Can You Turn a Regular Shower into a Steam Shower?
Did you know that you could have your very own private spa retreat in your existing shower without major renovations? It is not only possible but highly likely that no matter how compact your space, you have enough for a steam shower. In fact, you may have unwittingly blocked the manifestation of your dream home spa by telling yourself these common misconceptions:
- I can’t afford it – You can upgrade your existing shower to a steam shower for approximately 20% more than a standard one.
- I don’t have enough room – If you have a 3’x3’x7′ space, that’s all you need.
- I don’t want to do a home renovation – You certainly can incorporate your steam shower design into a complete reno, but it isn’t necessary.
- I don’t really need it – Excuse us? Do you live a busy and stressful life every day where you wear multiple hats, get up early, go to bed late, and have numerous deadlines or people who depend upon you? Do you have aches, pains, allergies, trouble sleeping, or simply need a quiet place to relax? Oh, yes, you definitely need it.
Now that you know it’s possible to turn your existing shower into a steam shower let’s look at how.
How Does a Steam Shower Work?
The short answer is: enter, push the controls, and relax. The more technical answer is that once you activate the controls, clean, fresh water enters a steam generator to create a blissful cloud of water vapor that fills the steam shower compartment. However, the steam shower isn’t confined to only steam. Many people choose to complete their steam session with a cleansing and refreshing shower.
Top Considerations When Converting Your Shower Space To Include Steam
As with anything worth doing, you need to do a little research before getting started. Here are some top considerations when deciding to convert your existing shower to include steam:
- Steam generator – This compact powerhouse is only the size of a typical briefcase. It can be placed almost anywhere within 60 ft. of the shower, so long as it has approximately 12 in. of clearance around the top and sides for service access and is in a heated space where there is no chance of the pipes freezing.
- Ceiling height – A mere 7 ft. is all that’s required. 8 ft. is ideal. Anything higher may require other considerations, like a transom above the door and a more powerful generator. The reason for limiting the ceiling height is that steam rises, so the higher the ceiling, the less steam will remain in the area where you are.
- Sealed doors and windows – If you have a window in your shower, you’ll need to ensure it is double-paned glass and that all seals are watertight.
- Wall and ceiling materials – The less porous your materials, the more efficient your shower will be. While natural stone is beautiful, it won’t hold the temperature or prevent steam dissipation as well as ceramic tile.
- Seating – Your choice may be dictated by space or by preference. If you have no space restrictions, you may want a full bench that allows you to stretch out. If your shower is more compact, consider a fold-down bench seat that allows for easier movement when you aren’t using it.
What Do You Need for a Steam Shower?
We determined at the start of this post that you definitely DO need a steam shower. But, what all do you need to make it a reality? First, the basics.
At a minimum, you’ll need an enclosed 3 ft. x 3 ft. shower space with a door and a ceiling of at least 7 ft. and no more than 8 ft. Fixtures should include a door with a watertight gasket, steam generator, steam shower head, standard shower head, floor drain, and sloped ceiling to prevent condensation. Lighting should be vapor-sealed.
Now is the time to let your inner designer free by choosing what features you want to include in your personal wellness retreat. What colors and materials fit your design aesthetic? Is it sleek and glass or something more rustic? Are you a tech geek that eschews standard wired controls for a fully wireless control experience?
What about a total sensory experience? Imagine relaxing in the warm vapor. You breathe deeply, inhaling the soothing scent of lavender or jasmine or the invigorating essence of mint or rosemary. AromaTherapy using essential oils can be incorporated into your steam shower to help take your sensory experience to the next level.
Think of how loose and relaxed you would feel after 20 minutes on your own, breathing in the gently scented steam and listening to your favorite songs. MusicTherapy is another option that you can add. Finally, consider the healing benefits of ChromaTherapy. Adding different light effects can enhance mood and round out the spa effect.
Design Your Steam Retreat With the VirtualSpa
Having the steam retreat of your dreams is as easy as using MrSteam’s VirtualSpa design tool. Enter a few measurements and choose the materials and features you want, and before long, you are on your way to making your dreams a reality.
Retrofitting your bathroom for steam
- Post author:thermasol
- Post published:March 13, 2020
- Post category:Blog
Every year, millions of Americans became proud homeowners to existing houses – a figure that speaks volumes for our economy, says tremendous things about the upward movement of our country…and, well, let’s face it: probably is not the most amazing stats when it comes to steam showers. Why? While new construction embraces all the accouterments on the wish lists of the modern homeowner, existing homes consistently feature fewer upgrades of this kind.
But never fear, you millions of Americans, as well as you other many million of Americans who bought existing homes in years this past year or earlier. Your luck is about to change.
