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  1. #1
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    Default height of a steam room or shower

    Dear members,

    What is the US building code requirement for minimum/maximum height of a shower/steam cabin? (from floor to ceiling, interior height? Cabin is not an on-site construction, it is factory made, from the receptacle to walls, solid surface, the top is closed for steam purpose)

    Thanks a lot for your attention,

    Connor

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  2. #2
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    Default

    Hello Connor Akally,

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  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Chicago IL
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    Default Re: height of a steam room or shower

    Since this sounds like a factory built unit download the owner / installation manual and check the UL listing. I've seen some of these units and they tend to be a bit on the short side.
    It is unlikely that your municipal codes will address this unit.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  4. #4
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    Default Re: height of a steam room or shower

    That would be a plumbing fixture: (bold and underlining are mine)
    - SECTION R305 CEILING HEIGHT
    - - R305.1 Minimum height.
    - - - Habitable space, hallways, bathrooms, toilet rooms, laundry rooms and portions of basements containing these spaces shall have a ceiling height of not less than 7 feet (2134 mm).
    - - - - Exceptions:
    - - - - - 1. For rooms with sloped ceilings, at least 50 percent of the required floor area of the room must have a ceiling height of at least 7 feet (2134 mm) and no portion of the required floor area may have a ceiling height of less than 5 feet (1524 mm).
    - - - - - 2. Bathrooms shall have a minimum ceiling height of 6 feet 8 inches (2032 mm) at the center of the front clearance area for fixtures as shown in Figure R307.1. The ceiling height above fixtures shall be such that the fixture is capable of being used for its intended purpose. A shower or tub equipped with a showerhead shall have a minimum ceiling height of 6 feet 8 inches (2032 mm) above a minimum area 30 inches (762 mm) by 30 inches (762 mm) at the showerhead.
    - - - R305.1.1 Basements.
    - - - - Portions of basements that do not contain habitable space, hallways, bathrooms, toilet rooms and laundry rooms shall have a ceiling height of not less than 6 feet 8 inches (2032 mm).
    - - - - - Exception: Beams, girders, ducts or other obstructions may project to within 6 feet 4 inches (1931 mm) of the finished floor.

    I would apply that 6 feet 8 inches as the minimum headroom clearance within the steam room, and definitely in any room or area with a shower.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: height of a steam room or shower

    Dear Mr Keller,

    Thanks a lot for your attention and response.

    Genuine thanks for your attention!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    Since this sounds like a factory built unit download the owner / installation manual and check the UL listing. I've seen some of these units and they tend to be a bit on the short side.
    It is unlikely that your municipal codes will address this unit.


    Last edited by Connor Akally; 01-12-2015 at 11:56 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: height of a steam room or shower

    Hello Mr Peck,

    I am very glad to see you here, this is my second encounter with you (1st: Solid surface specs and receptacle sizes) and you already saved me from lots of trouble!

    I have a question on your answer:

    We now have the new tray (receptacle) developed after the discussion I mentioned above, with you, on curb heights. And the headroom clearance with zero level entry style was 2040mm. After the discussion, we created the tray and gave it the 2 inches depth at very side of the curb, then of course, it goes deeper while it gets close to the drain. So, we now have 2040 mm plus 2 inches (2 x 25.4 mm = 50.8 mm) that equals: 2040 + 50.8 = 2090.8 mm.

    But the distance from the top of the tray curb to ceiling is still 2040mm, just 8 milimeters higher than the 2032mm!

    The question is, there is one layer of solid surface part at the top of the curb area, just under the glass door, to create a slope under the glass door to guide the water drops towards interior of the cabin, to inside the tray, instead of the opposite direction, which is outside the tray; ending up water on the bathroom floor. So, if you drop the thickness of this part from 2040mm, you get:

    2040mm - 12mm (1/2" Corian), you have 2028mm, which is under the limit you mentioned..

    But this is just the curb area, a person wont stand there, he will just walk over that area to get into the cabin. Is that a problem? Tiny issue but we are about to order the glasses before the UL test of the whole device and I dont want to waste them for few milimeters...

    Best regards,

    Connor


  7. #7
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    Default Re: height of a steam room or shower

    Connor,

    What is the inside dimension?

    Does it meet the minimum dimensions stated in the section I provided? ( 30" x 30" minimum in that code section - there are other sections which provide minimum area, of which that 30" x 30" area is part of)

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: height of a steam room or shower

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Connor,

    What is the inside dimension?

    Does it meet the minimum dimensions stated in the section I provided? ( 30" x 30" minimum in that code section - there are other sections which provide minimum area, of which that 30" x 30" area is part of)
    Jerry,

    Inside dimensions (top view) is 78cm x 131.5 cm, (30.7" x 51.77") so the depth is 30.7".

