Wood Touch.

The Teak Shower Tray adds a perfectly fitted, saunalike touch to an MTI shower base. Burmese teak slats — spaced 1/8 inch apart — provide a comfortable, nonslip surface. The insert costs between $325 and $780, depending on size. MTI, 800/783-8827, www.mtiwhirlpools.com

Big Splash.

For your next custom installation, consider the water-conserving Monitor 1800 Jetted Shower or Jetted Shower XO. According to the manufacturer, the individual droplets produced by these units are fatter than normal, so they hold heat better and make a bigger splash. As a result, says the company, a 1.6-gpm spray feels like a 2.5-gpm spray. The Victorian Jetted Shower in chrome (shown) lists for $470; the Shower XO — which includes a hand-held wand — lists for $600 in a pearl nickel finish. Delta Faucet, 800/345-3358, www.deltafaucet.com

Water Tower.

Assisted by a full reservoir basin and a powerful pump, the BodySpa — which requires much less water than a tub — takes the whirlpool in a vertical direction. A soft-starting electronic touch pad allows the user to recirculate basin water at up to 80 gpm; an integral heater maintains water temperature. Normal showering is also possible, with the drain kept open and the pump shut off. The 10-jet tower (shown) costs about $9,500 without accessories, and up to $22,200 with all the bells and whistles. Kohler, 800/456-4537, www.kohler.com

Block Kit.

With a predesigned Glass Block Shower System, you get everything you need — blocks, shower base, and door — to create a custom-look enclosure. The blocks are positioned in molded channels on an acrylic shower base — available in three standard and five designer colors — and can be installed with a proprietary mortar-free system or with glass-block mortar. Stalls come in three styles: a 48-by-48-inch square with door and base; a 52-by-52-inch corner unit with door and base; and a 72-by-51-inch doorless version (shown). The manufacturer's suggested retail price ranges from $2,500 to $3,500, depending on style. Pittsburgh Corning, 800/624-2120, www.pittsburghcorning.com

High-Pressure Laminates

Black Magic Orbit

Way Cool Encounter


Get Funky.

Fetch, Black Magic Orbit, Way Cool Encounter: When it comes to playful patterns, nothing beats laminate. These countertop designs feature "armored protection" — a face layer of aluminum oxide particles meant to provide better scratch resistance — and install for around $35 per linear foot, says the maker. Nevamar, 800/638-4380, www.nevamar.com

Natural Look.

The six designs in the HPL collection offer low-luster texturing in subtle, well-weathered finishes. The Riverwash Crete Series, for instance, mimics exposed-aggregate concrete, and the Riverwash Rust Series (shown) is designed to look like oxidized metal; both build on the popularity of previous nature-inspired collections by this maker. Costs run approximately $18 per square foot. Formica, 800/367-6422, www.formica.com

Sprayable Bond.

If you've been brushing or rolling your contact adhesive, you're going to like the new Z Solvent-Free Postformable Adhesive System. The adhesive comes in a canister that delivers 35 pounds of material through a hose and gun. According to the maker, you get more coverage for your money than with traditional solvent-based adhesives — and superior bond strength to boot. The product is due on the market in late summer; exact price has not yet been determined. ITW TACC, 800/503-6991, www.taccint.com