Building a Luxury Shower

In years gone by, a shower was merely a spot in the bathroom to get clean quickly and little thought was given to its functionality, let alone making it into a luxurious retreat. Nowadays, the plastic curtain surrounded shower is long gone, replaced by spacious showers with frosted doors, complete with multiple shower heads and body spray as well as massaging units that make you want to bask in the shower for hours (that may be why some are equipped with a shower seat). And while the basic tub and shower may be appropriate for the guest bathroom, many homeowners are now demanding a luxury shower in the master bath, oftentimes built with custom natural materials like marble, slate, or granite with electronic controls that allow them to make their showering experience something to look forward to each morning or night. Let's have a look at what you need to build your own luxury shower.

Thermostatic Shower Valves
One of the fundamental (and most important) parts of your custom shower is the shower valves that you use. A thermostatic temperature control shower valve allows you to provide not only the optimal temperature level (that you decide upon and preset according to your own determinations) but also helps you to avoid dangerous scalds. Water routed through to the valve is automatically dispensed at your desired temperature. Some thermostatic shower valve are engineered to maintain selected temperature between 70 and 110 degrees using a dial on the temperature handle and includes an automatic shut off in the event that the supply of cold water is interrupted. Two other thermostatic shower valves that we like are from Moen - the Posi-Temp (built in with many of Moen's shower systems), and the Moentrol valve (allows for memory of the temperature selected and control of volume).

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Hand Held Showers
No shower experience is complete without the addition of a hand held shower. You can simply just do so much more with a hand held shower that you will wonder how you ever made it without one. Hand held showers are great for bathing small children or family pets, rinsing your hair, or even cleaning the shower, not to mention the ease of use of a hand held shower for those who live in your home that might suffer from limited mobility (like the elderly or handicapped). One of our top pick: Hansgrohe 06425005 Croma E 100 3-Jet Handshower Set - which includes a 63-Inch Techniflex hose and features full, pulsating massage and instense turbo spray modes.

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Shower Sprays and Shower Heads
A custom shower can have a combination of shower sprays and shower heads. The shower head is usually in a fixed position on the ceiling or on the wall. The shower body spray can be on the wall or ceiling and be in groups of two or even more outlets. Our two favorites shower heads: the American Standard Three Function Flowise Water Saving Showerhead which features three spray settings and the Moen Castleby Four Function Showerhead which offers settings like massage, vigorous, full and combination. For a combination body spray and shower head, we also like the Free Hander by Grohe, which features two shower heads on a pivoting arm that convert to body sprays when positioned down while rotating a full 360 degrees.

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Shower Systems and Towers
Another option for your luxury shower is a shower system or shower tower. A shower tower is a combination of valves, handheld sprays, body sprays, and jets that use a single water connection line (making them easy to install). A shower system is a little more labor intensive but a lot more customizable. Our favorite shower system is the Moen ioDigital that has a rainshower showerhead, 4 body sprays, handheld shower and a wireless remote that allows you to adjust volume control and temperature all saved in the systems memory. A great shower tower is the Aqua Tower by Grohe, which features a shower head, four body sprays, hand shower, thermostatic valve and handy accessory tray in one unit that is easy to install and that has separate volume controls for the body sprays and hand shower.

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Delta R10000-UNWSHF Universal

Moen DN8001 Home Care

Moen S6320 Velocity