The simple shower – a bathroom object often regarded as a convenient, quick alternative to a long soak in the bath. It’s easy to assume a speedy shower is all business and no pleasure, but thanks to a vast range of shower head choices and the growing availability of trendy body jets, a shower can be just as relaxing and spa like as a whirlpool bath. There are three main decisions to make when it comes to a new shower – which shower tray? What kind of enclosure? And which shower unit? It can seem daunting, but by understanding your properties heating and water system you can choose a stylish and functional shower to suite your property.
The foundations of a good shower can only begin at the bottom with a good shower tray, typically slim line and low profile trays are proving most popular for a contemporary, minimalist feel. Available space is likely to be the biggest influence in what shower tray and enclosure you decide upon. You can’t fail to find a shower tray that will fit whatever space you have; with a choice of rectangular, square, quadrant or offset quadrant shapes.
In a small space a quadrant tray will fit snugly into any corner, while a classic rectangular or offset quadrant tray will form the base of a spacious, luxury shower. If you are considering a minimalist wet room a shower tray is not used, but think carefully about your tiles choices for the floor and walls. A walk in shower can have a tray if you wish. Either option provides an eye catching modern focal point in any bathroom.
When it comes to the unit itself you will have to make a decision over electric, mixer or power shower. Electric showers are the most common choice for households across the country; they only require water from the mains cold water supply and don’t rely on stored hot water. This makes the electric shower ideal for the busy family household where there is a limited supply of hot water, a convenient type of shower that would also suite a new en-suite where shower plumbing may have not existed before. An electric shower might have once meant a plain white box and shower head but market leaders have recognised a wish for more stylish units designing a range of electric showers in stylish materials including chrome, coloured or patterned glass and even granite tile meaning a modern, sophisticated look can still be achieved with an electric shower.
Mixer showers do what they say on the tin and mix hot and cold water to your required temperature. Most mixer showers can be installed on a number of systems: on high pressure systems i.e. combination boiler or low pressure systems i.e. cold water storage tank. A mixer shower relies on a balance in pressure from the cold and hot water feed to perform to its best. Manufacturers are much more creative in their designs when it comes to the mixer shower because they don’t have electrical parts to contend with. If you have the cash there is a good range of extravagant shower heads to choose from: a wall mounted fixed head paired with a concealed control provide a sleek minimalist design statement without the traditional ‘shower cord’ getting in the way.
No shower is an enjoyable wake-up call without a good shower head, and there are styles to suit every bathroom and user. Strategically placed body jets can massage your body for spa like luxury. Both practical and luxurious, body jets will undoubtedly enhance a showering experience. They can be used at the same time as the shower head or with the use of a diverter if you wish to choose a body wash whilst keeping your hair dry. To make a statement with your shower unit a designer shower tower will give the best showering experience – these bold designs usually consist of a shower head, body jets, thermostatic control and automatic shut down if either water supply fails.
For a truly exhilarating shower people have often opted for a Power Shower, these too consist of a hot and cold feed, both from stored supplies and an integral pump. The water supply always needs to be above the unit so the pump is primed to do its job. Shower options have also kept up with a technology era – thanks to wireless technology a digital shower can set your water to the perfect temperature before you get in. Most digital showers and their control panels can be installed without the need to damage existing tiling.
A shower enclosure will complete the look of your shower and will also be determined by your choice of flooring or shower tray. If you have space saving at the top of your agenda a bi-fold shower door won’t interfere with other bathroom fittings in the way a fixed door might. If you have chosen a quadrant shower tray to fit snugly into a corner, a sliding quadrant glass door won’t take up extra space and will make the room appear larger. The traditional hinged door can still be sleek and elegant, particularly with the choice of a frameless shower door for a seamless contemporary shower space. Walk in showers and wet rooms make a bold design statement, bringing a taste of a high end hotel to your own bathroom. Stylish and stunning glass screens can be purchased from a range of size options. Most come with a protective shield to keep the glass sparkling clean and optimising a light and airy feel in the room.