From thermostatic shower valves, mixer showers to shower panels and more, it’s no surprise that choosing the right shower can be a little tricky. So, to help you out and to make things easier, we’ve uncovered all there is to know about showers including the different types, how they are made and the things to consider before you buy.


A shower valve controls the flow of water to the outlets. Some valves are thermostatically controlled and others are manually controlled – here we explain the differences.

Manual shower valves
Easy to use, manual shower valves typically feature a single lever that controls both the temperature and flow rate. Manual shower valves have no thermostatic control, which means that if someone turns on a tap or flushes a toilet in another bathroom, the water can run scalding hot or freezing cold.

At a glance:

Lack of thermostatic control can mean sudden changes in the water temperature
Not suitable for young children
An affordable option
Manual control only
Good for use with an overflow bath filler and shower handset
Thermostatic shower valves
Thermostatic shower valves provide precise control over the water temperature. They are designed to maintain the temperature of the water within a +/- 2°C range. If there’s any sudden change in the flow of hot or cold water, the valve will respond to compensate and maintain a constant temperature. To prevent scalding, a thermostatic shower valve will automatically shut-off if the cold or hot water fails.

Thermostatic shower valves usually feature two or three handles depending on how many outlets you want. You can choose between one, two or three outlets and create a shower system that’s tailored to your requirements.

At a glance:

Provides precise temperature control
Supplies water at a pre-set maximum temperature
Automatic anti-scald device
Ideal for young children
Use with any outlet
More expensive than manual valves

The right shower head is an important part of choosing a new shower. The main types of shower head are fixed shower heads and hand showers. They are available in various sizes and styles including modern and traditional.

Fixed shower heads
A great option for creating a designer look, fixed shower heads are fitted to the wall or ceiling with an arm. Some shower heads include the arm, and some are supplied without. A fixed shower head delivers a refreshing rainfall effect. Although this type of shower head looks great and provides a superb showering experience, it’s not a practical option for a busy family bathroom, as it can’t be detached for when you need to rinse and clean around your enclosure. An option would be to fit a slide rail kit, which features a detachable hand shower.

Hand showers
Hand showers can be supplied as part of a slide rail kit or rigid riser shower kit. They can also be supplied with a hose and wall bracket or simply on their own. Slide rail kits are a very popular option as they are easy to install and are really practical too. Connected to a flexible hose, the hand shower slots into a bracket, which can be moved up and down the rail. The hand shower can be removed from the holder allowing you to clean your shower enclosure with ease.

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  • Mai Perez
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