Help & advice

Choosing the right type of shower, shower head and thermostatic control

Swap your shower head for a water efficient one to save on your bills, water and energy usage. Power showers, shower towers and waterfall style showers waste the most water. Instead, look for low flow, aerated shower heads or better still, recycling showers if available.

Shower Types

Standard / Mixer shower

Standard or mixer showers combine hot and cold water from your home's plumbing system to provide a consistent temperature. They usually come with a manual control for adjusting the water temperature.

Pros:

  • Simple and cost-effective installation

Cons:

  • Relies on your home's water pressure, which may vary
  • Limited control over water flow and temperature precision

Electric shower

Electric showers heat water on–demand, independent of your home's hot water system. They have an electric heating element to warm the water as it flows through the unit.

Pros:

  • Instant hot water, no need to wait for a water tank to heat up
  • Energy-efficient, as it only heats the water you use

Cons:

  • Limited flow rate compared to other types
  • May require a dedicated electrical circuit

Power shower

Power showers are similar to mixer showers but have an integrated pump to boost water pressure.

Pros:

  • Increased water pressure
  • Suitable for homes with low water pressure

Cons:

  • Higher water consumption

Recycling shower

Recycling showers are being developed to reduce water consumption by recycling and purifying used water. They often incorporate filtration systems to clean and reuse water during your shower. Find out more here.

Pros:

  • Environmentally friendly, reducing water wastage
  • Potential cost savings on water bills

Cons:

  • Initial cost may be higher as this is a new product type
  • Will require proper maintenance of filtration systems

Once you've decided on the type of shower that you would like, you'll then also need to consider the type of shower head and controls that you want to go for!

Shower Heads

Aerating shower head

There is substantial evidence that these fixtures effectively save both water consumption and energy in heating or pumping, all without noticeable differences in performance. The Energy Saving Trust estimates this will save 40 litres a day or £70 a year.

Aerating shower heads mix air with water, creating a mist–like spray. This not only enhances the feeling of water coverage but also conserves water by maintaining water pressure.

Fixed shower head

Fixed shower heads are securely attached to the shower arm or ceiling. They are simple to install, but have little to no adjustability.

Dual shower head

Dual shower heads feature two shower heads in one unit; a fixed shower head and a hand–held one, allowing users to control each independently. The hand–held one comes in very handy for cleaning the bath / shower unit and is also useful when you don't want to wash your hair!

Waterfall shower head

Waterfall shower heads provide a wide, cascading flow of water. These shower heads typically use a substantial amount of water, so are not an environmentally friendly option and will increase related bills.

Concealed / Ceiling mounted shower head

Concealed or ceiling mounted shower heads tend to be waterfall shower heads which are mounted above or flush with the ceiling, creating a seamless and modern look.

Shower towers

Shower towers are vertical panels with multiple jets and features, such as body jets, rainfall shower heads, and handheld attachments. These shower heads typically use a substantial amount of water, so are not an environmentally friendly option and will increase related bills.

Shower Controls

With a digital shower, you can instantly pause the water flow while shampooing your hair, and when you resume, the temperature and flow remain unchanged, saving water. Additionally, you can preset the shower duration, useful for households with teenagers who tend to take lengthy showers.

Digital shower

A digital shower has electronic controls for temperature and flow, and can help save energy with feedback on usage and precise control over temperature.

Pros:

  • Some models promote water and energy conservation with eco modes
  • Precise control through digital displays and settings

Cons:

  • Higher upfront and installation costs
  • Requires space for a remote control unit
  • Needs a power source
  • Limited compatibility with existing plumbing

Exposed thermostatic shower

An exposed (surface-mounted) thermostatic shower valve contains all its components within its valve body and is attached to the outer surface of the wall.

Pros:

  • Installation is easier as there will be little disruption to the bathroom wall
  • Easier to maintain, repair and clean

Cons:

  • Takes up more space in the room than a concealed unit so may not be suitable for smaller bathrooms
  • More effort to clean and more susceptible to wear

Concealed thermostatic shower

Valves and pipework are concealed within the wall, leaving only the shower head and shower mixer visible from the outside.

Pros:

  • Takes up less space and than an exposed unit
  • Less to clean

Cons:

  • The wall must be excavated to accommodate the shower valve so you’ll want to check there’s space for that e.g. between studs in a stud wall
  • Can be more costly to install
  • Harder to replace and repair

Reno today

The current Reno app

Reno is the missing link between Pinterest and Checkatrade.

Starting with bedrooms and bathrooms, we've built Reno to guide you through key decisions, from big ones like layout to little ones like how to edge your tiles. We turn this into a neat, sharable brief that homeowners and trades can use for more realistic quotes.

Best of all, it's free for your first room.

Reno tomorrow

The Reno wishlist

We've got big plans! You can see where we're going on our public wishlist, and on Instagram. Our top priorities:

Support for kitchens and other rooms

Full renovation process from design to quoting and payment

Tools for homeowners and trades to discuss and track changes

Automatic estimates, shopping lists and invoices

Contact us

We're available to help, and we welcome your questions and suggestions.

Live chat

Available at the bottom right, 9am-6pm Monday-Friday UK time

Email us

One of our team will get back in touch ASAP

Email us

Start your renovation with Reno