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paddykk

Transom or No transom in a steam shower

paddykk
3 years ago

We have a 6'x3' steam shower tiled with Porcelain over 3 walls and the ceiling and floor. We have a 9' ceiling. So on the fourth side we plan to go with a 3'x9' fixed panel and a 3'x9' shower door to pivot in and out. Never had a steam shower - firs time! Read a lot of threads here and am dizzy with too much knowledge or lack there of!!


What does a Transom do?


1. While steaming - do you let steam out? I don't think so. Can you slightly open the door to do that? to regulate temperature or something if needed. After the steaming is done - you just open the door in wards after squeegee-ing and the exhaust should take care of the moisture


2. While regular showers - after the shower you just open the door in wards after squeegee-ing and the exhaust should take care of the moisture.

Comments (26)

  • PRO
    KRCB.Arch
    3 years ago

    A transom in a steam shower can be operable or fixed. If operable, it is a choice you can make if you're worried about moisture getting trapped in the shower after steaming. You can open the door - inwards, to let condensation drip into the drain - to air the shower out for the same effect. The transom would let you do this while keeping the door closed, if there was a desire to take a regular shower immediately after a steam shower.


    If it's a fixed transom panel, then it reduces the size of the door. Glass is heavy, so a smaller pane of glass is a lighter door - both easier to operate and safer. It also permits the installation of a true pivot door (top and bottom hinges, vs side-mount hinges) without special consideration of the height of the opening - a full-height pivot door can be challenging to install.


    In your case, if you have an operable transom installed your door would have to be side-hinged from either the wall or (less likely) hanging off of the fixed panel, so it wouldn't be a true 'pivot' door.

    paddykk thanked KRCB.Arch
  • AJCN
    3 years ago

    Our shower door is 75” tall from the curb to the top, then the transom is 17” above that. The curb is 4” so the top of the door is 79” from the floor. Our shower door is hinged to a wall and opens in and out. It’s not a pivot door, if I’m understanding correctly what that is. We lowered the 10’ ceiling over the shower. At the back it’s 8’8” and it slopes towards the front 2” per linear foot (4’ wide), so the ceiling in the front is 8’.


    If you decide you want a transom, since yours is 9‘ maybe there should be a fixed panel at the very top so that the transom doesn’t need to be so huge in order for you to reach it. There are rod thingies that can be used but I didn’t want that so made the decisions based on what I could reach. I don’t see why you couldn’t have, from the floor, shower door, then transom, then fixed panel at the top. But I’m not a glass expert.

    paddykk thanked AJCN
  • paddykk
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Thank you! @AJCN - it helps that you gave me the measurements. I'm no expert either but opening in and out is what I'm calling "pivot" door. Let's see what the "expert" from the company says about why they quoted a 9' door without a transom! Will update you!


    I saw a picture online where the Transom was like a window in the middle of the fixed panel - like a mail box slot (kinda it was like a 10"x6" slot that they could open!

  • paddykk
    Original Author
    3 years ago



  • paddykk
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Here you go a transom slot!!

  • AJCN
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Here’s ours. Sorry for all the reflections. I find it nearly impossible to get good bathroom photos. I do recommend a transom but you’ve got to be able to reach it! I guess they could put it like the mailbox pic you saw. Then it would be easy to place it where you can reach. Don’t know how the hinges and such would work. I think I might have seen that pic when we were planning. You might need a little clip or something to grab to open and close it or you’d have to push it without having control bc youre not grasping an edge. Hopefully your glass pro can recommend the best arrangement.



    paddykk thanked AJCN
  • paddykk
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Thanks for that picture - so it scrapes the ceiling while operating? Just like the bottom of the shower door would scrape the floor? - (which is normal for a nice fitting door) Do I see a rubber gasket?

  • AJCN
    3 years ago

    If gaskets are clear plastic or rubbery pieces that are placed on the edges of the glass, then yes. They are like little sweeps on the top and bottom of the transom and really skinny pieces on the sides of the transom and the door. And then there's the "sweep" on the bottom of the door. There's nothing on the top of the door.

    The pieces all move very easily. A note about the sweep at the bottom: I helped my Dad remodel his house, and we asked the glass installer to make the door open in and out. When I visited the house, the door was crazy hard to open. I looked at the bottom sweep and it was really large and the "sweepy" part of it interfered with the opening of the door because it would get caught bent the wrong way and sort of get stuck on the curb. The contractor changed it to a skinnier and more flexible one, and it's fine now. Just thought I'd mention that.

