There are so many different types of showers available on the market, but it can be hard to figure out what you really need. Which shower is best for your bathroom?
We’ve done extensive research and we have all the details here in this guide. Our ultimate buying guide will help you choose a shower that meets your needs and tastes.
This guide will tell you everything there is to know about choosing a shower – from size, shape, material, and connection type. You’ll never wonder about anything again!
Table of Contents
Pre-Fabricated or Custom
If you want something that looks great, go with a prefabricated shower. If you want something unique, then get a custom one.
1. Pre-Fabricated Shower
A prefabricated shower is the easiest way to get a bathroom looking great without breaking your budget. Not only are they available for all price ranges, but also you can buy just about any type of style and color that suits your tastes.
Interior prefabricated showers are usually made of fiberglass, plastic or acrylic. They come in a variety of colors to match the rest of your bathroom and can be custom-designed to your specifications.
There are all kinds of things to consider when buying a shower – how you connect it, where you install it, and how easy it is is to remove if needed. We go into this in detail below for each type of shower:
2. Custom Shower
A custom shower is often constructed with individual parts that have been cut from sheet metal. Because the pieces are flat and formed separately, you can create any kind of shape or pattern. A few different companies specialize in building customized showers that will fit perfectly inside your bathroom walls.
The downside is that a custom shower is going to cost a lot more money. The cost is proportional to the difficulty of putting it together.
Most custom-designed showers are built out of stainless steel or galvanized steel, but there’s no limit to what material could be used. Most people use these materials because they’re affordable and easy to work with. It depends on your budget – if money’s not an issue, then feel free to get something more exotic like chrome or copper.
There are two basic types of bathroom showers: pre-fabricated or custom. The main category for these is the mixer, also known as a valve and cartridge combination that controls the water pressure to one’s showerhead.
1. Manual Mixer Shower
A manual mixer shower is the most common type of shower valve. The control lever allows you to adjust the temperature and flow of water going through your pipes. There’s a handle on the top for you to switch between hot and cold water, which works by adjusting a stopcock with an oily ball that opens and closes a small valve inside the pipe. This is known as isolation, where each side has its own separate hot/cold mixing valves to regulate temperature as needed.
2. Thermostatic Mixer Shower
A thermostatic mixer shower is a complete valve and cartridge combination. This type of shower features an adjustable thermostat that allows you to set your own water temperature and then have the shower maintain it when the handle is set in one place. The thermostat will prevent the hot or cold water from fluctuating during use, which should save energy since less heat is lost through the pipes as compared to using a manual valve.
3. Electric Shower
Electric showers work like a standard shower but they heat up the water as it passes through the pipes in your walls. This is more efficient than using a gas heater or an individual electric heater because the entire shower will be heated at once, and you don’t have to worry about any accidents with open flames or having to replace batteries.
An electric shower typically uses around 1kWh of energy per hour – that’s less electricity used than a 60-watt light bulb would consume over the same time period since most people turn off their lights when leaving rooms. The average cost for electricity depends on what country you live in (you can compare rates here ) and your usage habits throughout each year. There may also be installation costs but these are usually minimal, and you should consult with your electrician to see how much this will cost overall for a custom-built shower.
Shower Shape and Style
After getting past the most technical aspect of shower type, it’s time to look at what really matters: style. Whether you want a simple cube or something more intense and dramatic will depend on your personal preference; just be sure that anything you choose is going to suit the design elements in your bathroom space before making up your mind for good.
1. Rectangular Enclosure Shower
A rectangular enclosure shower will typically have a door in the front with glass or clear acrylic that allows you to see inside while still keeping water from splashing out of your grandiose bathroom fixture. These enclosures are usually sized somewhere between 5′ x 5′ and 6′ x 6′, but they can be as large as 10’ x 12′.
2. Curved Enclosure
Curved enclosure showers are essentially the same thing, except instead of using a rectangle design, you can add some flair into your bathroom by choosing one that is circular or oval-shaped. They also tend to be larger than their rectangular counterparts, ranging from 4’-5’ wide all the way up to 8’-10’ in diameter.
3. Frameless Shower Enclosure
The frameless shower enclosure is the most popular design when it comes to standalone showers, especially for smaller spaces that might not be able to accommodate a larger standalone shower unit such as a curved or spacious rectangular model. These types of enclosures are usually meant to fit through a doorway and into the bathroom. They use pre-fabricated panels along with hinging mechanisms that allow them to fold into place once positioned in a room; this keeps water from splashing out of your enclosure no matter what position it ends up playing on any given day within your showering routine.
