Showers: The Ultimate Buying Guide

To Begin…

Showers. Whether you shower once a day or every other day, they’re an important fixture to any household. But say you need a new shower, and there’s a lot of variety. How do you know which enclosure, head or tray to get to build your perfect shower?

By reading this article of course!

We’ll be going over all the interesting details surrounding the different types of showers and their components, to clear up the mystery surrounding these fantastic fixtures.

But first, why should you have a shower, over say a bath, in the first place?


Should I Buy A Shower Or Bath?

Should I Buy A Shower Or A Bath?

The age old debate of whether to shower or bathe is a prolonged one. Both have their uses, but when it comes to a quick and efficient clean for the busy commuter, the shower is hands down the most practical fixture there is.

A shower has almost no prep time, as you just have to turn it on. However, a bath needs quite a lot of prep time to fill it. This makes having a bath a luxury you cannot afford to partake in before work. A shower, however, is a lightning quick and effective method to make you ready for any occasion.

As well as this, showers are cleaner. As the water runs down you and washes the filth down the drain, you become very clean very quickly. Meanwhile, with a bath, you soak in the same place as the filth coming off of you, slowly reducing the cleaning effectiveness of the water the longer you are in there.

This isn’t to say baths aren’t great, because they are. Baths are luxurious, romantic and comforting. However, when it comes to practicality, utility and effectiveness, you are going to want a shower.

Don’t forget, if you want the best of both worlds, you can always install a combined bath and shower! They have all the speed and efficiency of a shower, while having the option for the methodical luxury of a bath. Perfect!



What Size Shower Should I Buy?

Your first hurdle when deciding which shower you want is figuring out what size of shower you want. Maybe you want to fill the space and make a feature of it, or maybe you need to conserve space and need it to take up as little room as possible. Don’t worry, you have plenty of options either way.

The average size for a shower is 36 inches by 36 inches. This gives the average person plenty of room to wash themselves in and turn around as needed. However, you can find spacesaver showers as small as 30 inches by 30 inches which are perfect for the small bathroom or the savvy buyer generally looking to save space.

Conversely, if you’re looking to go bigger, we recommend a walk in shower enclosure that allows you much more space than a regular shower. These showers can be around fifty five inches by seventy eight inches for that extra space and maneuverability.

Think about your needs and the space you have available. There’s no point buying a large shower if there’s no where to put it!


What Shower Shape Should I Buy?

Quadrant Shower Enclosure

The shape of your shower is one of the most crucial elements to consider. Not only does it affect the function, but it is one of the main factors contributing to the aesthetic of the shower. Do you want smooth curves or strong angular features? Do you want the classic square shape or the roomier rectangle? The choice is yours, here are some of your options.

Square Shower Enclosure

First up, you can have a square shower enclosure. The square shower is the classic, it’s simple and it’s timeless. You don’t have to worry about it going out of fashion and the square design offers ample space for all of your needs. This is the kind of shower you will find in the average household.

Rectangular Shower Enclosure

Secondly, there’s the rectangular shower enclosure. The rectangular shower enclosure offers a bit more space than the square shower enclosure and is ideal for a home with a bit more space looking to create a more luxurious showering experience. The rectangle is also the ideal shape for the walk in shower as it provides a lot of surface area to walk into. So, if having space in the shower is your primary concern, this is probably your best option.

Pentagonal Shower Enclosure

Thirdly, there is the pentagonal shower enclosure. The pentagonal shower enclosure gives you more space in your bathroom, as it cuts off the pesky protruding corner of the square or rectangular shower. This also means the entrance way has a prime position, where the corner was, meaning the ease of access is increased. The pentagonal shower is perfect for someone looking for an efficient shower that takes up less space.

Quadrant Shower Enclosure

Finally, there’s the quadrant shower enclosure that features a lovely curving face. Much like the pentagonal shower enclosure, the curved quadrant shower enclosure saves you a lot of space in the bathroom. Even more so in fact, as it has a soft curve across the entire exposed surface. This means your bathroom can feel bigger than ever before, without sacrificing functionality. Plus, the curved design is extremely pretty and can add to any aesthetic. This is perfect for the person looking for a space saving shower with style.

