Steam Shower Design


Vapor Proof Speakers Vapor Proof Lighting
Ceiling Height & Slope
Rain Shower Systems
Mood Lighting
Glass Panels & Windows
Wall Materials Wall Construction
Towel Warmers Vapor Proof Door Fog-Free Mirror
Steam Control
Volume Control Valve
Steam Generator Water Conditioning
Temperature Control Valves
Comfortable Seating
Aroma Systems
Slip Resistant Floor


Steam Shower Design

Welcome to our Steam Shower Design Resource Tool, an interactive approach to steam bath education. Fifty years of design experience are contained in over 7,800 words of steam shower research that follow...reliable, precise, and insightful details that will ensure that your steam shower project is a success. 

See some Good Steam Shower Designs in our image gallery!

The SteamSaunaBath Team has developed this resource as part of our global, full-service approach to facilitating the steam bathing experience. Take time out of your busy schedule to research the options and products detailed on our site. Let us assure you, this sanctuary you are working on is worth every ounce of the effort you put forth...your 10 minute vacation will offer rewards greater than you can imagine. You won't regret the addition of important steam shower components such as an Aroma Oil Pumps or Waterproof Speakers to enhance the bathing environment. 

Rely on our site as your resource; engage our steam shower specialists when necessary and set aside some time to learn of the features and benefits of the equipment you will purchase. When designed, sized and constructed properly, a personal steam shower is simply the most practical, relaxing and rejuvenating form of bathing available. We are here for you!


Aroma Oil Pump

If steam bathing with aroma oils will be a part of your routine, consider the ultimate in sensory vacations!  Check out the AromaMist Aroma Oil Delivery system for hassle free and completely automatic aroma bathing.  This out of the way, simple to install, and easily adjustable pump system conveniently meters aroma oil into the steam line to be whisked away for a precise and repeatable scented bathing experience.

See some Aroma Oil Pumps in our image gallery!

The SteamSaunaBath team field-tested a variety of ways to introduce the pleasant aromas of essential oils into the steam bath environment and concluded that the most relaxing, effective, and efficient method to achieve a precise, repeatable, and safe scented steam bath is to spray (atomize) the aroma directly into the steam/mist while bathing or by introducing it into the steam line automatically.

Note: SteamSaunaBath does not recommend the dispensing or dropping of Aroma Oils on a steam outlet head or steam diffuser.  Premature wearing or actual product failure may result voiding some warranties.

Caution: Aroma Oils should never be dropped or sprayed on a steam outlet head during operation. The steam outlet head and surrounding area is extremely hot and can pose a risk of serious burns.

Ceiling Height Slope

Unless you are installing two-level steam room seating, SteamSaunaBath always recommends building steam rooms between 84" and 96" in height. Unusually high ceiling heights make for luxurious looking showers but poor performing steam rooms!

See some Good Ceiling and Height Ideas in our image gallery!

We all know heat rises - consequently, so does steam. When seated on a standard height bench or seat, our head, where we feel and judge heat most, will be approximately 44" - 54" off the floor.  In rooms with ceiling heights over 96", there will be at least 43" of space for steam/heat to accumulate before reaching seated bathing levels.  In some instances this could lead to extended room warming times.

Important: If ceiling height must be above 96" high, please call SteamSaunaBath toll-free at 1-800-707-2862 to assist in the sizing and selection of your desired steam bathing system.  We will ask you a series of questions, find out about your operational goals and specify the generator and control package to suit your individual needs - when we size it, We Guarantee its Satisfactory Performance!

Like steam shower walls, ceilings must be constructed of waterproof materials for long-lasting performance.  Typically, ceilings are constructed of 2' x 8" joists covered by a vapor-proof barrier, concrete board and finished with ceramic tile or other shower-approved materials such as acrylic, cultured marble, fiberglass, glass tile, granite, marble, natural stone, or slate.

Note: SteamSaunaBath always recommends consulting with the manufacturer of your selected material for the specifics surrounding installation and appropriate use. Additionally, as construction principles vary regionally, we also recommend conferring with local tile trade professionals on the methods best suited for constructing a waterproof environment.

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While steam bathing, rising steam will condense and collect on the surface of the steam room ceiling.  Eventually, this condensation may gather enough to drip on the steam bather.  A sloped steam shower ceiling, 1" - 2" per lineal foot, should eliminate the potential for this occurrence.  Factors such as tile size, texture and spacing (grout areas) all affect an environment's successful ceiling slope.  Should your installation involve unique materials or installation techniques, or preclude ceiling slope, please call SteamSaunaBath toll-free at 1-800-707-2862 for consultation on your steam room design.

The "Steamy Details" on Sloped Ceilings
Steam bath equipment manufacturers have inconsistently documented residential steam room ceiling slope requirements.  Some claim 1" and others suggest 2" per lineal foot.  Our installation specialists have conducted their own independent testing.  In fact, one of our technicians, to prove his point, purposely built a ceramic tile steam room with no ceiling slope in his own home.  He states that after a half hour steam bathing session, ceiling condensation droplets do appear, but it takes a whopping 46 minutes for them to start falling!  He concludes that since the average steam bath is under 20 minutes, droplets are not an issue in a ceramic tile, residential steam room!  Note: As there are varying tile and installation methods which impact heat and steam differently, it is important to note that individual results may vary.

SteamSaunaBath advises that if you desire to eliminate the chance for condensation droplets falling during a steam shower bath, slope the steam room ceiling as much as you can up to a 2" maximum per lineal foot.  Aesthetically, it is best to slope down starting from the door wall in most cases.  Please consult a SteamSaunaBath steam shower construction specialist toll-free 1-800-707-2862 for further details on ceiling slope or steam room construction. We love to assist our customers on their steam shower projects!


