Introduction to Steam Showers: The Basics of Adding Luxury to Your Bathroom

Have you ever wondered what it's like to have a spa-like experience in the comfort of your bathroom? Well, that's exactly what a steam shower can offer. 

Adding a steam shower to your bathroom transforms it into a spa-like sanctuary, offering therapeutic benefits, enhancing property value, and requiring thoughtful planning for space, installation, and maintenance for a luxurious and rejuvenating home experience.

Let’s dive into the luxurious world of steam showers, exploring everything from their health benefits to their design considerations and how they can transform your bathroom into a haven of relaxation.

What is a Steam Shower?

A steam shower is a fusion of traditional and steam rooms. It offers the convenience and quickness of a shower with the indulgent, therapeutic experience of a steam bath. 

Equipped with a steam generator using a shower remodel specialist, these showers produce a misty, soothing steam that envelops the user, creating a spa-like experience at home.

Introduction to steam showers

Customization Options for Your Steam Shower

A steam shower can be much more than just a simple enclosure; it's an opportunity to create a personalized spa experience right in your home. 

Customizing your steam shower involves a variety of options, from aesthetic choices to technological features. Here's a guide to the various customization options available:

Size and Layout

  • Custom Dimensions: Tailor the size of your steam shower to fit your specific bathroom space and personal preferences.

  • Seating Options: Incorporate built-in benches or seats for comfort. Consider ergonomic designs or fold-down seats to maximize space.

Material Selection

  • Wall and Floor Tiles: Choose from materials like ceramic, porcelain, glass, or stone to match your style and ensure durability in high-moisture conditions.

  • Glass Doors: Opt for clear, frosted, or patterned glass to complement your bathroom's aesthetic and enhance privacy.


  • LED Lighting: Install LED lights for energy efficiency. Consider dimmable options for mood lighting.

  • Chromotherapy: Some steam showers offer color therapy lighting, allowing you to bathe your shower in therapeutic colors.

Technological Enhancements

  • Digital Control Panels: Modern steam showers come with digital controls to easily adjust temperature, steam duration, and other settings.

  • Bluetooth and Audio Systems: Integrate sound systems or Bluetooth speakers for music or relaxation sounds during your steam sessions.

Steam Features

  • Adjustable Steam Outlets: Choose steam outlets that can be adjusted for direction and intensity for a more tailored steam experience.

  • Aromatherapy Options: Some steam showers allow for the addition of essential oils, providing a soothing aromatherapy experience.

Shower Fixtures

  • Rainfall Shower Heads: Add a luxurious touch with overhead rainfall showerheads.

  • Multiple Showerheads: Consider multiple showerheads or body sprays for a full-body experience.

Accessibility Features

  • Grab Bars: For safety and accessibility, install grab bars within the steam shower.

  • Low-Threshold Entry: Design your shower with a low or no threshold for easy access, especially beneficial for those with mobility issues.


  • Foot Massagers: Some steam showers include built-in foot massagers for an added touch of luxury.

  • Heated Floors or Towel Racks: Enhance your steam shower experience with the comfort of heated floors or a warm towel post-shower.

Customizing your steam shower is about balancing functionality with personal style and comfort. By considering these various options, you can create a steam shower that not only adds value to your home but also provides a daily retreat for relaxation and rejuvenation.

steam shower designs

Installation Process and Requirements for Steam Showers

Installing a steam shower is a complex process that requires attention to detail and adherence to specific requirements. 

Whether you’re planning a new installation or retrofitting an existing space, understanding the process and requirements is essential for a successful and safe steam shower setup.

Initial Planning and Design

  • Assessment: Evaluate your bathroom’s space to determine the feasibility of installing a steam shower. Measure the area to decide on the size of the shower enclosure and the location of the steam generator.

  • Design: Plan the layout, including where the steam generator, control panel, and steam outlet will be placed. Choose materials suited for high humidity and heat, like non-porous tiles.

Selecting a Steam Generator

  • Size: Choose a steam generator based on the size of your shower enclosure. The generator's power should be adequate to fill the space with steam efficiently.

  • Location: Install the steam generator within 25 feet of the steam shower, in a dry, well-ventilated area like a closet, basement, or attic. Ensure it is easily accessible for maintenance.

Electrical Requirements

  • Power Supply: Most steam generators require a 240-volt power supply. Ensure your home’s electrical system can accommodate this.

  • Dedicated Circuit: Install a dedicated circuit from your home's electrical panel to the steam generator to avoid overloading your electrical system.

Introduction to Steam Showers

Plumbing Requirements

  • Water Supply: Connect the steam generator to your home's water supply. Use appropriate piping that can handle the temperature and pressure of the steam.

  • Drainage: Ensure there is a drain in the steam shower area and that the steam generator is properly connected to a drain to handle condensation and overflow.

Constructing the Steam Shower

  • Waterproofing: The entire steam shower enclosure, including the walls, ceiling, and floor, must be thoroughly waterproofed to prevent moisture damage.

  • Sealing: Seal all seams, joints, and fixtures to prevent steam leakage. Use vapor-proof doors to maintain the steam environment.

Installing Control and Steam Elements

  • Control Panel: Mount the control panel inside the shower for easy access. Ensure it is properly connected to the steam generator.

