How to Build a Steam Room

How to Build a Steam Room. Steam rooms are a typical commodity of health clubs and spas. The high pressure and temperature of the steam opens pores and rids the body of toxins, while providing a soothing and relaxing atmosphere. Unfortunately, the membership at health clubs and spas can be expensive and somewhat inconvenient. Here's how you can build a steam room in your own home instead.

Things You'll Need

  • Bathtub
  • Cement board
  • Ceramic tile
  • Vapor barrier
  • Nails
  • Steam generator

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Make sure the bathroom you are converting or the room you are building is waterproof. Use cement board instead of moisture proof drywall, and cover the walls and ceiling in ceramic tile or glass, using silicone as the seal.

Determine the height of your steam room ceiling, which should be lower than 8 feet to maximize the build-up of steam and prevent cold spots. Slant the ceiling to some degree so that condensation rolls down the ceiling instead of dripping on you when you use your steam room.

Enclose the bathtub, if you are converting it instead of building a full-size steam room, with walls and a door that are waterproof. There needs to be a small gap at the bottom of the door for airflow. If you're building a steam room, it can be airtight.

Line the steam room, whether a bathtub conversion or one you build, with vapor barrier. Use one continuous piece of vapor barrier, nailing it tightly to the walls and ceiling and overlapping the final seam. The vapor barrier should drape onto the floor of the steam room so that any condensation goes down the drain.

Install a steam generator when you are certain that no water will escape the steam room you have constructed. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the generator installation and be certain that all connections are accurate before using the steam room.

Tips & Warnings

  • Find a vapor barrier at concrete suppliers. Home centers likely will not carry it.
  • Building a steam room yourself runs the risk of moisture problems (which can lead to mold) if even the slightest step is done incorrectly. When in doubt, hire a professional contractor to do the work for you.
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