How To Choose a Shower
Choosing the right shower is one of the most important decisions you can make for your bathroom. There are a range of shower designs and features to choose from, so we’re going to help you choose the right shower for the functionality, structure and aesthetic of your bathroom. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your bathroom by replacing your shower or you’re going for a full bathroom remodel, a shower isn’t just a small feature, it’s the centrepiece of the space. Let’s give it the attention it deserves.
In this post we’ll cover all your basics, from the different types of showers, to budget space and shower heads. We’re all for getting rid of old showers that you rush to get out of and replacing with new showers with clean designs and luxurious shower experience.
Types of showers
Let’s start with the basics – without complicating anything, let’s look at your main types of showers:
- Electric shower
- Mixer shower
- Power shower
- Digital shower
- Thermostatic shower
Electric showers were the standard solution for households. These showers take a hot water supply from the house boiler . However, this method means that the hot water is usually in short supply – often causing much frustration and brain freeze when trying to take a shower.
Electric showers are the most common type of shower in standard households, they have an average standard flow rate and can be paired with alternative shower heads for a personalised touch. Electric showers are ideal for homes with a combi boiler, as it can maximise your showering experience and save energy as they’ll only heat up water that you use.
Mixer and power showers, on the other hand, also take water from the cold water tank supply and it is then heated by the heating elements within the shower unit. This is a much more effective and efficient method, particularly if you live in family and large households.
The Pros of an Electric Shower
- Cheap – There’s no doubt that electric style showers are the most affordable and inexpensive domestic showers to buy
- Simplicity – They’re easy to use, that’s why they are the most popular choice of showers, due to their simplicity in installation and usage.
The Cons of Electric style showers
- Electricity Bill Prices – Whilst the overall cost of the shower feature might be cheap, your electric bills may increase more than expected.
- Waterflow – Generally, most electric operated showers have a weaker flow of water than other shower styles.
As you may have pieced together from its name, the Mixer shower takes water from the existing hot and cold water supply in the home and stores it in the shower unit. Because of this feature, mixer showers often come with a deck mounted unit with an integrated headset. This also makes them a great solution for shower baths as they can be attached with a rail and bracket, plus the unit allows you to effortlessly switch from tap to shower head by pulling a diverter switch on the unit.
No need to worry about plumbing systems, mixer showers are compatible with any plumbing system! However, it is worth noting that they take water from your existing water supply and they will not increase the supply to your shower. So if you have poor water flow through your taps you will likely have the same issue with your shower.
he Pros of Manual Mixer Shower
- Easy adjustments – due to their simplicity, mixer shower means you no longer have to adjust the hot and cold water flow rate, it’s automatically fed through the shower head.
- Hidden plumbing – this means that your pipes and plumbing work do not have to be on display for a more aesthetic and minimalist bathroom type
The Cons of a Shower Mixer
- Affected temperatures – Unfortunately, the biggest complaint with manual mixer showers is that the temperature can be affected by other household appliances such as taps, washing machines & dishwashers.
- Temperature controls – Whilst this isn’t necessarily negative, some times with different control settings the perfect temperature might be difficult to achieve and can take some time getting used to before finding the right balance.
This is where power showers come in…
This is where power showers come in… Power showers have similar mechanics to the mixer, they take a supply of water from both the hot and cold water supply and regulate the temperature through the shower unit. However, where power showers have the upper hand is they act as an additional booster pump, creating increased water pressure through the shower head. If you experience particularly slow or weak water flow through your taps and showers, or in general prefer more powerful shower water pressure, then having a power shower installed is definitely for you.
The pros of a powerful shower
- Optimum temperature – power showers have a built in temperature control system, which means the heating systems automatically adjusts the water temperature to find the preferred temperature. This is perfect for young children or elderly who require a specific temperature without the fuss of manually changing
- Water pressure control – being able to manually adjust the water pressure, whether you prefer low-pressure water systems or a power pressure shower you can adjust to your liking.
The Cons of the Power Shower
- Cost – typically power showers are more expensive to buy & install than traditional electric showers.
- Plumbing requirements – Most new homes and new builds are equipped for power shower installation, however older homes running on older shower systems make require a plumbing updat before being able to install, which in turn can cost more money.