One of the easiest home-centric projects is the process of retrofitting one’s bath to accommodate a steam shower. Unlike so many other house improvements that can take days/weeks/months, and limit your utility to the room undergoing construction, a steam shower retrofit is incredibly quick and easy…not to mention an extremely reasonable investment, historically shown to generate a superior return.
The first step is to assess what type of shower you currently have. (Sorry claw-footed-bathers…if you’re in a freestanding-tub-only relationship, with no other wash space in your house, yours is the only retrofit that requires a bit more work.
On the bright side, if no shower stall exists that you’re trying to retrofit, and you get to build one from scratch, that process alone will make a steam shower installation so much more seamless! #silverlining)
But where were we…oh, yes, your type of shower. Basically, all you need is an enclosed area that is (or can be) sealed in from top-to-bottom with a stall door. Most shower stall doors leave space open at the top to let steam escape, aka, the exact opposite of what you want your steam shower to do. But even if your current shower stall door isn’t perfect for a steam shower, as long as the stall space itself can accommodate a door that will seal the space from head-to-toe, you’re in great shape for a retrofit.
If you have a tub/shower combo (as in, not a stall shower) and are up for a quick re-model that swaps out your tub wall with a wall/door system capable of containing steam top-to-bottom, you’re also in business!
Now that you know what type of shower you already have (and what modifications need to or will have to be made to it), let’s make it steam-friendly. For most, this means making sure that the walls of your shower are conducive and well-protected against the heat of the steam, as the indulgent heated air can permeate even the smallest cracks.
Make sure your tile and grout work are steam-ready; if you think you’re in need of a re-tile before you retrofit your bath for a steam shower, look for paper-faced or film-faced glass tile for your shower walls. Porcelain is a perfect choice for steam shower floors (and speaking of floors, make sure you have a good slope going on, to maintain good drainage). And whatever you do…don’t forget to make sure your shower ceiling’s all ceil-ed up!
Conducive shower stall, check. Sealed walls, check. Sounds like someone’s ready for a retrofit! The next step is to pick your steam shower and watch the magic happen!
ThermaSol makes it incredibly easy to build a steam shower in your existing bath with an e-calculator that takes the guesswork out of the equation. You simply input your shower’s measurements (shorter-height showers are most ideal for a retrofit – under eight feet tall is preferred, to give you the steamiest experience), and ThermaSol recommends the steam shower generators that would be the best fit for your size shower.
Wondering where that generator’s gonna go? ThermaSol’s generators can be placed up to 50 feet from your shower, so if your bath space is limited, don’t fret. Attics and closets can be perfect spaces to tuck the generator. From there you choose your style and finish, your style of shower and accessories (as in, are you OK with your steam shower reaching your pre-set perfect temperature in seconds, and staying at said-temperature for the duration of your steam? ThermaSol thinks so, as evidenced by their Digital Smart Shower.)
Once ThermaSol outfits you with the parts for your steam shower, you get to work with your preferred home builders and vendors (plumbers and licensed construction professionals) to complete the installation.
When undertaking your steam shower retrofit, remember, nearly any size bath (even as small as a 3’x3’ stall shower) can accommodate a home spa. Just keep it sealed, keep it safe, and before you know it, your existing house is existing with luxury…a easy-to-install steam shower all your own.
And if you need more convincing that a steam shower is the perfect upgrade, check out this video
Tags: Bathroom Design, Home Spa, Inspiration, luxury homes, residential steam showers, Smart Shower, Steam Shower, wellness
Shower in the bath – how to do it yourself?
The shower in the sauna can be done in different ways. The simplest option is to install a pouring device (bucket), to which water is supplied.
Bath shower. Real photo
You can buy such a bucket-shower for a bath in a specialized store. There are models in which water is poured from an ordinary bucket, and there are those to which water is supplied from a water pipe. Turning on the supply and turning off the water is controlled by a float (a device similar to the one in the drain tanks).
Shower bucket for a bath
How to heat shower water in a bath
You can heat water for a shower either with electric heaters – a flow or storage water heater, a “wet” heating element, or using an external tank and a heat exchanger in a wood-burning stove.
Instantaneous water heater for a shower in a sauna is a pleasure that not everyone can afford. And it’s not about the price, but about the requirements that this equipment imposes on both the water supply and the electrical network. The instantaneous water heater operates at a certain pressure of cold water. This problem can be solved by installing a pump (its capacity must be at least 8 liters / min). But in any case, the water will be heated only if there is electricity, and there will be no supply of warm water – this is a running water heater. In addition, only a heater with a power of not more than 8 kW is included in the 220V network, which will provide only one point of water intake with warm water. If you need to have two hot water taps, you will need a device with a power of 13 kW, and it is powered by a 380 V network. networks is not uncommon, but neighbors are unlikely to be happy with such a turn.
