How To Create Your Own Steam Room
If you're a wellness enthusiast, you already understand the benefits of steaming, such as helping with relaxation, relieving respiratory issues, and even improving sleep quality.
Enjoying these benefits may seem far out of reach for people who can't get to a sauna. But that simply isn't true.
In fact, you can use a Mr. Steam steam generator to create a steamy oasis in your very own home.
But exactly how can you create a steam room at home?
Well, you can convert your everyday shower room to a stem room by adding a steam generator and steam head. Or, you can engage a contractor and build your steam room from scratch. Really, it's up to you.
Before we get into the details, let's explore our best selection of steam generators.
Our Top Steam Generators
|#1 Best for Smart Steam Room Lovers
|#2 Best for Safe Sauna Experiences
|#3 Best for Personalizing Your Experience
|iButler® Steam Generator Control Kit
|Mr. Steam eSeries 10kW Steam Bath Generator
|iDream® Steam Generator Control Kit
How Steam Generators Work
In a nutshell, steam generators use a digital steam shower control unit to heat water and generate steam vapour.
They do so by passing water through a narrow spiral tube, once, under high pressure. Once the water becomes steam, it is released through the steam head into the steam room.
But you needn't undergo a long process before enjoying a steam shower. Once the generator is installed correctly, you'll only need to flip a switch to get your steam shower going. How fantastic is that?
And, some steam generator packages like the Mr. Steam eSeries 10kW Steam Bath Generator also include calming scents and lighting which can make stress relief more effective.
With this understanding, how will a steam generator aid your first approach to steam room building, converting the shower?
Method 1: Turn Your Shower Into A Steam Room
It's fairly simple to turn your shower into a steam room. However, you will likely need help from a contractor or plumber.
Turning your shower into a steam room requires specialized knowledge; from the materials to use to how to connect the steam generator and even the best place to install it. (You can't place the generator outside.)
Moreover, a professional contractor can guarantee quality work, and they can do it efficiently without making mistakes. It's better to stick with working with professionals and get it right the first time around.
The basic components to create a steam shower in your bathroom include:
While you can certainly buy the entire steam shower package as one convenient kit, it can be challenging to put it together all by yourself.
You can simplify things by hiring a contractor who can guide you on choosing the best materials for construction, waterproofing, and placing an efficient drainage system.
More than hashing out how high the stall needs to be and other technical details, it's easier for the contractor to engage other professionals like plumbers or electricians that they work with.
For instance, you'll need an electrician to connect the shower control to an external steam generator so you can turn the steam shower on at the flip of a switch.
But it's not just about the functional bits.
The packages at Sun Valley Saunas include music, optional calming lighting effects, and aromatic infusers that can elevate your steam shower experience.
In terms of lighting, research by Takahiko, Yuka, and Midori found that colors like dark gray, yellow, and yellow green can calm negative emotions.
Had a bad day at work? Jump into your steam room, turn on yellow lighting, start the shower and retire the day and its woes.
Method 2: How to Build a Dedicated Steam Room
To build a steam room, you must follow a similar process as building a steam shower out of your home shower. However, a steam room requires a larger dedicated space.
It's also more involving as you must carefully consider the materials to use. They must be able to withstand very high temperatures and not absorb water.
For instance, you can't use a natural stone like marble as it's porous and will change colour over time. Who wants to use a discoloured steam room a few years down the line? Not us.
There's also the very real chance of mold growing in the room, which, besides the health risks it poses, isn't a good look.
You must also consider placing a floor drainage system and for these reasons, it's best to design and build the steam room from scratch.
But there's a way to simplify the process. Engage a building contractor. Why? Well, they can easily engage specialists like electricians and plumbers and ensure they do quality work.
For instance, your steam room will require wiring to be done on equipment, piping to transport water to the generator and the faucet, and a frame to enclose the steam room.
A building contractor is better placed to find an electrician, plumber, and carpenter, to complete these tasks.
How to Decide on the Best Steam Room Size
Lassi a. Liikkanen, author of The Secrets of Finnish Sauna Design, and a sauna designer, says that to determine room sizing, one must consider how many people will be using the room at once.
In addition to thinking of the dimensions—width, depth, and height—of the room, consider the human body. How far can a man or woman of average height reach with outstretched arms? What's their average height?
Whatever the case, try to keep the height of your room to 7 feet or below.
According to research by MrSteam, the smallest steam room size to fit one person must be 3 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 7 feet high.
However, the size can vary depending on your desired steam room size. Below is a table highlighting steam room sizes and the number of people they can hold.
|Steam Room Size in ft. (Length x Width x Height)
|Number of people
|6.23 x 4.27 x 7
|4.27 x 3.94 x 7
|5.66 x 3.03 x 7
|6.23 x 6.23 x 7
If your steam room is quite big, you're better off including an air-tight door. If you have a smaller steam room, you can get away with just a small gap that allows airflow.
Choosing the Right Generator Size
You must get a generator size that's right for your space.
If you get a smaller generator than is needed, the steam will cool down before it ever reaches you—meaning you don't get any of the benefits you wanted from building a steam room in the first place.
To get the right generator size, calculate the cubic footage of your room by multiplying the length, width, and height of the steam room.
