Small Bathroom? Think You Can’t Have a Steam Shower? Think Again
You’ve got a small – maybe even a tiny – bathroom. Because of that, you’ve assumed that you can’t have the luxury of a steam shower – not at that size. Perhaps you experienced a steam shower at a friend’s or family member’s house. Or maybe at a spa or resort hotel. And you loved it. Furthermore, you know that steam can enhance your health and your sense of well-being. But you’re positive that your small space is just too minuscule to bring all those benefits into your own home.
And you could very well be wrong.
Why? How big your entire bathroom is isn’t the deciding factor here. It’s the size of the shower stall itself.
Let’s take a 5’ x 5’ bathroom as an example. You’re clearly limited in space here, but this is large enough for a sink, a toilet, and a shower enclosure. You might work with a designer to reconfigure the space to accommodate a corner or rounded shower, which will give you more interior shower space in a smaller footprint. Just read this blog post about how Ramona Griffin, who owns G&G Interior Design in Birmingham, Alabama with her husband, managed to shift elements of the bathroom around to make the room feel more spacious and work more efficiently.
Do you currently have a tub stuck in a corner that you don’t use and is just adding to the cramped feel of the small room? If so, you should consider that steam will give you as much warm comfort while using considerably less water. A steam shower uses only one gallon of water for 20 minutes (versus a whopping 80 gallons to fill a tub). It only costs pennies to use per session. It's an eco-friendly and guilt-free way to unwind. Realizing this, it should be a no-brainer to remove that space-eating and water wasteful tub to provide more elbow room in your shower stall.
To make sure you realize the potential of a pre-existing or remodeled shower enclosure, you can avail yourself of MrSteam’s Virtual Spa System, which you can access on the website. This tool will help you decide on the right size steam system when you enter in not only the shower enclosure dimensions, but also the materials used in the stall, whether that is natural stone; ceramic, porcelain or glass tile; or acrylic, fiberglass or composite. This aspect of the design is critical because different materials retain steam differently – as shown graphically in the short video on the blog post, “Tile Steam Shower? Marble Steam Shower? What's the Difference?”
There is, of course, a minimum size for a steam shower, which is contained in an enclosure measuring 36” x 36” x 8’. If you arrange the space properly, you can spend the right amount of time reveling in the steam experience – generally 15-20 minutes. Most people opt for a fold-up bench in a space this small, and MrSteam offers the perfect teak seat that can be folded up when you shower, while giving you a place to sit and enjoy the steam.
Working with a designer or architect to re-configure your small bathroom, or even just visiting designer showrooms, can help you re-envision the space, while providing some ideas to make even the tiniest of rooms feel more spacious. A redesign can create a restful, spa-like environment, no matter what the dimensions of your bathroom might be. We’ve listed several of these ideas in our “Tiny Bathroom? MrSteam’s Tips to Maximize a Small Space,” including ways to utilize mirrors and storage, using white or neutral colors to maximize the feel of the room. One key method to open up the space is to use glass with minimal hardware to enclose your shower stall, creating a wide open feel.
It’s reassuring to know that the steam generator itself doesn’t take up much space. It can be stored in a variety of locations, not necessarily in the bathroom itself. It should, however, be in a location that is within 60 feet of the steam room. Some possibilities include a closet, vanity cabinet, heated attic or basement. Make sure you don’t install it in an unheated space or anywhere where the water might freeze.
You will want to consider if you have the skills to install the steam shower yourself, or if you should call in professionals – designers, architects, and especially plumbers and electricians – to help you. In fact, the small size of your bathroom suggests that professional help may be essential. Professionals will have much more experience in dealing with the ins and outs of cramped spaces, and much more knowledge in knowing how to take advantage of every inch.
And don’t forget that no matter how small a bathroom you have, you can take full advantage of all of MrSteam’s steamtherapy add-ons, including Aromatherapy, Chromatherapy and MusicTherapy. Each of the components will take up virtually no space in your shower stall or in your bathroom, and each add tremendously to your total immersion in the steam experience. Imagine sitting in the steam with your eyes shut, smelling the scents of aromatherapy and enjoying a relaxing swirl of music. Or keeping those eyes open to be bathed in the rich and healthful hues of various colors. By completing your steam bath with these additions, you will be attuned to the expansiveness of the at-home spa experience, rather than regretting the small dimensions of your bathroom!
So if you feel that you couldn’t possibly fit the luxury of a steam shower into your small bathroom, we encourage you to think again. A steam shower can be worked into a smaller bathroom as well as into older construction. After all, no bathroom is too small to create a personal retreat in the privacy of your own home!