What Are Steam Showers and Why Could You Want One?

What Are Steam Showers and Why Could You Want One?

Bathroom Remodeling
By Mateos Glen Hayes November 02, 2021

You may not have heard of a “steam shower” but you’d be forgiven for this. Despite being around since ancient times, the steam shower is still a relatively rare feature in most homes. And yet, this addition is sure to make any shower a far more luxurious and comfortable experience. Steam showers take old technology and add some high-tech bells and whistles to bring it into the modern era of microchips, LED lighting, and HD audio.

As such, steam showers are for those that love to indulge themselves and appreciate the finer things of life. As with a steam sauna, steam baths can be quite relaxing and have many health benefits. So a steam shower bath is also a great option for those remodeling their bathroom and looking to better both their mental and physical health. Self-care is more important than ever in this topsy-turvy world of ours, and a steam shower is a bathroom trend that just might be your future cocoon from the cacophony of everyday life. 

What It Is (And How It Works)

Steam baths have been around for a long time and first became popular during the golden age of the Roman Empire. Since then the steam shower bath has been adopted by many different cultures and has been modified and modernized over the centuries. The steam shower is essentially a 21st-century interpretation of this ancient idea.

Unlike the geothermally powered steam baths of old, the steam shower generates steam electrically via water vapor. This steam is then dispersed around the user’s body. In essence, the steam shower is a steam bathroom that has all the standard shower features. Steam showers are usually enclosed so that the steam cannot escape and damage paint and drywall.

They can sometimes be integrated into a regular water shower as an extra feature. Some steam showers also incorporate other features such as massagers, TVs, music players, telephones, and other techy features. They can even be designed to run off of solar thermal technology, which is great if you’re aiming to live more sustainably.

Steam Showers Are Among the Newest Trends

Steam Showers Are Among the Newest Trends

Benefits 

Steam has many well-documented health benefits which help nurture your physical and mental wellbeing. A steam shower can help relieve arthritis stiffness and joint pain, improve circulation, unclog pores, relieve cold symptoms, and help you unwind after a long day. There’s also something to be said about the sheer luxury a steam shower offers.

Steam showers can heat up much faster than whirlpool baths or saunas and high-end models can take less than a minute to produce steam. Many steam showers come with auto-flush, a feature that removes calcium deposits from the heating element so that you don’t have to do it manually. The best steam showers also feature a remote control which is super handy for those that don’t want to get up and walk over to a control panel to make a small adjustment.

In addition to soothing steam, your steam shower can also be equipped with a plethora of comfy features such as foot massaging water jets, an HD audio system, a flatscreen TV, and even some nifty LED lighting. As such, the steam shower is the quintessential mix of serene luxury and sophisticated technology. If you want to get into a royal state of mind whenever you enter the shower, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Plus, that beautiful relaxed feeling you get after a steam shower bath is something that just can’t be beaten. Just imagine having access to that enjoyable feeling in your bathroom.

Steam Showers Have a Plethora of Advantages

Steam Showers Have a Plethora of Advantages

Installation 

This is a bit more complicated than attaching a floating vanity to the wall. You’ll need a few professionals to help you install your very own steam shower. The main component of a steam shower is the steam generator. 

Find a Dealer

As its name implies, steam generators are what make the steam and pipe it into the shower. So the first order of business is to order one of these generators from a dealer. There are a bunch of different manufacturers to choose from such as Kohler and, Mr. Steam, and Thermasol. Once you find the generator that best fits your needs, the manufacturer will help you find a place to install it. Ideally, you want to put the generator in a hidden place such as a linen closet so long as it isn’t more than 25 feet away from the shower stall. 

Installing the Steam Showers Right Is Are Extremely Important

Installing the Steam Showers Right Is Are Extremely Important

Other Contractors

The steam shower enclosure for your new shower will have to be steam-proofed so that water vapor cannot escape and damage things. A shower-door installer and a tiling contractor will be needed to redesign your shower stall so that none of that pesky steam causes any damage.

A plumber will have to connect the steam generator to the water mains, and an electrician will be needed to hook up the generator to power. Average steam shower costs come to around $2,500, although you can also get a ready-made steam shower for around $4,000.

Damage-Proofing Your Bathroom to the Steam Showers Is Essential

Damage-Proofing Your Bathroom to the Steam Showers Is Essential

DIY Steam-Proofing

Of course, you can also do the steam-proofing of your steam shower’s enclosure yourself provided you check off some important boxes. 

  1. If you use tiles inside your shower, apply tiles and grout as you normally would. If you want to add natural stone instead, you’ll need to seal it to prevent mold growth. 
  2. Be sure to seal around anything that breaks through your tiling or natural stone. For example, valves, digital controls, steam showerheads, and showerheads should all be sealed.
  3. It is recommended that you slope the ceilings of the steam shower enclosure. This prevents water vapor from condensing and dripping down onto you. 
  4. Any wood framing must be protected from moisture. Do this by stapling plastic sheeting over studs and joists. Be sure to overlap all edges by a foot or so to ensure adequate moisture protection. 
  5. The backer board (which acts as a backing that the tiles go over) also needs some waterproofing in the form of a waterproof membrane. Two coats of a liquid polymer should do the trick.
Do-It-Yourself Steam-Proofing

Do-It-Yourself Steam-Proofing

Cool Design Ideas 

There are plenty of ways to customize your steam shower for maximum comfort and luxury. 

Shower Bench 

It happens to all of us. Sometimes, you get tired of standing in your shower and just need to sit down to maximize your relaxation. Fortunately, there are all sorts of ways to build a seat into your steam shower. Everything from a simple fold-out seat to a slab of granite can be installed in your steam shower for extra comfort. For something luxurious and beautiful, consider installing a marble shower bench. 

Shower Benches Increase Comfort in Your Steam Shower

Shower Benches Increase Comfort in Your Steam Shower

Make It Minimalist 

Given how high-tech some steam showers are, it makes sense to style them to reflect their modern capabilities. For that reason, the modernist minimalist design just might be the best fit for your steam shower. A high-end natural stone cladding can help impart a smooth minimalist appearance to the inside of the steam shower. And when it comes to the steam shower enclosure, large glass panels are the way to go for a look that seems to have come back from the future. 

Minimalism Has Become a Modern Trend

Minimalism Has Become a Modern Trend

Russian Banya Style 

Even after all the centuries which have passed the banya is still an important part of Russian culture, and it isn’t hard to see why. The classic Russian banya is a wooden cabin built based on the traditional Finnish style, and as such, it is filled with Scandi-like aesthetic features. To give your steam shower the banya look, you need to equip it with rustic features such as wood flooring and wood paneling on the enclosure walls. Incorporate a wooden bench, and you now have your very own banya. 

Banyas Are an Important Part of Russian Culture

Banyas Are an Important Part of Russian Culture

Let There Be Light (Window, LED Lighting) 

What better way to enhance the serene experience of bathing in steam than by brightening things up. There are a bunch of ways to bring more light into your bathroom so that your steam shower feels both airier and brighter. An additional window near the steam shower enclosure can bring in lots of beautiful sunlight for you to bathe in as well. When the sun goes down, there is plenty of beautiful custom LED lighting options that can pick up the slack.

Proper Lighting Will Enhance Your Steam Shower Experience

Proper Lighting Will Enhance Your Steam Shower Experience

Written by
Mateos Glen Hayes

Written by Mateos Glen Hayes