Asked on Nov 11, 2012

How hard is it to install a steam shower?

Will TottleWoodbridge Environmental Tiptophouse.comKMS Woodworks


We're remodeling our master bath, and I would LOVE a steam shower. What are the requirements, e.g. plumbing, ventilation, etc? My husband is very savvy and skilled at home improvement, and he says it's too complicated....but I think it can be done. ;-)
Can anyone help? Thank you!
5 answers
  • Installing a steam generation unit is not all that difficult, however there are a few things that you need to consider. The steam shower must be the type that can be completely enclosed. A vent window at the top above the door needs to be installed both to enclose the shower area to keep the steam in but also to provide ventilation when your not using the steam unit. The next concern is the construction of the shower itself. All floors, walls and ceiling must be tiled. And properly. A water and moisture membrane must be utilized under and around the entire shower to prevent the steam from working through and around the tile and grout causing loose tile and moisture damage, not to mention mold. Normally showers do not have all this type of water and moisture proofing in place. Once you have that part figured out, you need to place the steam outlet near the floor on the wall of the shower, This requires you to be able to access that wall at or near where the steam unit can reach with its piping. This is not always so simple. Many place them in the closet that many times is located next to the shower area. Some even place them in attics, Not such a great place in the colder northern areas of the country, but I have seen many done that way. After the location for the generation unit is determined, you then need to run water, power and a emergency overflow pan drain. IN addition the location will require a set amount of distance to walls, etc. This is determined by each manufacture, so you need to find out if your chosen location will even allow the unit to be placed where you want it. A dedicated power supply must be run to the unit. Depending upon the size and type of steam unit it is that you want, you may not have enough room in your electrical panel to support this. This will require a licensed electrical contractor (ideally) to upgrade and properly wire the unit. In retrospect, if you want this and your shower was not constructed for this when it was built and most are not, you will need to do a complete overhaul of the shower to safely and properly install a steam unit. If your looking for this type of effect, there are many steam room kits that are available where you can install them in a larger bath, or in a finished basement and in some cases on a deck outside of the house. The walls floors and ceilings are constructed out of redwood or cedar are pre-cut and ready for assembly. A wall hung steam generation unit is placed on wall, wired and using a bucket of water that you sprinkle on the stones in the steam unit it creates the steam your looking to acheive. My first house had a workout room and a steam room kit was installed. Worked great and used it quite often. So you may want to consider something along that line. Much easier to install and can be done with help in just a few days. Here is a link o what I am talking about.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Nov 11, 2012

    A steam generator needs a water overflow drain and typically a 30 amp dedicated circuit. The shower enclosure needs to have 100% tile coverage with an appropriate backing membrane. There are also issues with the door enclosure, sitting area floor ceiling etc.

  • To learn more about this install, the site that I suggested shows how to do this in an existing shower. As they say a photo is worth a 1000 words.

  • Will Tottle
    on May 19, 2014

    The installation of steam showers has come on a fair bit in recent years, better construction and more importantly installation guides are hugely improved in most cases. Still though many plumbers seem to run a mile when there here the words Steam Shower. Models vary but a general build of one should take no more than a few hours, but you need to add time unpacking it, cleaning ready to add any caulk/silicone and pluming/electrical connections. All told allow 6 hours on average. Here is a video that gives you a bit more of an insight as well as a decent guide here

    , This video gives you a good insight as to what is involved if you are taking on the installation of a steam or shower cabin
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