What Is A Steam Shower And Is It Right For Your Bathroom?

If you appreciate shower upgrades, then you'll want to think about adding a steam shower to your bathroom. Offering everything you need from a classic shower with the addition of sauna-like capabilities, in that it can be filled with soothing steam, it might be just what you need to feel rejuvenated on a regular basis. However, you also have to figure out if it's right for your bathroom — or if it can be done at all.

For instance, a steam shower needs a generator — and room to accommodate the generator — to properly heat up water to a point where it turns into vapor. This then travels through a steam dispenser that enters the shower. There also needs to be room for a panel that will allow you to turn the steam shower on or off and set the temperature.

Due to this size and necessary setup, even the more affordable steam showers can cost in the range of $5,000 to $6,000. If you want something that's a little fancier or more customized, then you might end up paying up to $10,000 to $15,000. That's not to mention the added power needed to run the system will bump up your electricity bill. Obviously a potentially costly investment, this is why you'll want to break down the specific needs of both your bathroom and a potential steam shower before going ahead with the project.

Your bathroom has to be a steam shower-friendly size

The truth is that it doesn't matter how much you want a steam shower — you simply can't put one in your bathroom if it's not big enough. Along with having enough space to fit the generator and control panel, you also need an area that's large enough for a comfortable shower area. This needs to be at least 3 feet by 3 feet by 7 feet.

Granted, a bigger space may be better in this circumstance. There's a chance that you would rather have more room to both stand up and sit down while enjoying your steam shower. At the same time, if it's too spacious, then it will be costlier to run, take longer to fill up, and may not function as well. That's why, although you may want as much as an arms-length of space around you in all directions, you also don't want the shower to be more than 8 feet high.

While this might be relatively easy to accommodate in a new bathroom that you're still designing by simply making sure that things are made a certain size from the get-go, things can get a little trickier if you want to turn your old shower into a steam shower. However, it is possible in some bathrooms.

Your current shower could be turned into a steam shower

Unless you're moving into a new home or are planning a major renovation of your current abode, then there's a good chance that you're eyeing your existing shower and wondering if you (or a professional) can perform some magic in order to turn it into a steam shower. The answer happens to be yes — maybe. Your bathroom just has to meet the necessary requirements and be something that you're willing to take on.

As mentioned above, there needs to be enough space around your shower to install the needed tech and plumbing. On top of that, you may need to switch the shower door to one that completely closes or add one if your shower doesn't have a door at all. The shower walls should completely seal up the space while also being able to withstand both water and steam.

You'll also want to keep in mind that upgrading your old shower is an option that tends to be easier on the budget than opting for a new and fully customized steam shower. On the other hand, it's almost as expensive as picking out a pre-made version that can replace your current shower. You'll need to decide for yourself if your bathroom is worth the cost of this shower makeover.