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A Complete Guide To Choosing The Best Steam Shower

Upon hearing the term steam showers, you might think it’s an oxymoron because steam is water vapor and shower involves running water. But you will surely get the connection once you see what these spa treatments are all about.

A steam shower has two basic forms: a custom built-in room and a self-contained unit which can be assembled separately.

The two options come with their respective strengths and weaknesses, and knowing what these are is important to help you come up with an informed decision as to what is best for your home.

Also remember that the type of steam shower you choose may have plumbing and electrical implications, so spend some time for research and make the necessary preparations prior to installation.

Lastly, you should also consider the features you want to purchase along with the steam shower. You are spoiled for choices here, from music to fancy lighting. Be sure to factor in your budget these indulgences.

What exactly is a steam shower? If you’re not familiar with a steam shower, it’s a room or a self-contained unit that creates steam to help users relax during bathing. Although some units can accommodate regular showers using running water, the primary purpose of a steam shower is to create and maintain high temperature steam inside the chamber.

Many people confuse steam rooms with saunas. One huge difference between the two is that a steam room utilizes very moist heat with a relatively high humidity. On the other hand, a sauna uses very dry heat, albeit with a higher temperature and lower humidity.

Now, it’s time to learn how you can get your very own steam shower. Basically, there are three ways to install a steam shower in your house.


Retrofit your existing shower.

Design or construct a built-in room in your home.

Install a self-contained unit.

Before we delve deeper about the different ways to get a steam shower, let us first discuss all the things you need to make your steam shower work.

All steam enclosures—be it built-in or self-contained—require three essential components:

Steam Generator

This machine is responsible for converting water into steam, which passes through a pipe until it reaches the steam room.

Access To Water Or Plumbing

All steam showers must be connected to the water supply and plumbing system in your home in order to deliver the water needed to produce steam and a place where steam can drain once it turns into water again.

Access To Electrical Supply

Electricity is needed to power up the steam generator, which heats water to create steam.

Theoretically speaking, it doesn’t manner where you install a steam shower in your home as long as it is connected to all the required components mentioned above.

Now, let’s take a closer look at each type of steam shower.

Retrofit Existing Shower Enclosure

The most important thing to keep in mind when installing any steam shower is that the area must be enclosed to prevent steam from leaving the chamber. Traditional shower doors have openings, and using these will just cause the steam to escape.

With this in mind, you can still use your existing shower stall and make a few modifications to turn it into a steam shower. This mainly involves sealing any openings and making sure that the area is totally enclosed. However, there are plenty of other considerations other than the shower doors. A sloped ceiling works better as the condensed steam would simply slide toward the wall, which means it wouldn’t drip down on the bather. You should also ensure that your drain pan and shower walls are in perfect condition, as even the slightest crack can cause steam to escape. Checking whether the steams and tile grout can handle the task helps provide an overall better experience.

There are also purpose built shower units which can be converted into steam room-capable. For instance, Kohler offers shower doors that you can install to their line of Sonata acrylic showers, transforming them into fully enclosed steam shower units.

When converting your existing shower, it is recommended that you consult a plumbing and electrical professional to check for possible issues and avoid future problems.

Built-In Steam Showers

As the name suggests, a built-in steam shower is built from scratch within the framing and walls of the area in which you plan to install it, typically inside your bathroom. Technically, you can refer to it as a steam room.

This type of steam room offers a lot of flexibility as you can design the room in any way you want, and it also makes it easier for professionals to handle all the necessary plumbing and electrical tasks and to place the steam generator in the optimal location.


Similar to converted shower stalls, a built-in steam room must be made using materials that can withstand moisture and hold up to the slipperiness that comes with using any steam shower. The flooring materials must have sufficient grip in order to keep slipping to a minimum. Slips can result to serious physical injuries, and you also have to consider that you might make contact with the shower head upon falling, which can lead to burns.

