I need to create a steam shower in a bathroom and I need to make the walls vapor-resistant. Is there a way to design this in my software?
In Chief Architect, it is easy to setup a custom wall type for rooms such as a steam shower. In this article we will show you how to define a vapor-resistant wall type and create a steam shower, also known as a steam stall with a sloped ceiling.
Defining 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.
Disclaimer: 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.
Click Build> Wall> Define Wall Types... .
In the Wall Type Definitions dialog, click New.
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: 1/2in. thick Drywall.
Layer 2: 5 1/2in. Framing.
Layer 3: 1/16in. Vapor Barrier.
Layer 4: 1/4in. Backerboard.
Layer 5: 1/4in. Thinset Mortar.
Layer 6: 1/4in. Tile.
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:
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.
Drawing the steam shower
We will first define the exterior walls of the bathroom and then add a steam shower with a different wall type.
Click Build> Wall> Straight Exterior Wall .
Draw a basic box room like the one below:
Using the Select Objects tool select the room and click Open Object .
In the Room Specification dialog change the Room Type to Bath.
Now click Build> Wall> Straight Interior Wall and add two more walls in the corner.
With the Select Objects tool hold down the Ctrl key on the keyboard and select both the interior walls you just drew.
Click Open Object and switch to the Wall Types tab of the Wall Specification dialog.
Use the Wall Type pull-down menu change the wall type to Glass Shower.
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.
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.
Sloping the ceiling
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.
Click Build> Roof> Ceiling Plane .
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.
Select the ceiling plane and click Open Object .
Under the Ceiling Plane Specification dialog, lock the Inside Bottom and change the Pitch to 1" in 12" or 4.76° and click OK.
Select the steam shower room and click Open Object then switch to the Structure tab of the Room Specification dialog.
Uncheck the Ceiling Over This Room checkbox.
Installing the floor
Open the Room Specification dialog for the shower and click the Floor Finish (K)... button then click the Delete button to remove all the floor finish layers from this room. Click OK on both the Floor Finish Definition and Room Specification dialogs.
Click Library> Library Browser... and browser to Chief Architect Core Catalogs> Architectural> Fixtures> Showers> Shower Pans and choose the Square pan.
Click in the plan to insert the shower pan and resize it to fit the bottom of our steam shower.
Select the shower pan and click Open Object .
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 definition dialog and remove the default base molding from the Moldings tab.
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.