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5 Things to consider before choosing a shower

Choosing a new shower can be a great experience though it may seem a bit daunting with so many different styles to choose from. It is important to do your research as there are a number of things to consider before choosing your brand new shower. Here are five things for you to consider.

What different types of showers are there?

  • Electric Showers – From a plumbing perspective these are the quickest and easiest to install, as they do not need a separate hot water feed. They heat water on demand, using their own heating elements, so are cheap to run and ideal for a second bathroom and en suite.
  • Mixer Showers – These are easy to install as most bathrooms have a hot and cold feed and work by mixing the two services together to get the desired temperature. Mixer showers work best if your home has high water pressure or can be used with a pump if the water pressure is low.e.
  • Thermostatic Showers – The safest for the elderly and young children. This type of shower keeps water at a constant temperature with a thermostatic valve which the user can adjust to the desired temperature. The risk of scalding, due to someone turning on a tap elsewhere in the property, is considerably reduced.
  • Eco Showers – These limit the water flow and can be specified for both electric and mixer types.
  • Digital Showers – These are controlled by a panel which communicates with the power unit fitted in the loft or airing cupboard. The preferred temperature and rate of flow are then delivered to the shower head. These are sophisticated units with remote control and with no visible plumbing.

What water system do you have?

Your choice of shower may be affected depending on the type of water supply and heating system in your home.

  • Mains pressure (Unvented hot water) system – Requires a large water cylinder to store hot water that has been heated at high pressure by a boiler, or immersion heater.
  • Combination boiler system – Now very popular, this is a boiler that relies on mains pressure water and does not need any additional tanks or cylinders. This heats pressurized cold water when required, and delivers it to the shower head. The pressure required depends on the number of showers in your home and the size of the shower head. If you have a large style shower head or you already have an additional shower you will require a high water pressure.
  • Gravity system – These are usually only found in older homes with a cold water tank in the loft and a water cylinder usually in an airing cupboard. A pump is used to provide extra pressure if needed.

How much space is available?

The amount of space available in your bathroom will be a major factor when it comes to deciding which shower design to choose. You will need to measure the available space in your bathroom and plan what shape would be the best fit. Square, d-shaped and rectangular shaped showers fit nicely into most bathrooms, whereas pentagonal and quadrant designs are best suited for corner spaces.

  • Over the bath showers – If you have a smaller bathroom you may want to consider an over the bath shower. This option is practical and ideal for those who want to save space. Over the bath showers require either a bath screen or shower curtain.
  • Shower tray – Free standing shower enclosures are ideal for medium to large-sized bathrooms or en suites. These come in a variety of shapes and sizes and often require panels and a door. Shower trays can be slimline or elevated depending on the type of plumbing you have and whether pipes lie above or below flooring.
  • Walk-in shower – If you have a larger bathroom and a lot of room to spare, you may want to consider investing in a walk-in shower. Walk-in showers provide a lot more showering area than standard enclosures. You must take into consideration that walls and floors will have to be waterproofed.

How much are you willing to spend?

What is going to suit your budget? Showers differ greatly in price depending on their style, size and features. Are you looking for a standard and practical shower or something more luxurious and grand like a rain shower?

Will it fit in with the rest of your bathroom?

It is essential to plan how the shower will fit in with the rest of your bathroom. Things to take into consideration are: choosing the correct style, ensuring there is enough space for your needs, privacy, and lighting in relation to windows and of course that it will suit your plumbing system.

Investing in a new shower for your bathroom can be exciting once you’ve decided on your perfect choice. The next step is getting your shower fitted and we always recommend hiring a professional plumber for bathroom renovations.

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