Everything You Need To Know About Choosing The Right Shower

 

Here at The Brighton Bathroom Company, it’s rare that we design a bathroom that doesn’t include a wonderful shower. As a quick and invigorating way to get ready in the morning, showers make a brilliant practical addition to the bathroom, but they can also add a touch of luxury too. From cool industrial-style mixer showers to handy rail-mounted designs, there are a variety of shower types available to complement your interior, however, there are also a number of practical factors that you will need to consider in order to ensure your shower provides the refreshing experience you expect. To help you choose the perfect shower for your new bathroom, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide.

 

Which Showers Work With Your Water System?

Mixer Showers

With their versatile and sleek appearance, good water pressure and reasonable pricing, mixer showers are one of the most popular types of shower available. They are plumbed into your hot water system. The hot and cold water feeds are then mixed inside a cartridge within the shower valve to achieve the desired temperature. Because they run off your existing plumbing, the pressure depends on the pressure of your hot water system. You generally need at least 1 bar of pressure to get an adequate flow.

Most good combi boilers should produce 1 bar of pressure or more. However, the pressure can drop when water is used elsewhere in your home. Unvented hot water systems where cold mains water is heated via your boiler before being stored at high pressure should also provide an adequate flow. The gravity-fed systems often found in older properties can suffer from low pressure. The pressure is dependent on the distance between the cold tank and your shower head. Fortunately, a booster pump can be fitted to improve the flow. You can tell if you have a gravity-fed system if you have a separate cold water tank (often located in the loft).

Mixer showers come in a broad variety of stylish designs. However, in some cases, you may need to tweak your plumbing to achieve the desired pressure.

Power Showers

Designed to work with gravity-fed low-pressure systems, power showers feature a wall-mounted pump that boosts your water flow. Achieving that luxurious showering experience will require additional electricity and will, of course, use more water. The wall-mounted box can also detract from the look of your shower.

Digital Showers

Digital showers operate in the same way as a mixer shower; the only difference is how they are controlled. Rather than manually twisting a dial that’s connected to the valve, digital showers can be altered via an LCD screen, remote control or via an app on your phone. They allow you to set an exact temperature which you can then save as a pre-set to use again – perfect for busy families. With their added functionality, digital showers are more expensive and can, unfortunately, be more complicated to fix should anything go wrong. However, they do make a wonderfully luxurious and convenient choice.

Electric Showers

Electric showers are not connected to your hot water system. They heat the water over an element much like an electric kettle. The element is contained within a wall-mounted box which you might find detracts from the sleek finish of your design. The water pressure is driven by their electrical power, which usually ranges from 7.5kW (kilowatt) to 10.5kW. Low kW electric showers tend to produce low water pressure.

You can improve the pressure of an electric shower by opting for a 10.5kW model or higher. However, these usually require 1.5 bars of mains pressure and need more robust wiring. It’s very important to enlist a qualified electrician to check that your current wiring is compatible before installing your shower.

Since electric showers are not connected to your main heating system, you never have to worry about running out of hot water, making them ideal for busy families or as a backup should your boiler fail. They can also be fitted in outbuildings and areas of your house that are difficult to reach with your existing plumbing. They make an excellent energy-efficient and cost-effective choice.

Choosing The Look & Style Of Your Shower

There is almost an endless array of options to choose from when it comes to designing your shower. From cool and contemporary black fittings to vintage-inspired Victorian designs, there’s undoubtedly a shower to suit every home. You will also want to consider your shower enclosure – whether you want to make the most of your space by incorporating a shower head over your bath or embrace a sumptuous showering experience with a spacious walk-in design. Below are a few options to give you inspiration.

Modern Waterfall Shower Heads

Luxurious waterfall shower heads are available in a variety of styles and sizes. Usually paired with a mixer shower, they can either be mounted on a riser or built into your shower wall for an even more sleek and stylish look. In the shower room below, a compact black waterfall head and diverter make a wonderful focal point to the on-trend white interior. Black bathroom fittings are becoming increasingly popular. They are ideal for bringing a chic contemporary edge to your bathroom design.

Practical Shower Risers

Shower risers allow you to adjust the height and angle of your shower head. They make a highly practical choice and can be more cost-effective than including two separate showerheads in your design. Clean and simple, single shower risers look great in a modern bathroom. The elegant spa-like interior below also features a fantastic seamless walk-in shower with a sleek, flush-fitting base.

Showers With Diverters

For the best of both worlds, you can opt to include a diverter in your shower. The smaller shower head can either be attached to the wall via a bracket or on an adjustable riser. Installing an over-bath shower is a great way to maximise your space without compromising on functionality. As the glamorous gold bathroom below goes to show, over-bath showers can still look elegant and luxurious.

Vintage Showers

A traditional Victorian-inspired bathroom design can add wonderful character and charm to a period property. There are plenty of quirky vintage shower styles to choose from, including riser rails with diverters and built-in shower heads. Mixer showers offer the widest selection of in-keeping design options.

Accessible Showers

Showers make an excellent choice for people with mobility issues. A seamless wet-room or walk-in shower provides great accessibility and prevents the risk of tripping on a raised edge. You can also include a built-in bench seat for safe and easy showering. Combining a stylish shower, a sleek walk-in enclosure and elegant lighting allows you to create a stylish and sophisticated interior without compromising on functionality.

Shower Controls

Though it might seem like a small and insignificant detail, if you opt for a mixer shower, you will also need to choose a style of shower control. Your choice of shower control might depend on whether you prefer a modern or traditional style and whether you are practically able to enclose the shower valve behind the wall. However, ultimately, picking the right shower controls for you comes down to personal taste.

Single Lever

A single lever control can simply be lifted and turned to adjust the temperature and flow of your water. This control style is available as an external mixer bar or an in-built design.

Sequential Mixer

Sequential mixers do not control the flow of your shower. Turning them clockwise simply adjusts the temperature. They are also available in both concealed and exposed designs.

Bar Mixers

Bar mixers include two dials at either end of the exposed shower valve that control the temperature and flow.

Concentric Dials

Two wheels, one on top of the other, control the flow and temperature of the water. The valve must be concealed behind the shower wall.

Dual Controls

Similar to concentric dials but with two separate controls, one dial controls the temperature while the other adjusts the flow.

 

Whether you have a spacious family bathroom or a luxurious wet room, your shower is a vital part of your design, and so you’ll want to make sure you make the right choice. There are plenty of practical and stylistic details to consider, which hopefully we’ve managed to shed some light on in this blog. If you have any doubts about which shower you should choose, or if you’d like to discuss your bathroom design further, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can call us on 01444 647800 or email [email protected].

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