What Is a Steam Shower Tub?

Donna Johnson

When doing a bathroom remodel, many homeowners may choose to include a shower upgrade in the project. A luxury shower, such as a steam shower tub, may increase the beauty, value and enjoyment of the bathroom. A steam shower bathtub is an all-in-one unit that contains a shower, a traditional or whirlpool bathtub, and the ability to produce steam for relaxation and possible alleviation of symptoms such as congestion or high blood pressure.

Most steam shower tubs feature the option of taking either a traditional shower or a steam bath.
Most steam shower tubs feature the option of taking either a traditional shower or a steam bath.

The shower feature of a steam shower tub is typically of a better quality than that in a basic shower or tub/shower unit. The shower head may detach, allowing the bather to use it as a handheld shower, or the unit may have a separate handheld shower in addition to the main shower head. Some units come with multiple shower nozzles, oriented at different heights, which can be adjusted to hit specific body parts. Bathers with sore, aching muscles may especially appreciate the multiple jets of water, along with the ability to adjust massage settings on some showers. An overhead rain shower, which sprays water straight down from the ceiling of the steam shower bathtub, is another popular option.

A steam shower tub also includes a built-in bathtub. Homeowners who are undertaking a bathroom upgrade that does not include expansion may find a modular unit best for their needs, as it will generally fit in the area occupied by a standard bathtub or tub/shower combo. Despite the smaller size, these combos often include a tub with whirlpool jets. People who are expanding their bathrooms, as well as those whose rooms were already spacious, may choose a larger steam shower tub that may comfortably seat two.

The feature of a steam shower tub that sets it apart from basic bathtubs, showers and tub/shower combos is its ability to produce steam. A steam shower bathtub uses a steam generator to increase the humidity in the air inside the unit. The glass doors provide a tight seal to keep the resulting steam from escaping into the bathroom. Relaxing in the steam may lower blood pressure and clear breathing passages in some people. Those wishing to use a steam shower for therapeutic purposes should always consult their doctors first, as people with certain medical conditions, as well as those who are very young or elderly, may suffer ill effects from the heat and high humidity.

These luxury shower fixtures also may come with a number of features not typically found in a shower or even in a bathroom. Telephones, radios and CD players allow bathers to relax in their steam shower tub while being entertained. Built-in seats are also often available, to give homeowners more seating options.

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