Building a Stock Tank Shower or Bath

One thing we really wanted in our new sauna was a way to keep the cleaning process really contained. We felt that the quantities of water splashed about while washing up in the old sauna contributed to a number of boards with mildew stains on them and a generally icky feeling about how things were progressing there.

I had generally imagined purchasing a cheap shower stall and installing it in the new sauna and only plumb in the drain – we could use the battery powered shower that I purchased online (and it has been working to great effect all summer!)

Online research about cheap shower stalls was very discouraging though. They all got very poor ratings and reviews, in spite of price tags beginning around the $500 mark!

I was almost prepared to hire out someone to just solve the problem, when it occured to me that I had seen someone create a “hot tub” out of an old stock tank. They had put it up on cinder blocks and built a fire under it to heat the water. I wasn’t looking for something quite that rustic – but I thought a tank would be a decent place to start thinking.

A little internet research revealed that I wouldn’t be the first person to consider this idea. I found a YouTube video with a fellow installing one in his home, and with that, I had Donna’s permission to move forward.

I hit up Thunder Bay Feeds and they had exactly what I wanted! I was worried they would carry the Tarter brand, which has a very gaudy flag printed on the side. Instead the subdued Behlen label was much more in keeping with the calm charm I was striving for.

Just as I pictured it in my mind’s eye.

I installed a sink drain into the corner of the stock tank, and then cut out a corresponding hole in the floor of the sauna.

Use a hole saw designed for metal. I burned out a wooden one in seconds.
Using a rock inside a smock to round down the hole for the drain.
Test fit looks good!
Always a bit of an adrenaline rush to drill through something as nice as the floor here.

It fit great! I did shim with a small piece of 3/8″ plywood, and then it felt stable.

So far, so good!

Next up was a shower curtain rod. I had seen the standalone rods that are used with old claw-foot bathtubs, and felt that they wouldn’t be sized correctly or appropriate for the sauna. Two trips to Home Depot for 12mm galvanized pipe managed to create a pretty serviceable curtain rod!

Need to cut those long sides down by 10″ to fit the space. Back to the city!
This should give the idea. One mount to the ceiling, one to the wall.
Near the V-joint, I definitely pre-drilled those holes!

A few choice accessories from Dollarama, and we’re good to go!

Three shower curtains for complete coverage – one across the back, and then two for the sides and to meet in front.
LED strip lighting seemed like a good idea here.
I liked it so much, I put it inside the steam room around a bit of the door.

The view from outside the sauna.

2 thoughts on “Building a Stock Tank Shower or Bath”

  1. Nana and Papa can’t wait to try the new sauna on our next visit. We had a wonderful time with the three of you in September and Papa enjoyed building the platform for the sauna with you and Kenny’s help.


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