A Clear Guide to Steam Shower Costs: What to Know

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Are you short on space in your home but still want the benefits of a steam room? Why not consider installing a steam shower in place of your regular shower?

Imagine coming home after a long day at work or the gym and stepping into your own steam shower to relax those sore muscles.

Your first question is likely to be about the steam shower cost. The steam shower costs of installation can range from $2,650 to $6,050, depending on the size, materials, and whether you want to upgrade to a full steam room.

In this article, we will cover a lot of the factors that go into the steam shower cost for installation and also the ongoing expenses.

Prefabricated Unit vs. DIY Steam Shower Kit

When you choose a prefabricated steam shower, you don’t have to worry about the cost of materials or the generator as they are already included in the package. These types of steam showers typically cost between $4,800 and $8,930. That equals roughly $70 per square foot to almost $140 per square foot depending on the prefab steam showers.

It’s generally an easier steam shower installation than building custom steam rooms since it is ready-made as a home steam room. Some even have a tub combo so you will get plenty of use out of it.

Custom steam showers that replace regular showers generally have a higher cost to install since you have to buy all of the materials separately. There is also more construction needed to install a steam shower compared to a prefab steam shower. Let’s go over some of those factors and the average cost.

Steam shower door and walls

Most steam showers will be built into a corner of the bathroom which uses the existing walls. This means that you’ll only need to add a door. Not any shower door, however, since the entire existing shower stall needs to be enclosed to get the most out of the steam shower system.

On average, ceramic tile for three shower walls for a custom steam shower will cost around $1,000, and installing a glass door ranges from $900 to $1,300, depending on the thickness and type of glass used. If you opt for all glass walls then this adds to the steam shower costs as well.

It’s important that you don’t use porous materials as these will allow the moist heat to get into the walls and cause damage. Also adding to the steam shower cost when you convert an existing shower is that you have to insulate and waterproof the walls before you add the wall tiles. This easily adds a few hundred dollars to the cost of an existing shower conversion.

If you have some experience with steam shower systems and are handy with tools, you may be able to tackle this project yourself and save on the installation costs. However, even if you are handy, you’ll still need to hire a local plumber and electrician to install a steam shower. It’s best to opt for a professional installer, as it will save you time and hassle dealing with multiple contractors.

Average steam shower cost for installation

 Average cost of labor

Opting for a prefabricated steam shower can save you a significant amount of money on the average cost of installation labor. While a custom steam shower installation cost can range anywhere from $1,000 to $6,000, prefabricated steam showers will only cost you between $500 and $600. 

This is a great option for those looking to save on costs while still getting the benefits of a new steam shower. Not only will you save on labor costs when you buy a prefab steam shower, but you’ll also have a more efficient steam shower installation process. 

If you’re looking to save money when you install a steam shower, you can choose to install the prefab steam shower yourself with the help of a local electrician and shower installers which can save even more on labor costs. 

All in all, a prefabricated steam shower can offer a great balance of cost savings and convenience.

 Steam shower generators

A steam generator is required to operate your prefabricated steam shower, which should be included with the unit. However, if you are constructing a custom steam shower or converting an existing shower then you have to factor in the price of a new generator to the final steam shower installation cost. The average cost of a steam generator ranges from $500 to $2,000, depending on the required power.

A less powerful steam generator unit can support small steam showers while a larger steam generator is needed for larger shower spaces up to the size of a bedroom.

When choosing a steam generator for your steam room, it’s important to consider the size of the room and the number of shower steam heads. You may read about how you need to measure the shower enclosure per square foot, but you will get a more accurate calculation if you add up the cubic feet.

A general guideline is that a steam generator should provide 1.5 cubic feet of steam per minute for every cubic foot of shower space. For example, if you have a 100 cubic-foot shower, you would need a steam generator that can produce 150 cubic feet of steam per minute.

Keep in mind that adding extra features such as a sauna or bathtub will also require more steam. Each shower head will add an additional 1-1.5 cubic feet of steam per minute, so if you have multiple shower heads, you’ll need to consider getting a large steam generator to accommodate the extra steam and this adds to the steam room costs.

Exhaust fan for article about steam shower cost
Ventilation Grille, Extractor Fan

Venting and exhaust fan

It’s important to note that some steam rooms require a venting system to release steam from the shower stall to the outside. The reason is that there is a high risk of mold growth due to the wet heat of a steam shower. You have to remove the moisture from the air even though it is in an enclosed space so the moisture doesn’t spread into the rest of the bathroom and build up.

