Tip: The lower the permeability rating a vaporproofing material has, the better it is. High-use commercial steam showers in Canada require a minimum permeability rating of 0.5, as tested by the American Society for Testing and Materials. Use this standard as your base requirement when purchasing a vaporproofing material and make sure you specify it when working with your professional.
If you're planning on a steam shower for three or more people, make sure you fit the right steam generator to the space. You don't want to oversize these showers to the point where they don't perform well. You may need to adjust the size of your shower to accommodate the volume of steam your unit can produce.
You'll get a touch more steam and heat on the top level of a two-tiered bench.
Tip: You don't need to build a shower to have a steam system. Installing the steam option is just as easy with a bathtub installation — easier, in fact.
This is the evolution of the steam shower. Disguised as a regular shower, this space can be transformed into a steamy retreat. Ask your designer to make sure you have room for two in there. A sloped ceiling, the right amount of lighting and the ability to cool off under the showerhead can upgrade an average steam room experience to a great one.
Tip: You will want to be able to warm the bench ahead of time, so plan on a way to heat it or to have the shower spray hit the back of the bench wall and seat. A handheld fixture near the bench works perfectly for this.
This steam shower is a favorite of mine. Designed by Holger Hoos, it's a hard-working steam shower that's part of a tub conversion.
Tip: All steam showers need to be sealed well. We use a product called Kerdi Fix in combination with waterproof flashing material. Make sure to talk with your professional about vaporproofing options to build a shower that'll last for many years.
Tip: When you're designing benches and loungers, the surfaces must be graded to keep water from collecting on them. Use a smaller tile to facilate these gentle curves.
Steam showers and chromotheraphy can even be helpful in treating migraines. If you suffer from these, a steam shower might just be the thing.
Tip: Install the bathroom exhaust fan near the shower entry or transom outside the steam shower. Never install your exhaust fan inside the steam shower itself.
A steam shower is a luxury item; it's expensive to install, especially when done correctly. This isn't something you want to skimp on — an improperly built steam shower can self-destruct in less than three months.
Tip: Keep the control pad away from the steam head and within easy reach of your entry or bench for easy adjustment.
More: How to convert your tub into a shower