Download PDF version (158.3k) Log In or Register to view the full article as a PDF document.

Shower Spas


Plug-and-Play Spa.

With a total of 22 body and back jets, the Stamina shower is a "plug-and-play" system that requires only a water hookup to install. The system includes a 3/4-inch thermostatic valve, eight body jets, ten back jets, and handheld and overhead showerheads. The multi-piece acrylic surrounds come in 48- and 60-inch models. Options include full roof cap, steam unit, and door, and are offered in standard and non-standard colors. Suggested list price for a fully equipped 60-inch model is $6,848 — add $240 for color upgrades. Maax, 800/463-6229,


Made for Upgrade.

With adjustable body jets incorporated into the valve trim, the Monitor Jetted Shower XO series makes a remodeling upgrade nearly as convenient as new construction. The valve also features a third outlet for an additional showerhead, hand-spray, or body jet, which does require some rough plumbing behind the surround. A three-way diverter provides a variety of spray selections or combinations. The system costs a relatively affordable $406 to $854, depending on the finish and additional outlets chosen. Delta Faucet, 800/345-3358,


Get Wet With The Jet Set.

Your wealth-challenged clients can finally stop gazing through the showroom window at all those highfalutin zillion-dollar custom shower modules and start enjoying the bathing styles of the rich and famous. The $400 VertiSpa retrofit shower system brings spa prices down with a bang — or is it a splat? Anyway, the fully assembled unit is said to be easy to install and to "operate seamlessly with existing pressure-balancing valves." Sliding rails allow the unit to adjust up or down for bathers short and tall, while a diverter regulates the action between body jets and overhead spray. American Standard, 800/899-2614,


Power Shower.

Type-A personalities generally like to feel they're in command, even while naked in the shower. Cater to their needs with the ESS - Electronic Shower System, which gives push-button control of the entire experience. Switching jets is as easy as channel surfing; an extra button can even be used to control an external audio system. What's more, a second module enables selection of temperature and spray settings as far as 65 feet from the shower. The price for all that power starts at $2,500 to $5,000, depending on finish. An optional fiber-optic chromatherapy showerhead is available for an additional $1,000. Ondine, 800/423-9485,

Microwave Ovens


Hot Seat.

An optional in-line 600-cfm ventilator is just the beginning of the attributes boasted for the PMOR30 Over-the-Range Microwave. And why not boast? This 30-inch-wide oven can not only microwave, but convection cook too, or even combine both modes to "bake, broil, brown, and crisp." A sensor mode detects when food is properly cooked. That plus a special setting that keeps food warm for 30 minutes more than justify this unit's presence in the kitchen. The 1.6-cubic-foot oven uses 1100 watts and costs $676 in white or black, $717 in stainless steel. Dacor, 800/793-0093,


Square Meals in a Round World.

Instead of rotating, the "turntable" in this oven uses back-and-forth motion to distribute the radiation evenly throughout rectangular dishes measuring up to 12x14 1/2 inches. The LMVM1955S Over-the-Range Oven includes halogen down-lighting, cranks up at 1170 watts, and provides 1.9 cubic feet of oven space. The 4-speed blower is rated at 220 cfm. The oven lists for $450 to $480, depending on finish. LG Electronics, 800/942-3786,


Hybrid Wall Oven.

The oven is typically the least-used major kitchen appliance, but a Profile Trivection Oven may provide the exception to that rule. A combination of microwave, thermal, and convection heat cooks food up to five times faster, according to the maker. The oven uses standard cookware and fits in existing cabinet openings, simplifying kitchen upgrades. Note, however, that the oven does not perform as a conventional, stand-alone microwave cooker. The single-oven model JT930 retails for approximately $2,350 and the JT980 double-oven model starts at $3,700. GE, 800/626-2000,


No-Spin Zone.

The R-2120JK Over-the-Range Microwave emits its cooking energy from beneath a ceramic surface and needs no turntable. Even better, the 2.1-cubic-foot oven automatically monitors cooking vapors to determine optimal cooking times, eliminating the need to enter settings. A removable, two-position rack enables multiple dishes to be heated simultaneously. Inverter technology provides true variable power rather than full power at reduced intervals, preventing unappealing cooking results. The oven includes a 300-cfm two-speed ventilator and sells for $400. Sharp Electronics, 800/237-4277,