How Much Does a Steam Shower Cost to Install? (2023)

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Photo: istockphoto.com Highlights The typical cost range to install a steam shower is $2,650 to $6,050, with the national average cost at $4,325. There are several factors that affect the final cost of a steam shower, including the type and material of the shower and the size and brand of […]

How Much Does a Steam Shower Cost to Install? (2023)

Photo: istockphoto.com

Highlights

  • The typical cost range to install a steam shower is $2,650 to $6,050, with the national average cost at $4,325.
  • There are several factors that affect the final cost of a steam shower, including the type and material of the shower and the size and brand of the generator.
  • A steam shower has many benefits, including improved health, increased water conservation, and faster muscle recovery.
  • Since steam shower installation is a complex and difficult project, it’s recommended that most homeowners hire a professional.

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A steam shower offers homeowners a soothing and relaxing spa-like experience in the comfort of their own home. Many homeowners are converting their existing showers to steam showers or building new steam showers from scratch to add a touch of luxury to their daily routines.

What is a steam shower? A steam shower typically consists of a sealed enclosure with a steam generator that produces steam from heated water. The steam is then dispersed through jets or nozzles located within the enclosure, allowing a homeowner to feel the benefits of steam therapy while showering.

How much does a steam shower cost? According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, steam shower costs range from $2,650 to $6,050, with the average cost of a steam shower at $4,325. The exact cost depends on many factors, including the exact type of steam shower, the size and shape, the materials used, and much more. All of these cost factors, the benefits of a steam shower, and tips on how a homeowner can hire the best professional to install their steam shower are included in this cost guide.

How Much Does a Steam Shower Cost

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Factors in Calculating Steam Shower Cost

The cost of a steam shower depends foremost on the type and size of the unit. Beyond that, the shape, materials, generator size, and a few other factors will determine the cost. Each of these factors is detailed below to help homeowners estimate the cost of a steam shower.

Type

Any type of shower can be a steam shower, hence the different combinations of steam showers available, like bathtub steam showers and shower steam combos. A basic steam-only shower is the cheapest option, followed by a steam shower and tub combo. Another option is a steam shower and sauna combo, which combines the dry heat of a sauna with the wet heat of a steam shower.

Additionally, there are two types of steam showers that offer jets. A steam and jetted tub combo is both a steam shower and a deep jetted tub, offering a complete relaxation experience. Last but not least, a steam and jetted shower combo includes shower jets from multiple angles. Pricing for different types of steam showers is as follows.

Prefab Steam Shower Types (Cost Per Unit Installed)

  • Steam Shower Only: $2,800 to $6,200
  • Steam Shower Tub Combo: $4,000 to $7,000
  • Steam and Sauna Combo: $4,800 to $7,800
  • Steam and Jetted Tub Combo: $5,000 to $10,000
  • Steam and Jetted Shower Combo: $5,000 to $10,000

Custom Steam Shower Types (Cost Per Unit Installed)

  • Steam Shower Only: $4,000 to $10,000
  • Steam Shower Tub Combo: $6,000 to $12,000
  • Steam and Sauna Combo: $10,000 to $15,000
  • Steam and Jetted Tub Combo: $10,000 to $20,000
  • Steam and Jetted Shower Combo: $15,000 to $25,000

Shape

Prefab and custom steam showers come in many shapes and sizes. Standard shapes include corner, square, and rectangular units. Corner units fit perfectly in the corner of a bathroom; however, they do tend to be smaller, ranging from 36 to 42 inches wide. Square steam showers have the same width as corner units but feel larger, as there is no angled edge. Rectangular steam showers can be up to 72 inches wide. Walk-in steam showers are another available shape and come in both prefab and custom options, but they are mostly custom. Although they’re generally 48 by 60 inches, custom walk-in showers can be any size and are often the largest portion of a bathroom remodel cost.

Other steam shower shapes include curved and neo-angle. Curved steam showers are almost always prefab and are installed in a corner. They differ from corner units as the edge is curved rather than straight across. Neo-angle steam showers are also installed in a corner but are a larger version of a standard corner shower—the angled edge protrudes from the other two walls, offering more space in the shower. Pricing for all of these steam shower shapes is as follows.