For those who desire the mood-altering effects that light variation affords, consider vapor proof mood lighting or chromatherapy to transcend the steam bathing experience.

See some Chroma Lights in our image gallery!

Chromatherapy is a type of light therapy that uses color for wellbeing/holistic healing and is one of the newest trends featured in bathing environments.  Color psychology, the study of combining colors for effect, teaches us that through exposure to certain lighting, we can achieve better focus, feel more relaxed, or even rejuvenate our mind and body.

Our ceiling mounted vapor proof mood light fixtures utilize miniature multi-colored lights to create the ideal steam illuminating color scheme, personalizing the bathing experience.  In the morning, shine red for energy and vitality while choosing green in the evening for feelings of calmness.

For the ultimate in chromatherapy, read about the Spectrum 550 Color 4-Zone LED Lighting System from Bathology.  The Spectrum 550 utilizes intelligent DMX communication for complete control of its awe-inspiring colors resulting in a superior Chromatherapy experience.  Benefit from technology normally reserved for stage lighting professionals.  An essential component of the Spectrum Color Bathing experience is its premiere wall-mounted touch interface.  Intuitive, low-voltage, and featuring a color blending palette, this veritable color command center will respond to the most delicate touch.  Bathology's Spectrum lighting systems will enhance your level of bathing pleasure.

Note: When adding steam to your shower area, you are creating a truly mood altering environment.  Nothing in the bathing world comes close to such a relaxing escape.'s an escape (10 minute vacation).  You will wonder how you ever lived without it!  While designing and selecting the equipment for your steam bathing sanctuary, always keep an open mind to additional enhancements (aroma, chroma (light), sound, etc.) to tickle your senses and transcend traditional bathing.  We can't stress this enough.

Glass Panels or Windows

Glass - our steam shower construction specialists strongly believe that more glass is better.  Steam bathing is all about relaxation and relaxation is all about ambiance.  Glass, be it interior panels or exterior windows; if you want it, do it.  Though glass has a higher heat loss factor than most steam shower wall materials, it can be stylish, allows for outside light, enhances steam room ambiance and aids in the creation of rich, foggy steam.

See some Glass Panels & Windows in our image gallery!

When considering incorporating an exterior window in your steam shower design, the SteamSaunaBath team wishes to review your room size and assist in the specification and selection of the steam bathing system best suited for your environment.  When we size it, we guarantee its satisfactory performance.

Handshower (Hand Spray)

The advent of the hand spray has brought the promise of a thoroughly modern and versatile shower.  Maneuvers not otherwise possible, and full-featured operation, combine to create a truly functional and aesthetically unique experience.

See some Hand Sprays in our image gallery!

The ideal hand spray should possess a large face with numerous points of spray that cast a widespread water pattern suitable for shower bathing.  It must also be light-weight for comfortable handling when rinsing lower extremities, showering a child, rinsing a dog, or when simply desiring enhanced force when enjoying a vigorous massaging stream.

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A dedicated volume control will allow the hand spray to operate with or without the overhead wall spray.  When showering alone, initiating both the overhead wall and hand spray effectively doubles the water-flow and body area coverage.  The value to this should not be underestimated.  With the overhead wall spray cascading from above and the adjustable hand spray shooting from the side, a physically and visually-pleasing showering experience is at your fingertips.

Fog Free Mirrors

When showering, a mirror is the ultimate amenity for facial pampering.  Add to your regimen the enhancement of steam heat, and you will wonder how you ever lived without it before!

See some Fog Free Mirrors in our image gallery!

Shut out the world for a while and breathe deeply as you indulge in the opulence of a relaxing and hydrating steam facial.  Steam heat opens the skin's pores while deeply cleansing and rejuvenating all of the skin's layers.  With the addition of an elegantly designed fog-free mirror the benefits of at-home spa quality, optimum face cleansing can be achieved.

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Gentlemen, before you pass on a fog-free mirror in your super shower, consider the value of shaving while you shower.  The same steam heat that allows for pore cleansing facial pampering enables the blade to run smoothly over the skin for the closest shave imaginable.  For those with razor sensitive skin, shaving after a steam bath will aid in reducing irritation.  Note:  Due to the heat of the steam room and the pressurized nature of a shaving cream canister, please store outside the steam environment.

Important: SteamSaunaBath highly discourages shaving in commercial steam-bathing environments.  For many reasons, shaving in a public steam room is frowned upon by both fellow bathers and facility management.

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Rain Shower System

One of the most amazing features of a multi-sensory bathing environment, and often the most overlooked, Rain Shower Systems create an intensely satisfying bathing experience. Lush cascading rains, drenching waters and ethereal mists envelope the bather to produce an effect that surpasses that of the most luxurious spas. Rain fixtures combined with hand-held sprays, each with its own temperature and volume control, make every bathing session a moment you will anticipate each day.

SteamSaunaBath offers a wide selection of AquaTexture Rain Shower Systems from the Bathing experts at Bathology.

Discover how a rain bathing system can enhance your modern spray shower!


