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Shower Buying Guide

Choosing the right shower for your home is a big decision. After all, it's an invigorating wake-up call in the morning and a refreshing necessity after a long day at work. There's plenty to consider when you start to look; is it suitable to install over a bath, is the water pressure in my house high enough, what's the difference between a manual mixer and a thermostatic?

Well, there’s no need to worry. Keep this handy guide at hand and you’ll be able to show even the most experienced plumber a thing or two.

Types of Showers

Different shower types give you different features, functions and each offer their own advantages, but which one suits you? Here's our lowdown of what's on offer.

Manual mixer showers The manual mixer shower works just like the mixer tap you'll find on your bath. Using separate hot and cold water supplies, simply adjust each accordingly for the perfect temperature. Perfect for homes with higher water pressure, you'll have no problems with a manual mixer! This shower type is perfect to be used over a bath. Shop manual mixer showers »

Thermostatic showers Similar to a manual mixer shower, thermostatic showers use a hot and cold water supply. The difference is that you use a single control to adjust them both together. Once you've found the perfect temperature it'll remain within 2°C of it! Use this shower type over a bath or in a cubicle. Shop thermostatic showers »

Digital showers Digital showers let you accurately control the temperature and flow rate to find the perfect conditions for the perfect shower. Some can even be controlled remotely, so you can get the water flowing before you roll out of bed. With multiple functions, some even offer an eco-mode to help you save water as you shower. Shop digital showers »

Shower Heads

Different shower heads offer different experiences, which makes choosing the right style an important decision. Below we’ve summed up what each offers and their benefits.

Fixed Shower Heads Fixed shower heads are perfect if you're looking to achieve a clean and stylish look in your bathroom. Fixed to the wall or the ceiling, any pipes and plumbing components are hidden away to give you that really minimalist appearance.  Delivering a wider shower area and rain effect, fixed shower heads offer a luxurious and indulgent shower experience. Shop fixed shower heads »

Riser Kits Easier to install and extremely practical, riser shower kits are a common choice and ideal for many homes. Featuring a bracket fixed to the wall, you can easily adjust the height and angle of the shower head to suit you. The shower head is easily detached too, giving you the convenience to just wash your hair or so you can clean the bath or shower enclosure. Shop riser kits »

Combination shower heads Combination shower heads give you the convenience of a riser kit while also offering the clean, modern appearance you’d get from a fixed shower head. Consisting of both a fixed shower head and also one that's detachable, you can enjoy a luxurious shower experience while having the ability to clean your bath and wash the kids with ease. Shop combination shower heads »

Valves & Controls

Deciding on the style of valve and controls you'd like in your bathroom is down to a matter of taste and preference. Your decision may also be influenced by the amount of space you have available. Read our guide below to help make your decision!

Exposed Valves Exposed valves tend to be easier to fit and your cheapest option when choosing your shower. They often come in a bar design although there are other styles available. In the right setting, an exposed valve looks fantastic and suits a more traditional bathroom style. Shop exposed valves »

Concealed Valves With just the control panel on show, concealed valves offer a sleek and seamless look in your room. Ideal for more modern bathrooms or for anyone looking to create a minimalistic appearance, this style of valve means your pipework is hidden behind your tiles. There are plenty of design choices available, so you'll easily find something to match your style. Shop concealed valves »

Things to consider

Bathroom size  Before you choose your shower, it's always important to consider the size of your bathroom. If you've got a really small space, a fixed or rain effect shower head might not be the most suitable for you. An adjustable riser shower might work better, letting you move it freely until you find the perfect position. The same applies if you're looking for a shower to go over your bath; make sure it'll send the water into the area where you're stood rather than straight down over the taps below.

Toilet seats  If you're replacing a shower with something more modern, then position shouldn't be an issue, but if you're adding a shower to your bathroom for the first time, then position is key. Think about where your water pipes are and if you'll need to do any re-routing. Also consider how easy they'll be to access if you're faced with any leaks or problems later on.

Height and ease of use  Think about your family and anyone who will be using your shower. How easily can everyone reach the controls? This is important for comfortable usage and also for safety. Taller people shouldn't need to bend down to adjust the controls and shorter people or children shouldn't need to reach up; find the happy medium for a happy home.
You also need to think about the height or position of the shower head. If you've got children or pets, a removable shower head could come in really handy whereas a fixed head could pose problems. Combination shower heads are a great choice, giving you the modern look of a fixed head and the convenience of a riser kit.

Water and heating system Depending on your heating system, some showers might not be suitable for your home. Combi boilers are ideal for a mixer shower, giving you plenty of pressure to enjoy whereas a gravity system might not delivery the pressure you need. Be sure to check if the shower you choose is suitable for your home.