New Steam Shower - Any Planning Tips?

villacolonicaMay 4, 2010

We're planning for our master bath shower in our new home to also double as a steam shower. It will be a 7' x 6 1/2' shower with a bench along one 7' wall, a 3' x 4' pane of glass on the opposite 7' wall and a door on each 6 1/2' wall (his and her doors). We will have a ceiling-mount rain shower head and two handheld sprayers.

Does anyone have any planning tips I should know about, such as:

1) How much slope does the ceiling need to have?

2) Any recommended surfaces? Natural stone vs. porcelain?

3) Opinions on the different brands of generators, etc.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated...TIA! :)

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antss

1. not much

2. porcelain will be easier to maintain over the life and have less chance for problems from improper specification.

3. Thermasol is about the best out there. Kohler's is nice especially if you go the DTV route. You can control everything (rain head, sprayers, steam, lights, and music, from one control point.

With that size shower you are going to need a big generator, and all that glass doesn't help.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 9:55PM
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villacolonica

Thanks, antss! :)

I'll definitely check out porcelain tile. There probably is so much more to choose from nowadays than when I last looked 3-4 years ago. I sure love my natural stone, though...marble, travertine, onyx - oh, my!

Thermasol is indeed the brand I was considering! I kept their brochure from my local plumbing showroom. :) I also like the simplicity of the DTV by Kohler, though, and not needing separate controls for each shower head is really nice.

Yeah, I know the generator is going to cost more $$$ due to the size (and glass) but the steam shower will definitely be our "splurge" in our next home...hopefully our "forever" home. :)

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 10:29PM
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bill_vincent

I don't know much about the generators, and I agree with antss on the porcelain-- stone has no place in a steam shower-- but as for the ceiling pitch, antss is WAY off. TCNA and ANSI specs BOTH state that the ceiling must be pitched 2" per FOOT. Now, that can be from the center pitching in two or four directions, or it can start from one wall and all pitch in one direction. But the pitch for a steam shower ceiling MUST be pretty extreme.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 12:12AM
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mongoct

Yup, 2" per foot for the ceiling...

...porcelain over natural stone...

...and for the generator, different generators can be placed in diffeent areas. Some need to be co-located near the shower, others can be 10, 20, or 50 feet away.

The generator also needs to be sized for both the physical size of the steam shower and the thermal characteristics of the six sides of the cube that make up the shower. You;ll find info on most manufacturer's websites.

You want a VAPORPROOF membrane...not just waterproof, but vaporproof...behind the tile on all six sides of the shower cube. And all plumbing penetrations should be sealed to the membrane.

You want your lights to be vaporproof too.

You usually won't have a vent fan within a steam shower, it'll be located just outside the shower. Were you to have a fan within the steam shower, steam vapor drive can do nasty things.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 1:03AM
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villacolonica

Thanks, Bill and Mongo! I'll definitely take note of the slope in the ceiling, 2" per ft. shouldn't be a problem at all...we'll probably slope from the tub wall down towards the bench.

Thermasol has a pretty neat tool that calculates the size generator you need based on the total cu. ft. of the shower. All you do is input the shower dimensions and it makes the recommendation instantly. We'll be needing a 395 if we go with Thermasol.

Very, very helpful tips, it was exactly what I was looking for...thank you! Hope this helps others needing the same info, too.

Here is our rough draft pencil sketch (sorry it's so rudimentary, we're not ready to give our plan to the draftsman just yet!) of the master bath:

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 3:16AM
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villacolonica

I'll definitely take note of the slope in the ceiling, 2" per ft. shouldn't be a problem at all...we'll probably slope from the tub wall down towards the bench.

Thermasol has a pretty neat tool that calculates the size generator you need based on the total cu. ft. of the shower. All you do is input the shower dimensions and it makes the recommendation instantly. We'll be needing a 395 if we go with Thermasol.

Very, very helpful tips, it was exactly what I was looking for...thank you! Hope this helps others needing the same info, too.

Here is our rough draft pencil sketch (sorry it's so rudimentary, we're not ready to give our plan to the draftsman just yet!) of the master bath:

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 3:23AM
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villacolonica

Sorry for the double post, there must have a glitch...

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 4:30AM
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villacolonica

...there must have been a glitch...

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 4:32AM
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xedos

What are those areas the steamer doors open up into?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 12:33AM
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