So you’ve decided to add an en suite with a shower to your bedroom. How exciting! Adding an en suite shower room is both a convenient and a luxurious addition to your home. Getting up in the morning will be a joy when you can slink straight into your new shower and wake up in style. What a perfect start to any day.
For now you are stuck at the planning stage, so how do you decide what type of shower to go for? There are so many different types, models and styles of shower, if you’re not particularly knowledgeable about them, choosing a shower can be an absolute minefield. You don’t want to spend thousands adding a luxury en suite to find yourself standing under a trickle of barely warm water.
When choosing a shower, you’ve not only got the technical specifications to think about. The style and look of your shower is just as important to make sure it fits beautifully into your home.
We’ve put together some practical tips for choosing showers to help you get exactly the en suite shower you’ve been dreaming of.
The technical specs
There are a few aspects you’ll need to check before you decide on the type of shower you need for your home.
- Water Pressure – when choosing a shower, the first thing you’ll need to do is determine the water pressure you have in your home. This can be done with a pressure gauge, or get your plumber to check it for you. If your water pressure isn’t great, you’ll need to have a water pump fitted.
- Water and heating system – the type of shower you can have will depend on the type of water and heating system you have in your home.
- Unvented hot water. An immersion heater heats water in a water cylinder to supply limited large amounts of hot water.
- Combination boiler. Most modern homes have combination boilers, which give hot water on demand. These systems generally give the best water pressure.
- Gravity system. A cold water tank in the loft and a hot water storage tank in the airing cupboard. There’s low water pressure with these systems so you’ll need a pump when you fit a shower.
Different types of shower
There are many different types of shower, including electric, digital, water saving airdrop and more. You will find most types at Bathroom stores, such as the Bathroom Discount Centre. Here’s a brief review of the main types:
Electric showers – many homes opt for electric showers because they are a quick and convenient way to install a shower. They have their own heating units so they don’t need a hot water feed. This makes them ideal for en suites. Electric showers are economical and temperature isn’t affected by other water use in the home. You’ll need a qualified electrician and plumber to install.
Digital showers – revolutionary technology includes a wireless panel in the shower to allow you to set the temperature you want. You can even pre-set a warm up, so it’s exactly the right temperature when you step into the shower. If you hanker after the latest gadgets, then a digital shower should be on your list. Pipework and a pump can be installed in the loft space, so you won’t have to worry about false walls to hide pipework, and the showerhead comes from the ceiling. Not the cheapest option, but it is a cool one.
Thermostatic mixer showers – the water mixer taps contain a thermostatic valve, which means you have greater control over the temperature. It’s a good option if you have children using the shower. It also means water temperature isn’t affected by water use elsewhere in the home.
Manual mixer showers – for homes with a good hot water supply and good water pressure, manual mixer showers work well. You simply move the mixer dial to get the water to the required temperature. They are easy to install and easy to operate.
Water-saving airdrop showers – aerating showerheads mix water with air to save on the total volume of water being used. The showerhead controls the flow and spray of the water. It’s an innovative option for reducing water usage. This type of shower isn’t recommended for use in combination with an electric shower as restricting water flow may cause the shower unit to overheat.
There are lots of options when it comes to shower enclosures, so you’ll need to find the best shape and style for your en suite space. Different shapes include:
Pentagonal and quadrant shower enclosures are best for corner spaces.
You’ll need a shower tray for freestanding shower enclosures. The type you require will depend on the type of shower enclosure you choose and on existing pipework (i.e. are pipes inset below flooring or above floor level).
Gone are the days of a single type of showerhead. There are so many to choose from and it’s your showerhead that can really make the most of your shower experience. Take your pick from standard wall-mounted showerheads to exotic stand-up spas. The three main types to consider are:
- Riser kit
Good luck with your en suite project. We hope your shower is fabulous.