Prefab Steam Shower Shapes (Cost Per Unit Installed)

  • Corner: $2,800 to $4,000
  • Square: $3,000 to $5,000
  • Rectangular: $4,000 to $6,200
  • Walk-in: $4,000 to $6,200
  • Curved: $2,800 to $4,000
  • Neo-Angle: $3,000 to $5,000

Custom Steam Shower Shapes (Cost Per Unit Installed)

  • Corner: $4,000 to $6,000
  • Square: $4,500 to $6,500
  • Rectangular: $6,000 to $10,000
  • Walk-in: $6,000 to $10,000
  • Neo-Angle: $4,500 to $6,500

Material

There are several materials that can be used for a steam shower’s surround. Prefab units can be made with acrylic, fiberglass, or Swanstone, while custom steam showers have a lot more material options, from tiles to separate wall panels. The cost for materials for each of these steam shower options follows, and additional details are provided below.

Prefab Steam Shower Materials (Cost Per Unit)

  • Acrylic: $2,300 to $5,000
  • Fiberglass: $2,500 to $5,000
  • Swanstone: $3,000 to $6,000

Custom Steam Shower Materials (Cost Per Square Foot)

  • Ceramic Tile: $1.25 to $100
  • Porcelain Tile: $3 to $30
  • Swanstone Walls: $7 to $15
  • Glass Tile: $10 to $50
  • Porcelain Slab: $14 to $16
  • Solid Surface Walls: $15 to $50

Generator Size

Steam showers rely on a generator to produce the steam—the generator heats water to its boiling point, thereby creating steam. These generators are available in a variety of sizes and will need to be sized to match the cubic footage of the steam shower. Available generators typically range from 4½ to 12 kilowatts to produce steam in showers 90 to 450 cubic feet in size. Homeowners can expect to pay between $500 and $2,000 for a steam generator. The larger the steam shower, the more expensive the generator will be.

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Generator Brand

When shopping for steam shower generators, homeowners will likely choose one of the following brands:

  • SteamSpa generators can run from $800 to $1,800.
  • Mr. Steam generators have a cost range of $1,000 to $4,000.
  • Amerec generators cost between $1,200 and $2,700.
  • Steamist generators have a price tag between $1,450 and $4,050.
  • Thermasol generators have a cost range of $1,500 to $3,500.

Door and Wall Installation

The glass door and walls that make up a steam shower are essential to its function—they create a seal to keep the steam trapped inside. These key elements come at a price. Homeowners can expect to pay $700 to $1,900 for glass walls in a steam shower and $500 to $1,350 for a glass door, with the exact price depending on the size and thickness of the glass. While doorless showers do exist, they are not practical for steam showers, as the steam will escape.

Wall Tile Installation

When a custom steam shower is being built, the wall tile installation is a large part of the project. Homeowners can expect to pay $640 to $1,400 for both labor and materials to install wall tile in a 36- by 36- by 84-inch steam shower. Two factors that could increase the cost are the size of the shower and the type of wall tile. A large shower will take much longer to tile, and certain wall tiles are more difficult to install than others.

Labor

Labor costs will make up a significant portion of the cost to install a steam shower, especially if it is custom built. Installation costs for a custom steam shower will be anywhere from $1,000 to $6,000 but only $500 to $600 for a prefab steam shower. With a prefabricated steam shower, most of the assembly is done in a warehouse before the unit is shipped to the home. This process significantly cuts down on how much labor is required for installation in the home.

Geographic Location

The cost to build a steam shower will differ from region to region. Most often, the price variations can be attributed to differences in cost of living, but they can also be caused by the current demand for plumbers, shower installers, and tilers in a particular region. In more expensive urban areas, homeowners can expect to pay more than in less expensive rural areas for a steam shower installation. For example, the average cost of a steam shower in California is $5,800, while it is $4,500 in Colorado.

How Much Does a Steam Shower Cost

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Additional Costs and Considerations

In addition to the steam shower cost factors discussed above, there are a few more that apply in certain situations. Homeowners will want to determine whether any of the following considerations could impact the cost of their new steam shower.

