Can You Turn a Regular Shower into a Steam Shower?
Did you know that you could have your very own private spa retreat in your existing shower without major renovations? It is not only possible but highly likely that no matter how compact your space, you have enough for a steam shower. In fact, you may have unwittingly blocked the manifestation of your dream home spa by telling yourself these common misconceptions:
- I can't afford it - You can upgrade your existing shower to a steam shower for approximately 20% more than a standard one.
- I don't have enough room - If you have a 3'x3'x7' space, that's all you need.
- I don't want to do a home renovation - You certainly can incorporate your steam shower design into a complete reno, but it isn't necessary.
- I don't really need it - Excuse us? Do you live a busy and stressful life every day where you wear multiple hats, get up early, go to bed late, and have numerous deadlines or people who depend upon you? Do you have aches, pains, allergies, trouble sleeping, or simply need a quiet place to relax? Oh, yes, you definitely need it.
Now that you know it's possible to turn your existing shower into a steam shower let's look at how.
How Does a Steam Shower Work?
The short answer is: enter, push the controls, and relax. The more technical answer is that once you activate the controls, clean, fresh water enters a steam generator to create a blissful cloud of water vapor that fills the steam shower compartment. However, the steam shower isn't confined to only steam. Many people choose to complete their steam session with a cleansing and refreshing shower.
Top Considerations When Converting Your Shower Space To Include Steam
As with anything worth doing, you need to do a little research before getting started. Here are some top considerations when deciding to convert your existing shower to include steam:
- Steam generator - This compact powerhouse is only the size of a typical briefcase. It can be placed almost anywhere within 60 ft. of the shower, so long as it has approximately 12 in. of clearance around the top and sides for service access and is in a heated space where there is no chance of the pipes freezing.
- Ceiling height - A mere 7 ft. is all that's required. 8 ft. is ideal. Anything higher may require other considerations, like a transom above the door and a more powerful generator. The reason for limiting the ceiling height is that steam rises, so the higher the ceiling, the less steam will remain in the area where you are.
- Sealed doors and windows - If you have a window in your shower, you'll need to ensure it is double-paned glass and that all seals are watertight.
- Wall and ceiling materials - The less porous your materials, the more efficient your shower will be. While natural stone is beautiful, it won't hold the temperature or prevent steam dissipation as well as ceramic tile.
- Seating - Your choice may be dictated by space or by preference. If you have no space restrictions, you may want a full bench that allows you to stretch out. If your shower is more compact, consider a fold-down bench seat that allows for easier movement when you aren't using it.
What Do You Need for a Steam Shower?
We determined at the start of this post that you definitely DO need a steam shower. But, what all do you need to make it a reality? First, the basics.
At a minimum, you'll need an enclosed 3 ft. x 3 ft. shower space with a door and a ceiling of at least 7 ft. and no more than 8 ft. Fixtures should include a door with a watertight gasket, steam generator, steam shower head, standard shower head, floor drain, and sloped ceiling to prevent condensation. Lighting should be vapor-sealed.
Now is the time to let your inner designer free by choosing what features you want to include in your personal wellness retreat. What colors and materials fit your design aesthetic? Is it sleek and glass or something more rustic? Are you a tech geek that eschews standard wired controls for a fully wireless control experience?
What about a total sensory experience? Imagine relaxing in the warm vapor. You breathe deeply, inhaling the soothing scent of lavender or jasmine or the invigorating essence of mint or rosemary. AromaTherapy using essential oils can be incorporated into your steam shower to help take your sensory experience to the next level.
Think of how loose and relaxed you would feel after 20 minutes on your own, breathing in the gently scented steam and listening to your favorite songs. MusicTherapy is another option that you can add. Finally, consider the healing benefits of ChromaTherapy. Adding different light effects can enhance mood and round out the spa effect.
Design Your Steam Retreat With the VirtualSpa
Having the steam retreat of your dreams is as easy as using MrSteam's VirtualSpa design tool. Enter a few measurements and choose the materials and features you want, and before long, you are on your way to making your dreams a reality.