What sort of shower do I want?

For many, buying a new shower isn't as straightforward as it might seem. There are so many different options available, all with their own pros and cons, that it is quite forgivable to feel at least a little overwhelmed once you start researching the topic.

Before you even begin to ask questions of what make or model of shower you might wish to purchase, you need to consider which of the four main types of unit you are best suited to.

So, what are they and how do you know which one is for you?

Mixer showers

These units rely on using a mix of hot and cold water supplies (hence the name), so possessing a combi boiler or immersion heater is a must so you have access to ready-heated water. If you do not have either of these, then you can dismiss this as an option straight away.

In terms of pricing, mixers can cost from as little as £50, with higher-end models - generally the rainshower style units - retailing for £1,400.

The main point to be wary of with this sort of shower is to check that product you buy is compatible with your heating system, as some do work solely with a particular type.

However, on the plus side, they tend to offer a high flow rate and the chance of you being scalded is minimal, especially if you invest in a thermostatic mixer.

Electric showers

If you don't have access to cold and hot supplies of water, then an electric shower may be your best bet, as it only needs cold water to work.

However, one of the downsides to this is installation - it's likely you'll need to ask for a professional's help to fit an electrical unit as the element inside should be connected to an individual fused supply circuit.

Another negative is water pressure, with electric models typically offering a weaker flow than any of their counterparts.

That said, they can be cheaper to run and will still work in the event of your boiler breaking down, which - if that's ever happened to you - could be reason enough to buy one.

Power showers

Using a similar setup to mixer showers, power showers get their name from an in-built pump that boosts the water pressure for a satisfying wash that is sure to blast away all of the cobwebs first thing in the morning!

However, this particular characteristic of this type of unit is also its downfall, as it naturally ends up using more water as a result, which certainly isn't a good thing if you are on a water meter.

Ultimately, you need to decide whether saving pounds on your bills is more important than having a superior experience. If the latter wins through, then the power shower could be your best bet.

Another point worth noting here is that power showers tend to be more expensive than their mixer and electric alternatives, with the basic models generally costing no less than £200, while top-of-the-range units can cost in excess of £2,000!

Digital showers

We've previously written about digital showers in another blog, so for the finer details, you should consider reading through this article next if you get the feeling that this type of shower could be for you.

In a nutshell, these are the latest, most modern types of shower you are likely to encounter, with features that can include everything from an LCD screen to a remote control that allows you to get the water warm enough before you even step into the bathroom.

Digital showers can take the form of electric or mixer showers and can also be pumped or unpumped, meaning that if you choose to opt for this type then you may still need to revisit the advantages and disadvantages of the other variations before deciding on the specifics for your unit!

Naturally, these are pricier than other categories, but if you are a fan of having all mod-cons, then perhaps a digital shower is the one for you.

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