  • Steam Outlet: Place the steam outlet low on the wall, opposite the seating area, to avoid direct steam contact with the user.


  • Exhaust Fan: Install an exhaust fan in the bathroom, outside the steam shower enclosure, to help manage humidity and maintain air quality in the bathroom.

Final Steps

  • Testing: Once installed, test the steam shower to ensure it operates correctly. Check for leaks, ensure the control panel functions as expected, and ensure the steam generator efficiently produces steam.

  • Inspection: Depending on your location, a final inspection by a certified professional or local building authority may be required to ensure compliance with building codes and safety standards.

Safety Precautions

  • Professional Installation: Due to the complexity and safety concerns, it's highly recommended to hire professionals for both the electrical and plumbing aspects of the installation.

  • Adherence to Codes: Ensure all work complies with local building codes and electrical and plumbing standards.

Introduction to Steam Showers

Cost Analysis: Investing in a Steam Shower

Investing in a steam shower is a significant decision that involves understanding the various costs associated with it. 

This analysis will provide a comprehensive breakdown of the expenses to help you make an informed choice.

Initial Purchase Costs

  • Steam Generator: The heart of the steam shower, its cost varies depending on size and features. On average, steam generators range from $2,000 to $5,000.

  • Shower Enclosure: The cost depends on size, material, and style. A basic enclosure can start at around $10,000, while luxury custom designs can exceed $15,000.

  • Control System: Modern steam showers feature digital control systems for temperature and steam control. These can cost between $2,000 and $5,000.

Installation Costs

  • Labor: Professional installation is essential for safety and functionality. Labor costs can vary widely based on location and complexity.

  • Electrical Work: Upgrading electrical systems to accommodate the steam generator usually costs a few thousand dollars, depending on where your electrical panel is located in relation to the new steam shower.

  • Plumbing Work: Connecting the steam generator to the water supply and drainage will add more money, plus any changes to the drain plumbing or wall plumbing.

Material Costs

  • Waterproofing Materials: Vital for preventing moisture damage, these materials cannot be skipped!

  • Tiles and Finishing: Depending on the quality and type of materials used (like ceramic, porcelain, or stone), costs can vary significantly, ranging from $5 to $50 per square foot.

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Additional Features

  • Aromatherapy and Chromotherapy Systems: These optional features can add $200 to $500 to the overall cost.

  • Audio/Visual Systems: For those wanting a multimedia experience, integrating sound and visual systems can cost an additional $500 to $2,000.

Operational Costs

  • Energy Consumption: Running a steam shower requires more electricity and water compared to a regular shower. This can increase your utility bills, although the exact costs depend on local rates and usage frequency.

  • Water Usage: Steam showers use approximately 2 gallons of water for a 20-minute session, which is significantly less than a traditional bath.

Maintenance and Repair

  • Regular Maintenance: To prevent scale and prolong the life of the steam generator, periodic descaling is necessary. DIY descaling solutions cost around $20 to $50 per year.

  • Professional Servicing: Annual servicing by a professional can cost between $100 and $300.

Long-term Investment

  • Property Value Increase: A well-maintained steam shower can add value to your property, making it an attractive feature for potential buyers.

  • Health Benefits: Although hard to quantify, the health benefits like stress reduction and improved circulation add value to your lifestyle.

In conclusion, the total cost of installing and maintaining a steam shower can range from a few thousand dollars to over ten thousand, depending on choices in size, features, and finishes. 

While the initial investment may be substantial, the benefits of relaxation, health, and home value improvement can make it a worthwhile addition to your home.

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FAQs About Steam Showers

How does a steam shower work?

A steam shower works by using a steam generator that heats water to boiling, creating steam. This steam is then piped into the shower enclosure. The temperature and duration of the steam can usually be controlled via a digital control panel inside the shower.

How much does a steam shower cost?

The cost of a steam shower varies depending on the size, materials, and additional features. Typically, the total cost, including installation, can range from a few thousand dollars to over ten thousand dollars.

Can I install a steam shower in my existing bathroom?

Yes, it's possible to install a steam shower in an existing bathroom, but it requires careful planning. You need to consider the space for the steam generator, waterproofing, and ensuring your current electrical and plumbing systems can support the new installation.

How long does a typical steam shower session last?

A typical steam shower session lasts between 15 and 20 minutes. However, the duration can vary based on personal preference and health considerations.

Do steam showers use a lot of water?

No, steam showers are quite efficient in terms of water usage. They typically use about 2 gallons of water for a 20-minute session, which is less than a traditional shower or bath.

Steam Shower

The exploration of steam showers reveals them as more than just a luxurious addition to your bathroom; they are a fusion of wellness, technology, and modern design. 

A steam shower represents a perfect blend of luxury and health benefits, making it an appealing feature for any modern home. 

Whether seeking relaxation after a long day or simply indulging in the therapeutic effects of steam, a well-designed steam shower can be your sanctuary of tranquility and rejuvenation in the comfort of your own home.

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About the author

Hi my name is Jeremy Maher. My wife, 2 kids and I went through Contractor Nightmares for 3 years straight.

Ben, Mark, and I teamed up to start Phoenix Home Remodeling to help homeowners remodel without the common contractor nightmares.

Learn more about Jeremy's expertise and topics he likes to write about on his author page.