Steam-Power Your Shower: Tips For Installing A Steam Shower Enclosure
Renovating your bathroom is a great time to create a space that will pamper and soothe you. One of the best ways to do that is by installing a steam shower. The structure of a steam shower is sealed so that it is waterproof, and it contains a steam generation unit to help create that steamy, skin-soothing atmosphere. Here's a look at some of the things you'll need to invest in before you can turn your shower enclosure into a steam shower.
Separate Circuit Panel
The steam generator needs to be installed on a circuit that isolates it from the other electrical circuits in the home. That means installing a separate circuit breaker panel that feeds power to the steam shower itself. The wiring must be done according to building code, so you'll probably want to work with both a plumber and an electrician to make sure that this is installed properly.
Since your steam shower will generate so much humidity and moisture, you need to ensure that the enclosure is fully waterproof. You'll probably want to start with a thick plastic barrier over the studs and the ceiling. Plastic sheeting and a staple gun will suffice for this. Then, you can cover the sheet with concrete board. The next layer is a latex membrane or similar waterproofing material. This layer sits directly beneath the tile or other enclosure that you choose to finish the shower with. Just make sure that you seal any seams with silicone caulk so that you don't risk any water seeping in along the edges.
A traditional shower head won't generate the steam required for a steam shower unit. You'll have to install a separate steam generation system as part of the shower structure. The steam generator is usually installed at the base of the shower wall or inside a cabinet in the bathroom. Just make sure that wherever you opt to install it, you can plumb it directly into the water supply lines for the shower. You'll also need to have somewhere you can direct a drain line. This is usually installed somewhere along the shower space so that the condensation created by the steam can drain off into your shower drain.
A steam shower is a soothing way to ease stress and muscle tension. It also keeps your skin's pores open and clean. If you're considering a feature like this in your bathroom, talk with a local plumber about what plumbing supplies you need.