Ultimate Buyer's Guide to Showers

Published by: Kevin Sears

22nd June 23


Reading Time: 5 mins 9 secs

If you're looking to choose a new shower and feel overwhelmed with the options, you’re not alone. Showers may seem simple enough on first thought, but they can be a bit of a minefield if you haven’t considered all the options.

This guide is here to streamline the process. We'll simplify your choice with a deep-dive into showers, shower enclosures and the essential components you can’t overlook.

Ready to demystify the selection process? Let's begin your journey to the perfect shower experience.

Three important questions to answer when choosing a shower

Choosing the right shower can elevate your bathroom and personal comfort to a whole new level. But how do you decide which shower is perfect for you? Answering these three questions will put you on the right track.

1. What kind of shower setup suits my bathroom design and available space?

The layout and size of your bathroom play a crucial role in determining the type of shower that will suit your space.

For example, hinged door showers are ideal if you're looking for a classic, timeless look and have ample space for the door to swing open. If you're working with a smaller space, however, sliding door showers could be the better choice – offering a sleek, modern appearance without requiring extra room for the door to open.

For a spacious, open feel in a modern space, walk-in shower enclosures are the top pick. And if you're all in for the ultimate luxury experience that’s accessible to all, consider a wet room.

2. What is the water pressure in my home?

Water pressure is often an overlooked factor when choosing a shower, but it can seriously affect your shower experience. Low pressure might mean a trickle when you're expecting a cascade, whereas high pressure can comfortably accommodate rain showerheads or multi-jet setups.

If you're unsure about the water pressure in your home, it might be worth getting it tested. This way, you can make an informed choice about the type of shower and showerhead that will work best for you.

It’s worth highlighting that if your home has a combi boiler, you won’t be able to upgrade to a power shower pump.

3. What kind of shower experience do I want?

Think about what you expect from your shower. Do you see it as a quick, efficient space to clean and refresh? Or is it a spa-like retreat where you can unwind with a long, luxurious soak?

If efficiency is key, a shower with a basic set-up and straightforward controls might be the best fit – or a handheld shower, which is great for a quick rinse.. If you’re after the luxury experience, on the other hand, a shower with multiple jets, a large rain-style showerhead, or even a steam feature could be the answer.

By taking the time to consider these questions, you can ensure the shower you choose will meet your needs, match your style and deliver the perfect showering experience.

The different types of showers

Once you've pondered the essential questions, the next step is understanding your options. Showers come in various forms, each offering unique features and benefits. Let's take a look at the main ones.

Hinged door showers

Hinged door showers are perfect for those who appreciate a traditional design with a modern twist. The door swings open like a standard room door, and is often paired with rectangular or square enclosures, making it a great choice for larger bathrooms.

Hinged shower doors and enclosures are typically made of clear or tinted glass, either fixed within a metal frame or frameless. Glass is widely used because it’s both easy to clean and maintain, and works to make the bathroom feel more spacious than opaque materials. 

Sliding door showers

If you're working with a more compact space, sliding door showers could be your solution. These enclosures offer a contemporary, space-saving design where the door slides open and closes on a track, which eliminates the need for the clearance space hinged door showers demand.

Providing a streamlined, contemporary look, sliding door showers can suit many different bathroom styles, spaces and layouts.

Walk-in shower enclosures

Walk-in shower enclosures are a symbol of modern, minimalist luxury that can be fitted in  most bathrooms.

They typically feature a large glass panel with an open entrance, which removes the need for a door and enables the ability to simply ‘walk in’. Their design not only provides easy access but also creates a seamless, open feeling that enhances the overall spaciousness of your bathroom.

Thanks to their minimalist design, walk-in shower enclosures are very straightforward to clean and maintain. Whereas hinged and sliding door enclosures have a door that needs to be looked after, walk-in enclosures don’t, which makes cleaning and maintenance easier and less time consuming.

Wet rooms

Wet rooms are the epitome of luxury and elegance in bathroom design. They are typically fully waterproofed rooms, where the shower is not enclosed but integrated into the overall space – providing a very open and clean aesthetic without the confinement of a traditional shower enclosure. They’re also a great choice for people with limited mobility.

Now, however, it’s much simpler to install a wet room in your home with the innovative wet room in a box – providing an all-in-one package, including a pre-formed shower base with an integrated shower channel that’s fully waterproofed.

Our innovative wet room kits enable you to create a wet room in your bathroom without waterproofing the entire space, and are specially designed for both timber and screed floors.

Choosing your shower set

Now you've decided on the type of shower that suits your bathroom, let's shift focus to the shower set. This typically includes the showerhead, handle, bar and any additional features that together make up your shower system.

When selecting a shower set, you’ll want to consider:

  • Showerhead type: Rainfall showerheads offer a luxurious, peaceful experience, while handheld showerheads provide flexibility and control. There are also multi-function showerheads that allow you to adjust the water spray pattern to your liking.
  • Shower bar style: Also known as a slide bar or a shower slider, this fixture holds the handheld showerhead, allowing you to change the height and angle of the water flow. It’s important to make sure that your chosen style makes showering as practical as possible for the various people using your bathroom.
  • Other features you may want: Extra features – like body jets for a massaging effect, or a steam feature for a true sauna experience – can make your shower experience even more spa-like, so make sure you also consider them.

Your mini-guide to shower trays

Although often overshadowed, the shower tray plays a very important role. It's not just about catching and directing water; it’s also a key design element that can enhance the overall look and feel of your shower.

The main decision is shape: rectangular and square trays suit larger showers, while quadrant trays are designed for corner showers. You should consider the style, too. For a minimalist, modern look, a low-profile tray that sits flush with the floor can be a great choice. If you want a more traditional aesthetic, a raised tray could be the perfect fit.

Remember, while the shower tray may seem like a small detail, it often has a big impact on the functionality and aesthetics of your shower.

This is your space, Indulge it!

Kevin Sears

About Kevin Sears

Kevin Sears is a bathroom and interior design blogger here at 34 St John. He creates original content utilising his extensive knowledge of the bathroom industry and latest trends.

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