Steam Shower Contractor -
Custom steam shower installations from Chicagoland Remodeling Design & Build are top notch, professionally done with an unparalleled eye for detail.
Chicagoland Remodeling Design & Build, based out of St. Charles, IL is a s family
business established in February 2009. We are the complete remodeling and steam
shower installation contractor who’s ambitions are to go straight to the top of the
Chicagoland remodeling industry. Although we are a relatively new company, our experience
level is quite extensive. As Co-
Our mission here at Chicagoland Remodeling Design & Build is to continue the growth of our business by doing right by all of our customers, vendors and contractors. We love seeing that one of a kind smile on a Home Owners face at the end of a project!
Chicagoland Remodeling Design & Build stacks up with the competition and surpasses it with competitive prices, second to none workmanship and a prompt/responsive TEAM! We don’t have that spectacular showroom so we send our clients to our competitors spectacular showroom! This way we let them incur all the overhead costs while we reap all the benefits and give you the better price. Zero overhead = Great Pricing! We work with all the same Vendors they do, but without all the headaches of a showroom and product/sample upkeep. We work with you to get a price that fits your budget, value engineering to save you money, a schedule that works for you, and the finished product you dream of. It is the little things that we do that goes a long way with our customers.
Our guarantee is what we stand for! We take pride in every one of our projects, no matter what the size. We give you quality that you can measure, and a finished product that will enhancement your home for ever. Along with the warranties that each trade and product will have, Chicagoland Remodeling will put a “guaranteed” stamp on all their projects. In today’s costly world, we will work with our client in any way that we need to get you what you want at the price you need. Your satisfaction is our Business!
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Custom steam showers are one of the most challenging remodeling projects you can do. In preparing to build a custom steam shower you must be sure of a couple things 1). You have 2 open spots on your electrical panel to accommodate the power needed to supply the steam generator. 2). You should have at least a 3’ x 5’ enclosure, preferably a 5’ x 5’ area. 3) Be ready to go over budget.
The first step in building a custom steam shower is to purchase the right size steam generator. Steam generator sizing is determined by the amount of cubic feet it is to supply. So for a 3’ deep x 5’ wide x 8’ tall steam shower, you would need a steam generator that is rated for 120 cubic feet. Also, the type of tile you will be using will also play a role in sizing your steam generator . I like to over size the steam generator a little bit so they heat up the enclosure faster and to extend the life of the generator. Once you figured out which generator is need you need to pick out the accessories. There are really only 2 accessories that are essential to get the steam shower functional, they are the steam head and the timer. I would recommend purchasing a steam head that matches your plumbing and one that has a dimple on the top side of it for essential oils. As far as the timer goes, I would get one that is digital. You can program it to the desired temperature you like instead of it constantly pumping out scorching steam with the manual type of timers.
Once your ready to start construction your steam enclosure, make sure you have an
area to put the steam generator. I like building benches in my steam showers and
installing the generator under the bench. You will need to build an access door
where ever you install the steam generator. The first steps in the construction
are to install all of you mechanicals… your standard plumbing for you shower and
the plumbing for the steam generator… electrical for lighting in the steam shower,
usually a 220v line for the generator and a low voltage line for the timer… I like
to use a inline blower fan with an inlet and an outlet to create air circulation
inside the steam shower to dry everything off after you are done. Prior to closing
off the walls, I would insulate them thoroughly to help keep the heat in and use
a vapor barrier. It’s time to close everything in with 1/2” durock on the walls
and ceilings. It is not necessary to pitch the ceiling, but the one downfall of
not doing it is that water droplets will drip down instead of finding their way to
the walls. It’s now waterproofing time. I like to use a paintable liquid membrane
with fiberglass mesh for the corners/seams… 2 coats on everything please! It is now
time to tile. You will read that it is not wise to use stone in steam showers. My
opinion is that you are building a $10,000 + steam shower… it is wise to use stone,
just don’t use green marble! I recommend using epoxy adhesive along with epoxy grout
because it is a higher quality product, it wont stain and water will not penetrate
it like standard grout. If you do decide to use a stone make sure you get the highest
quality sealer available and re-
A couple must do tips to make your steam shower most enjoyable… 1). Build a 5’ bench that is wide enough for you to lay down comfortably on. 2). Put the light that is in the enclosure on a dimmer to enhance the mood. 3). Use essential oils. 4). Install a heated floor outside of the steam shower if in budget
Cutting in with a brush…
Having a good quality angled paint brush is your first step in being able to brush without taping everything! The best brush in my opinion is the Purdy cub 2.5”. This particular brush gives me a comfortable feeling in my hand while still having a good width. When painting walls cut in everything with a brush first before you start rolling, this will give you a better looking transition between the roll marks and brush marks. To start off, I like to get my brush saturated with paint. Dip it into the paint about 1” and swirl it around for a second, get the excess paint off and swirl brush again. You never want to have paint creep more than half way up your brush. When this happens, the paint is difficult to remove and will ruin the brush. Brush the paint on the wall about an inch from where your cut line is to get excess paint of the brush, then work your brush to your cut line and work the brush steadily in the groove. Keep a wet rag over your shoulder to clean up any crooked cuts! If you plan on doing a lot of painting, I would recommend getting drywall stilts ($150) to be more efficient cutting in ceilings. Keep practicing with this method and maybe one day you will enjoy a good paint job! ;)
To tape or not to tape…
The only time I use tape is to cover the top of the baseboards to prevent splatters from the roller. Most of the time I won’t even do that. I find it more efficient to just wipe down the baseboards right after you roll it if there are splatters. As an amateur, when I used tape, either the paint would bleed through, or when I peeled the tape the paint would come with it. Now, as a pro, I save more time and money by just counting on my steady hand and eye to create straight lines. Also, if you are going to use tape, I would only recommend using the blue Scotch painters tape. All the other stuff is garbage and will cause you more headaches than the extra $4 you spend on a Scotch roll. If you go forward with taping everything, I would suggest taking the tape off while the paint is still wet, this is just another step to avoid pulling off paint while taking the tape down.
