Installing a Home Steam Bath – Part One
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Installing a Home Steam Bath – Part One

If you are one of those who live for steam, consider getting a home steam bath installed.

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Are you one of the many who love steam baths? Do you feel that you can't survive without them?

Some live for speed. If you are one of those who live for steam, consider getting a home steam bath installed. Having your own "dream steam" bath is the ultimate for many steam bath lovers. The good news is that getting one may be a lot easier (and less expensive) than you think.

What Are Your Choices in Steam Baths?

There are two basic choices when installing a steam bath in your home.

You can convert your existing bathtub or shower or you can install a modular steam bath.

If you choose the modular steam bath, there are several steam bath designs which are self-contained and simply need the appropriate plumbing and electrical connections.

On the other hand, converting an existing bathtub is also fairly easy.  In this case, however, a steam proof door must be installed and a steam bath generator must be connected to the bathtub enclosure.

Preparation for Installation

Why the steam proof door?

Well, steam is a highly penetrating form of moisture, so any room that has a steam bath must be properly prepared to prevent moisture damage.  If steam gets into the infrastructure of your house it can cause serious structural damage.


If you are still in the process of constructing a new house, it is a simple matter to have the builders use the proper materials to steam proof your bathroom.  If, however, you are installing a steam bath in an existing house, you must verify that the bathroom can withstand steam.

The basic principals in safe steam bath installation are to

1) prevent the steam from escaping,

2) collect the condensed water without dripping on the bathers, and

3) allow the water to drain. 

To achieve these three goals, the steam room must be completely sealed and insulated, it must have a sloping ceiling, and it must have proper drains. 

To prevent steam from escaping beyond the steam bath, the structural materials should be waterproof and have an underlying vapor barrier of thick plastic.  Any sheetrock or plaster used in the installation must be designed to withstand moisture or covered with a waterproof finish.

Walls and Ceilings

The walls and ceilings of the steam room must be covered in a impervious material like ceramic tile or glass.  All the joints and connections must be carefully sealed with silicone to prevent any moisture from escaping.

Once the underlying structure has been prepared, the next thing to consider is the height of the ceilings.  In order to maximize steam build-up and prevent cold spots, the ceiling should be lower than 8 feet high.  It should also be slanted to allow condensation to slide down the ceiling rather than drip on the bathers. 

A slope of 2 inches per foot is appropriate for a steam bath.


If you have opted to convert a conventional bathtub into a steam bath, you will need to enclose it with a suitable door. 

NOTE:  Small steam areas (the size of the bathtub) should have a narrow gap at the bottom of the door to allow for airflow.  Larger steam rooms can be made pretty much airtight.

Steam Shower

The bathroom should still be constructed to contain steam even if you are installing a modular steam shower.  These units contain steam pretty well but still release moisture into the surrounding bathroom area. Modular steam showers have the advantage of having extra features such as multiple shower heads, built-in seating, lighting, and even CD players and telephones.

In the final analysis, no matter whether you are installing a modular steam shower or converting an existing bathtub into a steam shower, you still need to select and install a residential steam generator and all the connectors and make sure that everything is working correctly.

That is the topic of Installing a Home Steam Bath - Part Two.

Sauna and Steam Baths


You will find what you are looking for about installing a home steam bath (part one) here

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Install a Home Steam Bath Part I
Page Updated 10:29 AM Tuesday 12/23/2014