The shift in focus from tubs to showers is one of the year’s top remodeling trends, according to research from business-review site Angie’s List. And new home designers across the nation agree that people are ditching the tub altogether, or at the very least keeping it separate from a new, luxurious shower. “As people are busier, they view tubs as too indulgent, and with the current water shortage, wasteful,” says Sara Ledterman, editor-in-chief of Adorno magazine. “We have seen a trend towards showers with steam and jets — the features of large tubs of the past.”
Melissa Salamoff, principal of the Burbank, California-based interior design firm Salamoff Design Studio, adds that “the trend for luxury homes is high-end showers that emulate a spa experience, and include all the latest technology, such as flat screen TVs, speakers, heated floors, chromatherapy (colored light sensors in fixtures), and specialty shower heads.”
The rain shower head is a perennial favorite, but designers are now choosing multiple shower heads for a more unique and varied shower experience. Erin Davis, lead designer at Mosaik Design & Remodeling in Portland, Oregon, says that body sprays are also a popular choice. “The Kohler Water Tiles are a really clean, contemporary solution, and their Sound Tile helps you sing along in style,” she says. “Steam showers are another must-have luxury item for many reasons. Steam promotes relaxation, rejuvenation, hydration and detoxification, all in the comfort of your own home. Some companies like Mr. Steam even offer aromatherapy and chromatherapy options.
The luxury in-home steam shower was first introduced 10 years ago by Ariel Bath. Today, they continue to offer a luxury in-home steam experience, and have recently launched the Healthy Living at Home Campaign. “Ariel remains at the forefront of steam shower research and design, while offering its customers the health benefits and convenience of bathing with in-home steam,” says Brandon Nguyen, president of Ariel Bath. He explains that taking a steam shower increases blood flow and lymphatic circulation, while opening the pores to deeply cleanses the skin.
Dramatic Design Materials
In addition to all of the pampering and health benefits of the luxury shower, it also allows for some amazing design options that are not possible with a tub. “Marble is the most common material, but also small glass tiles and travertine are really popular,” adds Ledterman. “Personally, I think the all-white marble is beginning to look dated already, it’s just everywhere! However, I see a lot of homes with small pebble on the floor and small glass mosaics, people really love those!” Salamoff explains that earthy materials currently reign, such as large slabs of exotic stone or frameless glass. “The materials used are shifting,” she concludes, ” to a more natural yet dramatic look.”