Help & advice: Buying guide to showers
Buying guide to showers
An energising way to start your day, convenient, space-saving, and good for the planet (on average you use just a fifth of the water it takes to fill a bath) - what's not to love about showers? Let's help you buy the one that's totally you.
Come in and see the spectacular range of Homebase showers.
There are just a few things to check before you make your choice - your water pressure, and how much space you have in the bathroom. Then you can select either a mixer, electric or power shower.
Find out what sort of hot water supply you have, as this can influence the shower you choose...
Got a combination boiler? These offer the highest water pressure, and work well with mixer showers where the hot and cold water supplies must be at equal pressure for effective showering.
If you have a low-pressure gravity-fed water system (where hot water is stored in a tank in the airing cupboard and the cold water comes from a tank in the loft), you'll enjoy a reasonably powerful shower as long as there's at least a 1m drop from the bottom of the cold water tank to the top of the shower head. If the drop is less than this, you might be able to raise the cold tank by placing it on a platform. Otherwise, you could add a pump to boost the water pressure or choose a power shower with an inbuilt pump.
If you need further help sorting out your water pressure, have a quick word with a qualified plumber or professional bathroom installer.
Whether you go for a separate enclosure or an over-bath shower will depend on the space in your bathroom. For advice on choosing a shower enclosure or bath screen and measuring up, check out our buying guide to shower enclosures.
Best for homes with high-pressure systems and a plentiful supply of hot water. Mixer showers accurately mix hot and cold water to give you spot-on temperature. Perfect! Choose from surface mounted models, where the pipe work is easily installed on the top of your existing surface, or flush mounted, where the valve is seen but pipes are hidden behind the surface.
Thermostatic mixer shower
You'll enjoy constant water temperature thanks to an inbuilt thermostat, and some models have a shut down feature. Very handy if there's a dramatic change in water flow, and a safe choice if you have young children or elderly relatives.
These showers are also ideal for busy family homes as the heat control also ensures the temperature won't be affected by water being used elsewhere in the house.
Tight for space? Then check out remote control models. With these, the shower's smaller control unit is housed in the shower itself, while the heat unit is kept elsewhere - saving you room. See all thermostatic showers.
Do you fancy a pamper? Then only a full body shower experience will do - so say hello to the shower tower! Unlike traditional mixer showers with their one fixed head, these stylish showers feature luxurious directional jets that smooth and clean your whole body. Shower towers need fairly high pressure to perform well.
If your home has low water pressure, then you'll need a little oomph! The easy-to-use power shower gives you that boost. It mixes hot and cold water together to reach the ideal temperature, then ups water flow rate with an electric pump. You have greater control over water temperature and pressure than with a mixer. And that means an exhilarating shower experience. Bear in mind, though, that a power shower uses almost three times more water than a standard electric shower, so is more expensive to run.
Cash-wise the electric shower is a no-brainer. It only takes water from the mains cold water supply, heating up just the amount used each time, so saving you money. It's also great for busy family bathrooms where the shower is in big demand! A hint when you're choosing: the greater the shower's KW rating, the higher the flow of water at the desired temperature. And look for models featuring a stabiliser. These ensure temperature and water supply aren't messed up by others using water elsewhere in your home. Electric showers are fine for any water system.
Not sure which shower to buy? Look through our shower type selection guide.
Personalise your shower with multi-spray showerheads that offer a choice of selectable spray patterns. And large-diameter single spray showerheads give you a rain-style shower. Who said downpours were dull?
Look for soap dishes or hanging hooks, often supplied with electric showers.
Get a grip! Choose clearly labelled dials that are easy to hold and turn.
Allows the whole family to programme their ideal water temperature setting.
Rub clean nozzles
Prevent limescale build-up with specially designed rubber nozzles.
Keep showerheads clean and prevent limescale by regularly detaching them and soaking in descaling agent overnight. Always rinse a showerhead before use!