Prefabricated vs. Custom Steam Shower

There are two main options for steam showers: prefab and custom. The steam shower price for prefabricated units ranges from $2,800 to $7,100, while custom showers cost more at $4,000 to $14,000. Prefab showers are built at a factory; then the one-, two-, three-, or four-piece unit is transported to the home and installed. This differs from a custom steam shower, which is built directly in a home to fit the exact dimensions needed. The detailed work and extra materials that go into a custom steam shower increase the overall price as compared to the price for a prefab shower. Homeowners will want to keep in mind, however, that there are beautiful prefabricated steam shower units available that mimic the look of a custom one.

Existing Shower Conversion vs. New Steam Shower

Homeowners wanting a steam shower can either convert an existing shower to a steam shower or build a new unit altogether, with the latter being more expensive. Converting an existing shower to a steam shower costs around $4,300. That cost includes a steam unit, generator, and installation labor; however, it does not include any extra costs for shower remodeling. When considering the cost to add a steam shower from scratch, homeowners can expect to pay around $6,500.

Exhaust Fan Installation

A standard shower and a steam shower create excess steam and humidity that need to be released from a bathroom through an exhaust fan. Exhaust fans are often required by building codes, as they help prevent mold growth and water damage. The cost to install an exhaust fan ranges from $250 to $500.

Customizations

When homeowners are installing a new steam shower, there are many customizations available for them to incorporate. For example, they can add shelving to hold bathroom products for $20 to $50 each. Some modern steam shower units have an automatic flushing feature that clears the water line to the steam shower to prevent any water minerals from clogging the pipe; this costs between $100 and $400. Other customizations include an anti-fog mirror for $50 to $100, additional lighting in the steam shower, and wireless and smart system steam shower controls, with prices varying depending on the amount and type of add-ons chosen.

Additional Projects

When contractors are at a home installing a new steam shower, a homeowner may choose to have them also tackle other related projects around their home. Many homeowners use this opportunity to remodel other bathrooms in their homes, incorporating primary bathroom ideas they’ve been considering, or complete other plumbing, electrical, tile, or drywall work. While any additional projects will certainly add to the overall cost of the project, grouping projects together typically ends up being cheaper than completing many projects at different times.

How Much Does a Steam Shower Cost

Photo: istockphoto.com

Types of Steam Showers

There are quite a few different types of steam showers available on the market. Home steam shower cost greatly depends on the type of shower and shower surround materials, from prefabricated to completely custom options.

Acrylic

Acrylic is a very popular material for steam showers, with units costing anywhere from $2,300 to $5,000. Most acrylic steam showers are prefabricated units or shower kits, available in a variety of sizes and layouts. Acrylic steam showers do not have any seams, so steam cannot seep through the unit and damage the surrounding walls. That being said, acrylic steam showers do not tend to look very stylish or give a custom feel, which is why some homeowners may opt for the material types that follow.

Fiberglass

Another type of prefab shower unit, a fiberglass steam shower costs between $2,500 and $5,000. Unlike acrylic units, fiberglass steam showers have seams between each prefabricated section that could leak if not properly sealed; however, they have excellent insulation for keeping steam showers nice and humid.

Swanstone

At $3,000 to $6,000, Swanstone steam showers cost a bit more than acrylic or fiberglass prefab showers. Like fiberglass steam showers, Swanstone steam showers have seams that must be properly sealed to keep moisture out, but this type of steam shower tends to be more durable, hence the higher price point. Additionally, Swanstone steam showers are more aesthetically pleasing and available in many different styles and patterns that mimic the look of custom showers.

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Ceramic Tile

A ceramic tile steam shower will cost between $1.25 and $100 per square foot for materials only. The large price variation is due to the customized potential of ceramic tile. The nonporous material comes in hundreds of different shapes and styles, all at different price points. Basic subway ceramic tiles make up the low end of the price range, and handmade intricate ceramic tiles are found at the high end. Custom ceramic tile steam showers, along with other tile options, require grout, caulking, and waterproofing to create a watertight seal.