Comfortable seating is always recommended in a steam shower.  For built-in seating, we strongly suggest a smooth, solid surface material for a bench top maximizing durability and for superior bathing comfort.  Many bathers find sitting on grout lines to be uncomfortable.  Don't forget to slope the bench top ever so gradually from wall towards the drain just enough for water to roll and not too much to create seating discomfort.  Additionally, extend the slab top 1" - 2" over the seat riser creating a lip.  Request the supplier of this material to round the edge/lip that will overhang the seat riser for extra comfort.  A seat top designed in this fashion affords greater comfort, is structurally sound, is easier to more effectively slope, protects/shelters the vertical seat riser tiles, and maximizes bench top depth without compromising shower base/floor space.

See some Steam Shower Seats in our image gallery!

Generally, seat height ranges from 18" - 21" off the floor and 14" - 24" deep.  When designing your built-in steam shower seat, we suggest you sit on several different household chairs first to get a reference point and then design your seat to your liking. If space allows, consider maximizing bench length and depth enabling steam bathing while lying on your back.

For larger steam showers with space sufficient for two-level (upper and lower) seating, SteamSaunaBath suggests the use of a slip resistant material for the lower level seat top.

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If your steam shower does not allow for a built-in seat - no problem.  Consider the use of wall mounted, fold down Teak or European Wood seat.  If a non-permanent or removable seat is preferred, consider a portable steam shower seat adjustable for all sizes and capable of being stored when not in use.  Both will afford the ability to relax while enjoying the greatest form of bathing available.

Do not forgot the addition of steam to your shower as a result of not having the space for a built-in seat.  There is no such thing as a steam shower that is too small.  It has been said far too often and we wholeheartedly agree - the greatest joys can come in small packages!

Shower Head

Every steam room environment should have a shower!  There is nothing more invigorating than steam bathing while showering.  Adjustments in water pressure and temperature will redefine the steam bathing experience.  Cold, for an invigorating and rejuvenating bath, and warm if relaxation is the theme.  Whatever the desired mood, running water is simply the most practical way to alter the effect of a steam shower.

See some Shower Heads and Controls in our image gallery!

Shower head and controls should always receive primary consideration on their placement when planning the available shower area space.  The steam outlet head and generator control can be easily worked around the shower head and controls.  When finalizing the location of wall-mounted fixtures, refrain from installing the steam outlet head directly beneath them.

Get Steam Shower Design Ideas in our image gallery!

SteamSaunaBath specializes in assisting bathers in the design of their custom steam bathing environment.  We talk with thousands of bathers each year and wish to share our knowledge with you.  Call our steam shower design specialists toll-free at 1-800-707-2862 to review the orientation of the features that will comprise your dream shower.  We are here for you!


When creating the ideal shower environment, the importance of a versatile slidebar should not be overlooked.  A quality slidebar performs several essential functions, ensuring the bathing experience is safe and comfortable.

The fundamental purpose of a grab bar or slidebar is to provide stability and enhanced mobility to the bather in all activities.  An ADA approved bar will allow for washing or shaving on one foot, or bending and moving in any number of ways.  However, if your slidebar also functions as a hand spray holder, its usefulness is immediately multiplied.  For maximum efficiency and convenience, the hand spray fixture should traverse a 24 inch vertical plane to enable adjustment by bathers of all heights.

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Additionally, the mechanism by which the fixture is adjusted must be simple to move, yet solid and long-lasting to provide years of worry-free service.  Finally, the hand spray should have the capability to adjust 180-degrees with the lightest of touch, yet not change its placement due to water vibration or incidental hose contact.

Slip Resistant Flooring

When designing your steam bathing sanctuary, consider slip resistant materials for all steam shower flooring and areas where one may walk.  This would include the surface material of a lower level seat of a two-level steam shower seat design.

See some Slip Resistent Floors in our image gallery!

Steam shower enclosures require a floor drain and appropriately pitched floor.  The floor of a steam shower will never get hot to the touch except directly beneath the steam outlet head.  Typical floor materials consist of stone, tile, concrete and even fiberglass.  Always consult with your installer on recommended steam shower floor installation methods and materials.

Steam shower floor care will not differ from the floor of a standard shower.  For methods on cleaning or appropriateness of use, always consult the manufacturer.

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Note: As with any wet surface, always exercise caution when walking on a steam shower floor as it will be slippery when in use or wet.

Steam Control

A steam generator control is the user-interface for the steam bath generator.  On, off, steam bathing temperature control, and much more is available at your fingertips from both inside and outside the steam shower.  From simple to sophisticated, steam generator control design and features vary greatly in both design and features, each uniquely enhancing the steam bathing experience!

See some Generator Controls in our image gallery!

Outside-the-steam-shower (exterior) controls can be installed anywhere that is convenient with primary consideration given to accessibility while steam bathing.  Exterior controls are convenient when initiating the steam bath, however they can be quite inconvenient when the bather wants to stop the steam generator or adjust the bathing environment.  Leaving the steam shower to make control adjustments during your bath is quite unpleasant.  When an outside control is desired, SteamSaunaBath always recommends the installation of a secondary control inside the steam shower for a safer, convenient, and pleasant steam bathing experience.

Inside-the-steam-shower (interior) controls are low voltage and generally installed approximately 48" off the floor, furthest away from the steam outlet head and within reach of the steam bather while relaxing.  SteamSaunaBath highly recommends the installation of at least one interior steam shower control.  Consider the value and convenience of adjusting your environment while seated or relaxed.  Additionally, an interior control offers simplicity of operation for both infrequent steam bathers and guests.  When a single interior steam shower control is utilized, special consideration should be given to installing it in close proximity to the enclosure door for easy on/off operation.

A secondary or dual control system offers the steam bather the most flexibility and sophistication in steam bath operation.  Initiate your 10-minute vacation without entering the enclosure.  Let the room gently warm as the inside control monitors the environment.  Enter your sanctuary minutes later never looking back at the world outside as you enjoy complete control of your steam bathing comfort.

