When you think about it, every home is equipped with a stress-reducing device -- it's called the shower, and it's not just for daily cleansing. For many, a leisurely hot shower simply melts away tension and soothes the soul.
Some homeowners have upped their game by having a steam shower installed. It doesn't stop there. Enhancements such as lighting, music systems and aromatherapy can be added. It's no wonder so many steam showers are equipped with a waterproof bench for two.
While not all house hunters actively seek out this amenity, they often go berserk when they see it, says Judith King of The Corcoran Group, noting that's the reaction she gets when showing one of her listings, the Quogue beach house featured below. "It's a fabulous feeling to be able to take a steam shower in your own home," King adds.
11 Dune Rd.
The master suite in this 3,600-square-foot beach house offers ocean views from the bedroom and bay views from the bathroom. The master is one of five bedrooms and has a fireplace with private balcony, while the bathroom is set up with a double steam shower with benches and a spa tub. It also features his and hers sinks and a water closet. There are another 5.5 bathrooms in the house. As for common spaces, the living room with fireplace and dining room each have tray ceilings and sliding-glass doors that open to a double-tiered mahogany deck with bay views. The manicured 1.1-acre parcel is landscaped with hydrangeas as well as with a heated in-ground pool, hot tub and pool house. Amenities include a deeded right of way to the ocean beach. Judith King, Corcoran Group, Westhampton Beach, 631-723-4421.
3172 Sound Ave.
When this 5,500-square-foot Mediterranean-style house was custom-built on one acre overlooking Long Island Sound, the spa area with its indoor pool and steam shower was incorporated into the design. The spa -- as well as any area in the house with tile floors -- has radiant heat. This includes the master bathroom, which has a walk-in shower, tub overlooking the water and dual vanity. Other features include wood floors, oversized windows, sliding-glass doors, two fireplaces and a three-level mahogany elevator. The chef's kitchen is outfitted with white cabinets, high-end stainless- steel appliances and a center island. There are four bedrooms and five bathrooms. Since the house is set high, the water views are year round, says the listing agent, noting flooding is not an issue. Exterior features include Brazilian wood wraparound decks and retractable awnings. CeeCee Flanigan, Shawn Elliott Luxury Homes & Estates, Woodbury, 631-252-4126.
29 Wesley Dr.
Originally a ranch, this eight-room house was renovated and expanded about 10 years ago. It has four bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms, including the master suite. The tiled master bathroom features a steam shower with Starfire Glass. It also has a Jacuzzi tub, a double sink and radiant heat floor. Wood and radiant heat floors are found throughout the house.
The main level includes a two-story entrance foyer, den with a fireplace, living room, dining room and eat-in kitchen. The kitchen has wood cabinets, granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances. The deck, overlooking the yard and a basketball half-court, is accessible from the eating area. The lot is 171 by 150 feet. Ronnie Gerber, Douglas Elliman Real Estate, Merrick, 516-238-4299.
733 Harrison St.
The owner of this seven-room Colonial completely remodeled the home in 2009 and had a Royal SSWW steam shower installed in the master bathroom. With multiple jets, settings include rainfall. The shower has two folding seats and a control panel to operate mood lighting, radio and more. The bathroom also boasts a Jacuzzi tub and Toto Neorest toilet with functions that include lid operation, and seat heating and cooling. There are another 2.5 bathrooms in the house, as well as three bedrooms. The kitchen has granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances, including a Viking stove and wine refrigerator. Surround Sound, a fireplace and central air-conditioning are among the amenities. The lot size is 57 by 100 feet. Phyllis Beitler and Claire Sidi, Douglas Elliman Real Estate, Syosset, 516-921-2262.