If you’ve decided to renovate your bathroom, you’ll need to give some consideration to the new shower you’ll fit in the space – and this can be trickier than you might imagine, given the vast array of types and styles to choose from! For a guide to choosing the right shower, read on.
The sort of shower you decide to install will depend on the water system in your property, your budget and your personal taste. Some showers operate from stored hot and cold water mains, supplying water at equal pressure, but others do not. It’s important to know which type of system you have in your property before choosing a shower to ensure it’s compatible.
Some systems are easy to install yourself, while others will need plumbing in by a professional. You can find qualified plumbers in London or beyond with a little research online, and it’s worth reading reviews of their work to ensure the tradesman you plan to hire is professional and skilled.
Over-bath shower mixer
A quick and cheap option if you have a compact bathroom and need to stick to a tight budget, over-bath showers are simple to install and don’t require a skilled tradesperson to carry out the work. This type of shower is ideal if you don’t have the room necessary to install a shower cubicle.
Over-bath showers are combined with a bath mixer tap, and this is how you control the pressure and temperature of the water. Because of this, adjusting the temperature can be a bit tricky, although you might not find it to be too much of an issue when you consider how cheap the system is to install and run.
Another option is a push-on mixer, which simply fits over the bath taps when required. This sort of shower is very cheap and simple to use, although the control you have over the temperature is low and the connection between the shower and bath taps can easily dislodge.
In addition to bath/shower mixers, there are other types of mixer showers available, namely manual and thermostatic mixers. In both systems, the hose and spray parts of the shower are attached to a wall unit, through which the water supply is connected.
The water pressure and temperature are controlled by a series of knobs on a manual mixer unit and, because the shower is all installed at height, it’s easier to access than over-bath mixers – albeit significantly more expensive.
A thermostatic mixer is also attached to the wall, usually at around shoulder height, but this sort of unit differs from a manual mixer in that the temperature is controlled via a built-in stabiliser. This means that the water coming from the shower should never get too hot and the temperature and flow of water should remain stable, even if the supply is being used elsewhere in the house at the same time.
An electric shower is plumbed into the cold water mains and is only suitable if your water supply reaches a specific pressure – a professional plumber should be able to help you work this out and install the system.
This type of shower is wall-mounted and heated electrically, often including a stabiliser to keep pressure constant even if the water supply is being used somewhere else in the property. However, the spray pressure can be weaker in winter when the water from the mains is colder.
Using water supplied from a hot water cylinder and a cold water cistern, a power shower contains an electric pump that can control water temperature and pressure. It’s convenient to use but is not suitable if your water supply comes from a combination boiler controlled by the mains.