The steam shower market can be rather confusing especially when only researched from the internet where much emphasis is placed on stark data such as price, features and gimmicks that tell us nothing about a product’s quality, durability or operational effectiveness.
Below we set out an overview of the UK market and some advice based on nearly twenty years’ experience in the industry.
We genuinely believe we offer the best designed and value steam showers and shower rooms currently available. However we always recommend viewing steam showers before purchase if at all possible and would encourage potential customers to view our models and those of our competitors to see the difference and judge for themselves.
Price & Quality
We can also purchase steam showers and shower cabins for a fraction of the price we pay for our models. Since we sell factory direct we would be able to sell these models at the same low prices on offer elsewhere. However we choose not to sell this type of product because of the inevitable poor quality and believe that they offer the customer a false economy and ultimately very poor value for money. It’s only possible to manufacture steam showers so cheaply if compromises are made on the quality of build and the materials and components used.
In addition to the cheap unbranded cabins that have recently flooded the market there are also many high profile distributor branded cabins now on offer. These cabins are branded by an importer/distributor and then sold on through numerous third party retail outlets. However in order to provide a sufficient margin for the retailer and distributor compromises are invariably made in, quality, price or both. In either event they do not offer the customer the best value for money as the use of third party retailers inflates the price without adding any value.
We have all our cabins built specially for us. We do not offer further discounts to the trade or other retailers but only sell direct from the factory to the public at a very modest margin.
Design & Function
Practicality is often something overlooked when choosing a steam shower. Often features that look impressive at first glance may be quite impractical as they will require cleaning every time the shower is used. These features are relatively cheap when compared to the cost of good structure and cheap models are often loaded with extra features just to appear to be good value. We would always suggest caution when comparing on features alone as these can be very misleading and are not always desirable.
All of our latest steam showers have been designed by us to be as practical and user friendly as possible. We have purposely omitted the more impractical features in favour of some of the following; trays with removable front skirt panels, larger fast flow 90mm waste traps, scale resistant glass, quick release doors, silicone free design, and many other design aspects not available elsewhere.
All of these features make these models much easier to install, clean and maintain.
Choosing your Steam Shower
There are literally hundreds of ways to cut costs when manufacturing a complex item such as a steam shower and pretty much all of them are used in varying combinations in many of the models currently on the market today. Most of these are almost impossible to spot by looking at pictures alone.
Below we touch upon just a few of them; however we believe the best defence against buying a poor quality steam shower is to view it in person before parting with any money. We have seen hundreds of steam showers in person and normally you can tell the quality the moment you touch/feel it and stand inside the cabin.
Build quality is something that is very difficult to convey in pictures and yet is probably the most important thing to consider when buying a steam shower. A steam shower built with a flimsy framework and tray will move, flex and creak the moment you stand in it. Trays with minimal structure will often crack over time and the unit will start to leak as the silicone that holds it all together starts to degrade.
Steam showers are normally free standing units which are in effect self contained rooms and therefore need to very sturdy. Many currently on the market have a very thin metal or in some cases plastic framework and are naturally very weak and unstable. Often cheap lacquered aluminum alloys are used which will inevitably corrode when the lacquer perforated. Some cheaply made steam showers rely on the roof and or silicone to strengthen the cabin and hold the structure together.
All of our cabins have very heavy duty high grade corrosion resistant anodised aluminium frames. Our Larvik models are also available as open top shower rooms with no roof and these have the exact same frame as the steam shower versions.
“All of our models are constructed with substantial, heavy-duty aluminium frames for superb stability.”
Tubs and Trays
The tray is a critical part of the structure as a flimsy base tray will flex under load and will inevitably weaken and crack over time. A cheap tray can be built at a fraction of the cost of a sturdy well built tray and it‘s impossible to judge the structure from photographs alone.
