Dornbracht's Solitude shower system features a freestanding oval column with a shower system on one side and a sink, faucet, mirror, accessories, and integrated lighting on the other. The two sides are separated by pivoting glass panels. www.dornbracht.com
Courtesy Dornbracht Dornbracht's Solitude shower system features a freestanding oval column with a shower system on one side and a sink, faucet, mirror, accessories, and integrated lighting on the other. The two sides are separated by pivoting glass panels. www.dornbracht.com

With a new wave of shower systems showing up this spring, the bodyspray-laden sanctuaries are becoming the new luxury must-have in high-end bathrooms. Today's systems range from simple-yet-stylish shower panels with body sprays and jets to all-encompassing enclosures complete with lighting and audio-video equipment. The spa-like feel is similar to what homeowners crave in whirlpool tubs, only in a format that doesn't require a wait.

Dornbracht, which already makes shower panels and custom components, is taking shower systems to a new level with a creative unit called Solitude. It combines a high-end shower system and a mini-lavatory into one streamlined unit, providing an open feel with space efficiency. Available by special order, the unit centers around a pre-plumbed floor-to-ceiling freestanding oval column. On one side is a basin with a faucet, a mirror, a range of accessories, and integrated lighting and electrical connections. Opposite is a complete shower system, with a three-way adjustable showerhead, a thermostat with three valves, four bodysprays, and a three-way adjustable handshower. Pivoting glass panels separate the two sides.

Kohler's steam generator kit has a streamlined appearance and retracts into the wall when not in use. The unit operates via a control panel and includes an aromatherapy well that allows users to add scent to the steam.
Courtesy Kohler Kohler's steam generator kit has a streamlined appearance and retracts into the wall when not in use. The unit operates via a control panel and includes an aromatherapy well that allows users to add scent to the steam.

A number of other manufacturers are offering their own unique twists. Jacuzzi now makes a system that positions fixtures at the front corner of a glass enclosure, allowing users to look out into the room while bathing. Ondine's Rainmaker ELS showerhead offers integrated lighting, providing illumination alongside 270 water spray channels.

The Rainmaker ELS showerhead from Ondine combines integrated lighting and water from 270 spray channels. The showerhead can be installed as part of the company's Electronic Shower System, which allows users to adjust temperature, pulsation, spray operation, and time, as well as set program modes for up to three users. www.interbath.com
Courtesy Ondine The Rainmaker ELS showerhead from Ondine combines integrated lighting and water from 270 spray channels. The showerhead can be installed as part of the company's Electronic Shower System, which allows users to adjust temperature, pulsation, spray operation, and time, as well as set program modes for up to three users. www.interbath.com

In addition, expect to see a range of new spa-like options for showers and tubs, as manufacturers try to combine the feel of a spa with the comforts of home. Already, steam is coming on strong, with integrated and after-market items showing up in showers and the rest of the bathroom. Aromatherapy and chromatherapy also are being incorporated.

As homeowners continue to cocoon inside their homes, manufacturers are pumping out showers designed to relax. Products that pamper are giving homeowners an escape route without leaving the room.