Porcelain Tile

Homeowners can expect to pay $3 to $30 per square foot for materials to build a porcelain tile steam shower. Porcelain tiles offer a luxury custom steam shower look and can be a cheaper alternative to porcelain slabs. This material is a great insulator for keeping steam showers warm, and the nonporous qualities make it a long-lasting choice.

Glass Tile

A steam shower with glass tile costs between $10 and $50 per square foot for the materials only. Glass tiles are also nonporous and, if installed with proper sealing, will last for many years in a steam shower. When considering glass tiles for a steam shower, homeowners are generally advised to select colored glass. Clear glass tiles can show moisture that is trapped behind the tile over time, giving off a cloudy, dull appearance.

Porcelain Slab

The material cost for a porcelain slab steam shower ranges from $14 to $16 per square foot. Porcelain slabs are much larger than porcelain tiles, offering a more luxurious look. Like porcelain tiles, porcelain slabs are nonporous. The added benefit is there are fewer grout lines with porcelain slabs and therefore fewer areas for possible leaks.

Solid Surface

Steam showers with solid surface walls cost between $15 and $50 per square foot for the materials. Solid surface refers to solid wall panels that create two or three sides of a steam shower. This material comes in many styles and sizes and is a nice middle ground between custom and prefabricated steam showers. The solid surface panels just need to be grouted between each section, so there are few grout lines.

How Much Does a Steam Shower Cost

Photo: istockphoto.com

Benefits of a Steam Shower

Steam showers have many benefits beyond just offering a relaxing experience. These benefits often warrant spending a little more on the cost of a steam shower vs. a regular shower. Homeowners may want to consider the following perks when deciding whether or not to install a steam shower.

Reduced Stress

Steam produced from a steam shower has stress-relieving effects; steam showers have been linked to reduced cortisol, a stress hormone that fluctuates depending on a body’s stress levels. While a steam shower likely won’t completely eliminate stress, it can provide some much-need relief.

Muscle Recovery

People who experience muscle soreness or pain will enjoy the reliable muscle-soothing benefits of a steam shower. The warm steam loosens up stiff or sore muscles and can help muscles recover after strenuous use. Those with persistent back or neck pain may also experience some relief with a steam shower.

Decongestion

When a homeowner is experiencing cold or flu symptoms, a nice hot shower can offer some relief by decongesting airways, and a steam shower will likely provide even more relief than a standard shower. Inhaling steam can reduce congestion, coughing, and even body aches.

Improved Complexion

With a steam shower, a homeowner will no longer have to go to the spa for a relaxing facial. The steam from the shower opens up facial pores, releasing any clogged dirt or oils. Over time, the steam can also stimulate oil production, which will hydrate skin and create a healthy glow.

Water Conservation

Using steam for bathing rather than a direct water stream saves a significant amount of water. Steam showers typically use about 2 gallons of water for every 30-minute shower, whereas a standard shower uses 2 gallons for every 1 minute to 60 gallons for every 30-minute shower. While a steam shower might not replace an everyday shower for bathing purposes, it can be mixed in to help reduce a home’s overall water consumption.

How Much Does a Steam Shower Cost

Photo: istockphoto.com

Steam Shower Installation: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional 

Even if a homeowner is just converting an existing shower to a steam shower rather than building a new steam shower entirely, the process is still quite complex. The steam shower piping and nozzles require plumbing hookups, the steam generator requires electrical connections, and the shower itself must be completely waterproofed to avoid any long-term water damage.

Additionally, a glass shower installation requires delicacy and skill. While some homeowners with construction experience may be able to install a prefabricated steam shower unit using one of the best shower kits, the majority of homeowners will want to hire a professional for this type of work.

When hiring a professional to install a steam shower, a homeowner can either separately hire a plumber, electrician, and tiler or hire a general contractor to manage all of the required work. The advantages of hiring an experienced company to build a steam shower include the knowledge that the unit is installed correctly, a quicker installation, and a workmanship warranty that will cover any necessary repairs for a certain period of time.

