Are you thinking about building a steam room in your home?

A residential steam shower is something you may have in your mind for a long time.

However, when installing one in your home, you’re sure to face several issues. And one of them is finding an adequate spot with enough space to fit in the steam shower.

You see, an ideal place to install a steam shower is one with a water connection, electrical wiring, and drainage.

Since your shower enclosure has these basic steam room requirements, it is apt to be converted for the same.

But is it even possible to build your steam bath facility in the shower?

Certainly yes.

In fact, converting your shower is one of the simplest and most affordable ways to have a steam room in your home. So you can have your tranquil retreat without breaking the bank and soak in the immense therapeutic benefits of a steam sauna bath every day.

That’s precisely why shower conversions are one of the most sought-after steam sauna projects for homes.

Interesting, isn’t it?

Now you might want to turn your shower into a steam room, too.

That’s why we’ve compiled this guide to help you build your personal wellness retreat, so let’s have a look.

Some basic to-dos before you start installing steam room parts:

As you saw, the shower room is one of the most lucrative places to build a steam sauna. But before you begin assembling steam room parts and redesigning your shower interiors, you need to prep the space.

How exactly can you do the prep?

You can start with assessing your bathroom, especially the shower stall, as you may have to modify it or replace it with one compatible with steam showers.

Your shower stall should be one that can be sealed off from all sides since you don’t want any of that steam out. The same goes for the standard shower doors with openings above and below them, which need to be sealed and well enclosed.

What about the bathtub, you may ask?

Your standard shower may have a bathtub, and you probably don’t want to lose it while building your steam sauna.

A steam room can be with a bathtub, but only after you’ve checked for possible leakages and sealed them off.

In fact, you can use the tub as a comfortable steam shower seating and enjoy your sessions even more.

Sounds awesome, doesn’t it?

Next up comes shower walls and floor; you’ve to ensure that these are steam-friendly and can withstand steam room heat. You should check for any cracks that might be there, including the smallest ones, and seal them off. That’s because steam will permeate from these cracks, and you won’t have the desired steam build-up.

Then, you’ve got to see if your tiles are steam-ready, as the standard tiles are susceptible to cracking when exposed to excess heat. You can also replace regular bathroom tiles with heat-resistant porcelain floor tiles and film-faced wall tiles.

Important things to consider in your steam room:

#1. Proper drainage is key to a steam shower, so your bathroom floor should be slightly sloped and connected to a drain pipe.

#2. Go for slip-resistant flooring in your steam shower by installing textured tiles or covering the floor with anti-skid strips.

#3. Waterproofing is vital for your steam room to maintain the desired steam levels. So you should install insulated and water-tight shower walls and doors.

#4. Lastly, the height of your steam shower should be less than 8 feet, as you’ll need powerful steam generators for higher ceilings which will increase your running costs.

Steam room must-haves (and how to get the right ones):

#1. Equip your shower with the best steam generator

Whether building your steam sauna from scratch or converting your shower, a high-performance residential steam generator is a must-have.

You see, the quality of your steam sessions depends on the steam generator you use, which is why you should get one from a trusted manufacturer.

So what factors to consider when buying a steam generator?

You should take into account the size of your steam room, the number of people who will use the shower at once, and the intensity of steam you want in there.

Nevertheless, a small to medium steam generator should serve your requirements well since shower enclosures aren’t usually very large.

For instance, if you have a small-sized shower stall and you’re looking to take a couple of daily steam sessions, a 5-7 KW steam generator is your go-to option.

Steam generators are usually installed outside the shower enclosure, and you can have them up to 60 feet away from the steam sauna bath. And since residential steam generators are compact and light, you can install them anywhere from the basement to the closet to the attic to the garage.

In fact, you can even go for a waterproof generator package and have them installed right in your steam shower. Such generators can be tucked under a bench or in the crawl space above your shower. And they will come in handy if space is a premium for you.

Amazing, right?

UL listing and warranty are a must for your steam generator

You see, the generator you get for your steam shower needs to be connected to an electrical outlet and water pipeline, the reason why you should get one with the highest safety standards.

UL-listed steam generators are tested extensively for safety, so you should always prefer them over the non-listed options.

Next comes the warranty coverage of your generator, which again is an important benchmark for product quality. So by going for one with the longest warranty cover, you can ensure that you don’t pay to fix manufacturing defects.

A good quality steam bath generator, and you won’t have to go back to public steam rooms for your steam shower needs.

#2. Choose the right steam room control panel

After choosing a steam generator comes steam room control, which is essential since you can’t run your steam shower without one.

You need a control panel to manage steam sessions, like turning on or off your generator, setting steam temperature, session duration, and much more.

Since generators are usually tucked away from the steam room, the control panel lets you switch them right from the shower enclosure.

When we talk about control panels, it might evoke the old-fashioned buttoned units that could only run the generators. However, modern control units have evolved over the years to become sophisticated and aesthetically pleasing.

