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Advice on all things Showers

There can be nothing worse than either a shower where you have to run round to get wet or something that changes temperature if someone else in the house turns on a tap! With so many of us now having experienced a good quality shower in a hotel or holiday home how can we achieve this in our own home is a question we are often asked.

The latest designs of showers are high on performance as well as looking great but when it comes to picking the perfect model it is essential to make sure that it is suitable for your water system.

In a standard UK home this usually boils down to one of three systems

A high pressure or mains system A combination boiler or A gravity fed system

High pressure plumbing (mostly in new houses) will typically use an unvented hot-water cylinder and is supplied with water directly from the mains. The cylinder will provide large amounts of pressurised hot water so is ideal for high performance showers, large rainfall heads and the luxury of additional accessories such as body jets.

Combi boilers heat your hot water on demand (no need for a hot-water or cold water storage tank) Thermostatic showers will help maintain the temperature when the supply is interrupted elsewhere in the home.

Low- pressure or gravity fed systems are very common in older houses which then have a cold water storage tank in the loft which feeds a hot water cylinder usually located in an airing cupboard. In order to achieve a good pressure with this system a separate or integral pump is required to add a boost.

Once you have decided with your designer which system you have then you can select the style and design to suit your bathroom design and needs.

Fixed head options can be fitted to the ceiling or wall. They have the advantage of a more streamlined finish and they can be tilted to offer a more directional flow but can be restrictive as usually fitted to suit the tallest member of the household which doesn’t always suit everyone.

A more flexible option would be to consider a ‘dual ‘ model which features an overhead spray but will divert to a more flexible handheld shower head - much more useful for cleaning or having a  shower without washing your hair !

Digital technology is one of the biggest advances in showers over the last few years, this is where the shower valve and often pump is contained within a processor. The processor (about the size of a shoe box) is remotely installed in the loft or airing cupboard and has lots of installation and service advantages. The digital aspect also means that you can control the shower from outside the cubicle or bath with a separate button ( invaluable with large enclosures to operate the shower without getting soaked) Digital showers are very user friendly and easy to control often with push button controls much simpler to operate with soapy hands.


By Tuesday, 14 January 2014 14:13 Published in Bathrooms