Your home is your respite from the chaos of the world. Imagine starting each day feeling peaceful and prepared to face whatever the day brings. Picture yourself at the end of the day as you relax, reset, and clear your mind to prepare for a night of restful, rejuvenating sleep. It is within your reach; you simply need an environment that helps you achieve these goals, such as upgrading your bathroom to include a steam shower.
Remodeling can be quite a task. While it is exciting to take something you aren't entirely happy with and watch it transform into something you love, the unknowns can also make it stressful. You want to know that, in the end, you'll have the luxurious, spa-like bathroom you've always dreamed of with all the benefits of steam.
When you include steam in your upgrade, your newly remodeled bathroom can be an oasis of health and wellness. Proper planning allows you to achieve an aesthetically beautiful environment that promotes tranquility and functionality and supports relaxation. Follow these guideposts to help with your steam shower design so you can realize your ideal bathroom sanctuary.
Guideposts to Help with Your Steam Shower Design
Follow these guideposts to help with your steam shower design so you can realize your ideal bathroom sanctuary.
HOW MUCH DOES A STEAM SHOWER COST?
This question is one of the first ones homeowners think of. Because steam showers are included in the world’s most luxurious spas, a popular misconception is that the cost to install one in the home means that only the most affluent can afford it. The reality is that almost anyone can experience the benefits of steam in their own home, whether the space is modest or cavernous, depending on the steam shower design.
A typical walk-in shower installation without steam ranges in cost from $3,500 to $15,000. Even a prefab shower stall can run from $1,000 to $8,000. With either of those, you can expect a clean new surface and a new shower head. That’s it.
Most homeowners are surprised to discover that the cost of a steam shower is only approximately 25% more than a standard shower. When you make the comparison, it is an easy decision to upgrade to steam.
HOW TO ADD STEAM TO YOUR HOME
Upgrading your shower may seem intimidating, but there is an easy way to usher in a new paradigm centered around health and wellness - starting in the bathroom. Steam is a luxury and a necessity, and believing the two are not mutually exclusive is the first step to creating your oasis.
TIPS FOR CHOOSING A DEALER AND CONTRACTOR
Choosing the right dealer and contractor can make all the difference in your bathroom renovation. First and foremost, you want to ensure that the professionals you work with are reputable and trustworthy. Look for deep expertise and experience with steam showers. Read customer reviews to see what experiences their customers have had.
Once you have your shortlist, you need to assess the right fit for you. You want someone that listens to your questions, concerns, and wishes. They must take the time to answer each of them with patience and respect so you can be assured you’ll get the bathroom you envisioned.
Finally, listen to your instincts and look out for some of the red flags that indicate you need to move on to another candidate:
- They pressure you to commit quickly
- They won’t submit a written estimate
- They don’t have a portfolio or references
- They don’t have the appropriate license, insurance, or permits
- They want money upfront
- You feel uneasy
PLAN YOUR PROJECT
Adding the ideal steam shower to your home starts with a great plan. Do some research into what your options are. We have several case studies to help you determine the right steam head and generator control for you.
DESIGN YOUR STEAM SHOWER
Homeowners often think they must have a large space to accommodate a steam shower. That is absolutely not true. In fact, an opening as small as 3’x3’ is enough for a steam shower.
So how do you know what size you need? Our VirtualSpa tool makes it foolproof. In 5 minutes or less, you can design your home steam shower. This revolutionary design tool helps you determine the size of steam generator you’ll need according to your choice of steam head and tech control.
Choosing the right steam shower head is an important step in your design. It is what delivers the warm, moist heat that is so critical to your experience. There are three choices: our low-profile linear shower head, aroma glass steam head in black or white finish, or the elegant aroma steam head with a designer metal finish.
The tech controls are the command center of your steam shower. There are several options, depending upon your package and overall design aesthetic:
Therapeutic Options for Stimulating All the Senses
Our sense of smell can immediately impact our moods. If you are skeptical, think of what happens when you walk into your childhood home to smell your favorite meal cooking, inhale the scent of freshly baked cookies, or catch a whiff of cologne or perfume that reminds you of the ones the special people in your life wore. Chances are you smile as you remember happy times with the people you love. Aromatherapy works the same way, invigorating, relaxing, or inspiring a feeling of well-being.
Have you ever wondered why fast-food restaurants use bright red, yellow, or orange in their decor or why doctor and dentist offices use pale, muted colors like green and blue? Colors can affect our moods, so if you want someone to have high energy that makes them move (or eat) faster, brighter colors can stimulate that effect. The same is true in environments where you want someone to feel calm, like doctors’ or therapists’ offices, bedrooms, or spas. Chromatherapy allows you to transform your steam shower’s environment with a flood of pleasing light suited to your moods and preferences.
Why are summer anthems so popular? Because every time we hear the one from our first spring break, the year we graduated high school, or the summer of our first love, the music instantly transports us back to that time. We feel the sun on our skin, the wind in our hair, and the sand beneath our feet. Music can serenade us, bringing up feelings of joy, happiness, and contentment. Musictherapy may include meditations, your favorite songs, or soothing sounds of nature—whatever pleases your ears and soothes your soul will play through your steam shower’s high-quality, vapor-sealed sound system.
