SteamSaunaBath User Forum

Steam Shower => Steam Shower Design & Construction => Topic started by: Sarah on February 02, 2009, 03:08:42 PM

Title: Steam shower wall materials
Post by: Sarah on February 02, 2009, 03:08:42 PM
I am renovating my bathroom and want to include steam.  With so many tile choices out there, natural stone, ceramic glass...  Is there a material that is more practical for this application? Do I need to protect the walls from moisture?  If so what else would be needed besides the tile?


Title: Re: Steam shower wall materials
Post by: Misty on February 03, 2009, 08:15:24 AM
Here is a quote from another post which nicely addresses wall materials.
This has got to be the most rewarding addition you can make to your bathroom!

Selecting the right wall materials is not only an important construction consideration but an important design aspect as well.  As long as the room is constructed of waterproof materials from floor to ceiling and properly constructed and insulated, the possibilities are endless.  Be sure to design a room you will love to spend time in!

Popular installations include Acrylic, Brick, Ceramic Tile, Cultured Marble, Fiberglass, Glass, Glass Block, Glass Tile, Granite, Marble, Natural Stone, Porcelain Tile, and Slate.  As these materials are frequently used in these environments, your wall material supplier should be able to advise you on appropriate installation of their product.

These materials will also affect the "Fog Factor" of your steam shower.  Materials which retain heat (acrylic, fiberglass, etc.) will help your room heat up quickly but are less likely to produce a thick fog.  On the other hand, materials which create heat loss (glass, stone, marble, etc.) provide for rich foggy environments with lots of ambiance.  Now add lighting and see how enchanting steam can be!

Here is a great link to some in depth information on wall materials and construction (

Title: Re: Steam shower wall materials
Post by: Cindy on February 05, 2009, 06:08:57 PM
I am in the process of remodeling my stand alone shower to add steam.  We have chosen Cultured Marble since we read that this is an acceptable wall material for steam applications and the cultured marble company we chose says it can be used in a steam environment.
Our concern is about moisture/vapor barrier.  While I have been reading that you should have a vapor barrier, my contractor wants to just use standard sheet rock as he says that the cultured marble is impervious to moisture and therefore, nothing extra is needed.
Does anyone have any knowledge or recommendations on whether or not vapor barrier is necessary when using cultured marble?

Title: Re: Steam shower wall materials
Post by: Misty on February 12, 2009, 10:25:14 AM
Regardless of how impervious your wall material may be to moisture, you should always use a vapor barrier when installing a wet environment.  Did the supplier of your Cultured Marble weigh in on this question?  I would bet they, too, would recommend using a vapor barrier.

Think of it as a seat may likely never "need" it but the consequences of not having it when you do need it are grim.  Moisture in the walls is not your friend!

You can read more about wall construction for a steam environment at (