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How to Save Money on Steam Shower Cost

The cost of a steam shower can be substantial, especially if the shower will be large or have additional customizations. To cut down on the overall cost, consider incorporating one or all of these money-saving tips.

  • Get multiple quotes. Always request pricing quotes from at least three companies before hiring one to complete work around your home. This way, you can compare the cost of services and choose the best value option. Keep in mind that the lowest cost quote may not always be the best option. Consider everything from customer service to client testimonials in your comparison.
  • Complete demolition yourself. If your steam shower installation project will require removing, relocating, or resizing an existing shower, consider doing some of the demo yourself. Homeowners with experience can typically demo tiles and drywall themselves; however, be careful not to damage any plumbing or electrical work within the walls.
  • Use less expensive materials. While it may be tempting to choose a steam shower with porcelain slab walls, it is not the most cost-effective option. Consider shower materials that will fit your price range when selecting finishes. Budget-friendly steam shower components include ceramic tiles and prefab units.

Questions to Ask About Steam Shower Installation

Before hiring a company to build a new steam shower, homeowners will want to make sure they fully understand the process. To gain a better understanding, they can ask each contractor the following questions.

  • Do you offer free estimates?
  • Will you provide a written quote and contract?
  • Are you licensed and insured to complete this type of work?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • What kind of training do you offer for your employees?
  • Will the work be completed by an employee of your business or by a subcontractor?
  • Can you provide references from similar projects?
  • What type of steam shower do you recommend?
  • Should I choose a prefab or custom steam shower?
  • What other plumbing or electrical work will be required?
  • Are there any additional items I should install as part of this work, such as an exhaust fan?
  • Do you require a down payment, and if so, how much?
  • Do you offer payment plans, and if so, what is the schedule?
  • Do you offer a warranty on your work?
  • How soon can you schedule the work?
  • How long will the steam shower project take?
  • How can I get in touch with you while the project is in progress?
  • Do you take care of cleanup after the project is complete?
  • How will you protect my home from damage during the project?
  • How do you handle disputes or disagreements?

FAQs

Most homeowners do not have a steam shower in their homes and so may be unaware of certain steam shower topics. These frequently asked questions offer more insight into steam shower units and what a homeowner might look out for when installing one in their home.

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

The main difference between a steam shower and a sauna is the type of moisture each uses. A steam shower uses moist heat, while a sauna uses dry heat. The moisture in a steam shower has added benefits beyond just stress relief and relaxation, including decongested airways and unclogged pores, and more.

Q. What are the benefits of a steam shower?

The benefits of a steam shower include the following:

  • stress relief created by reducing cortisol levels
  • muscle recovery created by loosening up stiff and sore muscles
  • cold and flu relief created by decongesting airways
  • improved facial complexion created by opening up and unclogging pores
  • reduced water consumption created by using less water than a traditional shower

Q. Do steam showers cause mold?

Steam showers can cause mold if the correct preventative measures are not in place. Any bathroom with a steam shower must have moisture-resistant paint as well as an exhaust fan to vent out humidity. Additionally, shower surfaces, like fixtures, tiles, and grout, need to be regularly washed with a mold-killing solution.

Q. What type of maintenance is required for a steam shower?

Like any shower, a steam shower must be kept clean to prevent mold growth or stains. Homeowners will want to clean the entire surface regularly with a vinegar-based or all-purpose cleaner. Additionally, it’s recommended that maintenance tasks such as replacing the heating coils and inspecting pipes, seals, and joints for any leaks be carried out every few years.

Q. How much value does a steam shower add to a house?

Homes with a steam shower can sell for as much as 30 percent more than homes without one. While a steam shower may not be on every buyer’s must-have list, it can certainly give any house a unique selling point. Often the cost of installing a steam shower can be recouped when a homeowner decides to sell their home.

Q. Are steam showers worth the money?

Yes, steam showers are often worth the money. They offer an abundance of stress-relieving health benefits, and after installing one, a homeowner no longer has to spend money on facials or sauna services at the spa. Additionally, adding a steam shower can increase the value of a home when it comes time to sell it.

Sources: Angi, HomeAdvisor, Fixr, HomeGuide, Forbes

Installing a shower?

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