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Steam Shower Reviews

As a swimming pool contractor who specializes in high end installations, estate properties and pool areas with all of the bells and whistles, I am often asked about new and interesting ways to make your backyard oasis more unique. There are some obvious upgrades that will enhance a swimming pool area such as a hot tub - but everyone already knows about how great hot tubs are. Another cool and unique idea is the addition of water features, and in more recent years fire features, to increase the dramatic look and feel of your backyard. Statuary and extravagant finishes such as mosaic tiles or imported stone decking are also ways to ramp up the look of a backyard design if you have a budget that allows for it. If this describes your situation then one of the things that you should consider incorporating into your backyard design is a steam shower.


Steam Shower Units

Steam showers are relatively new in the greater scheme of things and most people reading this will never have seen a steam shower unit installed, let alone having used one. Steam shower units can be installed in a regular home bathroom if you have enough overhead space as the manufactured units are typically quite tall. Inside the home a steam shower is fantastic and a great way to add a little more enjoyment to your daily routine. Most steam shower units have multiple built in shower heads including massage therapy jets, a complete surround sound system and advanced lighting systems which will absolutely take your shower time to the next level. Add to this a massive dose of steam therapy and you have an awesome upgrade to your bathroom in your home.

In the backyard a steam shower unit is almost unheard of - which makes it even more of a fantastic idea. If you are designing a pool area that is intended to impress then you are already looking at outdoor kitchens, gazebos, outdoor showers and saunas. If you are going this far then you should consider adding a steam shower unit to your backyard. In the same way that you would build a traditional sauna in a cedar house you can now easily add this feature with a steam shower generator to get a bath house style effect to the entire room, just like a sauna. You could also just install a stand alone steam shower unit for the easiest possible installation.

Steam shower units for the most part are made for indoor applications so you would at the very least need to build a structure to house the unit. I have talked to many pool owners who have installed a full home sauna as part of a party themed backyard. In most cases the sauna, once the novelty wears off, is hardly used or used by only one or two people. Most steam shower units are designed for use by two people so if you are looking for something interesting, unique and romantic for your backyard paradise then this might just be what you are looking for.



Measures 88" high x 64" wide x 64" deep
16 shower water massage jets
10 bathtub jets
8.4" LCD television
MP3 player with surround sound
Rainfall shower head
Built in telephone
Aromatherapy system
Ozone generator
Foot massager
LED lighting system
4.2kW steam generator


The Valencia Steam Shower Sauna is an example of something that you could get instead of a hot tub. It has a large steam generator which requires it to be powered with 220 volts (not 110 volts) and it is ETL listed for use in both Canada and the USA. While a hot tub is great, or perhaps even in addition to owning a hot tub, having a small bath house in your backyard with a steam shower like this installed would be amazing. The features that new steam shower units have built in are ridiculous and if you want surround sound, aromatherapy, massage jets, steam and hot water all in one package then a pre-built steam shower unit will be the easiest way to go.

Why have a regular hot tub or sauna when you can have a steam shower that looks and feels like it was designed in the future. The features that this unit offers is enough to impress just about anyone and while something like this might not be suitable for every backyard, this is an option that you should consider if you are trying to design the ultimate backyard.





Measures 87" high x 66" wide x 66" deep
12 water massage jets
110 volt system
Rainfall shower head
Multiple handheld shower heads
Aromatherapy system
LED lighting system
3.0kW steam generator


The Eagle Bath Steam Shower is a very similar unit in looks but much less in terms of available options. The reality is that most people shopping for a steam shower unit do not need all the over the top features of top end steam shower units like the Valencia above. The Eagle Bath unit showed here would be an entry level steam shower with minimal frills. It has a smaller steam generator and is able to be installed with GFI protected 110 volt circuit (30 amps). If you are looking to get a steam shower then this would be one of the entry level options with fewer frills but still an amazing addition to your home or back yard. Ideally a 220 volt steam shower will perform better and if you have the ability to do so then choose a 220 volt steam shower with a steam generator that is larger than 3kW like the one shown here.





