
4. How do I install the generator and therapy components?
You need to prepare a fully accessible area for the generator, along with any SteamTherapy components. MrSteam recommends placing a generator in one of the following places in the home:
- Under a vanity
- In a closet
- Under a bench
- In a heated attic space
Once the generator is in place, you’ll work with your plumber and electrician to make the appropriate connections:
- You can install the generator up to 60 feet away from the steam shower – and even locate it on another floor altogether. This can include either an attic or basement if they are insulated. And with our industry exclusive wireless control you can install the generator up to 90 feet away from the shower
- Running appropriate power to the generator and making sure it has its own dedicated fuse
- Running water to the generator and making sure there is a way to flush the tank after use
5. What do I need to know about installing the steamhead and control unit?
Place the steam head away from user, while installing the control unit as close as possible. MrSteam recommends that the steamhead height be 6-12” from the floor, while the control should be installed 5-7’ from the floor.
6. What additional products can be installed in a steam shower besides commonly used water outlets such as shower heads, hand showers, and body sprays)?
As noted above, you may want to include some of MrSteam’s SteamTherapy accessories, such as their audio system and moisture resistant in-shower speakers, ChromaTherapy lights, and Aromatherapy via the SteamHead. Your homeowner might also enjoy the following accessories: fog free mirrors, grab bars, and a built-in or foldable bench seat.
7. What are some reasons a customer might be interested in a steam shower?
MrSteam’s 40+ Benefits of Steam flyer is a great resource for any builder faced with this question. It briefly outlines all of the reasons a homeowner might want to include steam in their home spa, from well-being and stress reduction, physical wellness, respiratory and holistic health, skin care and more.
8. What do you need to know and share with your customers about SteamTherapy?
Steam is the cornerstone of a home spa, while adding additional therapies can make it a true retreat from the world. Builders should learn the basics of SteamTherapy, namely Aromatherapy, ChromaSteam™, and Music Therapy.
By including Aromatherapy, either released in the steam itself or in MrSteam towel warmers, your customers can use essential oils to help awaken and stimulate, or relax and promote better sleep. The Mr. Steam Essential and Chakra Aromas are unique collections of natural fragrances that enrich the steam experience. Each aromatic oil offers a distinct fragrance with a characteristic benefit. Direct your homeowners to learn more about Aromatherapy and how it has been used by everyone from the ancients to today on the MrSteam website.
Like water and heat, light is a fundamental life force and may improve your physical and mental state. The Mr. Steam ChromaSteam™ system integrates light with steam, creating chromatherapy environments rich with color, mood, and warmth. Your customers can learn more about the way light can help them tap into relaxation or vitality here.
Having the ability to listen to music in your steam shower engages that elemental sense of sound which has the power to relax, refresh, and reinvigorate us. The AudioSteam® 3 System combines engineering and audio technology to delivery music and radio throughout the shower. This works with MrSteam’s MusicTherapy® to totally vibe with any shower. Learn more about MusicTherapy and how MrSteam delivers audio into a customer’s new steam shower here.
Working with Your Customers While Wrapping Up the Project
9. Once the project is done, what do my customers need to know?
Your customer will want to be able to enjoy their steam shower with the assurance that they have years of comfort and reliability ahead with their MrSteam products. Help them feel secure by letting them know the following:
- Every MrSteam product comes with a warranty, including their generators, controls and accessories, Steam@Home, and towel warmers. Customers can visit the warranty page of the website to download the appropriate warranties.
- Depending on which products the homeowner has installed, you may want to discuss preventative maintenance that each one requires. Mr.Steam steambath generators require very little maintenance. Other than periodic draining, maintenance procedures are minimal. Every two months – more often in “hard” water areas – the manual drain valve should be opened fully flushing out accumulated materials, salts and other particles which are natural by-products of boiling water. Installing the MrSteam Autoflush system automatically purges the tank two hours after every use.
Here are some additional care tips that you can share with your customers for all controls and steamheads:
- Use only mild soap and water on a soft cloth to clean the control and steamhead.
- DO NOT use abrasive cleansers.
- If the decorative cover is damaged on the iTempo or iTempo/Plus, call MrSteam technical service for replacement parts.
- Spend time with your customer, showing them how to operate their controls, including the LED color indicators that provide visual feedback for easy-to-navigate self-diagnostics. If your homeowner has opted to purchase remote capabilities, such as SteamLinx, you may want to show them how to operate this for optimal use.
MrSteam’s resources for builders include our Steam Shower Kit for Home Builders, which includes:
- A Steam Shower Checklist detailing what's needed for a residential steam shower installation
- The MrSteam 2017 Steam Shower and Towel Warmer Price Book
- Installation guidelines for MrSteam towel warmers and steam shower systems
- Other valuable MrSteam reference resources
Still have questions about home steam shower construction? MrSteam has a knowledgeable management team with more than 20 years of experience in the intricacies of steam. These experts are ready and more than willing to help busy building professionals like yourself with accurate generator sizing, steam room specifications and more.
Our Customer Service Experts in New York City and Los Angeles are available to assist you eleven hours a day, while our new “Chat Now” functionality gives you the ability to talk to us directly from our website. You can see MrSteam products at our extensive network of authorized MrSteam showrooms, including working units. When you work with us, we’ll give you experienced assistance every step of the way.