Not your average shower

Consumer Reports News: May 22, 2007 03:17 PM

Kramer: "You went to the coffee shop without me? I told ya, I just wanted to hop in the shower."
Jerry: "That was an hour ago. What were you doing in there?"
Kramer: "Showering. How long does it take you?"
Jerry: "Ten minutes."
Kramer [seeing Elaine come into Jerry's apartment]: "Ten minutes? That's kooky talk. Hey Elaine, how long do you spend in the shower?"
Elaine: "Ten minutes."
Kramer: "Let me smell you."
Elaine: "All right. Whiff away."
Kramer [after delicately sniffing Elaine]: "Uh . . . that's not bad at all."

—From Seinfeld episode “The Apology,” which originally aired on December 11, 1997. (Script excerpt from

Kramer, Jerry’s gangly, loony neighbor, would probably love the new DTV II from Kohler (shown). The guy who couldn’t get in and out of the shower in less than an hour could luxuriate in the splendor of the DTV II, “an easy-to use, custom, digital hydrotherapy system” that includes built-in sound, steam, lights, and the pleasant-sounding WaterTile Ambient Rain Showering Panel.

When I reviewed the Kohler press release—a slick four-color pamphlet with a CD—I started to wonder why someone would need this in-home spa. How long does the average American shower, after all?

It turns out, according to Cyndi Schoenbrun, a senior research analyst in our InfoCenter, that American adults shower on average for only 8 minutes at a time. Get wet, lather up, rinse, sing or hum a few bars of your favorite song, ponder life or the daily to-do list, and head out to start (or end) the day.

To be honest, I wouldn’t mind having such a stunning, apparently life-changing bathroom setup in my home. My own steam shower is quite nice, mind you, but it doesn’t come close to the DTV II. Then again, when the alarm goes off at 5:55 a.m. Monday through Friday—signaling a routine that includes my own getting ready for work and making breakfast and lunch for our three kids—the last thing I have time for is, in Kohler’s words, a “showering experience.”

I guess that’s what weekends are for.Steven H. Saltzman

Essential information: If you’re planning a bathroom remodel, read “Bathroom makeovers: Relaxing retreats for less” (available to subscribers). Also check out “Is your remodel worth the investment?” Perhaps you’d be better off spending your remodeling dollars somewhere else besides the bathroom.

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