Showers & Bathrooms


Choosing A Shower

We’ve grown accustomed to expecting a shower in most modern bathrooms, whether over the bath or in a separate shower stall.  With our busy lifestyles, many of us tend to choose having a shower over taking a bath, as it is so much quicker to get clean.  Showers are also considered better for the environment as they use less water.  With the increased popularity of showers, there is now a wide choice available.

The first thing to consider when choosing a shower is what sort would be most suitable for your particular plumbing system.  Gravity-fed showers require the water tank to be located at least 1 metre above the shower in order for there to be enough water pressure for them to work properly.  If the pressure is insufficient, an electric pump can be installed to create a power-shower effect.  An alternative is an electric shower, which will heat up water from the mains on demand, as it’s required.  It’s useful to consult a plumber for their advice on what type of shower would be best for your needs. 

Another factor to consider is whether you want a single-spray or multiple-spray head.  Multiple-spray heads enable you to adjust the rate and direction of the water flow.  You will need to decide whether you would prefer a more traditional fixed head, which will be fixed to the wall at a certain height, or a head that’s attached to a movable shower hose, which gives you more flexibility. 

Installing a shower over the bath is a good option, especially if you’re pushed for space.  Another advantage of an over the bath shower is that you can use the existing plumbing to remove the waste water.  However, you will need to erect a shower screen or put up a curtain to stop water spraying out onto the bathroom floor.  If you opt for a power shower, you’re better off with a shower screen, as a shower curtain might not be effective against the high-pressure spray.

Advantages of shower curtains are that they are very cheap to buy and easy to replace.  They can also be pulled open and kept neatly to one side when the shower’s not in use.  However, a shower screen is a more durable solution and is easy to keep clean, although the initial cost will be more.  Shower screens can be fixed in place, folding or sliding.

There are many different styles of shower stalls and trays.  If you want to install a separate shower, as well as matching your choice of stall to the same shape tray, you’ll need to select the depth of the tray.  A shallow tray can look more attractive than a deeper one, but remember that this will require the drainage outlets and waste pipes to be below floor level, which might not be a feasible option in your bathroom.  Shower trays can be made from various materials, including acrylic and resin stone.

If you’re planning on installing a power shower, you’ll need a shower stall and tray that are suitable for use with the high-pressure spray, and must ensure that the stall is sealed to prevent leaks.  You’ll also need to make sure the capacity of your drainage outlet is up to the job of removing the excess of waste water, as power showers produce larger volumes of water and at a faster speed than ordinary showers.

Shower stalls come in a variety of designs, and can be fitted into corners as well as to single walls.  The door opening can be directly into the corner, such as with a quadrant or pentagonal shaped tray, or at the side, with a square tray.  Shower doors also come in a range of styles, such as sliding, hinged, bi-folding and pivoting.  Take your time to decide which style of cubicle and door will be most suitable for your bathroom’s layout.  Remember, your shower needs to be easily accessible and there must be enough space to get in and out without bumping into walls or fixtures.