For example, to get the cubic feet for the steam room in the first cell above, we'll multiply 6.33 by 4.27 and by 7. The result is 186.217 cubic feet.
Generally, you can stick to the generator sizes covered in the table below, based on your room size. We've also included our generator recommendations from Sun Valley Saunas.
|Room Size in Cubic Feet
|Steam Generator Size
|Recommended Steam Generator
|eSeries 5kW Steam Bath Generator - 240V
|eSeries 7.5kW Steam Bath Generator - 240V
|Mr. Steam eSeries 10kW Steam Bath Generator - 240V
You can also use a steam generator size calculator to make it easier, as most calculators will adjust the size depending on the materials used in the steam room.
Installing and Connecting Your Steam Generator
Always try to stick to this guideline: Don't install the steam generator anywhere where the temperature rises above 104 degrees or is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Very high temperatures will surely damage the equipment while low temperatures will cause the water to freeze inside the generator tubes.
You also must never place the generator outside. Here are a few points where you may place your steam generator:
- Inside an equipment room
- Under a vanity
- On a wall
To complete the installation, a qualified electrician must connect a control panel end to the circuit board inside the generator. Then connect another end to the control cable inside the steam room.
Sun Valley Saunas provides several steam room control kit options which we explore in the next section.
The Best Control Kit Options From Sun Valley Saunas
The table below highlights the best control kit options for steam generators to help you choose the best one.
|AirButler® Max Linear
|iButler® Max Linear
|AirTempo® (Wireless, Surface mount, Black)
|AirTempo® (Wireless, Surface mount)
|iSteam® 3 Touch Screen
|Number and type of SteamHead
|(2) 16" Linear SteamHeads
|(2) Aroma Glass SteamHead
|(2) 16" Linear SteamHeads
|(1) 16" Linear SteamHead
|Compatibility with generator models
|MS90E to MSSUPER3E
|MS90E to MSSUPER3E
|MX4E to MX6E
|MS90E to MSSUPER3E
|Individuals who appreciate sleek designs
|Users looking to upgrade their steam shower and blend luxury and functionality
|Ideal for families or where there are multiple users
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who Can Use A Steam Room or Steam Shower?
Anyone wanting to improve their wellbeing can use a steam room or steam shower.
This includes adults who have a cold or high blood pressure. For people with a congested chest or cold, nothing beats the feeling of an open airway after a steam shower session.
Moreover, steam rooms create a very calming environment which helps reduce the heart rate in hypertensive patients.
It's very helpful for athletes and people who work out frequently, as they may have sore muscles a lot of the time. Having a timed session in the steam room after exercising can definitely soothe your joints and help you recover before visiting the gym again.
2. What's the Difference Between a Sauna and a Steam Room?
While the difference may seem quite obvious, here is a side-by-side comparison between a sauna and steam room:
|Type of Heat
|Source of Heat
|Electric or wood-burning stove
|Temperature Range and Humidity
|Higher temperature with no humidity
|Moderate temperature with high humidity
|Can improve your skin tone
|Can hydrate and improve skin elasticity
3. What Size Steam Shower or Steam Room Should I Build?
The size of your steam shower or room depends on a few factors, the main one being the amount of space you have. Other factors that would determine the size of your steam shower or room are:
|Small room (8ft x 6ft)
|Medium room (10ft x 8ft)
|Large room (12ft x 10ft)
|Limited customization options available due to limited space
|Offers a balance between customization and utilization of space
|More customization options are available as there is ample space
|Optimizing the layout for efficiency may be necessary
|Flexible layout and design options given that efficiency is not such a huge factor
|Extensive freedom as there are more design and layout possibilities
|Pocket-friendly as a result of the smaller size
|Moderate cost as there is a middle ground between features and price
|Higher prices allow for additional luxurious features
4. Is Building a Steam Shower Expensive?
It will cost you differently depending on the materials you choose and the components required to build your steam room. For instance, if you don't have a steam shower already installed, it'll cost less.
Let's imagine you're remodelling a 120-square-foot bathroom without a steam shower. Roughly, it will cost you $24,000. You will spend about $6,000 to $8,400 more in labour costs.
However, if you already have a steam shower, you'll only have to part with $30,595. You will be charged an extra $7,700 to $10,700 for labour.
You can bring your building costs lower by getting a high-quality Mr. Steam generator from Sun Valley Saunas. We offer very competitive prices.
If you've settled on a generator to create your own steam room, now consider our selection of best-selling steam generators.
Wes McMahon, is the founder of Sun Valley Saunas and a seasoned ski town sauna enthusiast. In early 2021, Wes transitioned from being an attorney and sauna aficionado in Sun Valley, Idaho, to founding Sun Valley Saunas. His deep appreciation for the Finnish sauna tradition has helped him understand and select high-quality, hand-built saunas for customers throughout North America. Combined with his understanding of the therapeutic and communal benefits of sauna culture, he advocates for the wellness practices that saunas can bring to your overall health. Got questions? Get in touch by calling 1-855-963-5665 or email@example.com
Important: The information provided in our articles about saunas and related topics is intended for general informational and educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult your healthcare practitioner before using saunas, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions or are pregnant. Individual health needs vary, and what benefits one person may not be suitable for another.