The “spa at home” is a strong-growing segment, and for plumbing contractors increasingly squeezed by today’s competitive market, suggesting a customized shower and steambath experience to homeowners might give them a bidding edge.
“Steam can be new construction or retrofit/remodel - especially remodel,” says Mitch Altman, CEO of steambath manufacturer ThermaSol (www.thermasol.com). He says his company loves and supports the trades (after all, plumbers are the ones installing his systems). However, the steam system companies would like a little love back.
“Consumers may not be aware of all the options a steam system has to offer: light, music, aromatherapy, water savings, home resale value. Plumbers should be suggesting steam,” he explains.
Up until now, price points may have kept many homeowners from incorporating a steam element into their showers. But two new SteamSuite packages from ThermaSol were purposefully created to work with today’s economy.
“Installers are looking for a packaged-price item that still leaves money on the table,” Altman says.
SteamSuite Plus includes the deluxe steamhead, and time and temperature control from the basic package, but also ThermaSol’s FastStart technology, its PowerFlush pressurized cleaning system, a one-year home warranty and a six-year “no questions asked” warranty. Price range for this package is $1,399-$2,060, depending on the size of the shower.
Relaxing Add-OnsContributing to the relaxation element is the inclusion of technology to the shower, such as the Total Sense Collection from Steamist (www.steamist.com). TSC is a digital control with touchpad operation and a full menu of functions. It also lets two user profiles be programmed into the control memory, allowing for customization of temperature, duration and additional sensory settings.
Steamist’s enhanced line of generators is available in three models that cover steam baths of all sizes. Total Sense residential generators range in price from $1,900 to $2,550, with the Auto Drain add-on priced at $355.
“To meet the requirements of larger shower enclosures constructed with natural stone, multiple generators are easily ‘gangable,’ meaning they can be linked together to provide the appropriate amount of steam,” according to the company.
Its AromaSense, ChromaSense and AudioSense options are all easily controlled by TSC and can be combined or installed separately to further customize the experience.
One unique feature from Steamist is that its fragrant essential oils for aromatherapy are added directly to the steam line from the generator to the shower. The module can store two different oil canisters, and users make a selection within the steambath.
The myriad options available today can offer customers a truly rejuvenating experience. It just takes a little education from their trusted installer to make it happen.