On these cold winter mornings, nothing feels better than standing underneath a stream of hot water before you get ready for the day.

Now imagine coming home in the evenings and finding the perfect way to take away the stresses of the day. Push a button in your shower stall, sit back on the bench, and melt into the soothing cloud of mist. Twenty minutes later your ready for a relaxed evening at home, far away from the stresses of the day.

While it may seem like something you can only find at your local spa or health club, in reality its closer than you think. Many homeowners today are opting to bring the feeling of the spa home to their own showers.

A steam shower is controlled by a digital control box within your shower stall. When you hit the button, it triggers an electric valve to fill a steam generator with around a gallon of cold water. Then just like adding water to a tea kettle, the generator slowly brings the water to a boil. A pipe channels the vapor to a steam head, which fills the shower stall with moisture that never gets above a safe 118 degrees.

One gallon of water equates to around 10 minutes of steam. While a steam shower won’t break the bank in water usage, keep in mind that your electric bill may go up, depending on how much you use it.

To install a steam shower in your existing bathroom, you’ll first need to select the steam generator right for your home. The generator will need to be stored within 25 feet or so of your shower stall – a linen closet or vanity will work nicely. Then you’ll need a steamproof enclosure to replace your existing shower stall. Finally you’ll need an experienced plumber to connect the pipes and an electrician to add the elctrical cables and digital controls.

While a steam shower may not add a lot to your resale value, there is evidence more people prefer steam showers to whirlpool baths. A survey by the National Association of Home Builders found that a separate shower enclosure with temperature controls and multiple showerheads is now more favored than a separate whirlpool. Which means your new addition will be a plus for you now and provide benefits in the future as well.