All of our baths and acrylic trays are built using 5-ply re-enforced acrylic bonded on to a heavy-duty, stainless steel box metal framework or a thick metal plate which prevents it from flexing. We also sell a range of cabins that are built on composite stone trays.
We have been selling shower cabins since 2003 and have never had a report of a broken or cracked tray or tub on any of our products. Again we welcome customers to visit our showroom and test our trays for themselves.
“All of our acrylic or stone tubs and trays are built to last”
Many steam showers on the market require the liberal use of silicone sealer during or after assembly. Often silicone is required to re-enforce poor build quality and to seal the unit. The use of silicone will make a flimsy structure more rigid and is only used in this way due to shortcomings in the design, structure or both. The inside of a self contained cabin such as a steam shower is the worst possible place to use silicone and Inevitably this silicone will deteriorate, dis-colour and can harbour various moulds and fungal growths. No well-designed quality steam shower should have any exposed silicone inside the cabin.
All of our models are sturdy enough to not require any silicone for structural support and stability. Most are completely silicone free although some designs do require a minimal amount of silicone during assembly none require the application of silicone inside the cabin.
“Our models are sturdy enough to not require gluing together with silicone sealant”
All mixer taps may look the same at a glance but on closer inspection they can be very different indeed. The quality and type of materials used will make a huge difference to its service life. The action should be smooth and solid with no loose play. It’s also important to make sure that the graphics are not painted on as painted symbols will most likely rub off within a few weeks of use.
All our mixer taps are thermostatically controlled cast solid brass units with chromed stainless steel controls. All are fitted with a safety button that prevents temperatures beyond 38 degrees being accessed accidentally.
All our valves have ceramic cores for superb durability. The symbols are all etched into the metal and won’t rub off. They have a smooth operation and are well engineered.
Many cheap taps are not designed to work with Combination boilers and also may not even be able to cope with minor fluctuations in water pressure.
All of our mixer taps are high quality thermostatic units and will work with Combination boilers, or any pumped vented system that can supply adequate flow and pressure.
“Thermostatically controlled cast solid brass with chromed stainless steel controls”
Jets, Shower heads, door handles etc.
Everything down to the smallest screw can be purchased more cheaply if you are prepared to compromise on quality. This applies to all the components that go together to make a steam shower. Whether this is pipe fittings, door rollers or shower heads, compromises can be made anywhere.
We work very closely with all the manufacturers we buy from and have all of our showers built to the highest specifications possible. Again in a picture a plastic door handle will look very much the same as a chromed brass or stainless steel one the only way to tell for sure is ask your supplier or view the cabin in person.
“All the fixtures and fittings on our cabins are designed and built for a long service life”
Steam generator & control circuit
A good quality and reliable electrical control circuit and steam generator is essential for a long and trouble free service life. Many manufacturer’s are now producing overly complex control circuits with a variety of gizmo’s and gimmicks that are poorly suited for use in steam showers. Technology such as television’s and telephone’s etc. are notoriously unreliable in a steam environment. These are often added to look good on the specification list often at the expense of more practical features and higher quality components. Our Larvik and Floro cabins are designed to be easier to service, all the main electrical components are connected with multi-plugs which make them much easier to replace.
Practical, Safe & Reliable
All of our steam rooms have a control circuit and steam generator that has been tried and tested over many years of production and has proved to be both safe and reliable. The main computer also features an additional redundant CPU (computer processing unit) which ensures superb reliability. Most other models do not have this built in redundancy due to the extra cost.
“Built with an additional back up CPU for superb reliability”
Unbranded Steam Showers
The market has recently been flooded with unbranded steam showers for which parts can be almost impossible to source. We get numerous requests each week for parts for unidentifiable steam showers. It is essential that you choose a long established supplier to ensure the availability of spares and support if required.
We only sell our own brand Frog cabins that are manufactured specially for us by long established manufacturer’s. All of our steam showers are built to our own exacting specifications and many of our Frog models are designed in house drawing upon years of experience in the UK marketplace.
