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How Much Does It Cost to Install a Steam Shower?

Matt Marandola
Written by Matt Marandola
Updated January 11, 2022
Steam shower with glass enclosure

© Neil / Adobe Stock

The typical steam shower costs around $4,350.

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If you’re tight on space in your house but still want the sweet sweat that comes from a sauna, a steam shower might be the home upgrade you never knew you couldn’t live without. Just picture coming home after a long day at work or workout at the gym to your very own at-home spa! Depending on the shower’s size, materials, and whether you want to upgrade to an entire steam room, you’re looking at spending between $2,650 to $6,050.

How Much Does It Cost To Install a Steam Shower by Square Footage?

Most steam showers are 3-by-3-by-7 feet. So, on average, you’ll spend around $70 per square foot. But if you have an existing shower that only needs a steam generator added on, you can knock down the price to around $50 to $60 per square foot.

You can also cut down the price by buying a prefabricated steam shower, rather than a custom option. But you’ll need to check if these options fit your current shower space, as most prefabricated options default to the standard 3-by-3-by-7 feet.

How Much Does It Cost To Install a Steam Shower Near You?

If you’re going for a prefabricated model, you won’t have to worry about the cost fluctuating too much between states—after all, it’s already been built and only needs to be installed. For custom options, you’ll want to find a shower installer near you who can give you a direct estimate, as they’ll need to source materials and know the dimensions.

Here are the average costs of a 3-by-3-by-7-foot steam shower:

  • Florida: $4,800

  • California: $5,800

  • Texas: $5,630

  • Colorado: $4,500

  • Minnesota: $5,800

  • Pennsylvania: $6,600

  • Illinois: $6,800

Steam Shower Cost Breakdown

The key factors determining steam shower prices are the installation labor, whether you go with a prefab or custom-built option, and the cost of the generator you’ll need to power your new, luxe shower.

Labor

Buying a prefabricated steam shower will cut your labor cost nicely. Whereas a custom-built unit may cost anywhere from $1,000 to $6,000 to install, a prefabricated one will only range between $500 to $600.

Steam shower system

© irina88w / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images.

Prefabricated vs. Custom-Built

With a prefab option, you don’t need to worry about the cost of materials or the generator, as they’re already built into the cost when you purchase the package. Prefabricated steam showers typically cost around $2,800 to $5,930.

For custom steam showers designed exactly to your liking, you’ll need to take into account the cost of materials such as tiles and glass. Tiles will cost, on average, $1,000 for three shower walls. The cost to install glass doors is around $900 to $1,300, depending on their thickness and type of glass.

Generator

You’ll need a generator to power your new steam shower, which should come with your prefabricated unit. Those building a custom steam shower, or who already have a shower set up and are waiting for a steam upgrade, will find that a generator costs around $500 to $2,000

The price comes down to how powerful of a generator you need. A generator on the low end will power a tiny shower, while high-end generators can power a shower the size of a bedroom.

Add-Ons

For those taking the custom route, you’ll want to put some thought into your steam shower design. Even if you’re buying a prefabricated steam shower (or just have a run-of-the-mill shower), you can add these elements:

  • Specialized lighting

  • Sound systems

  • Automated controls

  • Sitting area

How Much Does It Cost To Install a Steam Shower vs. a Normal Shower?

The cost to install a regular shower vs. a steam shower is about a $3,000 difference. On average, you’re looking at paying around $1,125 for a regular shower compared to a steam shower, which runs around $4,350.

How Much Does It Cost To Build a Steam Room vs. a Steam Shower?

You might think a room is obviously more expensive to build than a shower, but steam rooms are often the more affordable option because they don’t use running water. On average, a steam room costs around $2,515.

If you have the space and the budget, you can opt to get a steam room and upgrade your existing shower with add-ons, such as new tiles and a rainfall showerhead, for around the same price you’d pay for just a steam shower. Getting a high-end shower with a steam room will cost around $3,640, depending on the number of upgrades and bathroom remodeling you want to do.

How Much Does It Cost To Build a Steam Shower Yourself?

If you know your way around a shower system, you can try and tackle this project yourself. The easiest way would be to buy a prefabricated unit and a generator for around $2,800. But no matter how handy you are, you’ll still need to hire a local plumber and an electrician to get everything hooked up. 

It’s best to opt for a professional installer, as this will save you time when it comes to handling multiple different contractors to get one project done.

FAQs About Steam Showers

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

A steam shower goes in place of an existing shower, has an opening at the top, and functions as both a shower and a source of steam (at around 110 F). Because steam is involved, steam showers are classified as wet heat. (Pro Tip: Never run the steam for more than 20 minutes at a time, as you may start to feel overheated and like you live in a swamp.)

For any humidity-haters, saunas are enclosed spaces that can be put anywhere in the house and produce dry heat. That means they use electricity to power the heat, rather than water to create steam.

How do you care for your steam shower?

Ensure that there is a way to flush out excess water from the generator. There will either be a bin you can pull to dump water down the drain, or a simple button if your generator is hooked up to a drainage pipe. 

Ideally, you’ll want to drain after every shower, but there will be a mark on the generator that shows how much water it can hold. Failing to drain the generator can lead to automatic shut-offs or damage.

Do steam showers have any benefits to them?

Adding a steam shower to your home may increase the home’s value in the long run. Unlike saunas, which some may see as a hassle to maintain, steam showers still function as a shower, which means you’ll use it daily.

Beyond value, there’s evidence that steam showers and other sauna-like environments may help with circulation and sore muscles.

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