Measures 89" high x 43" wide x 43" deep
12 water massage jets
220 volt system
Rainfall shower head
Multiple handheld shower heads
Aromatherapy system
LED lighting system
6.0kW steam generator


The Platinum Steam Shower is a steam shower that is minimal on space and design but offers the absolute maximum in terms of steam generating ability in a manufactured steam shower unit. If you are looking for a steam shower that can deliver the best possible steam therapy experience and you are less interested in the fancy features then this might be a good option for you.


Steam Shower Generators

If you are seeking the ultimate in high end installations for your steam shower then a prefabricated unit might not be for you. While they are great as an all-in-one package, you can also design a steam shower or steam room using a steam generator system. In fact, the most impressive steam shower installations will all be custom installations. If you have a designer, or if you are a custom home builder looking for unique features that you can incorporate into your new construction project, adding a steam shower is a fantastic and cost effective option.

Steam Shower Generators
Steam shower generators are electrically powered. For very small installations a 110 volt steam generator might be suitable. It is common for 110 volt units to be 3kW in size and require a 30 amp electrical service. For most installations you will want to get a 220 volt steam shower generator that is either 4.5kW, 6kW or 9kW in size. While a steam shower unit operates well with any of these size options, if you intend to build an entire room (even a small room like a sauna) then you would want to use multiple units. Ideally you want to have as much steam generation as possible so larger units are better. Steam shower generators are usually rated based on the cubic area that they are able to effectively steam. The cubic area of a room is calculated by multiplying the length by the width by the height.


A room 8' long, 8' wide with an 8' high ceiling would have an area of 512 cubic feet





Steamist 7kW Steam Generator
220 volts / 29 amps
7kW rating
220 cubic foot steam rating







Mr. Steam 7.5 kW Steam Generator
220 volts / 32 amps
7.5kW rating
225 cubic foot steam rating







Superior 9kW Steam Generator
220 volts / 50 amps
9kW rating
460 cubic foot steam rating







Steam Spa 9 KW Steam Generator
220 volts / 38 amps
9kW rating
255 cubic foot steam rating







Steam Spa 12 KW Steam Generator
220 volts / 50 amps
12kW rating
430 cubic foot steam rating



The main concern for the sizing of your custom steam shower is the electrical requirements. A steam shower does not use a lot of electricity in terms of monthly cost, but it does have a very heavy electrical draw when under full load. You will need to decide in advance what size generator you want to use as the building plans will need to allow for a sufficient electrical service.

Important note on steam generator sizing - As you can see with the steam ratings with these units there is a discrepancy from one unit to another as to how much steam each unit is capable of delivering. There are two factors that will affect these numbers. The first is the type of material that the steam room is built from. Glass, wood and non-porous tiles require slightly less steam where natural stone requires about 25% more steam in the room for equal effect. The second factor that affects these numbers is the manufacturer ratings. The area that each unit claims to be able to steam is relative to each manufacturer. When you are trying to decide which system to use simply look at the electrical ratings for each unit to give you a more fair comparison between models. You should always oversize your steam generator when designing your system.


How To Install A Steam Shower

Installing a custom steam shower is actually easier than you might think. In addition to the actual steam generator unit you will need all of the standard plumbing that a regular bathtub or shower would use. You will need to supply both hot and cold water supplies to feed both the generator as well as any regular shower function that you want to have. An overhead rain shower style is very popular for custom designed steam shower enclosures. You will also need to build the steam shower within a room that can withstand extreme moisture. Essentially a steam shower room would be built in a similar way to how you would build a custom shower enclosure in a home. The floor will need to have a slope to a floor drain and the walls will need to be either something non porous like tile or a suitable wood with a high level of tannins such as cedar. Ventilation for the room is very important as well for clearing out the moisture after use.


Ventilation For Steam Showers
When you install a steam shower you will need to install a ventilation fan to help control the moisture in the room. Most commonly you would tie the ventilation fan (or fans) to a timer switch like you would typically see controlling hot tub jets. The timer will run for 15 to 30 minutes and then turn off automatically. Surprisingly you do not need a huge ventilation system for your steam shower unit. A one or two standard bathroom exhaust fans totaling 100 - 200 CFM would be enough for most steam shower rooms.