When designing a steam shower, you must also keep in mind height requirements. Experts in the fabrication and installation of steam rooms recommend that the ceiling height must not exceed eight feet. The reason for this is that the steam would rise and reach the top of a high ceiling enclosure, which means the steam is farther away from the bather. This also causes more water and electricity to be wasted as more steam must be produced.

A built-in steam shower involves a lot of construction work, so it’s highly recommended to employ the services of the right professionals. With their help, you can rest assured that the steam generator will be installed correctly and that the right materials will be used.

Purpose Built Or Self Contained Steam Showers

Purpose built steam enclosures are self-contained units which you can purchase and easily install in your home. All you really need is a room where the unit will be placed. In addition, you need to ensure that you can connect the self-contained unit to your home’s water supply and electrical system.

These units are usually made from an acrylic material. Some versions also make use of fiberglass, with glass side panels and doors as well as metal frames.

Most units already come with all the things required for the steam shower to run, including the steam generator. Many brands also create purpose built steam showers with cool features such as aromatherapy, piped-in music and additional shower heads.

Important Considerations Before Buying

You now have a better understanding of all the implications that comes with installing a steam shower, but there are more things to consider before buying a unit for your home. The following are some of the most important considerations when choosing what steam shower best suits your home.

Be Sure You Have Enough Space

Space requirements should be on top of your list of considerations, as they can have a huge impact on your overall decision. Self-contained units, in particular, require a lot of planning when it comes to space requirements. Be sure that the area in which you want to install the self-contained steam shower has sufficient room to accommodate the unit and still have space left so as not to hinder other functions of the room.

Health Benefits & Precautions

Plenty of studies show using steam showers on a regular basis offers several health benefits, ranging from improved respiratory health to deep skin cleansing. But it’s also important to note that this type of shower isn’t for everyone. Most manufacturers do not recommend steam showers to people suffering from heart conditions and high blood pressure. Pregnant women are also discouraged from using steam showers. Also consult your physician and ask whether it’s safe for you to use a steam room.

Built-In & Self-Contained Units Both Have Strengths And Weaknesses

Purpose-built, standalone units already come with everything required to run the steam bath. You can also take the unit with you in case you decide to move. However, most self-contained units have a “pod-like” look, which doesn’t always match a home’s design scheme.

Built-in steam rooms give you more flexibility in terms of choosing additional features and designing the entire room because you can start from scratch. You can design the room so that it matches your entire home, and make it just the right size as you want.

But also keep in mind that built-in units are more expensive because you have to pay for labor, materials for construction, a steam generator and delivery components.

Choose The Right Size For The Steam Generator

You can find steam generators with either a 120-volt or a 240-volt capacity. You can view this as the horsepower of the steam generator. The 120-volt variant is perfect for smaller steamer enclosures, but larger ones may require a steam generator with a 240-volt capacity. Another important point to consider here is whether the room in which you plan to locate the steam enclosure has access to the appropriate voltage feed. If you’re unsure, ask a certified electrician for help.

Take A Look At The Warranty Of Self-Contained Units

The warranty offered by different manufacturers for purpose built steam enclosures can vary a lot. Treat these units just like any other appliance in your home, so be sure to look for a unit that comes with a strong warranty. There are companies that only offer a 2-year warranty, while others can go up as high as 5 years. Take some time to read the warranty and determine what things are covered and what aren’t.

Self-Contained Unit Are Cheaper But…

Purpose built steam showers offer quality service at a reasonable price, but this doesn’t mean you won’t be putting a dent in your pocket. The costs of these units can range anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000 depending on its size and the number of features they have.

The cost of built-in units already includes all the required components to produce steam, the electronics you wish to add, the materials used for construction and labor. It’s safe to assume that even if you only go for a small steam shower, you would have to spend more compared to cheaper self-contained units.

6 Differences Between Bathroom and Kitchen Cabinets

Most of the time the bathroom cabinets and kitchen cabinets are interchangeable, but in order to create an authentic remodeled kitchen or bathroom it is important to consider the basic differences between bathroom and kitchen cabinets, some of the key difference are listed below.