Wireless remote controls (RF & IR) allow for complete steam bath control from the comfort of your steam shower seat.  Approved for inside the shower operation, these hand-held remotes afford the bather the ultimate in luxury and convenience.

Provided below is a detailed accounting for every type of control used to initiate the steam bathing experience since the early days of steam bathing.  Still today, all of these methods are readily available and actively utilized to deliver the pleasures steam bathing affords.  Mounted either inside and/or outside of the steam shower enclosure, when selecting a control system, consider your preferences on design, features, location, aesthetics, and cost to determine the appropriate control for your desired environment.

Mechanical Timer Control Package- $69.00-$122.00
This 30 or 60-minute timer device mounts outside the steam shower and has been operating steam generators for over 40 years.  Simple, reliable and operates at 110 or 240 volts AC, the mechanical timer is now seldom selected due to the advent of the electronic, low voltage, inside-the-steam shower silent timer.

Air Switch Control- $29.00-$109.00
Mounted inside the steam shower and only used in conjunction with a mechanical timer or time delay device, this no-voltage, low profile and air-transmitting switch will allow you to turn on and off the steam generator without opening or exiting the steam bathing environment.  The air switch control was the first step to luxury steam bathing affording the bather steam on/off capability without ever leaving their steam shower environment.  Reliable and still commonly utilized today, steam bathers who enjoy this method of steam shower operation swear they need absolutely nothing else!  Look to the TSX-220 Control by Steamist for an example of this type of steam bathing control operation.

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On/Off Electronic Timer Control- $66.00-$440.00
Operating a steam bath generator with a low-voltage, electronic timer, provides for silent, simple, on/off touch pad operation.  Often pre-set by the manufacturer for 15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes, this sleek, low profile control can be installed inside or outside the steam shower environment and will start and stop your steam bath with the touch of a button.  Supplied with a cable for easy installation, electronic timers are often employed as a secondary control when purchased with its temperature-regulating control counterpart.  Look to the K30 Control Package by Amerec for an example of this type of steam bathing control operation.

On/Off/Temperature & Electronic Timer Control Package- $171.00-$810.00
Available for installation both inside and/or outside the steam shower enclosure, temperature controls allow the user to select their desired steam bathing temperature.  Adjustable from 90-130 degrees Fahrenheit, features include on/off, time, clock, flush and memory setting capabilities (functions vary by manufacturer).  Connected and communicating with the steam generator by a factory provided, snap-in cord, when set and activated, temperature controls will automatically turn the steam generator on and off maintaining the steam shower's temperature set point for the most sophisticated steam bathing pleasure.  Look to the TSC-250 by Steamist for an example of this type of steam bathing control operation.

Dual, On/Off/Temperature & Electronic Timer Control Packages-$471.00-$920.00
Dual steam generator control operation allows the user to initiate their steam bath and adjust desired steam bathing settings from two controls installed both inside and outside the steam shower.  Adjustable from 90-130 degrees Fahrenheit, features include on/off, time, clock, flush and memory setting capabilities (varies by manufacturer).  When set and activated, these controls will automatically turn the steam generator on and off maintaining the steam shower's temperature control set point for the most sophisticated and convenient steam bathing pleasure.

Wireless Remote Control- $261.00-$384.00
The future of steam bathing is here! Who would have ever thought?  Designed to work in conjunction with your wall control and available in infrared (IR) format, control of the steam bath generator has never been more convenient.  Fitting in the palm of your hand and from the comfort of your steam room seat, you can activate and adjust the desired steam bath duration and temperature, view the room temperature, turn the steam generator on and off, initiate the generator maintenance flush system, plus fine-tune preferred mood lighting, and select a favorite song from the in-shower stereo system (features vary by manufacturer)!  Look to the TSR Total Sense Remote Control by Steamist for an example of this type of steam bathing operation.

Note: We realize there are many details, facts, and features to learn about when selecting a steam bath generator and control system to meet your needs.  Rely on our knowledgeable team to lead you through this process.  Give us 10 minutes on the phone to clear the air on the best equipment for your application and budget!  Call us toll free at 1-800-707-2862 for immediate assistance!

Steam Generator

Steam generators can be installed in a variety of locations at various distances from the steam shower enclosure.  Select a solid, level, and serviceable area ideally within 25ft of the steam shower which is protected from freezing and moisture.  A generator installation location directly adjacent to the steam shower is not necessarily better than one further away.  We suggest you evaluate your floor plan and consider service accessibility to determine the most suitable space for this equipment.  If an acceptable space is not available within 25ft of the steam shower, no problem, just contact a SteamSaunaBath installation specialist to review your installation.  We will evaluate your floor plan, advise the best location for your steam shower generator, size/select the model to suit your application and...Guarantee Its Satisfactory Performance!

Weighing approximately 30 pounds and roughly the size of a briefcase, a steam generator is capable of being wall hung or floor mounted.  Typical installation locations include utility rooms, basements, closets, heated attics, cabinets, walls and crawl spaces.  Steam generators do not require a fan for cooling nor much in the way of fresh air ventilation.  Though the exterior casing of a steam generator does not get hot during normal operation, many of the associated connecting pipes will.  Combustible material should never lie on or near this equipment and it is always recommended that you strictly comply with the manufacturer's installation details that accompany your selected equipment.

See some Good Generator Installs in our image gallery!

