The Power of a Great Shower

Imagine a pill that would wake you up in the morning, stimulate brain activity, refresh you in the middle of the day, cool you off after a hot day, warm you on a cold day and relax you when you’re ready to end your day. Such a drug would undoubtedly be outlawed because it would be so addictive – right? 

And yet, this luxury doesn’t come in the form of a pill at all. It’s our shower! That was the message of a campaign launched by Holiday Inn Express in 1998. Up until about two decades ago, hotels never recognized the power of the shower. Then the hotel chain launched their “No, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night” campaign. My basic recollection was that after taking a nice shower, you would emerge refreshed and smarter. It didn't take long for the rest of the hotel industry to upgrade their shower heads.

So why did it take the housing industry so long to catch up with hotels when it comes to the power of a shower? Years after the shower took prominence in the hotel bathroom, houses were still focusing on a grand tub. I can remember designing houses with 42” by 60” bath tubs with a code-minimum 36” by 36” shower next to it. And yet the shower is used far more often than the tub, so what gives? Accidentally popping the shower door open while bending down is hardly a rejuvenating morning routine.

Today, spa-like showers are found at almost every price point in houses and hotels. But what makes them “spa-like”? For me, there are 5 essentials to a great shower:

  • Size - 3' by 5' is the minimum.
  • Upgraded Shower Head - Either a rain or pulsing shower head. Be sure that buyers don't overlook this must-have upgrade when making their selections!
  • Seat - This is essential for shaving your legs, so don't skimp here!
  • Expansive Glass - A door can be included to capture the steam and heat
  • Natural Light - A 3' by 2' fixed glass transom at 8' head height lets in a ton of natural light while maintaining one's privacy, completing the spa-like environment.

Even the prefab units are bigger and include features like seats for washing your ankles or shaving your legs. Showers have become the focal and selling point of the bathroom, replacing the bathtub in its position of prominence. 

With most home features, home shoppers can try them out to get a feel for how they work. While you may encourage buyers to spend time in your model, you certainly don’t want them stripping down to “test drive” the shower! The job of selling the upgraded shower head has to fall to a very knowledgeable and engaged sales consultant. If I were the business of making upgraded shower heads, I would probably ensure each and every sales agent started their day with my product. Then, everybody wins!