Digital valves and steambaths give homeowners that on-vacation feeling.

Users can take their regular showers using existing plumbing fixtures, and then activate their steam option with an in-shower control.

Luxury fixtures in the bath are still a top request among pre-sold custom homes.

“Our clients want their baths to feel like a vacation,” says Anna Schwabero, vice president of design for Southampton Homes in St. Charles, Ill.

While Southampton uses plumbing subcontractors for the installation of the bathrooms, its design team is heavily involved from the beginning with creating the space the homeowner wants. “We work closely with homeowners, and that’s part of the fun ― discovering their wants and needs and creating a design that works for them.”

And with today’s valve technology, you’re only limited by your imagination ... and of course your budget.

“Kohler has a fun feature in its digital thermostatic valves that has garnered a good response from our clients,” says Schwabero. With this new “Performance Showering,” a variety of custom shower components can be used: multiple showerheads, handshowers and bodysprays, rainshowers, and more.

“They’re all effortlessly controlled by the simple and intuitive digital interface of the Kohler DTV,” says Michael Wandschneider, senior product manager – performance showering for Kohler Co. “You can step into your Kohler performance shower and simply push a button to choose a pre-set hydrotherapy experience or recall your favorite showering preference.”

ThermaSol's basics of steamshower design

Another luxury for the bath gaining attention in the spa-at-home market is steamshowers.

However, the master baths of custom homes oftentimes include cathedral ceilings. “Clients are usually more interested in height and volume in their baths, so the steam option is lost in favor of other design choices,” says Schwabero. But with the number of total baths increasing per household, installing a luxury steambath in any other bathroom in the house is still possible. And adding a steam system to an existing shower has become an easier task.

ThermaSol steamshowers operate in existing shower stalls as long as a steam-proof shower door and completely moisture-resistant shower environment exists (i.e., tile or stone should be installed everywhere inside the shower).

Users can take their regular showers using existing plumbing fixtures, and then activate their steam option with an in-shower control.

The ThermoSol steam generator can be installed up to 50 pipe feet from the shower. The equipment requires a cold water supply line and a dedicated 240v circuit.

Other options to increase the spa-like feel in a steambath are programmable LED light fixtures for chromatherapy; waterproof speakers for music; and a steamhead that can distribute aromatherapy oils while relaxing.

Check Out These Resources ...

The custom shower design process will go a lot smoother if you put some extra thought into it up front. Click here for Kohler's "Design and Plumbing Considerations" before your next project.