Drainage For Steam Showers
The floor slope for drainage should not be more than 1/4" drop per 12" and not less than 1/8" drop per 12". You should be able to slope the entire floor towards a floor drain (or set of floor drains) so that there is no standing water or puddles.


Lighting In Steam Showers
Custom lighting in a steam shower is definitely something you want to look at. Most commonly LED lighting systems with color options are the most popular. It is important to choose only light fixtures that are suitable for wet locations and all electrical devices in or around a steam shower must be operated on GFCI protected circuits.


Control Boards For Steam Showers
While some steam shower generators have a built in interface most will require the addition of a control pad. A control pad allows for easier use of the generator and heat functions as well as potentially being able to integrate with lighting and sound. For custom installations you should consider buying steam generator kits or packages that include the accessories that you will need to complete your installation.


Steam Shower Kits

For a custom steam shower installation there are many individual pieces that you will need in order for your installation to function well. More than just a steam generator you will likely need a control panel, a steam generator auto-drain, a pressure relief valve, possibly some steam jets (wall fittings), lighting and an aromatherapy system. Does every steam shower enclosure need all of these features? Certainly not. However if you think that you might want some of these features then you need to consider this at the design stage before you buy your kit. Each of these peripheral devices all need to be able to communicate with your steam shower generator (or control pad). Usually this is proprietary to each brand and you would need to make sure that each component you buy for your system will be compatible. While possible, this is the reason that most people installing a custom steam shower room buy a complete steam shower kit. Everything you need from one manufacturer in a single package.



Steam Spa 7.5 KW Quick Start Steam Generator Package
220 volts / 32 amps
190 cubic foot steam rating
Control panel: yes (two)
Steam nozzle: yes (one)
Lights: yes (one)
Pressure relief valve: yes
Auto drain: yes
Aromatherapy: yes
Sound system: no




Mr Steam 7.5kW Steam Generator Package
220 volts / 32 amps
225 cubic foot steam rating
Control panel: yes
Steam nozzle: yes (one)
Lights: no
Pressure relief valve: yes
Auto drain: yes
Aromatherapy: yes
Sound system: no




Mr Steam 7.5kW Steam Bath Generator Kit
220 volts / 32 amps
225 cubic foot steam rating
Control panel: yes (plus wireless remote)
Steam nozzle: yes (one)
Lights: no
Pressure relief valve: yes
Auto drain: yes
Aromatherapy: yes
Sound system: no




Steam Spa 9kW Steam Generator Kit
220 volts / 38 amps
255 cubic foot steam rating
Control panel: yes (two)
Steam nozzle: yes (one)
Lights: yes
Pressure relief valve: yes
Auto drain: yes
Aromatherapy: yes
Sound system: no




Mr Steam 9kW Steam Generator Package
220 volts / 38 amps
360 cubic foot steam rating
Control panel: yes
Steam nozzle: yes (one)
Lights: no
Pressure relief valve: yes
Auto drain: yes
Aromatherapy: yes
Sound system: no




Steam Spa 10.5kW Steam Generator Package
220 volts / 44 amps
420 cubic foot steam rating
Control panel: yes (two)
Steam nozzle: yes (two)
Lights: yes
Pressure relief valve: yes
Auto drain: yes
Aromatherapy: yes
Sound system: no





Steam Spa 12kW Steam Generator Package
220 volts / 50 amps
430 cubic foot steam rating
Control panel: yes
Steam nozzle: yes (two)
Lights: yes
Pressure relief valve: yes
Auto drain: no
Aromatherapy: yes
Sound system: no



For large custom homes where you are looking to make a steam room larger than 8' x 8' x 8' it would be a good idea to install two steam generator kits. Most steam generators have the ability to remotely locate the generator away from the shower area. While some manufacturers offer from 15' up to 50' remote capability it is important to note that you will have appreciable losses in the transmission. The further the steam needs to travel in the lines the more energy loss the system will experience. The areas quoted in these reviews are based on optimal installation parameters. If you intend to remotely locate the steam generator in your design then account for an additional 10% over sizing for every 10' of extra distance your steam will need to travel.





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