What goes into a steam shower that sets it apart from a typical shower? There is more than meets the eye (literally), and a few things you want to make sure happen in the space for this mini-retreat to give you the lasting joy of raising your core temperature after a cold day or to de-stress in 15 minutes or less.
Behind the Scenes
Behind all that beautiful tile is the first important part, the substrate. Without a vapor proof under garment, steam showers and the pretty tile could prematurely fail. We love using the Schluter system because it creates a waterproof barrier and insulation. The ceiling in a steam shower needs to be pitched ever so slightly to allow most of the steam droplets to move away from the user. If this is a dedicated steam room, you will still benefit from adding a shower to assist in cleaning up, and it is also nice to add a bit of cool water for extended stays or to rinse before exiting. The glass enclosure will be full and if height allows, a transom top is added to allow for air flow post steam. If this is going in a basement with lower ceilings, additional ventilation and leaving the door ajar is suitable.
The cost differences from a standard shower to a steam shower will vary by size and include: improved substrate and waterproofing, the cost of the steam generator and installation, additional tile work, the added ventilation and full glass enclosure not typical of a standard shower. (Approximately $4k more). To learn more about the construction of high-end shower installations you can can read more here.
Added features like a transom window allow for ventilation.