4. Sliding Glass Door Shower
A sliding glass door shower is really just like any other sliding you have seen in other rooms such as your patio doors or sliding glass door. You can choose between a single panel door design that will open up like a very large pocket door, or you may opt for two panels that slide opposite each other to reveal your new showering experience before closing back into place afterward.
5. Swinging Door Shower
Swinging door showers are much more common than their sliding counterparts since there is no need to worry about any issues with getting the frame of your doorway out of the way so you can use its full width for opening and closing the shower curtains. These showers typically have two panels that move on hinges from the right corner of an enclosure, swinging both outward and pushing aside at the same time so you can easily enter and exit the tub at a moment’s notice.
6. Frameless Trench Shower With Curtain
Frameless trench showers are designed to be installed inside of an existing bathtub without removing any of its current tile or fixtures; they also tend to work very well in smaller spaces where walls aren’t necessarily going to open up whenever you wish to have your showering experience. A curtain is used for keeping water from splashing out, while still giving you plenty of room so that showering becomes as much of a relaxing experience as it possibly can be under the circumstances.
Bathroom Shower Door
The design of your shower door is a critical element in ensuring that it fits the style and functionality you need.
1. Sliding Doors
If you’re looking to cut down on bathroom space in your home, there’s no better way than with a sliding door. This is the perfect option for those who are running out of storage room and want a more traditional styled closet but don’t have enough square footage available.
2. Pivot Doors
If you’re looking for a bit more customization, choose from our selection of pivot doors. You can order them with features such as full-length mirrors and enclosed shelves to hold your soap, shampoos, conditioners, and anything else that may clutter up your bathroom counter or shower floor.
3. Hinged Doors
Hinged doors feature a hinge in the middle of each door. While they offer little to no customization and are typically used for those who want to match their decor, these hinged doors will give you easy access to your bathroom shower without worrying about them getting caught on your clothing or any other obstructions while you’re showering.
4. Bi-fold Doors
Last but not least are bi-fold doors for the shower area in a home. These doors open outwards like any other door on the market today but fold outwards from the center which allows even more space to enjoy when showering or getting ready in the morning before going to work or school.
Bathroom Showerhead Types
A showerhead is one of the most important individual elements for a great shower. A weak sprinkle just doesn’t get the job done, you want your new shower outfitted with a steady and invigorating flow that gets it all washed off! Your top options include:
1. Multi-Setting Showerhead
A multi-setting showerhead is a bathroom appliance that allows you to adjust the water pressure and flow. It has more than a dozen settings, such as mist, massage or pulsing for your favorite type of feeling in terms of hot temperatures. You can also change between narrow streams and wider ones with ease depending on what feels best to you.
2. Single-Setting Showerhead
A single-setting showerhead, on the other hand, is a simple and classic way to get that invigorating stream of water you need for your shower. All it does is the change between regular or pulsing streams with the turn of a knob. It’s perfect for those who like something easier and more convenient.
3. Handheld Showerhead
We also offer handheld versions of our showers if you’re interested in taking a quick rinse while avoiding using up all the hot water in your bathroom at once (or just having an extra place to put down soaps or shampoos).
4. Shower Tower
Shower towers are the perfect option for those who want their shower to be able to multitask. Typically, a shower tower is a large fixture that encompasses your entire wall and utilizes all of its space. It’s essentially the next step above installing an actual tub in your bathroom (which, let’s face it, isn’t always possible).
They offer plenty of different showerheads as well as other fixtures that can help you create everything from a wide direct spray to multiple streams that cover every inch of your body. As far as brushing your teeth or shaving goes, this also offers you ample room to move around while still enjoying all that hot water!
Bathroom Shower Enclosure Types
A shower enclosure is an entire structure surrounding the showering area of your bathroom. It gives you a fully enclosed and protected environment to get as wet as you want without worrying about any accidents or interruptions from others in your home.
You have plenty of different options to choose from for this project depending on what best fits the needs of your bathroom, including:
1. Glass Shower Enclosures
A glass enclosure allows you to enjoy all the features of having an actual wall while also being able to see out into the rest of your bedroom (or wherever else it may be). Even better, they’re typically designed with tinted glass so that it helps insulate heat – meaning less hot water gets wasted and more goes directly towards giving you that relaxing!
