What Are The Pros And Cons Of Having A Steam Shower?

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

With the new focus on water conservation sweeping the nation, people are trying to find new ways to make sure that they enjoy a nice bath while keeping water bills low. Steam showers are becoming popular among elite designers. Touted as one of the new solutions to conservation, steam showers are hot-button items in brand new luxury homes. But, are they really worth that #hype?

Steam showers offer a luxurious, spa-like experience that people love. Some believe it to have health benefits. Due to the elegance of this shower type, it also adds a lot of value to a home. Unfortunately, steam showers are prohibitively expensive and may require additional planning. They’re also rarely used.

It’s often said that steam showers are a luxury item, and it’s true. If you take a look at the pros and cons of this shower type, you’ll realize that it’s definitely made for a particularly niche audience.

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What Are The Perks Of Having A Steam Shower?

Steam showers are gaining traction with top spas around the country for good reason. They have a lot of perks and are super trendy. These perks below are major reasons why the trend is catching on.

It’s A Great Experience

For ages, steam showers were relegated to the realm of upscale spas. Steam showers relax the muscles, open up pores, and also make you feel like you’re in a space-age-style spa. When you have a steam shower in your home, you don’t have to travel for that luxury bathing experience. It is easy to get hooked on the feeling of a steam shower.

People who want to have a luxury home will find a steam shower to be the perfect addition to any home. In some systems, you can actually bolster your shower with the addition of essential oils too. Essential oils or not, it’s hard to ignore how nice it feels to be wrapped up in steam, in your own personal sauna. That’s basically what steam showers offer.

Health Benefits

The way that steam showers work suggests that they may offer health benefits that a regular shower doesn’t. Steam showers are warm, which means that you get a natural way to relax your muscles and soothe aches. However, there are some studies that suggest that it does more. These types of showers encourage sweating, which bolsters your body’s ability to clean itself out.

More open pores, better flexibility, and an overall heightened sense of wellbeing all have been reported with regular use of a steam shower. This is primarily why most spas that focus on detoxing add steam showers to their arsenal. With that said, most people who have used a steam shower in their lives agree that it is a great way to feel revitalized.

Adding Home Value

Are you currently in the middle of a bathroom remodel? Then you are already in a good place to get more value on your home. A steam shower addition to a bathroom can add several thousand dollars worth of value to your home. How much value it adds varies, but it’s been known to be a major selling point among luxury fans.

The truth is that adding a steam shower is smart if you want to flip a home, or if you live in an area where finding buyers is competitive. For example, steam showers are incredibly popular in the Hamptons simply because people struggle hard with trying to find a buyer. After all, it’s not exactly easy to find people with a bank account big enough for that area.

Water Conservation

The water conservation aspect of a steam shower is manifold. First off, it takes a lot less water to push out steam from a spigot than it would have a “rainfall” shower. This means that a typical steam bath probably won’t use as much water as a regular shower. According to studies done on the topic, a single steam shower session will only cost $1 in energy. That’s a “WOW” from me!

Moreover, it’s important to remember that steam showers are fairly small. They are actually smaller than a typical stall in most cases. This means that the work and cleaning maintenance that you need to do will take less time. Oh, and rinsing the shower? Yep, it’ll require less water after every single scrub down.

This is why a lot of “green” fans tend to look at steam showers as a status symbol. Nothing is more elegant than being able to improve your home while keeping the ecological price low.

What Are The Problems With Having A Steam Shower?

While steam showers are fairly popular, the truth is that they are not going to be totally mainstream anytime soon. Though they can conserve water and also boost your health, there are some issues that currently cripple their ability to make it mainstream.

High Price Tags

Even if you have a very hefty paycheck, the truth is that you cannot have a steam shower without plunking down serious cash. Installing a steam shower, even if it’s a low-grade version, will cost a bare minimum of $5,000. In most cases, adding a steam shower to a bathroom is a project that will run between $10,000 to $15,000.

Obviously, this puts it well out of range for most homeowners. That’s practically the price of a typical bathroom remodeling project, and that’s assuming that you’re remodeling the entire bathroom. Having that price tag for a single portion of your bathroom is a little bit crazy for most of us.

Pre-Planning Required

There are some bathroom upgrades that you can do with minimal planning, such as retiling your floor. A steam shower is not one of those projects. Steam showers are heavily involved projects that often require the removal of an actual bathtub, shuffling around plumbing fixtures, and also figuring out where you will be able to put a separate shower area away from your bathing area.

You have to remember that it’s also not just a matter of getting the plumbing, either. It’s also a matter of making sure you have a shower stall that is capable of holding the steam within its doors. This can be tough, because that automatically bars you from adding this to a bathtub setup.

Rarely Used Regularly

Here’s the kicker that people need to be aware of: this is not a commonly used luxury item. Much like a pool table that was bought on a whim, a steam shower is one of those amenities that is only really used by a very select slice of people. Most people will switch the shower setting to standard for the most part. Some others will choose to have a bath instead of a shower.

Steam showers typically see the majority of their use in the first year or so of their lives. Then, most people tend to walk past them, only to go, “Ooh, that’s neat.” It’s a strange phenomenon, and at times, can be hard to understand. However, people are creatures of habit. This means that you should expect people to stick to regular showers if that’s what they grew up with.

High Mold Risk

Everyone knows that mold tends to grow best in damp, warm environments. This is why a lot of people tend to be horrified when they have a steam shower for the first time. Most steam showers act as ideal areas for mold growth. If you want to avoid this part of your bathroom turning into its own biome, you have to be very persnickety about cleanliness.

Oh, and you have to regularly spray the area down with white vinegar. It’ll kill black mold in a pinch.

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Related Questions

Is getting a steam shower in your home worth it?

It depends on your budget as well as your goals. Many homeowners who have a steam shower as a part of a bathroom layout tend to be happy with their decision, especially when they are ready to sell their home. However, people who were hoping for an additional treat or who just never use it tend to find steam showers to be a rather excessive option.

Can I convert my regular shower into a steam shower?

You can, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy. There are current kits that can help you make adding a steam shower easier than before. However, they usually will require you to have additional hardware added to your plumbing system. This may require you to retile parts of your steam shower to make it worthwhile.

Do steam showers need to be vented?

Once your shower is done, you will need to have some kind of ventilation involved in your steam shower area. This is the only way to help reduce the chance of mold taking hold. In some cases, this could require you to simply open a shower door and let it air out. In other cases, you may need to have a specialized venting system added to your bathroom. It all depends on your home’s design.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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