The realtor that I do a lot of work for called me up the other day and asked me if I was busy. I said "No, not for you of course. What do you need?". I always make time for this person.......ALWAYS.
He said that he and his wife had just returned from a vacation where they were introdused to the wonderful world of a steam shower and now they wanted one installed. We talked about different issues that might come up regarding building one in the pool house. Issues like the shower pan, wall coverings, features, etc., and I told him that I would research it and get back to him.
After getting pointed in the right direction and doing a bunch of research I met with him and worked VERY hard to persuede him to buy a premade unit as opposed to building one. The big issues are the wall coverings and making them steam proof and incorporating whatever features one may want into the build. Well, he took my advice and said that he would get back to me when he found what he wanted.
I got a call a couple of days later and he said that he was taking delivery of his steam shower the next morning. This is the unit:
Hubba Hubba...this is one fancy shower!!! It has spa jets, a dry sauna feature, two seats that put your back in position to receive massages rom massage jets, light therapy , shower water from bunches of different angles and a fancy, sporty look. It also has hookups for your stereo (speakers are already installed) and a phone setup so that you can make and receive phone calls while showering.
I've removed a 36" corner shower and I've replumbed and rewired the bath for the unit. I'll fill in the missing sheetrock and match the texture and fill in the missing tile on the floor. Then I'll assemble the unit in place. It is self-contained kind of like a self-contained spa would be, if you know what I mean. You place the unit where you want it and then connect your electrical, plumbing, drain, stereo and phone. (Don't we all have a stereo and phone built into our spas? )
Putting the unit together looks to be quite the puzzle. There's not too many pieces but I'll have to be very careful to assemble the unit precisely so as to eliminate the possibility of leaks. The pieces consist of the lower tub section (which houses almost all of the functional stuff), a preassembled front panel section, a preassembled rear panel section, a two piece roof section and the side panels. The side panels need to be assembled in place and they look to be the tricky section to get leakproof. To give you an idea of the complexity (and the sophistication actually) of this shower, here's a pic of the back panel of the upper rear section:
Customer/ technical support from this company (actually the distributor) is top notch. The manufacturer is in China and the instructions have been (badly) translated and are somewhat incomplete. But the tech support from the distributor (located in Southern California---meaning native english speaking folks, YAAAAHHH) is VERY friendly and very knowledgeable about their product. The power requirements are pretty significant. The unit used to be produced needing 220v power but they changed it to requiring two 110v circuits (for North America anyway); One 20 amp and one 30 amp circuit.
All in all, it's pretty impressive. I don't know what it cost but the owner is a person of some means and is used to paying for quality. A very nice man to work for.