Creating a Steam Shower in Home Designer

Reference Number: KB-02824
Last Modified: July 16, 2015

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural


Is there a way to create a steam shower in my Home Designer software?


In Home Designer Pro and Home Designer Architectural, you are able to setup custom wall types and create the sloped ceiling necessary for designing a steam shower.

To define the Wall Type

A vapor-resistant wall needs to at least meet the following criteria in the most common cases;

  • A surface layer of tile.
  • A layer of thinset mortar.
  • Cement Backer Board with mesh taped seams.
  • Vapor barrier.
  • Stud framing.
  • Drywall.

 The wall type shown in this article is based on the common structure for a wall of this type. It is always best to refer to the building codes in your area for the correct structure of a vapor-resistant wall.

  1. Click Build> Wall> Define Wall Types... .

  2. In the Wall Type Definitions dialog, click New.

  3. Give your wall a new name and insert 5 more layers, we'll call this wall Steam Shower - Interior.

    Define the wall layers as follows:

    • Layer 1: 1/2 in. thick Drywall.
    • Layer 2: 5 1/2 in. Framing.
    • Layer 3: 1/16 in. Vapor Barrier.
    • Layer 4: 1/4 in. Backerboard.
    • Layer 5: 1/4 in. Thinset Mortar.
    • Layer 6: 1/4 in. Tile.

  4. Repeat the process above but name the second wall Steam Shower - Exterior and change Layer 1 to an external siding material of your choosing.

You are now ready to draw your bathroom and steam shower. In this example we will start with our standard default wall tools then modify them to our new vapor-resistant wall type. If you have already designed a bathroom using the standard wall tools then you can follow the portion on changing the wall type.

Note: You may receive the following warning for the Steam Shower - Interior type:

"The wall layers just defined have drywall on the exterior of what appears to be an exterior wall. Are these layers defined correctly? The exterior layer should be at the top of the diagram."

This simply means that the program sees the wall type we've created contains characteristics of an exterior wall and we may not have intended for the exterior layer to be made of drywall. We can safely click OK and continue with the rest of this article.

To draw the steam shower

We will first define the exterior walls of the bathroom and then add a steam shower with a different wall type.

  1. Click Build> Wall> Straight Exterior Wall .

  2. Draw a basic box room like the one below:

  3. Using the Select Objects  tool select the room and click Open Object .

  4. In the Room Specification dialog change the Room Type to Bath.

  5. Now click Build> Wall> Straight Interior Wall  and add two more walls in the corner.

  6. With the Select Objects  tool select each of the interior walls you just drew.

  7. Click Open Object  and switch to the Wall Types panel of the Wall Specification dialog for Home Designer Pro and the General panel for Home Designer Architectural.

  8. Use the Wall Type pull-down menu change the wall type to Glass Shower.

  9. Repeat this process to change the remaining walls to our new vapor-resistant wall types:
    The left, vertical wall will be Steam Shower - Exterior and the rest, Steam Shower - Interior.

  10. Now position your walls so they look like the room below.

The steam shower is now nearly complete. Now we must insert a sloped ceiling and floor drain.

To slope the ceiling*

* This section applies to Home Designer Pro only

Steam Stalls require a sloped ceiling to prevent condensation build up. To slope the ceiling we will use the Ceiling Plane  tool to draw a sloped ceiling and control it's pitch.

  1. Click Build> Roof> Ceiling Plane .

  2. Now, left-click and drag the baseline along the back edge of the shower. Then release the mouse button and bring the ceiling plane down to the inside edge of the front wall.

  3. Select the ceiling plane and click Open Object .

  4. Under the Ceiling Plane Specification dialog, lock the Inside Bottom and change the Pitch to 1" in 12" or 4.76° and click OK.

  5. Select the steam shower room and click Open Object  then switch to the Structure panel of the Room Specification dialog.

  6. Uncheck the Ceiling Over This Room checkbox.

Sloping the ceiling in Home Designer Architectural

Home Designer Architectural does not have the Ceiling Plane tool so we will be using one of the shapes from the library to get the effect we are looking for.

  1. Click Library Browser...  and go to Home Designer Core Catalogs> Shapes> Wedges, then choose the object, Wedge (inverted).

  2. Place the wedge into the shower and resize it to fit the space.

  3. Select the wedge and click Open Object  to show the Geometric Shape Specification dialog.

  • Set the Height to 3".

  • Set the Floor to Bottom to a height that will make it flush with the rest of your ceiling height. In this example our ceiling height is 109 1/8" so we can use 106 1/8" to get the result we want.

Your ceiling now has the appearance of being sloped and you can modify the material to match the rest of the shower as well.

To install the floor

  1. Open the Room Specification dialog for the shower and set the Floor Finish (K) to 0 then click OK.

  2. Click Library Browser...  and browser to Home Designer Core Catalogs> Architectural> Fixtures> Showers> Shower Pans and choose the Square pan.

  3. Click in the plan to insert the shower pan and resize it to fit the bottom of our steam shower.

  4. Select the shower pan and click Open Object .

  5. Change the height of the pan to 1/2" and click OK.

Now as an optional last step you can open the steam shower's Room Specification dialog and remove the default base molding from the Moldings panel.

You steam shower, for all intents and purposes is now complete. You can add the door style of your choosing and other finishing touches to the bathroom if you like.