How to choose the perfect shower

Making a splash: Power, electric and mixer are the three main shower options [PA Photo/thinkstockpho

Making a splash: Power, electric and mixer are the three main shower options [PA Photo/thinkstockphotos] - Credit: Archant

It sounds a simple enough task, but choosing a perfect shower can be more confusing than you’d think.

A powerful shower is an asset to any bathroom [PA Photo/thinkstockphotos]

A powerful shower is an asset to any bathroom [PA Photo/thinkstockphotos] - Credit: Archant

These are five things worth considering before you splash out:

1. There are three main types of shower: power, electric and mixer. Power showers are ideal for homes with plenty of hot water - they mix hot and cold water to create the desired temperature and a built-in pump boosts the flow of water, creating a powerful spray, but they do use a lot of water. An electric shower only needs cold water because it heats the water as you shower and so will work even if the boiler is broken or turned off. Electric showers are often suited to homes with limited hot water. Mixer showers need a supply of both hot and cold water, and blend them to the required temperature - go for one with thermostatic control to ensure the temperature stays constant.

2. The latest technology, digital showers give you complete control at the touch of a button, so you can have exactly the same showering experience every time by presetting your preferences. The new range of Mira Mode digital showers (RRP £582, can be managed by a remote control - you can turn the shower on while still in bed, for example - and from your smartphone, as the Mira Mode app enables you to personalise your shower settings, including the temperature and duration.

3. If your shower produces little more than a dribble, having an electric booster pump fitted should make it more of a deluge - but shower pumps aren’t compatible with all boilers, or necessarily the right solution for your home.

4. In some older properties, it may be necessary to replace the pipework, especially the mains pipe, to improve the water flow rate. Unmodernised homes often have a small lead pipe bringing the mains water in from the street, but a new mains pipe will be much bigger and made of plastic, so it won’t fur up like lead can. A better boiler and/or hot-water cylinder may also help - ask a good plumber or heating engineer for advice.

5. If your home has good water pressure, a budget option can be to fit bath-shower mixer taps instead of an over-bath shower. These are bath taps with a fitting for a shower hose - you have to have bath taps anyway, so why not pay a bit more and get bath taps that double as a shower? If they don’t produce a good showering experience, bath-shower mixer taps are still useful for washing the bath, your hair and the dog.

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