Are you thinking about getting a new shower unit? It may be the case that you're fed up with the glorified drip that is failing to help you to wake up every morning, or that something's gone wrong with your current one and you think it's time for a change.
However, the whole process of trying to replace your shower can be quite daunting, mainly because there's so much choice out there. Because it's a sizable job and an important one to get right, there's understandably some pressure attached to this decision - if you'll forgive us the pun.
Check out our guide below, which will help you to make a well-informed decision with which you can be happy.
What type of showers are there?
The many different types of showers can, on the surface, put you into a daze. However, once you know a little bit more about them and whether or not they're what you're looking for, everything will become a little clearer.
1) Electric shower
Electric showers heat the water as you go, which means the only thing they need is a supply of cold water. This is a good option if you're making a concerted effort to be energy-efficient, as water doesn't get unnecessarily heated.
However, one downside is they have a weaker flow than other types of showers. If having a strong blast of water is really important to you, then this perhaps isn't one for you to consider. Some people choose to have an electric shower in their second bathroom, which is worth thinking about.
2) Mixer shower
This type combines both hot and cold water supplies. As long as you have either a combi boiler or an immersion heater, you can enjoy hot water when you step bleary-eyed into the shower each morning. Also, the water flow is noticeably more powerful than an electric shower.
Check carefully that you buy the right one and that it will work with the heating system you have in your house. You don't want to splash out money and get excited about a new shower, only for it not to work due to a lack of research.
The good thing about mixers is that you can buy thermostat-controlled ones, which could save you from being scalded by a sudden jump in the water temperature. This can occur when cold water is being used elsewhere in the house. If you live on your own, this won't be a problem, but if the kettle's being filled or the plates are being washed up at the same time by those you live with, a thermostat-controlled mixer could be the solution for you.
3) Power shower
If you don't have one of these, you'll most likely have been envious when hearing about a relative or colleague who has. As many people rely on a morning shower to help them to wake up, before their morning coffee, is there a better way to achieve this than having what seems like Niagra Falls pouring out of your shower head?
This works in the same way as a mixer shower, but it has that all-important built-in pump. It's a great shout if your house has low water pressure and it affords you greater control over temperature and pressure than a mixer.
However, it can be quite expensive if you're on a water meter, so think about whether or not it's a decision worth making.
4) Digital shower
If you like to be at the cutting edge of technology, a digital shower is worth looking into.
This model works by having the water come from a small processor box that mixes hot and cold together thermostatically, so is a good bet if others may be using water when you're showering.
A digital shower can make your life easier, in that you won't have to drill through existing tiles to install it.
Furthermore, it can come with bluetooth or wireless technology that means you can remotely turn it on from up to ten metres away - change to comma so you can avoid trying to turn the shower on without getting wet.
As you might have guessed, such a shower does not come cheaply. It's worth thinking seriously about whether or not you can justify this purchase, or if your money would be best spent on something else.
The bathroom as a whole
While the shower is an important part of your bathroom, it's just one bit. If you're getting a new shower, make sure its design fits not only with your current decor, but also in the room itself. Is your new shower going to take up more space than the old one? If so, will the bathroom feel too cramped?
Additionally, you don't want your new model to look out of place, so get second opinions about colour schemes and designs. If you know you need to re-do other aspects of the bathroom at some point, why not do it all together? It will be more cost-effective and will mean you only have one bout of disruption.
Above all, ensure you don't bite off more than you can chew in replacing your shower. Call in professional help to make sure you don't create any bathroom DIY disasters that could put you - and others - at risk.