Figure out your needs and decide on your bathroom theme, then pick the shower shape that best suits those criteria.

Whatever enclosure you choose, you must ensure it is made from safety glass. Safety glass is much less likely to crack or shatter if there is unexpected weight put onto it. If the worst were to happen and you were to fall over in the shower, you want to be as safe as possible, so you want safety glass.


Should I Buy A Framed Or Frameless Shower Enclosure?

Frameless Shower Enclosure

When buying a shower, one of the many important decisions you have to make is whether you want a framed shower or a frameless shower. We recommend purchasing a frameless shower enclosure for a multitude of reasons. The first being that frameless shower enclosures are much less susceptible to mould.

It is well documented that it is easy for water and shower gels to be caught in shower frames and cause build up, eventually going stagnant and mouldy. This can be tricky to clean away if you spot it and will only get worse if you don’t. By not having a frame, this risk is severely reduced, so you can worry less about the cleanliness of your shower and instead focus on the cleanliness of you.

Furthermore, a frameless shower enclosure is easier to clean as it is only the glass that needs cleaning. So, as well as it being less likely to need cleaning, it is also easier to clean. This saves you a lot of time and effort when it comes to the maintenance of your shower. Because of this, we wholeheartedly recommend frameless shower enclosures.


Should I Buy A Walk In Shower Or A Shower With A Door?

Walk In Shower

The choice between having a door or a walk in shower is much trickier, however.

There are many benefits to a walk in shower enclosure, they are roomier, more accessible and easier to clean. They are the no frills, no fuss option for those who want the extra space. Because they don’t need a door and the shower tray is extremely large, they are typically the best option for anyone with accessibility difficulties, as well as those who are in a rush in the morning.

As well as this, because there are less visible components than the average shower, there is less cleaning required. If you have the space, a walk in shower enclosure is a must.

Obviously, however this is dependent on space. If you have a small bathroom, a regular shower may be more ideal as it means you have more bathroom space left over to do what you need to. This extends to under the floor space too, as the tray of a walk in shower will be floor level, you will need to install the pipes directly underneath which can be difficult if there isn’t much space.

As well as this, having a shower with a door eliminates any potential drafts you may get. There is nothing worse than a cool breeze ruining your lovely hot shower!


What Type Of Door Should I Buy For My Shower Enclosure?

If you’re opting for a shower with a door, there a few options to be aware of.

Hinged Shower Door

A hinged shower door is the classic. This typically only opens outwards, but can also open inwards, depending on the design. It is the most common type of shower door, but you must be wary of space. As it most likely opens outwards, you need to ensure you have enough room in your bathroom to accommodate it.

Bi-folding Shower Door

If you’re a fan of hinges but also living space, then invest in a bi-folding shower door. This type of shower door collapses to the side, ensuring you lose no space when opening it. This is ideal for smaller bathrooms, and for those looking to inject a unique angle into their space.

Sliding Shower Door

If you want to go completely hinge free, we suggest opting for the sliding shower door. A sliding door saves space as it is completely confined to the shower enclosure, no matter what state it is in. It’s sliding nature can make it one of the more accessible doors to use and it looks stylish to boot.

If you’re opting to have a door, choose one that fits your space, style and sensibilities. Your entry to a shower is your first impression, so you want it to be a good one.


Should I Buy A Frosted Shower Enclosure Or A Clear Shower Enclosure?

Should I Buy A Shower With Frosted Or Clear Glass?

Another choice facing you is whether you want frosted or clear glass. This will come down to how shy you are and who you share the space with. If it is just you or you and a partner, there isn’t much need for frosted glass. However, if the space is more communal, because you are sharing with family or friends, then it is best to go for a frosted glass shower enclosure, to preserve everyone’s privacy and prevent any unfortunate mishaps.