1) Bathroom cabinets tend to be shorter
as compared to the kitchen cabinets. The kitchen cabinets are usually 6 to 7 inches shorter than the kitchen cabinets.

2) Kitchen cabinets have different kinds of customized sections, while the bathroom cabinets tend to have fewer sections and are much simpler in design with a simple and clean theme.

3) Most bathroom cabinets tend to have glass or mirrors attached
to them but the kitchen cabinets don’t usually contain such features and are more concentrated on wood or steel texture.

4) Bathroom cabinets tend to be less showy and are more centered towards functionality but kitchen cabinets have more focus on the design as well as utility making them more expensive as compared to bathroom cabinets.

5) Experts suggest that bathroom cabinets need to be sturdier in order to withstand the constant humidity and mildew that can ruin wood based cabinets. The bathroom cabinets have a layer of water resistant material in order to guard it against any kind of water damage.

6) Because in bathrooms the customers require lesser depth in order to store bathroom items such as shampoo bottle, tooth brush and different kinds of soaps therefore they are shallower compared to the kitchen cabinets. Kitchen cabinets tend to be deeper and stand at about 4 to 5 inches deep as compared to bathroom cabinets.

custom cabinets

How to Save Money on Bathroom Remodeling and Renovations

Cabinets can form the largest part of the expense when remodeling your bathroom or kitchen. Statistics reveal that cabinet expense forms nearly 40% of the entire remodeling expense, therefore it is extremely important to find cheap yet quality cabinets to remodel your bathroom or kitchen. There are thousands of different designs that the customers can choose from and can find a cabinet selling shop very close to their home but it is very tricky to find cabinets at a cheap price without compromising the strength or quality of the cabinets.

Here are a few tips that you can use to try and reduce the costs when renovating:

1. Get quotes from several manufactures

When you make the decision to remodel it is important to get quotes from different manufacturers, wholesalers and shops to ensure that are you get the best value for your money and don’t have to set on the seller just because that is the first shop you went into.

2. Use only one designer

If you are working on a tight budget you should make three categories of cabinets such as Stock Cabinets, Custom cabinets and designer cabinets. For the areas that are most prominent in the bathroom you can add a single designer’s cabinet to act as a center piece while choosing stock cabinets to surround it, which would create a great look and would also help you save substantial money.

3. Restore what you have, don’t replace it

If the older cabinets are in good condition and you only need a few changes in the design you can approach companies like us that provide restoration services to salvage the existing cabinets and save thousands of dollars for you.

Top 3 Materials for Bathroom Cabinet

Most people concentrate on price and design of a cabinet when deciding to make a purchase for their bathrooms but entire ignore paying any attention to the material used in the cabinet.

solidwoodPrice is an important factor but think about the amount of money that you would have to spend on the repairs and maintenance if the cabinets are not made from a sturdy and high quality material.

Bathrooms have a lot of moisture and the cabinets ate exposed to several different kinds of harsh conditions that can cause serious damage to the cabinets if they are not made out of quality material.

Different kinds of products are placed in the cabinets that can put a lot of strain on the cabinets, therefore the material used in the cabinets should be strong enough to bear that weight and not cause any kind of sag or cracks one them. There are thousands of different kinds of material available in the market.

oak woodMost cabinets are made out of Solid Plywood, Rubber Wood or Solid wood.

Experts suggest that if it is affordable for the clients then the best material to go for is solid wood, it has a great look and provides a sturdy base for the cabinets to stand on.

Oak wood is considered to be the longest lasting and have a very unique look that cannot be achieved with any other material.

If the Oak wood prove to be a lot more expensive then customers can go for Rubber wood, which is weaker than oak wood but still contains a lot of strength and can stand hard usage for years.

Rubber wood may not have the similar shiny and finished look of oak wood but several manufacturers produce great designs based on rubber wood that can be of great use in the bathrooms.