What it's all about
Steam showers have been popular for thousands of years. They were
known to the ancient Greeks and have long traditions in Turkey and
Currently steam showers are found in most spas and gyms and are
becoming popular for home installation. Recent developments in steam
generator technology allow steam showers to be installed in nearly
any residential bathroom.
The terms steam bath, steam shower and steam sauna are often
interchanged, however they do not mean the same thing. Strictly
speaking a steam bath is an enclosure which is kept at approximately
45 degrees Celsius. It is fed with a steam generator that produces
thick clouds of mist. The room must be well sealed to prevent steam
escape and moisture damage to the surrounding structure.
A steam shower is basically the same but smaller. It is generally
large enough to hold one or two bathers and can be installed in a
standard shower stall. Steam showers are often used for residential
A steam bath is occasionally called a steam sauna but a sauna is
actually a different type of bath. A Finnish sauna produces dry heat
and is a great deal hotter than a steam bath. Saunas are generally
heated between 70 to 100 degrees Celsius. Steam can be produced in a
sauna by pouring water over hot rocks, but generally the air is very
dry with only around 20% humidity.
Many people that wish to have a steam shower in their home are
concerned with moisture build up. A steam shower with an enclosed
shower stall can hold a steam shower without any concerns of excess
The steam shower must be enclosed to contain the moisture and to
allow drainage. If the shower stall or bath is not enclosed,
existing units can be modified to accommodate a steam shower. If the
room is large another alternative is to install a separate steam
The generator does not have to be in the same room. It can be
installed up to 40 feet from the shower. The generator must have
adequate electrical connection and some models must also be
connected to a drain.
The generator is connected to a steam head installed in the bath
itself. Some heads have built in controls while others are
controlled by an external unit. The controls are easily accessible
inside the bath and add convenience when adjustments are needed.
Since steam showers are relaxing many bathers spend more time there
than a normal shower would take. This means a seating arrangement
should be installed. The steam heads should be installed away from
the seating to alleviate the possibility of scalding.
This installation work requires specialized plumbing and electrical
skills. A plumber and an electrician should be consulted prior to
deciding to install a steam shower. They will tell you if the
installation is possible and also bid on the job.
Using a Sauna
to Build a Steam Room
Steam Generator - How