2. Frameless Shower Enclosures
Frameless shower enclosures offer a more classic look and feel to any bathroom installation. They are also very simple to install, making them ideal for those who don’t want to worry about the hassle of getting their new enclosure up and ready for use. They are also designed with multiple steam holes so you can enjoy all the moisture you need without worrying about getting too hot or too wet!
3. Semi-Frameless Shower Enclosures
A semi-framed version of this enclosure will typically have visible screws around the edges which still allow you to see out into your home but doesn’t make it as exposed as glass options might be. If that’s something you’re looking for in your bathroom shower enclosure, it’s a great option to consider!
Bathtub Shower Combos Types
You can even get something called a tub-shower combo. This is where you combine the two fixtures into one unit just like you did with the showers. However, instead of getting a separate bath and shower area together, you will have an entire tub included in that space. It allows you to enjoy all the conveniences of both fixtures while requiring less installation effort on your part!
Other Unique Showers To Consider
If everything else we’ve mentioned here still doesn’t seem like it fits what you’re looking for exactly when it comes to creating your dream bathroom experience, there are plenty more options out there to help you. You might also want to do some research on the benefits of having a steam shower installed in your bathroom.
Purchasing The Appropriate Components For Your Shower
Whether you have decided that a wall-mounted shower is the best choice for you or are still deciding what kind of options best fit into your budget, it’s important to know what each part does. We’ve listed the most common components below!
The nozzle is an essential component of any type of shower and can dictate how your entire experience will go. It has many moving parts which require regular maintenance and should not be touched without prior knowledge – replacing this before it breaks could save you hundreds in plumbing fees! A good showerhead should be adjustable, easy to clean, and shouldn’t leak!
2. Hose/Hookup Leads
These are the components that will allow you to easily connect your hose (or other accessories) to a water supply so you can enjoy a hot shower whenever you need it most! It’s important to make sure this is in working condition before using it – especially if you were able to find any replacement parts that were broken or damaged during installation.
3. Pressure Regulator Valve/Safety Valve
It’s very common for various parts of your plumbing system to have multiple pressure regulators installed on them already. This ensures that there isn’t too much water pressure while also making sure everything doesn’t back up and cause a flood. By having a safety regulator installed, can prevent certain parts of your system from being damaged while also protecting you and your loved ones!
4. Diverter Valve/Diverter Nozzle
This is another small part that helps keep water flowing the way it’s intended to when things are working correctly. They allow you to switch between functions on different faucets – making sure everything is in place for an enjoyable overall experience every time! It’s important to make sure there isn’t any buildup where this connects so that water doesn’t get stuck or wasted. This will help save you a lot of money over time by ensuring proper function and performance!
5. Supply Hose/Supply Lines & Fittings
The supply hose is what allows you to hook your shower up with the rest of your plumbing. This works in conjunction with the water supply line (or lines) and ensures that everything is flowing properly!
6. Supply Valve/Stop Valve
These will protect against excess pressure build-up and can be very important for overall functionality if there are a lot of moving parts involved. Pressure relief valves must also comply with state, county, city, and other applicable laws regarding plumbing standards – so be sure to check around if you’re not sure where to get this from!
7. Water Filters / Diverter Valves & Spray Heads / Showerarms / Corner Units
All of these components work together to create an experience that makes your time spent in the shower that much more enjoyable! They can help to increase the longevity of your shower, reduce costs while also protecting you and your loved ones from harmful chemicals.
8. Hose & Accessories
Accessories such as handheld sprayers or hose nozzles are great for getting a massage or cleaning up after a long day of work! It’s important to ensure everything is in working order before using this type of accessory – especially since they’re meant for extra use when washing up! Now that we’ve covered the different types of showers you can install into your home and some key components, it’s time to decide which one will be right for you. Keep in mind though, that installation fees may vary based on what part of the country you live in.
Bathroom Shower Materials
Most of the showers these days come with built-in walls made from fiberglass or some other synthetic material. But if you want to make your bathroom stand out, consider going custom and choose a tile or stone for the shower wall instead.
Tile is a great material for shower walls because it can be made to match the bathroom’s decor. It comes in so many colors and patterns, you could even create your own custom design or pattern! Tile showers are just as durable—if not more so–than traditional fiberglass or acrylic ones.
Stone is one of the most durable materials used in showers. It can be custom-cut to fit any shower shape and size, allowing for a personalized design that will stand out from the crowd.
