The first thing you will need to know is the type of boiler and water pressure your home has in order to pick the right shower for you. Water pressure is the force of water in a pipe and it determines the flow of water running through it. The type of boiler and water system you have in your home dictates which showers and taps you can choose – as both systems have limits as to what will work with them due to the water pressure.
An electric shower works off of the cold water supply. The water is warmed by the heating elements inside it, like a kettle. This means you’ll have hot water 24/7. In general, the higher the kilowatt (kW) rating is, the more powerful your shower will be. However, you may notice that the power reduces in the winter. This is because the water coming in from the mains is colder and therefore takes longer to warm up.
Manual mixer showers are cost-effective and simple to use. They work by mixing hot and cold water together to get the temperature you’d like – you adjust it until you’re happy, like you would when running a bath. They are more powerful than electric showers, but if someone else in the house turns a hot tap on while you’re in the shower, you’ll know about it. The drop in pressure from the hot tap will mean that your shower gets very cold, so you’ll have to adjust the temperature to get it back to comfortable
A thermostatic mixer shower mixes hot and cold water together and once you’ve got it to the temperature you like, it will stay within two degrees of that temperature – even if someone else is using hot water in the house.
Thermostatic mixers can be installed over a bath or on their own in a shower cubicle. If your water system is gravity-fed, adding a booster pump will make it more powerful.
Like a thermostatic mixer, power showers mix hot and cold water together, but they have the added benefit of a pump that boosts flow rate. So if you have low pressure water system, power showers are a great choice for your home as they offer higher flow rates than electric and many mixer showers.
A digital shower is similar to the mixer showers, except it’s digital controls let you precisely control the water’s temperature and flow rate - and all remotely, so there's no need to get out of bed to switch on your shower. Combining hot water from your boiler or immersion heater with just the right amount of cold water to give you the perfect shower, digital showers also have multiple programmable functions.
Digital showers come with or without pumps and so can work with either low or high pressure systems.
Once you have established which type of shower you can have, it's time to think about which features you want....
Fixed shower heads, with their wider diameters, offer fantastic coverage for a fully immersive showering experience. However, there might be times when you still fancy this option but need something smaller and more manoeuvrable. Achieve the best of both worlds with a fixed showerhead and diverter. This allows you to switch water flow from one head to the other depending on your needs.
If you’re set on a fitted shower head, decide whether you'd prefer it to be completely stationary or have its angle adjusted. Having a fixed head on your ceiling obviously limits the adjusting potential, so consider making it more accessible by having in on the wall. It’ll make is easier to reach and can be angled down away from the face and head.
If you want to limit your shower's temperature, look for models with a maximum temperature setting. You determine this limit and, once set, your shower's temperature will never go beyond this point, meaning you can confidently let slightly older children shower alone without fear that they’ll accidentally turn the shower up too high.
Enjoy a different shower experience thanks to our range of available spray settings. Choices include massaging, saturating and mist sprays – you can even bring the outdoors indoors thanks to a spray that feels like rain. These settings can usually be controlled by twisting a lever on the head, so you’ll need to make sure that you can reach the shower head.
If you’re concerned about the amount of water used, look for showers with water saving options. Some models use an aerating shower head that mixes water with air to limit the amount of water used. Others reduce how much water flows out by including a flow restrictor in the hose or spraying the water in pulses.
Alternatively, some showers boast an automatic shut off feature that is activated in the event of hot or cold water supply failure. This ensures that water isn't wasted if something goes wrong and you’ll be alerted to the issue immediately.
Controlling your shower with a single valve, the single level mixer is available in surface mounted or recessed design, and works with all water systems.
A bar mixer has controls on either side of the valve so that you can create your perfect shower. They are surface mounted and work with all water systems.
A concentric mixer has a single dial on the front of two valves (hot and cold water) giving you better control and a higher flow of water than single lever options. You can choose between a surface mounted or recessed design for your concentric mixer and it's suitable for all water systems.
With a single dial, a sequential mixer adjusts temperature only as it offers a constant water flow. You can choose between surface mounted and recessed designs and sequential mixers are suitable for all water systems.