Imagine washing your worries away under a showerhead large enough to cover your entire body.

America Hits The Showers

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Imagine washing your worries away under a showerhead large enough to cover your entire body. Or consider the soothing sensation of massaging water jets set to the temperature and rhythm of your choosing. Now, think about enjoying this spa-worthy pampering in the comfort of your own home. If these indulgences sound appealing, you’re not alone. For more and more individuals, the daily forecast is calling for long, heavy showers.

Within the past few years, bathrooms have rapidly evolved into a kind of oasis within the home-growing larger in both size and importance as people seek refuge from increasing stresses and strains. Kitchen and Bath Business magazine recently reported that consumers are so passionate about this most private space of the home that bathroom remodeling jobs have increased 29 percent since 2000 and high-end remodeling jobs are expected to increase another 17 percent in the next year.

“No longer are bathrooms purely functional spaces for cleaning and grooming,” says Paul Flowers, vice president of design for Grohe, one of the largest faucet companies in the world. “Hip hotels and spas have opened our eyes to the pleasures of hydrotherapy and more people want to bring this luxurious experience into their own homes.”

Nowhere is this trend more evident than in the variety of shower products flooding the marketplace. Among the most popular new offerings are “rain” products. As the name implies, these designs create the sensation of soaking in a refreshing, tropical rain shower. Rain-style showerheads are available in a multitude of sizes, but for what may be the ultimate rainshower experience there’s a gigantic showerhead measuring 16 inches in diameter, the largest available on the market. This impressive product also features more than 250 water nozzles expertly arranged to provide full-body coverage with no “dry” zones.

“Showers are a time to block out the world around us and focus on cleansing our minds and souls-as well as our bodies,” says Flowers. “With our 16-inch Rainshower, you really feel as if you’re escaping into an intense cascade of water. It’s simultaneously soothing and reinvigorating.”

Sometimes it’s necessary to take matters into your own hands -literally. Hand showers, already hugely popular in Europe, are becoming increasingly fashionable in the U.S. The best designs make reaching all parts of the body effortless through ergonomically shaped handles and multiple spray patterns that let you set your shower to your mood. For added comfort and ease, look for those with a 360-degree swivel capacity that eliminates twisting and kinking of the hand shower hose, and a double-insulation design that protects from hot water temperatures.

Demand also is increasing for shower panels that allow users to customize their showers based on their individual preferences-be it a light sprinkle or a total downpour. Easy to install and available in sizes to suit any bathroom, these all-in-one designs combine traditional showerheads, hand showers and a variety of repositionable body sprays to create an extreme shower experience by distributing water from two or more directions.

Whether it’s a quick, energizing shower first thing in the morning or a long, relaxing water massage before bed, there’s now no excuse for denying yourself the pampering you deserve. With today’s range of sumptuous bathroom products, you can create a spa that’s only minutes away and open 365 days a year.