After a long and busy day at work, the steam shower can be quite relaxing. You need not go to a spa. To build a steam shower, one requires:
- A steam-proof shower
- A steam generator
Modern steam showers use a steam generator to generate steam. The steam generator controls are usually located in the shower stall for easy accessibility. Once activated, liquid water is directed into the generator and heated. The resulting steam gets to the shower stall through a pipe. In the shower stall, steam is dispersed with a head that is usually fixed on the wall and close to the floor.
The shower should be both waterproof and steam-proof to prevent the formation of mold outside the stall. The door of the shower should be tightly locked to prevent the escape of steam and avoid energy wastage.
Steps to Follow When Building a Steam Shower
Install a generator
Steam generators are available in various sizes, and one can purchase them from different manufacturers. The following are recommendations for steam generator installation:
Steam Generator Power
Usually, steam generators need 240V, a 40A line, and an appropriate circuit breaker. You should ensure that the power supply is GFCI protected. It would be wise if you involved a professional electrician in installing the steam generator for safety.
Steam Generator Location
You should install the steam generator around twenty-five feet from the shower. You may install it in the basement, attic, or walk-in closet if that is convenient. However, you should make sure that the generator isn’t exposed to adverse temperatures. The generator may require maintenance; thus, it should be accessible. Install pipes from the water supply to the steam generator. You may set up a drain near the generator; however, it is not compulsory.
The steam head should be six to twelve inches from the floor after tiling; thus, you should make proper calculations before installing the steam head. You should not install the steam head close to the shower chair or shower door. It would help if you placed the steam controls close to the shower chair.
Build a Steam-Proof Shower
It would be best if you insulated the steam-proof shower against water and steam penetration to prevent mildew or mold buildup. Building a steam-proof shower needs additional knowledge. Alternatively, you can purchase a steam shower unit.
Location and size
The steam shower should easily accommodate you; however, it shouldn’t be so large that your generator struggles to steam it up. The recommended size is 3-inch x 3-inch x 7 inches. \To prevent the escape of heat, you should avoid a window. Nonetheless, if you require it, choose one that has a high R-value.
The walls of the steam shower should be not only framed and insulated to avoid moisture buildup. Fiberglass batt and wood stud insulation are cheap and effective. It would be best to construct the studs so that the batts fit firmly to avoid spaces being left on the sides.
Ensure that all the plumps and studs are level across the surface to fit the wallboards without issues.
It would be best if you insulated the ceiling for heat retention inside the shower. Moreover, the ceiling should slant to ensure condensed steam doesn’t trickle onto your shoulders and head like water. The slope enables the water to run off gently onto the walls of the shower.
If the walls and ceilings are made using Kerdi, you must waterproof the edges, corners, screws, and seams using Kerdi seals and bands. You can use unmodified thin-set mortar to hold the seals in place.