When installed in a location where an unlikely water leak could cause damage to the surrounding area, SteamSaunaBath always recommends installing the steam generator in a Stainless Steel drain pan piped to an acceptable discharge.  Additionally, always consider accessibility for periodic inspection and the unlikely event of servicing.

Other important considerations when selecting a steam generator installation location include steam line run from generator into the steam shower enclosure, control cable connection from steam generator to control location, whether the steam generator requires a gravity drain connection, how accessible are water and electric service lines, whether the steam generator makes noises during operation, and local building codes. Selecting an appropriate steam generator installation location is very important!  If faced with indecision, please contact us at 1-800-707-2862. Our team has seen literally thousands of steam generator/shower installations and welcome the opportunity to assist in your project.

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Do not install steam generators inside the steam shower, outdoors, in unheated attics, in locations where water can freeze, near flammable or corrosive materials, or near chemicals such as paint thinners, gasoline, or chlorine.

To learn more about these considerations and greater details on steam generator installation, check out our Steam Generator Installation Overview.

Steam Outlet Head & Diffuser

It is through the steam outlet head that steam enters the bathing environment.  The force, sound, and amount of steam entering the steam shower are dependent on the Kilowatt rating of the steam generator and the outlet head's orifice size and shape.  In general, the greater the Kilowatt rating of a steam generator, the greater the heat and noise delivered by the steam outlet head.  All steam heads will make some noise during operation and this gentle hiss is considered calming and soothing by most!

See some Steam Heads in our image gallery!

During operation, the steam outlet head will become extremely hot (+or- 212 degrees Fahrenheit) as it delivers steam in a downward and outward direction into the steam bathing environment.  Additionally, the immediate surrounding area will reach extreme temperature levels.  It is important to situate the steam outlet head approximately 8"-12" off the floor, 12" away from any adjacent wall and where incidental contact by bather cannot occur.  For steam showers designed in a tub/shower, 8" above the tub edge is generally suggested.  Additionally, unless specified otherwise by the manufacturer, only one steam outlet head is recommended per steam room.

A steam outlet head has absolutely no control over the amount of steam or heat entering the steam shower environment.  It's purpose is to provide for an attractive means to safely disperse the steam and heat into the room.  The steam outlet head is normally packaged with the steam generator control in a matching decorative finish.  For cleaning, make certain the steam generator is off and not creating steam and gently wipe with a warm wet cloth.

As a precautionary and safety measure, SteamSaunaBath always recommends the installation of a steam diffuser over the steam outlet head.  Simple to install, a steam diffuser is instrumental in the creation of a well-balanced, pleasurable and safe bathing environment.  When placed over the steam outlet head, the diffuser/shield diffuses the heat and re-directs the steam in an upward direction.  The addition of this device will enable the bather to move more comfortably about the steam shower.

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The SteamSaunaBath Team routinely conducts steam bathing tests with all steam generators, steam outlet heads and room sizes.  The diffuser, though not pretty, has been proven essential.  We believe the diffuser is so important to the balance and comfort of the steam bathing environment, that our technical team has designed and manufactured a more attractive and durable option!  Capable of being installed on every steam outlet head ever manufactured and uniquely constructed for aesthetics, durability and superior performance, a steam guard is an essential component to reclaim a steam shower's usable floor space and preclude incidental contact with steam emissions.

Important: Always read the manufacturer's installation instructions when locating and installing a steam outlet head.  The above detail offers generally accepted information and in no way is meant to replace the specific detail of the installation instructions for a particular make or model steam bath generator.

Temperature Control Valves

The shower bathing temperature control valve is at the heart of the super-shower. Many not-so-obvious yet vital features must be present for functioning at the highest level.

See some Control Valves in our image gallery!

Having a dedicated temperature control valve for the front wall and ceiling spray, and another dedicated control valve for all wall sprays allows for optimal appeal and flexibility in varied temperature or contrast bathing.  Altering temperature from sides and above allows the bather to experiment and perfect their personal preferences.

Being able to recreate one of these fantastic bathing experiences is of utmost importance.  In order to accomplish this, the valve must be able to be calibrated and precise, with easy-to-read temperature numbers located on the face.

Get Steam Shower Design Ideas! And since bathing space may often be limited, the valve must be of a minimalist, small-scale design to free up room for multiple fixtures, allowing for a well-balanced and versatile bathing experience.

Towel Warmers

Towel warmers are a perfect compliment to an inviting and luxurious bathing environment.  Make a soothing transition from your bath or shower by enveloping yourself in the warmth and opulence of a heated towel or robe.  After use, place your towel back on the warmer for drying, thereby reducing laundry requirements.

See some Towel Warmers Installed in our image gallery!

Towel warmers can be wall-mounted for space saving efficiency or floor-standing for portable convenience.  You may choose an electrically heated towel warmer, or opt for a hydronic model.  Both types have their own unique advantages.  A hydronic warmer is connected to your home's hot water system, which is quite energy-efficient, while an electrically heated warmer very easy to install and can be used year round.

Towel warmers are safe to use and can be left on continuously, as they have no exposed elements and operate at safe temperatures.  Leaving a warmer on for extended periods of time actually helps in the reduction of excess moisture and mold buildup in the bathing environment.  If you wish, a warmer can even be paired with a timer which allows full control over operating times.

A quality towel warmer is crafted of high-quality brass or stainless steel providing strength and durability for many years of enjoyment.  A large selection of finishes such as polished chrome, white, or oil rubbed bronze allows for harmonizing with any décor.
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To enhance the experience even further, you may also opt for a Valet package which include a 10ml bottle of eucalyptus oil, an in-wall, 24-hour electronic timer, with timer face plate and robe hook, available in various finishes.