Digital showers are taking over the world of bathrooms and interiors! In terms of shower technology they are quite the revolution, they combine the mechanics of mixer and power shower with added controls for your comfort.
Let’s put it simply: your standard mixer or power shower interferes slightly with the hot and cold taps as it takes water from both supplies to achieve the right temperature. However, with a digital shower you can set your desired temperature by using the digital shower panel. These showers are a great addition to any bathroom plus they’re energy efficient; if you are installing an upstairs shower, the pipework and pump can be installed in the loft space above the bathroom with the shower head coming through the ceiling. Using this method, you avoid running electricity and plumbing through the house plus there is no need to worry about hiding pipework.
Miraculously, digital showers give you complete over both temperature control and water flow – a shower made for your personal needs! Having control over your showers heating element is an increasingly population option
A thermostatic shower functions similarly to the mixer shower; it takes water from both the hot and cold supplies and stores it in the shower unit where the temperature is regulated. But the thermostatic shower doesn’t just stop there. Unlike the mixer shower, it has an incorporated pre-set thermostat. This feature helps to keep the water temperature consistent, even if another tap or a shower is being used elsewhere in the house.
Thermostatic controls are highly sought after as it allows you to have hot water, and hot shower water on demand.
Ultimately, you may have a preference when it comes to the type of shower you’d like, however you must remember, that the end results are often stemmed back further than the type of shower, but the type of water system. If you have a faulty boiler, then it’s likely you’ll still experience issues with cold water feeds.
The types of water system storage is highly important in making your decision, and you don’t want to overspend your budget on a shower that isn’t compatible with your home.
Before you make your final decision on what shower is the best fit for your bathroom, it is important to discuss the issue of your budget. There are many elaborate and amazing shower features to choose from aside from the shower unit, from tiling to doors. So, before you look at all the added features, decide on a budget that allows some wiggle room for you to put together your dream luxurious shower which compliments your bathroom space that also doesn’t break the bank. Knowing exactly how much to spend on a bathroom design renovation is the first step to ensuring your perfect budget for individual bathroom utilities. The best way to budget for all the smaller items like bathroom taps and bathroom walls is to create a spreadsheet of priorities, and understanding the true cost of a new bathroom style.
When deciding on your budget there are also practicality factors to consider. For example, a corner shower or a shower bath tend to cost comparatively less than a feature shower or a separate bathtub and shower set up. It’s essential to think of the daily practicality of your home, what would be best for your lifestyle and what style will serve you best in the long run?
How to Pick the Right Shower Head
There are a range of shower head designs to choose from depending on your preferred aesthetic, the needs of your bathroom and desired water pressure. Here’s a quick rundown on the most common shower heads:
- Wall mounted shower head
- Rainfall shower head
- Handheld shower head
- Low-pressure shower heads
- High-pressure shower heads
- Filtered shower heads
- Shower panels
- Dual shower head
- Ceiling shower head
- LED shower head
- RV shower head
Wall mounted shower heads are generally the most commonly seen in households, whereas handheld shower heads are useful in family bathrooms and households with young children as they allow you to literally take the shower to your child. However, if you’re looking for a shower upgrade, shower panels, ceiling and rainfall shower heads offer a dose of luxury to your bathroom renovation. You’ll have a shower set up so good, you’ll never want to leave!
Walk In Showers & Shower Enclosure Features
A shower enclosure or statement walk-in shower creates quite the feature in your bathroom. We can’t quite put our finger on it, but they add a hint of luxury and glamour to any household! Whether you have a large bathroom you’re looking to renovate or a small space you want to give life to, there’s a range of styles and features to choose from so you can make a feature shower the perfect addition to your home.
- Walk in
- Square enclosures
- Rectangular enclosures
- Curved enclosures
- Sliding enclosures
- Bi-fold enclosures
- Corner enclosures
- Frameless enclosures
Once we have chosen the walk in shower or enclosure feature that fits your bathroom, there are also a range of panels to choose from to put your own personal spin on your shower:
- Glass panels
- PVC Shower Panels
- Return panels
- Hinged shower doors
- walk-in end panels
- Easy access shower doors
What’s great about upgrading or renovating your bathroom is that you truly make it your own, even down to the colour, texture and design of your taps! If you’re looking for a creative project that will benefit your home this is a great place to start, and more importantly you’ll have a centrepiece shower you can relax and refresh in!