Shower water heater. Wiring diagram
More economical storage water heaters for showers. The power they consume is usually 2-3 kW, depending on the volume of the drive, but it is difficult to find a capacity of more than 150 liters. Moreover, such a tank already has decent dimensions, although there are drives of various shapes – horizontal and vertical cylinders, there are also rectangular ones – it’s easier to find a place for them, but you still have to fool your head with its installation. A good option is to install a heater in the attic.
There is another simple way to organize hot water in the bath: a heating element is mounted in the water tank, in the simplest case, the boiler is lowered. From the tank there is an outlet either to the mixer or directly to the shower head with a tap or mixer. When connecting a hot water tank directly to a shower head, a temperature control system must be considered so as not to get burned by overheated water.
These are, in general, all options for an “electric” shower for a bath. Read more about how to choose a water heater for a bath here.
Important! When using electric heating elements, never forget about electrical safety. Even a new heating element or boiler can “punch” on the body.
There is another typical “bath” way: to heat water in a tank using heat from a burning stove (read about stoves with water tanks here). There is a method of previous years – wood-burning titanium, which, nevertheless, is successfully used today. Here is an effective, working, real way to organize a shower in a bath without using electricity.
Scheme for arranging a shower in a bath or sauna
This scheme, with some alterations, will also work when using an external water tank, the water in which is heated from a heat exchanger in a metal or brick stove, and with a tank on a pipe (installed at a sufficient height). In general, the scheme is good. Instead of a manual pump, you can install an electric one, but then the circuit will only work if there is power.
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- Smaller pumping stations are more expensive. But they have protective automation that will monitor the pressure in the system (it will turn off in the event of a power failure, etc.).
- Boost pumps. They also turn on automatically when the pressure in the system decreases, but the type of pump and its characteristics for each plumbing system must be selected separately. Their disadvantage is that if there is no pressure accumulator in the system, when the pump is turned on / off, the water pressure noticeably “jumps”.
- Garden pumps. The cheapest option, but they do not have any automation, therefore, you need to turn them on / off manually.
If possible, it is easier to install a tank for cold and hot water in the bathhouse on the second floor or in the attic and not bother with pumps, which are not at all easy to find for hot water.
Option to install a water tank at a height exceeding the height of the ceiling
Cabin and drain for a shower
There are many options for a shower cabin: from the simplest pipe built into the walls, along which a waterproof curtain “rides” on rings, to ultra-modern (or not super ) shower cabin. What are the shower cabins, read here. From experience, we can say that if the booth is installed in the bath, then the most primitive – the walls, the door and the pallet, and in principle, more is not needed. This is an option for those who do not want to bother with waterproofing adjacent walls and like quick solutions.
Bath shower with titanium
In general, if the layout for the shower does not provide for a separate small room, you can fence off the part of the washing department where the drain system should be organized. If there is no drain, you will have to arrange it.
If you plan to install a drip tray, it requires a separate concrete base with a drain pipe connected. The base is necessary so that the plastic of the pallet does not “walk” under the weight of a person, since most of the bath showers are made of plastic – they are inexpensive and, if installed correctly, are quite durable, and plastic bends under the weight of even a not very large person.
If a pallet is not provided and the floor is wooden, it must be protected from water. To do this, galvanized metal is laid on the area where the shower cabin will be installed, the joints of the sheets are carefully sealed with silicone sealant (for example, Ceresit CS 25). Reinforcement for the screed is laid on the metal with a slope towards the drain, everything is poured with cement mortar. Floor tiles are laid on the fresh mortar (while maintaining the slope), and its joints are also well coated with silicone. Instead of galvanized metal, modern waterproofing films can be used. In this case, they must be reinforced.
If the walls in the shower cubicle are wooden, they need to be protected from water. You can protect them with ceramic tiles, plastic panels, or simply lay sheets of plastic of a suitable size, sealing the joints with the same silicone. Under any type of finish, it is also desirable to lay a layer of waterproofing. In the simplest case, this is a plastic film that is attached to the walls with staples from a construction stapler or planks and nails, and it is desirable to seal the resulting holes with reinforced tape.
Plastic shower panels
Plastic shower panels are a budget option for protecting walls in a shower cubicle, anyone can handle the installation. At the first stage, metal profiles are attached to the walls, from which the frame-lathing of the walls is assembled. Plastic panels are attached to the profiles with screws with a wide head, which are connected to each other with a lock. The connection is tight (just be careful not to damage the rather fragile edges of the locks). In the corners of the outer and inner corners, special corners are used, which are sold in the same place as the panels, skirting boards are strengthened at the top and bottom. Indeed, nothing complicated, but the view is obtained like that of a monolithic wall and protection against water is almost 100%.