Vapor Proof Steam Shower Doors

A steam shower door is the entryway to your 10 minute vacation and should be elegantly designed to showcase this sanctuary, keeping the steam in and stress and worries out!

A door constructed for steam shower use should be constructed with superior vapor proof gaskets, tempered safety glass, and custom built for a steam tight seal.  SteamSaunaBath always recommends constructing the steam shower door finished opening prior to ordering any vapor proof steam door.  Waiting until your tile has been installed to obtain an actual finished opening measurement will almost certainly delay your steam shower completion, however, will guarantee a hassle-free, custom fit!  Take our is much easier to build a steam door to fit a finished opening than to build a finished opening to fit a steam door.

See some Vapor Proof Doors in our image gallery!

A vapor proof swing (hinged) door is the most common type of door installed in a steam shower.  Consider one or two side panels if more glass is desired, or the addition of a hinged top panel for effective, post-steam bath, ventilation.  When considering a swing door for your environment, realize that for safety reasons, this door must always open out.

A vapor proof sliding door is less frequently installed, however, equally effective!  Consider sliding doors for the generous lighting they afford, flexibility & ease of steam shower entry and convenience of post-steam bathroom ventilation.  For the finishing touch, designer frame finishes and glass patterns should be selected to achieve the desired look.

When designing your steam shower, consider using large areas of glass (door, side and top panels).  Though glass has a higher heat loss factor than most steam shower wall materials, it contributes wonderfully to your steam shower's ambiance and warms nicely to the touch.  Not only is it stylish and befitting your environment, glass allows for outside light, increased depth perception, and aids significantly in the creation of deep, rich, foggy steam!  When time permits check out our wide selection of custom Steam Tight Doors to suit your specific needs!

Do not forgot the installation of a steam shower in your home if your budget doesn't allow for the purchase of a vapor proof steam shower door or if the existing shower door is not designed for steam!  Rather than miss out on the finest bathing experience available, call SteamSaunaBath to review the specifications of your existing shower door and we will offer you an alternative or make the necessary suggestions to get you steaming!

Vapor Proof Lighting

Lighting is an important part of a steam bathing environment and should always be considered when constructing a steam shower.  Besides the obvious safety consideration, lighting allows for maximum control of steam shower visual ambiance.  When on, light will reflect on the steam or airborne vapor particles creating a visually unique and pleasing rolling mist.

See some Steam Shower Lights in our image gallery!

A ceiling mounted light constructed of solid metal, with a glass or polycarbonate lens operating on low-voltage electric and rated for a wet environment is always recommended.  Lighting is simply the easiest and most practical way to begin altering the mood of a steam shower.  If possible, consider installing your steam shower fixture or fixtures on a dimmer switch located outside the bathing environment to dial in on the desired mood.

Depending on your budget or steam enclosure size, consider the addition of wall mounted, colored, or multiple light fixtures.  The visual affect lighting affords a steam shower environment is simply unknown by most.  Yet every individual who has driven in fog realizes the unique perspective offered by high beam, low beam and fog lights. Steam bathing is about warm soothing mist, but is also about the pleasant atmosphere, feeling, and aura lighting provides.

The SteamSaunaBath team has searched the globe over to secure the finest vapor proof light fixtures available!  We have rigorously tested every facet of these lights including ease of installation, simplicity of light bulb replacement, durability, operation, and aesthetics.  We've even forced 2 pounds of pressurized steam (residential generators operate at less than a pound!) directly at the lens and trim seal for 1 hour and found absolutely no evidence of moisture penetration.  When time permits, check out these amazing Vapor Proof Lights!

Do not forgo the creation of a steam shower in the absence of available lighting!  The SteamSaunaBath team has conducted hundreds of tests with steam and available lighting.  Bathing area lighting diffused through a shower door is sufficient to enjoy the pleasures a steam shower affords.

Vapor Proof Speakers

Consider the addition of sound when creating your steam bathing sanctuary.  Relax and unwind while listening to music favorites with the addition of full range vapor proof speakers.  You can easily connect speakers to a home's audio system and elevate the steam bathing experience!

See some Speakers in our image gallery!

Speakers should be rated for operation in temperatures up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and installed either in the ceiling or walls situated for personal liking.  Consider intended method of bathing for best results.  Avoid installation locations in the direct spray of water.  Two waterproof speakers (one pair) are appropriate for most steam shower environments.


Is ventilation required?

No, but it is recommended.

Ventilation for a typical steam shower environment is not much different than that of the average shower.  In fact, a typical 5-10 minute shower will release far more humidity into the bathing area or adjacent rooms.  That's right, despite what you have been told, the average shower releases more humidity into a home than a steam bathing session.  Why?  A shower is not enclosed.  The air gap between a door/curtain and the ceiling allows water vapor (humidity) to escape the environment and collect on the ceiling and walls.  A point-of-use traditional bath fan is generally installed in close proximity to the shower to evacuate the resultant humidity.  Try as you may, no residential ceiling fan can keep up with the demands imposed by a hot shower.

See some Ventilation and Fans in our image gallery!

Well, what about a steam shower?  A steam shower environment is completely enclosed.  Encapsulated by approved waterproof materials and a vapor-proof door, the water vapor released during a typical steam bathing session and corresponding shower results in little humidity effect on a home.  During an average steam bath, approximately 3-5 gallons of water will be converted to steam, which will react with the environment wall materials, condense back into water and run down the drain.  A warm shower following the steam bath aids in reducing the environment's temperature further condensing fine (airborne) vapor particles and cooling wall materials.  When exiting the steam shower, all that remains is trace humidity and accumulated surface moisture.

