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The National Association of Realtors expects new home sales to fall 24 percent this year, the lowest levels in 10 years. It also expects existing home sales to fall 11 percent.

While it could be a reflection of the state of the economy, it also highlights the emerging remodeling market, in which homeowners are happy where they are, but are designing for the future.

For residential showers, this means installing the bathing accessories consumers crave, such as the vertical spa option, which has enjoyed a robust appreciation by today’s bathers.

“People use the shower every day,” says Mike Reffner, senior product manager with Moen. “You may not use all the functions, but you have the option to do so, and relatively quickly. Vertical spas offer flexibility, and the amount of water can be controlled easily.”

The image to the right showcases an upscale U.S. shower, and Reffner’s advice on modern design. The options are plentiful, but planning is essential for it to work properly and efficiently.

Homeowners can get a basic cycling valve from a box store. But if they want a more “adventurous” showering experience, it’ll require a more challenging remodel and a professional.

“There are a lot of different options for consumers in terms of bathing. From multifunction accessories to temperatures - a lot of likes and dislikes.”

For the professional, there are just as many resources out there: manufacturers, showrooms - even hotels.

“Travel. Take notice,” Reffner concludes. “And incorporate what you experience into your residential shower designs.”