Q: We have a large master bathroom that has a walk-in shower with a seat. For years, I’ve wanted to add a steam unit to this shower and figure now is the time. What are some bathroom basics to consider when adding a steam unit? 

A: First, you’ll be introducing extra moisture into the bathroom area — and that moisture needs to be removed. So work with your contractor to make sure your bathroom fan and fresh-air intake can handle the additional moisture. If not, upgrades may be required.

The shower stall may need to be updated, as well. Having a seat is a good start, but additional tile work may need to be completed on the upper walls and ceiling if you don’t already have a tightly sealed shower stall.

Also, replace your standard shower door with a special steam shower door to better contain the steam. For the steam unit, make sure you have approved accessible space and the required electrical connections for installation.

Finally, know that this can be a high-end project — so don’t get steamed when you add up all the costs!


Ed Del Grande is a master plumber, contractor and author. Send questions to eadelg@cs.com.