Ventilation is recommended for a steam shower for two reasons, one, because we all bathe differently, and two, the ability to regulate humidity in the home is important.  Some enter the steam shower at the first sight of steam and enjoy the gradual environment warm-up; others pre-heat the steam room and prefer the immediacy of high heat upon entry.  When entering the steam room at start-up, virtually no moisture is evident.  The latter, when the environment is hot, will most certainly release humidity into the surrounding bathing area.  Additionally, should your bath be interrupted by a need outside the steam shower, exit and re-entry will also release humidity.  As for humidity control, there exists significant data relating to the importance of household ventilation and the removal of latent moisture.  Unless one is aware of the moisture effects to their home while bathing, SteamSaunaBath recommends the installation of a variable speed, duration controlled, vapor-proof, remote mounted inline fan to put the user in ultimate control.

All fans are not created equal.  A mechanical vent fan or ceiling-mounted bath fan is the most common type of ventilation system utilized to control odors and humidity in bathing areas today.  Due to their design, ceiling-mounted mechanical vent fans require a very large ceiling cut-out and must utilize an obtrusively large grille to conceal the motor assembly and intake.  Consequently, mechanical vent fans operate loudly and affect environment design appeal.  Additionally, due to the use of a motor shaft, squirrel cage and the inherent 90 degree exhaust design, they are quite inefficient.  Incapable of operating successfully with long duct runs and with a variable speed control, these fans are not our recommendation for an effective, trouble-free steam shower ventilation system.  Note:  Steam Sauna Bath strongly discourages the installation of a mechanical vent fan within the steam shower enclosure.  In addition to safety related concerns, these fans will not sustain within a high humidity environment and may prevent the steam room from heating as intended.  Please call us toll-free at 1-800-707-2862 to review your ventilation needs.  We love to help create amazing bathing experiences.  For the demands of both humidity and odor control without sacrificing bathroom design, nothing but an inline premium bath fan will do.  The fan is the heart of any ventilation system and a fan powered by a 100% speed controllable, external rotor motorized impeller and constructed of a UV-protected thermoplastic resin that exceeds UL approval for wet locations is always preferred.  The steam bathing fanatics at SteamSaunaBath have put such a system to the test.  Installed inside a test-module routinely subjected to 125 degrees Fahrenheit at 100% humidity (mean steam) and 220° degrees Fahrenheit (a sultry sauna), this fan and grille system continues to impress us.  Check out our full-line of ultra-quiet premium bath fans, and bath fans with light combinations, that include an industry-leading 7-year warranty to protect your dream bath.

Clearly a home spa is no place for the roar of a noisy bath fan.  Unlike a standard exhaust fan, an inline fan mounts in a location away from the living area, such as an attic, and you will hear no motor.  Small and unobtrusive, a 7" diameter ceiling grille, with or without a light, installed outside the steam shower is all that is needed for any size environment.  Should additional ventilation or ventilation/light locations over a whirlpool tub and/or toilet or even inside the steam shower be desired, simply duct them to the remote inline fan to quickly and efficiently whisk away moisture, steam and odors.  That's right, one fan and up to three locations!  How? This versatile inline fan is powered by a high quality German manufactured external rotor- motorized impeller which produces more air movement per watt of power.  Simply put, this fan moves more air for less!

How to use a variable speed, duration controlled, vapor-proof, remote mounted inline fan for steam showers?  SteamSaunaBath recommends the installation of a 7" grille directly outside the steam shower door.  Prior to entry, the ventilation fan system should be initiated by selecting the 60 minute duration button on the electronic timer control pad and setting the slide speed control to its maximum setting.  This sequence will enable maximum air movement for 60 minutes and will evacuate humidity associated with opening and closing the steam door through the duration of the steam bath.  At the end of the bathing session, re-initiating the 60-minute duration button on the electronic timer control pad and setting the slide speed control to its midpoint (50% capacity) while partially opening the steam shower door will serve as an effective way to evacuate remaining airborne vapor and accumulated surface moisture.  Walk away and rely on the countdown timer to shut down the ventilation system automatically.  Steam Sauna Bath does not recommend the installation of our bath fans within a typical steam shower environment.  Should you have serious concerns about humidity and wish for the ultimate in environment humidity control, please call our experts at Steam Sauna Bath toll-free at 1-800-707-2862 and we'll "vent" about the use of fan systems that will evacuate most all bathing-related moisture.

Why multiple ventilation locations?  As the trend to larger spa-like bathrooms continues to gain in popularity, the need for ventilation becomes more important.  Gone are the days of a single bath fan in the center of the room.  The key to ventilation in oversized baths filled with luxurious amenities is true spot ventilation at the source.  Quick removal of moisture and odors at the source will keep an environment free of mold and the effects of extreme moisture.  Our inline premium bath fans are engineered so that one remote mounted fan motor can effectively ventilate several areas of the bath.  Ceiling grilles, or ceiling grilles with lights, can be easily positioned over showers, whirlpool tubs, steam showers and toilets.  Should your project involve two bathrooms, see our products that serve two bath applications utilizing one fan.

Volume Control Valve

The volume control valve is the final piece to complete the super-shower puzzle.  Every spray type requires a dedicated volume control valve to fine tune water spray volume, texture, and intensity.

See some Control Valves in our image gallery!

