If you ask us, is it worth the money? Yes. It is worth every penny and every bit of grit it takes to install one. The benefits far outweigh the costs, and the experience is like having your own personal spa at home.
It all started with our first visit to the massage specialists. Longevity Massage, here in Knoxville, is an intimate facility with an unhurried pace. They have mastered the most serene environment, complete with private steam showers, cozy relaxation rooms and complimentary wine service. Wine? Massage? Steam Shower? It’s like going on a two-hour vacation! My frugal spending habits don’t really lend to spending hours at the spa on a regular basis, but after one visit, we decided it was time to bring the spa home… DIY style of course! And believe it or not, it was an affordable luxury!
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What exactly is a steam shower? Besides being the best shower experience ever, a steam shower heats water until it vaporizes and then pumps that invigorating steam into an enclosed area, your shower. While it seems like a simple idea, there is a science to getting the right amount of steam per square inch of your space. Choosing the right size steam generator, the right materials, construction, and ventilation are important to building the best steam shower. Steam showers offer dozens of benefits. Besides the amazing relaxation it provides, steam showers offer many physical and mental health benefits. Disclaimer: Since we are just makers, not doctors or therapists, we recommend talking with your doctor before using a steam shower!
The Health Benefits of a Steam Shower
1. Improved Circulation
The increase in temperature increases blood flow to all parts of the body. Which leads us to our next point…
2. Recovery, Stiffness, Joint Pain
An increase in blood flow will also relieve joint pain and sore muscles. Steam showers help flush out all that metabolic junk that leaves you with soreness and fatigue. You literally sweat it out!
3. Skin Care
Steam is good for your skin because it can act as a moisturizer. The combination of warm air and moisture opens clogged pores so they can absorb oxygen, vitamins, and valuable minerals. And if you’ve read my previous post of my winter skin lotion recipe, then you know that sensitive skin runs in this family. I can tell you that using the steam shower has helped with our dry sensitive skin and is the most gentle way I’ve found that works!
4. Fighting off Colds
…And allergies! Steam eases sinus congestion and irritation. Simply standing in a steam shower and taking in a breath full of warm air will decongest your chest and ease your respiratory system. Add a little peppermint or eucalyptus oil to the shower and you are breathing easy!
5. Metabolism and Weight Loss
While it’s not exactly a fitness plan, it can be another way to help you burn calories and lose weight. When the steam increases your pulse rate, your cardiovascular system is stimulated leading to increased metabolism. It’s kinda like a mini workout in the shower!
6. Stress Management
Physical benefits mean a positive mental well-being, too! When your muscles relax, your mind and body relax as well. All this reduced tension equals better sleep, which equals a happy mama!! 😀
These are only a few of the benefits we’ve experienced with our steam shower. See, it’s much more than just a luxury amenity! So let’s get on with the demo and install to show you how you the process of the remodel!
Planning for the Ultimate Shower
As with any home project, we had several weeks of planning to determine materials needed and costs required to build. After reaching out to the massage spa, they recommended Mr. Steam as that is who they use for their steam showers. Mr. Steam has a ton of helpful information on their side including a downloadable guide for planning your home steam shower and a virtual spa tool to help you plan for your space. Maybe you are just curious about steam showers and want to know more. Get everything you need to know on their blog!
Measuring the space
A steam shower can be installed in just about any size space. We decided to bring the shower out just a few inches to make the space a bit larger. Measuring your space helps you choose the right size steam generator and the right amount of materials needed to build the enclosure.
Choosing our tile
We found an amazing wood-look tile on sale at Floor & Decor. Larger tiles are better for steam since they collect less condensation. We picked up all the supplies we needed, and borrowed tools from friends and family to help with costs.
Laying out the shower
Since steam showers should have no heating, venting or air-conditioning components inside the steam room, this meant even the light fixtures had to be vapor sealed. We ordered these light fixtures and had Clinton Glass in Knoxville install our glass enclosure. They do amazing work! Check out the video at the end of this post! Aside from the lights and the glass enclosure, we also laid out the design for a bench and fixtures.
This was our bathroom before the shower remodel. In our efforts of dressing up the room a bit with the rustic ladder storage , I still couldn’t see past the old tub and that green tile. The original tub that was in the house when we moved in had been painted over. The tub was impossible to get white again. WARNING: the following photos may contain images of grime and disgust!
See the spots of blue paint there in the bottom? And I promise, this tub had just been scrubbed with every cleaner you could suggest. That grime was invincible and there to stay. Needless to say, I never took a bath in this tub. It was a shower only kinda bathroom. Which is why it made perfect sense to do away with the tub all together!
Take one last good look! This is the last you will see of that shower and tub!
Just to add some fun to the project, I brought in a sharpie and “X” marks the spot! We were ready for demo!
The good thing about doing your own renovations, is it is a prime time for family bonding! 😀 Our girl could not wait to get at this tile so we were happy to have her help! Safety first!!
Once all the tile was gone, we took it all the way down to the studs.
The tub might have been the hardest demo!
It’s not every day you have a toilet in your bedroom. Part of the “fun” of remodels is living with your home in complete disarray until the project is finished. While Britt is hardly bothered by this from his years in construction, my OCD tendencies could not wait to get in that new steam shower to release all the tension of having to walk around a potty and a pile of tools to get to bed every night. 😀 It is what it is, and the pay off is worth every bit of it!
We built out the frame for the enclosure. This took a lot of thought and planning. 🙂
And finally, we had what was starting to look like a shower again. We wanted the two insets for all the shampoo and conditioner bottles we seem to collect in the shower. Tell me we are not alone in this!!
And then it came time for tile. We had a full workshop set up on our deck to cut the tile.
Overall, this project took a few weeks to complete as we were doing it ourselves in between working our regular jobs.
Fixtures are almost in… I call this the “best seat in the house!” We chose to do two shower heads; one overhead, and another on the side. The main control is a divert so we can turn one or both on at the same time.
Notice, we have a shower curtain up. We had to wait on the glass enclosure to be made and installed, so no steam yet. The steam controller is right above the faucet fixture. At this point, the shower is all done, just needs the glass enclosure. We installed the lighting on a dimmer switch, and of course the bottom of the shower is slightly sloped for drainage.
Check out our hyperlapse video of the glass install. You’ll also get a full picture of the bathroom makeover. Along with the shower, we ripped up the green marble tile floor and installed new tile flooring. For the overhead face board of the shower, we installed a stained piece of barnwood for the modern rustic style we love.
Overall costs for the shower was right around $6000.00. That includes the steam shower generator from Mr. Steam and the entire rip-out and rebuild of the shower. The costs depends on the size of the enclosure you want to use, materials, and the bargains you can find. We were fortunate to find tile we loved on clearance.
The maintenance for the steam shower is minimal. We flush out the generator about once a month and of course give the shower a good cleaning.
Is it worth it? Even without a steam shower, this remodel turned out beautiful and was worth every penny! Add in the relaxation of a steam shower experience and it’s priceless! I can tell you that we use the steam shower every night, even in the summer, and the benefits far outweigh the costs of this project. Comment below if you have questions, and we will do our best to answer! In the meantime, check out more information on steam showers over at Mr. Steam!
Thank you Clinton Glass for your exceptional work!!