System to open & close steam shower transom for vertically challenged?

Reva Rogers
August 13, 2019

We are putting in a steam shower with a window transom for a vent. I'm looking for a system to open and close the transom (hook and pole?) as I am 5'1" and can't reach the window. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

Comments (10)

  • AJCN

    Not a pro, but we have a transom/steam set-up. This is what I recommend:

    Option 1: Don't install a transom at all, just the shower door, but make it a little taller than normal to maximize ventilation (rely on your glass expert to advise you about the size of the door: height, width, thickness). Ask your installer to make the shower door open in and out (he just won't put the stops in the hinges). We did that even though we also installed a transom. I like being able to push the door inwards and turn the valve without getting wet. We are in the habit of leaving the door pushed inward for a while after the shower, and this aides in the venting tremendously. It's also nice that the door is not sticking out into your bathroom while you are getting ready for work. Also, any drips or dribbles will land on your shower floor rather than your bathroom floor.

    Option 2: Install a door with transom above like you see in most of the steam shower HOUZZ pictures. If there is a tall person using the shower, they will probably want to open/close the transom, and the shorter person just won't and will leave the door pushed in for venting. A future buyer might like the transom as well. The only con I see to this is the tall person might accidentally leave the transom open, and then the short person wants to close it and can't. In that case, having a little step-stool in the closet would be handy.

    The in/out swinging door gives you the flexibility to do just a door or both door and transom.

    Whatever you decide about the door, make sure you have really good ventilation, and that it is located either inside the shower or very closely outside in the ceiling near the door. Put your vent on a timer so you can just hit 1-hour, or other choice, after your shower and leave without having to turn it off.

    Good luck!

  • AJCN

    I forgot to say that some people install their ventilation inside the shower. We did not do this, and I don't have any knowledge about the options. I've just read on hear that sometimes that is what people do. I guess if the vent is inside, the door/transom question sort of goes away. But I'm not a pro, so don't quote me!

  • wdccruise

    I assume the door and transom will look something like this.

    How about asking the glass company to drill two holes, arranged horizontally, in the transom glass for a one-side-only handle similar in shape to the door handle. Attach the handle to the transom. Obtain a piece of dowel and attach a hook to the end. Use the hook to open and close the transom.

    Alternative: stand on a stool.

  • Reva Rogers

    Thanks for the comments. I suggested that I could stand on a stool (or small step ladder) but our contractor was hoping to find a more elegant solution. I think we'll try the small handle and dowel with a hook on the end. :)

  • tatts

    Why don't you just ask the installer/dealer who is selling you the doors? Only they know what's available to them. Simple.

  • AJCN

    The most elegant solution is a door that swings both ways.

    Reva Rogers thanked AJCN
  • PRO
    Charles Ross Homes

    Assuming you'll use the shower both in "regular" shower mode and steam shower mode, you should have an option to vent the shower so water vapor can be continuously removed by the bath vent fan as it's generated. If you trap all the water vapor in the shower, you create a big shock load for the vent fan when you open the shower door. You may find water vapor condensing on walls and ceilings as a consequence.

    To avoid the same shock load problem for the vent fan in steam shower mode, turn the temperature down, and if you have a hand-held sprayer, knock down as much water vapor as you can at the end of your shower.

  • MongoCT

    Do an internet search using the search term "transom operator".

    Reva Rogers thanked MongoCT
  • Reva Rogers

    MongoCT, Thank you! Using transom operator as a search term helped me find what I was looking for!

  • MongoCT

    Glad to have helped.

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