Releasing full volume represents the maximum spray while incremental lowering of capacity coaxes multiple patterns and intensities from each spray type.  The bather is drawn to discover their own unique experiences resulting in endless bathing possibilities.

Wall Materials

Like showers, steam showers must be constructed of waterproof materials for long-lasting performance.  Typically, walls are constructed of 2" x 4" studs covered by a vapor proof barrier, concrete wall-board with a waterproof membrane and finished with ceramic tile or other shower approved materials such as Acrylic, Brick, Cultured Marble, Fiberglass, Glass, Glass Block, Glass Tile, Granite, Marble, Natural Stone, or Slate. Click here if you are ready to size your steam shower and have already selected your wall material.

See some Design Ideas in our image gallery!

Note: SteamSaunaBath always recommends consulting with the manufacturer of your selected steam shower wall material for the specifics surrounding installation and appropriate use.  Additionally, as construction principles vary regionally, we also recommend conferring with local tile trade professionals on the methods best suited for constructing a waterproof environment.

In addition to steam shower design and aesthetics, finished wall materials and design features (marble, exterior window, etc.) used in the construction of a steam room must be considered along with room volume (cubic feet) when properly sizing a steam generator for an environment.  Why?  Wall material physical properties such as thermal conductivity, insulating factor (R-value), and mass (weight) all affect the ability of steam heat to warm the enclosure (heat loss).  Additionally, exterior walls and windows, as well as enclosure ceiling height, are also important factors when sizing a steam generator for a steam shower environment.  Just like sizing a furnace or air-conditioning system for a home, a steam generator must be sized to appropriately warm your steam shower environment comfortably and safely!

Steam Shower Maintenance
The steam shower requires very little maintenance.  Outside of routine cleaning as you would any wet environment, periodic inspection of walls, ceiling, and seat material for appropriateness is always recommended.  A soft cloth and warm water is the best way to safely clean any polished metal fixture.  SteamSaunaBath advises consulting with the manufacturer of any material in question for their suggested cleaning methods and approved cleansers.

Personal Steam Bathing Preferences
What are your personal bathing preferences?  Some like it hot...and some not!  We all enjoy the benefits of heat and humidity differently.  For this reason, consider your personal steam bathing preferences when sizing the steam shower.

Steam Shower Ambient Room Temperature
The steam shower ambient room temperature is the temperature of the enclosure when not in use.  This is the temperature that the steam generator must raise up to 105-120 degrees Fahrenheit within 15-20 minutes.  If a steam shower is located in an unusually cool basement or naturally warm attic, the ambient steam shower temperature must be factored in when sizing the steam shower.

Steam Showers with Exterior House Walls
Exterior house walls generally vary in temperature from interior ones and seasons can often exaggerate this difference.  Cooler walls take longer to heat and consequently, exterior house steam shower walls must factor in when sizing the steam shower.

Steam Shower Exterior Windows or Skylights
With windows comes heat loss.  In general, windows have very poor insulating (R-value) properties.  Though completely acceptable and create for elegant shower design, their ability to retain heat must be considered when sizing the steam shower.

Water Conditioning

Steam bath generators using filtered and conditioned water perform better, require less attention, and last longer.

See some Water Filtration Installs in our image gallery!

During a steam bath session, a typical steam generator can use 2-5 gallons of water.  As this water enters the steam generator tank and interacts with the heating element, it is converted to vapor and sent by the heat’s pressure to the steam shower.  The process could be called distillation - that is, the pure vapor is sent off to the steam bather, leaving the lime or sediment behind.  It is this sediment that water treatment resolves.

The impurities left by the conversion process turning water to vapor coats the steam bath generator’s heating element and tank, making the boiler process less efficient.  As this scale builds with each steam bathing session, the generator’s efficiency and the heating element’s useful life both diminish.  The steam bath generator drain orifice begins to constrict, and the water flow inlet is potentially compromised.  The goal of an effective water filter or conditioning system is to reduce lime and scale build-up and maintain clear water and drain ports to ensure optimal steam bath generator efficiency.

An in-line water filter is the least expensive way to prevent scale or sediment build-up on the steam bath generator water supply.  These devices trap water particulate as small as five microns (much thinner than human hair) and are available in disposable and replaceable forms.  Disposable in-line water filter is less expensive and must be removed and replaced once soiled.  A replaceable in-line water filter utilizes changeable cartridge filters to simplify maintenance.  These filters will provide confidence when a home’s water supply is interrupted which may dislodge and send particulate toward the steam bath generator.  They also trap water-born particles found in well or village water supplies which more commonly cause concerns at water faucet outlet screens.

More appropriate water treatment for steam bath generators includes both filtration and conditioning.  These products both filter and condition the steam bath generator water supply for dramatic results.  This equipment employs three-stage cartridges to condition, buffer, filter, and reduce chlorine from steam bath generator water.  Stage one features the benefit of ion-exchange which reduces generator tank calcium build-up.  Stage two buffers the steam bath generator’s water to reduce PH (acidity).  Stage three filters the water using coconut carbon enhancing the steam bath experience.  These steam bath generator water conditioning systems deliver ideal water to steam generator equipment and are available in single-cartridge and dual-cartridge models.  More frequent steam bathers or homes with larger steam showers should consider a dual-cartridge steam bath generator water conditioning system for less frequent cartridge changes.

Finally, a very important consideration in the purchase of a quality water filter or water conditioning system is to ensure steam bath generator warranties.  Most makes exclude the damaging effects of poor water quality on their steam bath generator.  In addition to greater steam bath generator efficiency, equipment longevity, and reduced maintenance, the steam bath generator will be most certainly preserved.

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