The Buyers Guide to Showers
30th Apr 2015
A shower can wake you up in the morning and allow you to de-stress in the evening, so having a good shower that is right for you is very important. In this buying guide, we will be explaining all things showers!
Showers have hugely evolved since the olden days of traditional hand pumped showers, so their overall style and look is bound to have changed too.
Today, traditional style showers may have a lever or crosshead handle to turn them on, accompanied by a large shower head with matching traditional handset, helping you to create a period-style bathroom.
Modern showers can now come equipped with luxuries such as body jets, large rainfall shower heads and LED lighting to name a few.
Rigid riser kits, slide rails and bath shower mixers are just a few of the styles available today.
Traditionally showers were available in polished chrome or white finishes, but today we also offer brushed brass and matt black showers for a sleek, modern bathroom style, where as a gold shower head typically compliments a more traditional bathroom.
Types of Showers
Generally, there are five types of showers available:
- Thermostatic Showers
- Electric Showers
- Digital Showers
- Power Showers
- Shower Panels
What’s the difference between a thermostatic shower and an electric shower?
Thermostatic showers differ from an electric shower in several ways, the main difference being that they rely on a mains water supply to operate. A combination of water pressure and temperature allows a thermostatic shower to function.
Thermostatic showers are very much a traditional shower set up and are becoming more and more popular as a means of taking centre stage within the grand bathroom design.
What is a thermostatic shower?
A thermostatic shower is a type of mixer shower that runs from both a hot and cold water supply, with a thermostatic valve built in to mix the two to provide the perfect temperature for your daily shower and avoid any scalding.
What is a thermostatic valve?
A thermostatic value is what is used to control the temperature of the shower you are having. There are different types of thermostatic values to choose from when designing your perfect shower:
- Bar Valve: comes in a bar style design with controls at each end.
- Concealed Valve: hides pipework behind the wall for a simplistic look.
- Exposed Valve: features pipework that is visible instead of being hidden behind the wall.
- Traditional Valve: feature crosshead or lever handle designs for a period style bathroom.
Electric showers are the perfect option for your new bathroom if you are just looking to be in and out of the shower quick! Our electric shower collection is sleek, modern and most importantly affordable.
What is an electric shower?
An electric shower operates from one water source, the cold-water supply! As much as cold showers would certainly be refreshing, don’t worry, the shower heats the water you are using almost instantly, with a built in thermostat to control the water temperature and avoid any scalding, making for a quick and safe but relaxing shower experience.
What is the kW rating?
The kW rating is effectively the kilowatt rating for your electric shower, and the higher the number the more powerful your shower will be.
Electric Cable Sizes
We highly recommend following the below when it comes to selecting your electric cable for your shower, this will ensure your shower runs correctly:
- 8.5kW: 10mm²
- 9.5Kw: 10mm²
- 10.5kW: 16mm²
This is a crucial and important part of the installation of your electric shower, as if you select an incorrect fuse it may result in the shower burning out.
We highly recommend the below:
- 8.5kW: 40amp
- 9.5kW: 45amp
- 10.5kW: 50amp
Can an Electric shower be connected to the mains water supply?
Yes - electric showers can certainly be connected to your mains water supply, you will just want to make sure that the pipework has a minimum diameter of 15mm. Remember to make sure that you keep running pressure of 0.7 bar minimum.
What is a digital shower?
A digital shower has a built-in digital thermostat which can control the temperature and flow of the water remotely using an external digital panel or remote. Like mixer showers, a digital shower takes water from both the hot and cold supply and mixes them together to form the perfect temperature.
What is a power shower?
A power shower is again, similar to a mixer shower, however it has a shower pump built in which increases the rate of water flow through the shower head thereby adding an extra boost to your showering experience. This can be extremely beneficial to homes with a typically low water pressure.
Can you have a power shower with a combi boiler?
In short, no. Unfortunately, power showers are only compatible with gravity fed systems and must be connected to both the hot and cold stored water supplies.
Power showers run off a hot water cylinder, and combi boilers don’t usually have a separate hot water cylinder.
Shower panels feature indulgent body jets which create a massage effect while you shower for total relaxation. Much like the traditional thermostatic shower they mix hot and cold water supplies so require a connection to the boiler to allow you to perfectly control the temperature as needed.
Shower panels are best suited to medium to large sized modern bathrooms due to their size and overall look. For a contemporary upgrade to your shower experience, shower panels would be the ideal choice for a bit more luxury.
There are different types of shower heads to choose from, such as:
- Rainfall shower heads: create a stunning rain effect design providing a pleasurable showering experience.
- Fixed shower heads: are generally fixed to the wall or ceiling and provide a constant water flow and pressure.
- LED shower heads: feature colourful LED lights which cycle through a range of colours operated by the water pressure.
- Rigid Riser Showers: are fixed height showers which cannot be adjusted to your preference.
- Shower Rail Kits: have an adjustable slider rail which allows you to adjust the height of the shower to suit. The shower head is connected to a hose allowing it to move up and down with ease.
A shower valve controls the temperature of the water and the flow of water to your shower. A shower valve itself isn’t a complete solution for a new shower. It needs to be coupled with a shower head or a slide rail kit to create a fully operational shower. You can buy these two elements separately and we also have ready-made kits too, which take the stress and indecision away from choosing a new shower.
A slide rail kit is made up of a shower rail, shower handset and hose. There are loads of combinations to choose from.
A shower valve solution is part of the mixer showers category as it requires a connection from the boiler to be able to mix hot and cold water to create the ideal temperature. Our shower valve category includes double and triple valves as well as bar valves to help you achieve the perfect look.
Now you’ve had a read of our handy showers buying guide, it’s time for you to shop our full selection of showers online and in-store today.