Install Your Steam Shower
Working with professionals with expertise in designing, customizing, and installing steam showers in every size home, your experience can be exciting and rewarding. No matter the size of your home or budget, you can achieve your luxury bathroom goals in seven easy steps:
Measure the space - This first step is critical. Accurate measurements are the foundation of your design and the key to determining the appropriate steam shower generator. Carefully measure your space's length, width, and height, from floor to ceiling. Enter them into the VirtualSpa design assistant.
Choose the materials - Materials can make a difference not only in the aesthetics of your steam shower but the power necessary to disperse steam and maintain temperature. Porous materials like marble or other natural stone, glass, or concrete will necessitate a more powerful generator than non-porous materials like ceramic, acrylic, or porcelain because porous materials dissipate heat more rapidly.
Determine the appropriate steam shower generator - Now that you have entered accurate measurements and chosen your spa materials, the VirtualSpa can determine the correct size generator for your shower.
Select your options - This step is where you can let your imagination run wild. You can choose everything from your shower head to your spa amenities, seating, and lighting.
Consider a package - Now that you know what generator and controls you want, consider some of the convenient packages. Bundling your options can save you money.Collaborate on design - With the help of your designer or contractor, you now get to visualize how your new space will be laid out. They will help you consider how you or your family use the area, what the flow should be, and where to locate the controls and accessories.
Watch your steam shower come to life - This step is by far the most exciting part of the process - watching the professionals turn your vision into a reality.
What to Consider when Planning Your Steam Shower Installation
You’ve done your due diligence and are now ready to have your steam shower installed. Before the installation starts, there are some details that you should double-check to ensure that you get what you expected.
Following these tips reduces the chance of unpleasant surprises or unexpected setbacks that could delay completion.
• First, for the steam shower to function correctly, it must be installed in an enclosed, water- and vapor-tight space. It should be insulated and have a water drain. Next, check your ceiling height. The minimum should be 7 feet, and the maximum should be no more than 8 feet.
• Seating should be installed with a slope for proper draining. Ensure that the placement optimizes space, whether with fold-up seating or permanent tiled seating in a corner or along the wall opposite the steam head. Consider anti-slip strips for the floor to minimize the risk of accidents. Slipping is always a possibility where there is moisture.
• Lighting should be vapor sealed and on a ground fault. Choosing non-porous shower materials is more energy efficient, slowing down the rate of steam dissipation and retaining heat. If you use natural stone or glass blocks, ensure that your steam generator is adequate to account for the increased dissipation of steam and heat.
• Determine a place within 60 feet of your steam room where your steam generator can be placed. Ensure that there is at least 12” of space surrounding it to allow for servicing. Select the placement of your steam head away from the door and at least 6”-12” off the floor.
• Place your steam shower controls in an easy-to-reach location, approximately 4’-5’ above the floor.
• Ensure you have chosen qualified professionals licensed to perform the plumbing and electrical work necessary to support your steam shower and make sure your steam generator is UL listed. Absolutely no air conditioning, heating, or venting devices should be installed in the steam room, but an exhaust fan should be mounted outside the shower. Finally, if there are windows in your shower or steam room, make sure they are double-paned glass.
Understanding the requirements for adding a steam shower to your bathroom renovation can make you a more informed and better-prepared consumer. You are equipped with information that helps guide your choices and prepares you to ask the right questions of the people you plan to work with. By following the recommended steam shower installation basics, you can actively ensure you get the home spa experience you desire.
- Read the manual
- Consider the plan for piping the water inlet, drain, electrical, and pressure relief line
- Determine the ideal generator placement, complying with the requirements for distance and clearance for maintenance
- Ensure the unions are 1/2” and 3/4”. Have insulation and strapping available
- Test that the unit is accessible when installed
- Install any wires for controls in a pipe to make it easy to replace the wire if needed
- Use MrSteam’s wireless AirTempo control where possible
- Place the control directly above the steam head
- Cross-connect the steam outlet or drain lines
- Place generators where they are inaccessible
- Run wires without piping
- Is autoflush necessary?
- Do we really need a pressure reduction valve?
- Can we drain back into the shower?
- How far from the shower can we mount the aromatherapy unit?
- Does the existing shower or tub need to be modified to install the steam shower?
- What determines the size generator needed?
Remodeling Your Bathroom to Include Steam Is Easy when You Observe the Design Basics
Incorporating health and wellness into our homes and lifestyles is a priority now more than ever. Homeowners want the place they reside to be one they look forward to returning to daily. They want to know that it complements and synergizes their other wellness practices, such as healthy eating, regular exercise, meditation, and avoiding environmental toxins. They want their homes to be a respite, an oasis, a sanctuary.
One of the most effective ways to achieve these goals is by incorporating a steam shower into your bathroom. Steam showers can fit virtually any space or budget. Instead of traveling to a spa to relax, you can simply unwind at home in your private retreat.
Remodeling an existing bathroom is an easy way to upgrade your shower to realize the many wellness benefits of steam. Moist heat can be beneficial for relaxing muscles and promoting optimal breathing. Steam can increase feelings of well-being. Complements to steam like aromatherapy, music therapy, and chromatherapy work synergistically, lifting your mood and promoting a pleasant, peaceful, and relaxing environment.
Customizing your home steam shower is easy. An abundance of resources, including installation instructions, do’s and don’ts, FAQs, and more, are available to help you make the most informed choices for your dream steam design.