The cost to install venting and an exhaust fan adds up to a potential $800 if you want a fan with new ducts and a humidity sensor that shuts itself off automatically when it detects the humidity drops below a certain threshold.

Luxury features

When creating a custom steam shower, it is important to carefully plan the design. Whether you opt for a prefab steam shower or go the custom route, you can include various elements for a luxury home spa experience such as:

  • Specialized mood lighting
  • Sound systems
  • Automated controls
  • Sitting area

All of these items will add to the steam shower cost especially if you are trying to build a top of the line steam shower for maximum comfort and a luxurious experience.

What are the ongoing steam shower costs?

The electricity bills for steam showers can vary depending on the rate of energy in your area and the size of the generator that is required for the space. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average energy cost in the U.S. is around 13 cents per kilowatt hour.

So if you’re using a 6.5 kW generator and operating it for a 30-minute steam shower session, which includes 10 minutes for heating up and 20 minutes for the regular shower, your cost would come out to be around 42 cents per shower.

It’s important to keep this in mind when considering the steam shower costs and to budget accordingly. It’s also worth noting that this cost may vary depending on your location, the cost of utilities in your area, and the efficiency of your steam shower unit.

How much value does a steam shower add to the home?

Having a steam shower in your home offers more than just relaxation after a long day, it also can be a selling point when it comes to listing your home. Mentioning this feature in your online listing can potentially increase the final selling price of your home.

This is what Zillow has to say about it:

Of all homes listed for sale on Zillow between 2016 and 2017, those mentioning “steam shower” and “professional appliance” in their listing descriptions earned sellers a 29 percent higher sale price than listings that didn’t include those terms — the highest premium among more than 100 listing terms analyzed by Zillow.


FAQ about your home steam shower

Q: How often should I clean my steam shower?

It is recommended to clean your steam shower at least once a week to ensure it stays hygienic and safe for use. This includes cleaning the walls and floor, as well as replacing filters and the steam generator.

Q: What type of cleaning products should I use for my steam room?

It is best to use mild, pH-neutral cleaning products specifically designed for use in a steam room or steam showers. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials as they can damage the surfaces of your steam shower. You should add a few dollars per month to the ongoing steam shower cost since you may need to buy dedicated cleaning products just for this task.

Q: How do I maintain my steam shower generator?

Regular maintenance of your steam room generator is essential to ensure it runs properly and efficiently. This includes checking the water levels, cleaning the generator, and inspecting it for any signs of wear and tear. Steam shower generators also require periodic flushing if it is a model that doesn’t do it automatically so make sure to check the owner’s manual. It is recommended to have a professional service the steam generator at least once a year.

Q: What is the difference between a steam shower and a steam room?

A steam shower is a type of shower enclosure that has a built-in steam generator, allowing the user to experience the benefits of a steam bath while showering. A steam room, on the other hand, is a dedicated space for steam therapy, typically equipped with glass walls, a bench or a seating area for users to relax and enjoy the steam. While both a steam shower and steam room provide similar benefits, a steam room is typically larger and allows for more space to relax and enjoy the steam.

Q: What is the difference between a steam shower and a sauna?

A steam shower and a sauna are both types of enclosed spaces designed for relaxation and therapeutic purposes, but they function differently. A steam shower uses a generator to get the water inside to the boiling point to produce steam, which fills the shower enclosure and raises the humidity level. In contrast, a sauna uses dry heat, typically from a stove or heater, to create a hot and dry environment. Steam showers are generally considered to be more moisturizing and can be beneficial for respiratory issues, while saunas are believed to have more detoxifying effects and can be beneficial for cardiovascular health. You can read more about the differences in this full article here.

Bottom Line

Owning a steam shower can bring a lot of benefits, but it is important to consider the cost before making a purchase. The cost of a steam shower isn’t just the the cost of installation. A steam shower cost also includes maintenance, and utilities.

It is worth researching different models and features to find a steam shower that fits your needs and budget. With the right planning and research, you can enjoy the benefits of a steam shower without breaking the bank.

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Hi we're Denise and Tony! We are new homeowners and the bathroom is our favorite room. We made this blog to help others like ourselves get all the useful information needed to build a better bathroom all in one place!

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