  • AJCN
    3 years ago

    Where is your exhaust fan located?

  • paddykk
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    outside the shower.

  • paddykk
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    So do you have the rubbery/gasket sleeves in your shower

    1.on the bottom of the door and

    2.on the top and bottom of the transom

    Is that correct?

  • AJCN
    3 years ago

    I never really paid attention to them til now. Really skinny pieces on the sides of the door and transom, and then pretty skinny sweeps on top and bottom of transom and a larger, but still quite slim, sweep on bottom of the door.

    paddykk thanked AJCN
  • paddykk
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    @AJCN - Our shower enclosure height is indeed 8" - so I will just copy your dimensions 79" door and 17" transom. I did the hand test and "short" me can still reach the transom and push it in or out depending if I'm inside or outside the shower. Thought I will update the thread and you for all the help and direction I received.


    So looks like your transom is covered with slim gaskets/sweeps on all four sides. I have to make sure to ask for that. Thanks.

  • PRO
    Mint tile Minneapolis
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    You need both the transom and glass door to swing in and out.

    paddykk thanked Mint tile Minneapolis
  • paddykk
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    @Mint tile Minneapolis What the guy quoted was a door that moves in and out and the transom that rotates in and out at the top - doesn't open like a door - meaning the door part is hinged on the wall on one side and the transom at the top is hinged on both sides on the the wall and the fixed panel. That should be ok right? or is that bad? Are you saying the transom needs to open like a door too?

  • millworkman
    3 years ago

    No the transom typically pivots or rotates, it does not hinge like a door. Quick picture I found.


    paddykk thanked millworkman
  • PRO
    Mint tile Minneapolis
    3 years ago

    yes the pic provided by millwork is common and compliant with standards.

    paddykk thanked Mint tile Minneapolis
  • paddykk
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    @millworkman Thank you - that's what the plan is. I got confused when @Mint tile Minneapolis said the door and transom swing in and out - my bad! Now I just have to make sure there are "rubber gaskets" covering all the sides of the transom (like the rubber sweep at the bottom of the door)

  • PRO
    Mint tile Minneapolis
    3 years ago

    the door swings in and OUT, transom swivels both ways 😃

    paddykk thanked Mint tile Minneapolis
  • PRO
    BeverlyFLADeziner
    3 years ago

    OK, a word from "Mom" here......I installed a steam shower for a client who was 58. He rode his bike one day, came in and took a steam shower, and died from a massive heart attack. I think about it anytime this subject comes up because I probably should have advised against installing it in this case.


    Due to the extreme heat in steam rooms, there are certain people who are advised to avoid them:

    paddykk thanked BeverlyFLADeziner
  • paddykk
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Yes - the door swings both ways in and out on all my showers (steam or not).


    So transom should not have any gaskets on any of the four sides, correct?

    So I presume the 1/8" gap is ok when using the steam shower and escape of vapor is minimal?

  • PRO
    Mint tile Minneapolis
    3 years ago

    yes, trust in your glass professiional, theyve not answered these questiions?

  • paddykk
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    I did not ask them about the gap vs. having a bulb gasket around the transom because I was new to this - I didn't know to ask.


    I thought in a steam shower there should be no gaps as we don't want steam to escape and if we did want it to escape we open the transom area. I thought having gaps is pointless because steam will escape.

  • paddykk
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    @AJCN Quick question for you. Do you know the thickness of you glass that you used in your steam shower? Is it 3/8" or 1/2"?


    Hearing different schools thoughts on this from the vendors. One says 3/8" is fine for both the fixed panel and the door and the transom for the 8' ht. - they said for safety 1/2" transom over your head is not a good thing anyway. The other one prefers 1/2" maybe because it's a steam shower?


    Also @AJCN did you go with the crystal clear glass (blue edge - Starphire type glass) or the plain clear glass (with a green hue and edge to it)


    Thanks

  • paddykk
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    @AJCN - Do you also have a vinyl clip on the shower ceiling to stop the transom opening incorrectly as shown in this video?


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXAqlTjSOdg


    Is it ok to not have this vinyl strip on the ceiling?