    But this is from surface of the walls to surface of the walls - or glass windows/doors etc.

    So, a circle with 30 inces fits )))

    We have a 50 cm x 78 cm (19.68" x 30.70") seat, and it is stable, 3 layers of corian, not foldable, but since it resides at the very corner of this 51.77", it does not interfere with the 30 inches circle,

    We barely make it because the solid surface plates we work with are made as 90cms, we avoid junctions..

    But the distance INSIDE the tray is just 73 cm; 28.74 inches, in other words, the lowered section of 2 inches, that 'pool we created', because the curb continues another 4 cms after the walls, then the lowered area starts, I guess that is accepted?

    I can send a simplified 3D drawing if you wish to see?

    Connor


  9. #9
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    Default Re: height of a steam room or shower

    Connor,

    This is from the 2012 IRC: (underlining and bold are mine)
    - SECTION P2708 SHOWERS - - P2708.1 General.
    - - - Shower compartments shall have not less than 900 square inches (0.6 m2) of interior cross-sectional area. Shower compartments shall be not less than 30 inches (762 mm) in minimum dimension measured from the finished interior dimension of the shower compartment, exclusive of fixture valves, shower heads, soap dishes, and safety grab bars or rails. The minimum required area and dimension shall be measured from the finished interior dimension at a height equal to the top of the threshold and at a point tangent to its centerline and shall be continued to a height of not less than 70 inches (1778 mm) above the shower drain outlet. Hinged shower doors shall open outward. The wall area above built-in tubs having installed shower heads and in shower compartments shall be constructed in accordance with Section R702.4. Such walls shall form a water-tight joint with each other and with either the tub, receptor or shower floor.
    - - - - Exceptions:
    - - - - - 1. Fold-down seats shall be permitted in the shower, provided the required 900-square-inch (0.6 m2) dimension is maintained when the seat is in the folded-up position.
    - - - - - 2. Shower compartments having not less than 25 inches (635 mm) in minimum dimension measured from the finished interior dimension of the compartment provided that the shower compartment has a cross-sectional area of not less than 1,300 square inches (0.838 m2).
    - - - P2708.1.1 Access.
    - - - - The shower compartment access and egress opening shall have a clear and unobstructed finished width of not less than 22 inches (559 mm).

    As long as the shower/steam shower meets those requirements, the dimensions should meet code. The problem I frequently find is that people try to push minimums to the low side and maximums to the high side for deign tolerance and do not calculate in construction or manufacturing tolerances - once those lines are crossed, it becomes non-compliant.

    One of my favorite design/construction tolerance issues is with architects who design stairs to have 7" high risers and 11" deep treads when the maximum riser height is 7" and the minimum tread depth is 11" inches ... and construction tolerances are lucky to be within 1/4" +/- ... which naturally leads to risers which are 7-1/8" high (non-compliant) and treads which are 10-7/8" deep (non-complaint) and now the stairs need to undergo serious work to make them compliant.

    I tell them that if the construction tolerance is 1/4", they need to design to 6-3/4" high riser heights or less, and 11-1/4" tread depths or greater, to allow for construction tolerance.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  10. #10
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    Default Re: height of a steam room or shower

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    "....... and now the stairs need to undergo serious work to make them compliant."
    Jerry,

    THANKS!))

    Best regards,

    Connor

    Last edited by Connor Akally; 01-12-2015 at 11:58 AM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: height of a steam room or shower

    Jerry, I have a question:

    Suppose you see this when you enter the house you are inspecting:

    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/443112050808721339/

    Would you check the hinge's brand, make, certification, etc? If no, whose job is it in the US?

    And what is the hinge is a part of the shower cabin purchased (comes on it) you suppose that the UL (or ETL) inspected it already as a part of the test for the product?

    Best regards,

    Connor


  12. #12
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    Default Re: height of a steam room or shower

    Should all be part of the listing - if the material changes and is not relisted, then certification could be lost ... that's what hangs over the manufacturer's heads - that and faulty products leading to lawsuits ... where at top are the only winners.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  13. #13
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    Default Re: height of a steam room or shower

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Should all be part of the listing - if the material changes and is not relisted, then certification could be lost ... that's what hangs over the manufacturer's heads - that and faulty products leading to lawsuits ... where at top are the only winners.
    Standard for hinges:

    ANSI/BHMA A156.1-2013...

    Thanks!))

    Last edited by Connor Akally; 12-22-2014 at 10:14 AM. Reason: simplified...
    Connor Akally

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