Steam controls now come with touch control features and have a user-friendly interface, making your steam sessions convenient and enjoyable. For instance, you can install a Steamist SMP generator with 550 control and have smartphone-like features including a touchscreen, wifi connectivity, voice control powered by Google Home and Amazon Alexa, Spotify, and more.

That means you can simply set your preferred steam temperature or play your favorite music in the steam room by speaking it over.

That’s impressive for sure, isn’t it?

Steam controls: things to consider

A steam control can be a wired unit connected to electrical wiring and installed near the showerhead, or it can be wireless and installed at your preferred location.

Also, you can install the controls either inside or outside the steam room. But we highly recommend installing them in the steam shower, as you can easily control the ambiance right from the shower enclosure.

Further, you should look for essential features like pre-setting steam temperature and auto-cut. That’s because a control panel lacking such features will unbearably increase steam room temperature, making your session uncomfortable and unpleasant.

#3. Get a steam head for your shower

The steam head is where steam is released from, which is a vital component of your steam room.

You see, steam generators create a sudden and powerful outburst of steam, which you need to slow in order to keep the steam session pleasant. So your steam head breaks the powerful steam burst and converts it into a mild and soft steam cloud.

Also, the high-pressure generator steam produces a hissing sound, which is minimized by the shower head. The result is a steady stream of silent steam flowing into your steam room.

How to properly install the steam head, you might wonder?

You need to consider certain things to get your steam shower head installed right and work efficiently.

To begin with, you should make sure that the steam head is installed at least 6-12 inches above the floor. That will ensure your steam room is filled with the right amount of steam across every corner.

Next up, your steam head shouldn’t be close enough to the seating area, as it can make the steam session unbearably warm. Instead, you can install the steam shower head opposite the seats and have a comfortable and thorough steam cover in your shower.

Finally, keeping the steam head safe to touch should be your priority. And a steam head with cool exteriors is your best bet to avoid accidents and hazards.

#4. Comfortable seating is a prerequisite for your steam room

A regular steam session can take as long as 45 minutes. And you don’t want to keep standing for this long, do you?

After all, a steam room is meant to be your own cozy and tranquil retreat.

That’s exactly why you should install the most comfortable seats in your steam room and make it a place you’ll love to spend time in.

Bonus Tips For steam room seating:

Tip 1. Go for foldable wall-mounted seats if you’re low on space in the steam room, as you can easily fold them up after your steam session and maximize the shower area.

Tip 2. Install waterproof and corrosion-free seats in your steam shower. That’s because such seats have the longest lifespan, so you won’t need to change them anytime soon.

Tip 3. Get steam shower seats made from materials like sustainably sourced redwood, cedar, and teak, as these extend a unique aesthetic appeal without harming the environment.

Steam room add-ons:

#1. Extra shower heads

Are you looking for a customized steam output?

If yes, you should consider installing extra steam shower heads in your steam room, as these will ensure a steady flow of steam precisely the way you want.

#2. Essential oils for aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is the use of natural plant extracts to promote better health and overall well-being. And within the steam room, you can use essential oils for aromatherapy.

#3. Mood lighting to create a perfect steam room ambiance

A steam session is more than just a health enhancement exercise. It is also about unwinding and relaxing your mind.

Since lighting directly impacts your feelings, mood lights ensure that you can have deep relaxation while you soak in the therapeutic steam heat.

How much does the steam room installation cost? 

After seeing the process of converting your shower into a steam room, you may wonder how much exactly will it cost you.

As per Forbes Magazine, you need to invest $4200 on average to build a home steam room in your shower enclosure. And depending on your steam generator, control units, shower finishing, etc., the total cost can range between $2500 and $6100.

However, the best part about a steam room for home is that it carries a high return on investment (ROI). And since home-buyers see it as a luxury add-on, a steam shower can increase the resale value of your home by up to 29 percent.

Also, you can easily recover your upfront investment in the long run, as the running costs of a residential steam sauna are less than $1 per session. On the contrary, a public steam room session can cost you an upward of $50.

That’s impressive for sure, isn’t it?


A steam room session every day is sure to transform your health, as it makes your heart strong, strengthens your immune system, helps you lose weight, and much more.

And what better way to indulge in steam sessions than in your own steam sauna bath?

However, building a steam sauna from scratch can be really daunting.

In fact, a home steam room project might not be possible for you due to space constraints.

But you can still build a steam room conveniently in your shower enclosure by following this step-by-step guide, and have regular steam sessions without breaking the bank.

Olivia Garcia

Olivia Garcia

Olivia Garcia earned her MS in Nutrition Sciences. She has dedicated over 20 years to health education and wellness advocacy. Her expertise includes developing wellness programs for various organizations. Her background deeply influences Olivia's wellness approach in scientific research and community engagement. Her articles often reflect her passion for outdoor activities, particularly hiking and cycling, which she believes are key to a balanced life. She is also a great yoga enthusiast and integrates mindfulness into her daily routine.

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