The general principles of how to make a shower in the bath are outlined, but how to do it is up to everyone to decide for themselves. There are simply a lot of options here, because you can simply hang a shower bucket and tip it over, or build a full-fledged shower cabin with automatic hot water supply. Below are real photos of the shower in the bath. Maybe you will find an idea for yourself…
Self-made showerFlushing device + showerHot tub plus showerShower using an electric boiler
options for washing in a bathhouse
A bathhouse with a shower is the main attribute of comfort. After all, perhaps, after a broom and steam, it is enough for men to overturn a tub of water on themselves or jump into a snowdrift, but the beautiful half of humanity has always liked long splashing under water – with foam and various aromatic oils. Yes, and many in the dachas really use their own baths more for their intended purpose, and not just as a place to relax with friends – i.e. wash in it and wash. And the shower itself for a bath, in its essence, is not expensive – in order for the water to be warm all day long, it is enough to throw only two kilograms of firewood into the column.
The arrangement of a competent drain is already half the battle
So, the order of work is as follows. Galvanized iron is nailed to the wooden floor, and all its joints are well coated with silicone. Further, a cement screed is placed on the floor – on pre-prepared reinforcement, which is made with a slope to drain . Porcelain stoneware tiles are carefully laid on fresh cement, and all seams are again treated with silicone.
An asbestos-cement pipe 2 meters long and 10 cm in diameter is installed in the upper part of the column. One end of it is led out through the ceiling. Slightly stepping back from the top of the column, you need to make a slot in the pipe and insert a valve into it. A water tank is placed on the roof – and the shower in the bath will do all the work just due to the pressure of the water in it.
If you are interested in learning how to make a shower tray with your own hands, we recommend reading the article http://stroy-banya.com/voda/poddon-dlya-dusha-svoimi-rukami.html shower
Here is another good option how you can build a shower in the bath with your own hands, and quite budgetary.
First, a ring foundation is made, and three pipes of 5 cm in diameter are placed on top of it. Then – corrugated board, and on it – another plastic pipe for the future warm floor. A hole of 20×20 cm is made in the center, and a small pit of half a meter. And the water itself will go into the ground – this is how baths were built for all centuries and no one complained.
The whole structure is poured with concrete, on which a tile floor is laid. But at the same time, there should be a pipe for ventilation in the floor itself – at least an ordinary sewer pipe of 10 cm – it can be brought out into the street through the wall.
How to choose a good floor tile can be found here: http://stroy-banya.com/pol/plitka-dlya-bani.html
Then plastic panels are placed on the walls – better those that sold with a width of 20 cm. But the lining for the shower is completely unsuitable. The panels must be placed on a pre-nailed crate made of metal profiles – on self-tapping screws. Everything must be carefully waterproofed – so that even a drop of water cannot accidentally get in. Now the pipe from the floor is connected to the existing heating in the bathhouse, a shower is installed and you can enjoy the warm floor and amenities.
“Russian shower” in the form of a bucket – brilliant as always!
But what if the bathhouse was built exclusively for beer with crayfish, and women were initially forbidden to enter it? Is it worth building a solid structure with a real shower, fooling around with walls and constantly heated water? It seems that Russian men solved a similar problem many centuries ago and created their simplest and therefore ingenious device – a shower from a large bucket.
After all, there is nothing funnier and healthier than a sharp change in temperature – an ice hole after soaring, a snowdrift and cool water in a private pool. The “Russian shower” is also built on the same principle – a large bucket that is hung on the wall at a height of two meters from the floor and has the ability to tip over at the request of those having a rest in the bath.
Its holder is designed so that the bucket can be easily turned and tilted. And you need to pull a special rope – and a whole tub of icy or cool water will fall on your head. Such extremeism with a powerful release of adrenaline into the blood. From there, a surge of joy.
The article http://stroy-banya.com/banshikam/aksessuary-dlya-bani-svoimi-rukami.html will tell you how to make bath accessories with your own hands
they were simply made from improvised material – but today the “Russian shower” has become a real paraphernalia of baths. And therefore, it resembles a whole work of art – it is made of natural wood (oak, linden or birch), and is even supplied with a beautiful bracket for water supply. It is only important to ensure that the bucket does not dry out – and for this, when buying, you immediately need to pour a couple of liters of water into it and wait until the tree picks up moisture. After that, you should not allow the shower to dry completely – at least a mug of water should be in it.