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Average Cost of a Steam Shower

One of the ways that a homeowner can add value to a bathroom is with the addition of a steam shower. In many ways, a steam shower looks like any other traditional shower, but a tight seal and a vapor generator create a steamy, luxurious environment for the user. Steam showers can help homeowners craft a spa-like environment in their home bathroom, but that does come at a cost. Use this pricing guide to get a better idea about the pros and cons of steam showers, how they work, what homeowners should know about installation and what factors can increase or decrease the total cost of the project.

The Costs

  • Average Minimum Cost of Steam Shower: $2,500 (Excluding Labor)

  • Average Maximum Cost of Steam Shower: $6,200 (Excluding Labor)

Advantages of Steam Showers

Steam showers bring with them a number of benefits, just some of which include stress relief, improvement of respiratory problems, increased circulation throughout the body and an increase in the look and value of the home bathroom. After a long day, there are few things more enjoyable than unwinding in a cloud of warm steam. This steam has some wonderful benefits for the respiratory system, and it is especially enjoyed by those with asthma, lung disease or allergies that affect breathing. Being in a warm environment can also increase circulation, which is advantageous for senior citizens and anyone with arthritis or flexibility concerns. A steam shower can also transform an ordinary bathroom into an oasis, and many people find that they are able to increase the value of their home with this single improvement. Finally, steam showers are a very Eco-friendly upgrade for the bathroom. Since water vapor actually requires only a small amount of water, a long steam may use only a gallon or two of water, and some users find that their water bills actually go down thanks to longer steam time and shorter traditional showers.

Disadvantages of Steam Showers

While steam showers certainly have their perks, they also bring with them a few disadvantages. The primary drawbacks of steam showers include their additional expense, the additional space that many large steam showers take up, the additional maintenance that comes along with owning a steam shower and the fact that not everyone can safely use them. Compared to a traditional shower stall, steam showers can seem astronomically expensive, especially if homeowners want to install a custom steam shower for the bathroom. Steam showers include the installation of a generator, which takes up extra space in the room and may not fit in smaller bathrooms. Since steam showers generate so much extra humidity when in use, they may cause extra maintenance and cleaning for homeowners. Finally, there are some restrictions on who can use steam showers safely, and some doctors recommend that pregnant women, those with heart disease and those with high blood pressure avoid steam showers.

Updating an Existing Shower vs. Installing a New Steam Shower

A huge determining factor when it comes to the cost of a new steam shower is whether homeowners are upgrading an existing shower or installing a brand new one in their home. In some cases, updating an existing shower stall to a steam shower may be more expensive, because there are so many changes and additions that need to be made. Just some of the factors that need to be considered when upgrading to a steam shower in a bathroom remodel include:

  • Ceiling: Has to be sloped to prevent dripping condensation

  • Wood Sealant: All visible wood needs to be protected

  • Waterproof Membrane: Needs to be installed on all backer board in the bathroom

  • Fixtures: Need to be sealed to prevent water or humidity damage

  • Generator: Needs to be installed within 25 feet of the shower stall

  • Seals: Existing shower stalls need to upgrade their seals to keep steam inside

Factors That Can Increase the Cost of a Steam Shower

There are a number of different factors that can increase or decrease the cost of installing a steam shower in the home. Size, materials, the addition of a seat, a remote control, lighting and music will all add to the basic cost, but DIY installation can bring that number down. The biggest determining factor when it comes to the price of a steam shower is it size. Steam showers are available in varying sizes, and the larger versions tend to be the most expensive. This is especially true for those who require high-end materials to build the shower. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are among the cheapest materials for the shower stall construction, but natural stones like marble will bring with them a larger expense. Potential upgrades that can improve the value and look of a steam shower are wonderful, but homeowners should be realistic about how these upgrades raise the cost of the project. If money is less of a concern, some incredible additions to include in a steam shower might include the following:

  • Seating: Creates a steam-room atmosphere better for longer steam sessions

  • Music: Sets the tone for steaming, is a luxury touch

  • Mood Lighting: Personalized lighting for nighttime or morning energy

  • Remote Control: Makes it easy to start and adjust the steam shower

  • Automatic Flushing: Reduces any calcium buildup from causing problems

What Homeowners Should Know About Steam Shower Installation

The average homeowner won't want to tackle the installation of a steam shower on their own, since the process can be lengthy and requires a number of tools. In most cases, hiring a professional for the job will be a better choice, and it can prevent water damage in the bathroom from causing future repairs in the future. Typically, the installation of an average steam shower can be done in a single day, but that time frame will be extended for customized showers that need to have individual tiles installed at the same time. Finally, be prepared for installation to extend outside of just the bathroom, as there will be plumbing and electric that runs to a generator stored nearby in a bedroom, linen closet or storage area.


Last updated on Mar 31, 2015

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