Steam shower cabins are becoming more and more popular, both as a luxury and for the health benefits they offer. A steam shower cabin is a big investment, so make sure you have considered these 5 points before you purchase.
Size and Space
Steam shower cabins are freestanding units. You need enough space for the steam shower unit, but should also allow free space to the sides and front. When installing the unit the water hoses (which are quite long) are connected to the back and then the steam shower is slid backwards into place. It is important that you leave enough space around the steam shower cabin to slide it out again for service access. Steam shower cabins are quite tall because they have fans built into the top to aid steam circulation and help the steam to clear after use – make sure your ceiling is high enough as you can’t cut the cabin down to fit!
Steam shower cabins require a water flow rate of at least 7.5 litres per minute with 1 to 3 bar of water pressure, and will perform at their best at a pressure of 2 to 3 bar. The water supply to the steam shower cabin must be balanced to prevent damage to the thermostatic cartridge. If you have a combi boiler you will probably need to buy a pressure equalizing valve to balance the water pressures to the steam shower cabin. Gravity fed systems usually don’t supply hot water at high enough pressure for a steam shower cabin to work properly – this can be remedied by using a twin impeller pump which supplies both hot and cold water at the same pressure.
Steam shower cabins need an electrical supply, which connects at the back of the unit. If the electrical socket is located in the bathroom a 13 amp isolated fused spur is necessary, but a standard 13 amp house socket can be used if the flex is run in from another room. If you buy a whirlpool combi unit you will need two electrical sockets.
Lead Times and Delivery
Most steam shower cabins are available for delivery within 5 working days. However, some models are built to order and can take 6-8 weeks for delivery. If you leave buying until a week or two before your installation date you may find you have to either rearrange your plans or settle for a different model. Steam shower cabins come in pieces packed into several boxes on a pallet. You will need someone to help you bring the boxes inside, as they are an awkward shape and heavy.
Your steam shower cabin should come with a comprehensive set of installation instructions. Even if your plumber has never seen a steam shower cabin before he should have enough information to complete the job. The documentation for the steam shower cabin should include an installation certificate for your plumber to fill in – keep this somewhere safe just in case you need to make a warranty claim. Although some people choose to fit the steam shower cabin themselves, we recommend using a professional installer.