Stone showers tend to cost more than other types of enclosures (often requiring professional installation) but have a very luxurious feel. They normally sell for around $6 to $10 per square foot and the price may rise based on the project’s complexity or your requirements.
Acrylic surrounds are less expensive than other materials, so they’re well suited for a budget-conscious project—provided you can find local installers who offer routine maintenance at a reasonable cost.
If you choose acrylic walls, there’s also a greater risk that they’ll stain or scratch over time, compared to other materials.
Fiberglass surrounds are generally the least expensive type of shower enclosures available. They’re also fairly easy to install on your own, so you can save money there as well.
However, fiberglass lacks some of the attractive qualities of tile and stone—fiberglass is more difficult to clean than stone or tile and it will show water spots after a while. Fiberglass also tends to drop in value faster than other materials like stone or tile, reducing its appeal if you ever decide to sell your home.
Overall Bathroom Design
A bathroom is a personal space, so you want to make sure that your shower matches the style and décor of the rest of it. Be aware that it can take up to 9 weeks for a custom shower enclosure to be finished, so you’ll need space in your bathroom to accommodate it.
So how do you make the best use of your shower cabinetry? There are two main principles you should follow: Use smaller tiles for walls containing cabinets and keep the same tile pattern on adjacent walls. This will help prevent water damage to adjacent walls due to splashback.
In terms of storage, today’s showers have options galore! You could go with tall corner cabinets if you enjoy maximizing available space or opt for recessed or sliding medicine cabinets instead. Sometimes these get installed into the ceiling but they could also be installed horizontally as well. The benefits of having such storage is you don’t have to go through the hassle of looking around for your stuff – everything is at hand.
If you’re a person that likes their privacy, get yourself an opaque glass door instead of a frosted one. This will provide you with complete coverage as you shower and bathroom privacy if someone knocks on the front door or calls from the living room.
Cost and Budget
How much you spend on your new bathroom shower depends on many different factors. If you’re building a new house, you’ll have more room in your budget. But if you’re renovating an existing bathroom, be prepared to spend much less. You should also consider how much the project will cost by factoring in labor costs and possible damage from water leaks.
All-in-all, a shower is typically between $200-$400 per square foot if it’s custom made which can add up quickly! But don’t let that deter you – even cheaper options such as fiberglass or acrylic shower walls will still look great if done properly with good design choices.
Product and Material Choices
If you’re looking for a strong, long-lasting material to make your shower enclosure out of, stone is a great option. It can stand up to water damage (from everyday use or even from water leaks due to condensation) and still look good after many years. However, it won’t be cheap!
Stone’s cousin, tile, is also a very popular choice—especially now with the resurgence of non-toxic bathroom products hitting the market. Tile is generally much cheaper than stone but stands up reasonably well in terms of durability; however, if you have kids or pets that run around in the bathroom all the time then tile may not be best choice for you as they could scratch it. Ceramic is similar to tile in that regard but it should hold up a little better over time.
Finally, don’t overlook the option of custom acrylic and fiberglass! Many people opt for these as they are typically less expensive than tile or stone (but still beautiful) and easy to maintain. If you’re looking for something more affordable yet durable, then check out our article on fiberglass vs. epoxy – it’s got some great advice on how to choose between them with pros and cons of each material.
Water System and Pressure
There are plenty of factors to consider when buying a shower, but one that is often overlooked by new homeowners—and newsflash: it’s not the style or color!—is water pressure. If you’re in an apartment and don’t have much room for improvement then this might be okay; however if your home has been built recently there may be some ways around getting higher water pressures.
The most common water systems in a home are:
- A mechanical system wherein the water is delivered through pipes.
- High pressure and temperature hot water is provided to users of the system at their desired point of use, usually by means of a tap.
- A high power boiler (or combination boiler) supplies hot water at high pressure to a centrally located heated storage tank where it is conditioned and distributed as needed.
- A household plumbing supply system intended for connection to a variety of potable cold or hot water sources such as public or municipal supply, well, rain barrel, surface water body or container.
In conclusion, we hope we helped you learn more about the different types of showers and how they could work best for your needs. Always remember to consider your budget and the function you need. Is it a simple task like providing privacy? Or will you be showering multiple people every day? It is also important to consider what material would fit best with your bathroom, whether that’s stone, tile or fiberglass. Take these factors into account when shopping around for your new door or enclosure. And if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section below.