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A Practical Guide to Adding a Steam Shower to Your New Build

As a builder or contractor, we know you’re looking to add aspects to your new home build that will win over prospective buyers and propel you ahead of your competition. But naturally, you don’t want these value-added features to add to your construction timeline or wreck your budget.

Here’s something you can add that doesn’t do either. Adding steam as an upgrade to the bathrooms – especially to the master bath. Steam showers in new construction appeal to interested homeowners as a luxury that adds to their lifestyle and as a wellness feature with huge potential benefits to the family’s overall health and well-being. And according to a recent Zillow report, homes that mention steam showers in their listing descriptions earned sellers a 30.7 percent higher sale price. Yet, adding a steam shower to a new home is an easy, affordable project, especially when done during initial construction. And when you follow the simple, straightforward tips below, you’ll find that adding steam won’t extend your construction timeline, either.


Tip 1: Use shower size measurements to start selecting the right-sized generator

Even before you’ve built out the shower, your blueprints will give you the measurements you need to size the steam generator. Simply multiply the length by width by height of the shower enclose to get the volume of the space. By plugging these measurements into MrSteam’s online VirtualSpa tool, you will be guided to the appropriate generator and can even select the other items you'll need to build out the steam system.

You want to be absolutely certain to select the right-sized generator. Choosing a generator that’s too small will mean it isn’t powerful enough to heat the water to the appropriate temperature for steam; a generator that’s too large will waste power – and neither are energy efficient.

In order to calculate the appropriate generator size, however, you also need to know what materials you’ll be using in the shower stall.

To speak with one of our SteamShower experts, click here.


Tip 2: Use the shower materials to complete selecting the right-sized generator

Decide which materials will be used in the steam shower. Of course, this has a lot to do with the type of home you are building – a luxury residence, a middle-echelon home, or a lower budget house. (Steam showers, by the way, appeal to all three demographics!) 

These materials break down into three main categories:

  •        Natural Stone
  •        Ceramic, Porcelain, Glass Tile
  •        Acrylic, Fiberglass, Composite

The material you choose will have a great deal of bearing on generator size because each has different physical properties. More porous materials, such as marble, shale, granite, glass block, or concrete, dissipate heat more rapidly. If your design includes the natural beauty of marble or stone in the bathroom, a more powerful generator is required to compensate for that quicker heat loss. But if you choose nonporous materials like ceramic, porcelain or acrylic, these will retain heat in the shower, and a smaller generator will be adequate.  Our online VirtualSpa tool adjusts the steam generator size based on your materials. 

These two steps – the shower dimensions and the type of material used – will give you the information you need to select that all-important generator. Using MrSteam’s VirtualSpa not only helps you with this choice, but also gives you technical specs at the end of the process that you can use when ordering the equipment.


Tip 3: Make additional selections to complete your steam shower

Your knowledge and experience about your prospective buyers will help you decide which steam therapies and accessories to add to the steam shower system. While your overall bathroom budget may dictate some of them, the amenities listed below are truly attractive selling points when it comes to marketing the home:

Steam Shower Control. We have an entire blog post, Which MrSteam Steam Shower Control Is Right for You?, written to help you decide which of the control units best suits your prospective buyer’s personality. You’ll also want to consider the appropriate control color or finishes to suit the bathroom’s aesthetic.

When it comes to controls, you might want to read the Extell Development case study of the “billionaires” building. These developers opted for the simplest possible controls “so that even infrequent users will find them a breeze to use.” Yet, individual homeowners might prefer greater flexibility when it comes to how they interact with their steam showers.

SteamHead. Again, you’ll need to consider color and finishes. MrSteam includes three types of steamheads:

Steam Therapies. These turn the steam shower into a true spa experience. Consider if the following will be an added amenity in this new steam shower:
Accessories. These include such items as wall-mounted seats and recessed lighting. It is most efficient to integrate these now rather than waiting until later, when installing them would cause disruption for the homeowner. This can also include installing a home automation system, such as HomeWizard or SteamLinx.

Towel Warmers. There’s nothing as comforting as wrapping a warm towel around you after a steam shower. MrSteam has three major models to choose from – select the one that best suits the décor of the new home:

Once you’ve considered these decisions, you might also opt for a Steam Shower Package, which bundles your choices in a single, convenient, and affordable package. This makes designing the home steam shower as easy as clicking a single selection that provides everything you need – while staying within your budget. There are four available residential Steam Shower Packages which can be viewed on the MrSteam website:

Tip 4: Make the bathroom itself steam-friendly

When adding steam to a bathroom, there are some additional considerations. One thing you need to do is making certain that the shower is completely enclosed, insulated, and sealed. You don’t want to lose steam into the room itself.

In addition, if there is a window or windows in the steam shower they need to be double-paned , and light fixtures need to be steam rated and vapor-sealed.


Tip 5: Decide where to place the steam generator

The steam generator is about the size of a briefcase and can be easily located in a variety of places, either in close proximity to the shower stall or up to 60 feet away. There are plenty of options where it will fit and not be obtrusive, including a closet, vanity, cabinet, heated attic, basement, or exercise room. Make sure it’s easily accessible for any maintenance that may be needed later on.


Tip 6: Work with knowledgeable professionals when installing the steam shower

This is critical if you are new to steam yourself – and even if you aren’t. You’ll want to rely on the experience of professionals – especially plumbers and electricians – who have already installed MrSteam to their client homes.

A licensed plumber will install the necessary water connections: the water supply feed to the steam generator, the steam line to the shower, and the drain line from the generator. The electrician will wire the necessary electrical connections and install a dedicated circuit breaker.

Now that steam is on your mind, check out some of MrSteam’s case studies to see the designers, contractors, and homeowners who have made this choice – and been grateful they did. If you want to delve deeper into what it takes to install steam in new construction, visit our Plan Your Project page. You may also want to visit the nearest dealer showroom to further explore in person how integrating a steam shower into new construction can be an easy and affordable step that pays off with higher home prices when it’s time to make the sale.


Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Home Steam Shower

Topics: New Construction