How to roll (Proper technique)
A proper rolling technique will give you an opportunity to get away with only using 1 coat. There is more than just technique (paint/roller quality /nap size, base coat/top coat colors) to achieve this, but it’s worth the shot, plus the end result will look much better. The best roller is the Purdy White Dove 3/8” nap. You want to start out in a corner and work your way from left to right or right to left with vertical strips. Start your paint loaded roller in the center or your first strip and start working the paint up, then down until that strip is completely covered (no bare spots). Once you get it covered, start at the bottom of that strip with your empty roller and do a full roll up to the ceiling. Each dip into the tray should get you 1 complete strip from floor to ceiling. Continue each new vertical strip with this method. After you get done with your second strip, come back with your empty roller and as lightly as possible do a roll between your first and second strip. This will remove any excess paint (roller marks) left by the roller. Continue this method for every wall and maybe you will only need one coat.
Paint brush and roller clean up
My paint brushes usually last a year or 2 if I don’t lose them! Treat your brush the way you would like to be treated. Haha. Keep it clean and in its house (yellow Purdy cover) to keep the bristles straight. To clean your brush you will need a metal bristle brush, water, sink and mineral spirits if using oil base paints or stains. Turn the water to warm in your sink/laundry tub and hold the brush with one hand against the bottom of sink and metal bristle brush in the other hand. Going in one direction from handle side to bristles, clean paint out on all 4 sides of the brush while under running water. Once you get all the hardened paint off, drop the metal brush and press the brushes bristles down continuously under the running water until there is no more paint. Repeat with metal brush if necessary. Once the paint is all gone, shake the brush until all the excess water is removed. Brush the brush on a paper towel or old shirt to help dry the bristles. Put in its house and your done. I always wait until the next day to use the same brush, because the moisture in the bristles will be astray and you will not get a good cut line if you try to use it again! As far as rollers go, I like to put them in a zip lock bag if I plan on using the same color the next day. I rinse the roller (not roller cover) under warm water to remove old paint from sides. I also recommend waiting until the next day to use the same roller because if water mixes in, it will leave marks on the wall. To discard old paint, add kitty litter into it to absorb the paint and throw out with normal trash.
The first step in building a custom shower pan is to have the walls all framed up and have your curb built (the part where you step into the shower). I like to build the curb with (3) 2X4's to accommodate at least 3" of concrete. You do not need treated 2x4's unless they are sitting on concrete, they should never get wet! Once you get this done you should have your drain set. I like the drain set at 2.5" from the subfloor to the top of the drain. This accommodates 2" of concrete and a 1/2" of mortar/tile. Make sure you use the right drain... it needs to have a flange to attach the rubber membrane. Once your drain is set, now you can put down your rubber membrane. You can get these at your local Menards. You want to cut your hole out for your drain in the center of the rubber, or whatever your shower pan dimensions are. Make sure you don’t cut the hole too big it needs to just fit over the drain and get stretched to fit under the flange. This flange is what makes the water tight seal, so if your hole you cut is too big you need to get some more rubber. After you get the rubber attached to the drain securely you can now form the rubber to the rest of the shower pan and flash it over your curb and up the walls 12". You can fasten the rubber with roofing nails at the 11" mark on the walls and on the outside of the curb. Now install your durock on the walls and curb. Since you just put a hole through your rubber liner with your durock screws, you need to take them back off and dab a bead of silicon on the holes you just made then reinstall the durock. You are now ready to pour concrete. You should have a 16" finishing trowel, and bin to mix the concrete in. I like to use a 1/2 portland cement with 1/2 sand mixture. Before you mix your concrete, you need to figure out the slope of the concrete. I like to use a 1/4" per 1' slope ratio. So, if your drain to your wall is 3' and the top of your drain is set at 2.5" then the top of the slope should be at 3.25". Measure the perimeter of the shower pan and make marks @ 3.25" and snap a chalk line all the way around at this height. Mix and pour the concrete, use your chalk line as a guide. Once your concrete sets up over night, now you can liquid waterproof. I like to use mapelastic HPG from Mapei with a fiberglass mesh. You want to put the mesh on the entire floor/curb/corners and 12" up the wall. Once you get this done just apply the waterproofing membrane with a paint brush and a 6” roller. You will need to drill a new set of weeping holes with a 1/8” drill bit in the drain neck where the concrete meets the drain. I always put 3 coats on. Once dry, you are ready to tile. I like to use epoxy grout for the floor because it does not allow water to penetrate and pass through. There you have it... basically a 3 layer waterproofing defense mechanism if done properly. There are other methods of doing this... pouring concrete twice (preslope), schluter kerdi (most expensive and time consuming). Hope this helps you DIYers!