When many people think about bathroom remodels, they think about changing the vanity, light fixture or perhaps even something as simple as hanging some new art in the space. However, you can hire a plumbing professional to turn even a small bathroom into a relaxing oasis — with the addition of a steam shower. This isn't a project that you'll want to tackle on your own, but a plumber can get the right parts and use a careful approach to turn a stand-up shower into your own steamy area, similar to what you might encounter at a luxury hotel. Here are some things to know and consider about this project.
What It Is
A steam shower doesn't replace the traditional use of a shower. Instead, your plumber will add a steam generator and piping that runs from the shower stall to your hot water tank. There will also be a specialized opening — often near the floor — that will allow you to set the desired amount of steam. Then, whether you're having a shower or you just want to stand in a steamy environment (and one that's significantly steamier than the steam produced through a shower alone) you can adjust the settings and enjoy the relaxing effect of the steam.
For the steam shower to work properly, your shower stall needs to be completely enclosed — this is why this plumbing upgrade is suited for a shower stall, but not a tub. If there's an opening between the ceiling and the top of the door, your plumber will either enclose this space with a new shower stall surround, or hire a subcontractor to take care of the job. This will not only allow the steam to build up, but will also protect the rest of the bathroom from getting too damp — and possibly experiencing the growth of mildew.
Benefits Of This Upgrade
A steam shower can be an enticing feature to point out when you eventually list your home for sale. In the meantime, however, you'll hopefully get plenty of use out of it. Many people find that spending time in a steam shower is relaxing and healthy for their skin. Others use this type of shower to provide relief from congestion when they have a cold. When your sinuses are clogged, standing in the steam shower — and perhaps dripping some essential oils in the shower — can help to make it easier to breathe.