This is because frosted glass obscures what is in the shower to those who are outside of it. So you can shower in peace, knowing that even if someone accidentally walks in, both your dignities will be preserved.


What Shower Head Should I Buy?

Round Swivel Shower Head

The main choice you will have to make in regards to shower heads is whether you would prefer a wall mounted shower head or a handheld shower head.

The benefits of a wall mounted shower head are that they are easy to install and simple, where as a handheld shower head can be maneuvered to your liking, but is harder to install.

There is a happy middle ground as you can get a swiveling mounted showerhead that has the simplicity and consistency of a regular wall mounted shower head but has some of the customizability of the handheld shower head.

You can also invest in a rain effect shower head which simulates the feeling of being softly rained on, rather than the typically harder falling experience of a normal shower head. However, this is achieved through the use of a lot more water. It is up to you to decide what element is more important to you.


What Shower Tray Should I Buy?

For the shower tray, you will want to buy the shape and size that matches your enclosure. It would be terrible if when it came to install you discovered that one part was too big, small or not the right shape.

However, there is still a choice to make!

Do you want a low profile shower tray or a raised shower tray? A low profile shower tray can be more accessible and look sleeker. However, it can be harder to install as it doesn’t leave as much room underneath for the plumbing. Contrasting this, the raised shower tray is less accessible, but more of a classic look and easier to install as it has in build space for the plumbing.

Take into account your needs and whether installation difficulty is a factor.

As a side note, you should always seek out non-slip shower trays. They are exposed to lots of falling water by their very nature and because of this can become very slippery. It is always best to go for the safe option and ensure you get a non-slip shower tray.


What Shower Drain Should I Buy?

Linear Shower Drain

Most the time, you will not have to worry about choosing a drain. This is because the average shower tray fits a point drain. However, if you’re installing a walk in shower enclosure, you do have another option.

The Linear Shower Drain is a much more disguised drain that doesn’t interrupt the aesthetic of your shower. It achieves this by allowing the waste water to enter a channel before entering the normal waste system. If you are building a slick, stylish bathroom, then a linear shower drain is ideal.


Which Shower Drain Should I Buy?

Showers always utilise P Traps. This is because P Traps are especially great at blocking any smells and gas that could arise from the sewers. Does a shower need a trap? Yes. They always do. This is because traps are one of the key components to showers and allow them to eject the waste into the sewers.


Which Shower Is The Most Accessible?

We all have different needs and it is important to build your shower around yours. If you have any mobility issues, we recommend having a walk in shower as it is lower to the ground, has lots of space and doesn’t require a door. Furthermore, we advise choosing a frameless shower enclosure as they are easier to clean. Furthermore, a handheld shower head can be extremely useful as it is highly maneuverable, to fit your needs.


Nano Coated Shower Enclosures

Nano Coated Shower Enclosure

Nano coating is a silicon dioxide compound that very thinly covers the glass of some shower enclosures.

Nano coated glass repels water and this is what causes the beading effect you often see on windows and shower enclosures alike. 

This beading effect makes the glass much easier to clean as it bunches the water together, rather than having it lightly cover the entire glass pane. 

Nano coated shower enclosures are definitely worth it for anyone who wants to cut down their cleaning and maintenance time.


How To Make Your Shower More Serene

Now you’ve installed your shower, how can you make it yours? How can you make your shower more serene?

It’s simple!

Make it personal.

Include candles in your bathroom that double as mood lighting and the provider of your favourite smells.

Candles pair perfectly with frosted shower enclosures, as you gain the benefits of the low light and smells while maintaining privacy and that serene feeling of seclusion.


To Conclude…

Overall, the perfect shower will be different for everyone. Maybe you want the cool curves of a quadrant shower enclosure, or the spacious utility of a walk in shower. Maybe you want to simulate the pitter patter of soft rain on your head, or you want to be able to maneuver the showerhead to your hearts content. Whatever your perfect shower, you now have the information to bring it to life. Check out our site to see all the different options available to you.