It’s comforting to know that when you buy a steam shower you are purchasing a product from a supplier that’s proud to associate their name and reputation to the products they supply. After all not many of us would buy any other major appliance like a television, refrigerator or washing machine from an unknown source.
“Quality showers from long established suppliers “
It is important that the Company you choose is willing and able support your shower after purchase. A new supplier or drop shipper simply re-selling another Companies product is far less likely to be able to offer the same depth of support as an established specialist that works directly with the manufacturer.
Spin & Sales
We have all seen Companies offering seemingly attractive price reductions and never ending sales and the steam shower marketplace is no different. We believe that discounted fake RRP (Recommended retail prices) and permanent so called sales are misleading and ultimately dishonest.
We offer our customers the best value we can on our products all year round and offer a straight forward, honest and professional service. We very rarely if ever run sales and then only to genuinely balance stock. In these instances the reductions are very modest which reflects our pricing policy. All our prices are fully inclusive of VAT and delivery (except for Highlands & Islands) and there are no hidden extra’s.
We will never attempt to trick or in any way pressure a customer into purchasing a shower from us either at our showroom or over the phone. We do not cold call or retain any customer information for sales or marketing purposes.
“Honest straight forward and all inclusive pricing with no hidden extras”
Warranties are often only as good as the Company that offers it. We have seen many Companies offering very long or even lifetime warranties that upon closer inspection offer little or no protection at all. Some of these Companies are no longer in business. If you are buying a steam shower because of a generous warranty we would recommend that you make sure that you check the terms and conditions very carefully as they are not always as generous as they seem.
There are often so many exclusions in the small print that make the warranty almost useless in practice. In some cases there is great deal of form filling and bureaucracy required simply just to register the warranty. This is often designed to be as difficult as possible to create loopholes for exclusions in the event of a claim.
We do not believe this approach is fair and do not exaggerate our warranty, we offer a simple 2 year parts warranty on all of our steam showers which applies to all of the components except for glass. We will normally even supply glass free of charge although this is at our discretion.
We hold a vast inventory of spare parts in stock at our warehouse and because we work direct with the source factories we can order any part for you in the unlikely event it’s not in stock and available straight away. Beyond the warranty period we will continue to provide support for your shower and will provide parts at a minimal cost.
It is always worth checking if your supplier holds stock or whether they only purchase to order or from a third party. This is very common and fairs and shows but also among a great many internet retailers that offer a large range of steam cabins but hold little or no stock at all.
Sometimes an order will only be placed with the manufacturer upon receipt of your payment which can mean delays of 6-12 weeks or however long it takes for them to obtain sufficient orders for a full container shipment. This can be quite a risk as it will mean leaving your money with a Company that may have few assets for potentially a very a long period. Companies that operate in this way also rarely hold any spares or offer the depth of support required should there be any damage or issues with your order.
We attempt to keep all of our models in stock at our own warehouse facility in Bisley and will hold hundreds of steam showers in stock at any one time. We do however sometimes run out of certain sizes and in these cases we will always be open and honest regarding replacement arrival times.
“We keep hundreds of steam showers in stock at all times”
The steam shower market has expanded rapidly over the last few years. We have seen many Companies come and go but there are still relatively few that have the infrastructure in place to both stock and display their showers.
Whether or not it’s possible for you to travel to view a steam shower before purchase it’s still comforting to know that the supplier is offering a model that they are proud to show off. Steam showers sold just via pictures over the internet do not necessarily need to hold up to the close scrutiny that comes with a personal inspection.
Many Steam showers are built to the lowest possible price to be sold through web and auction sites and consequently are very poor quality.
“Come and see the build quality of our showers for yourself”
We at Eden Steam Showers display all types of the models we sell at our showroom in Chobham, Surrey and always advise and welcome viewings. We are also happy to send additional photographs of our display models upon request.
For further information see;
Just call us:
01276 856 240