When choosing the perfect shower faucet, there are several factors to take into consideration including shower valves, the configuration and type, water pressure, and accessories.
When choosing your new shower tap, remember to match it to your bathtub faucet, if you have one, and other bathroom taps. Additionally, consider how the faucet fits in with the rest of your bathroom décor and the finish of your other bathroom fixtures.
For everything else you need to know in order to choose the best faucet for your shower, keep reading.
1. Choose the Right Shower Valves
First, you’ll want to consider the shower valves, which is the plumbing part that controls the water flow of the shower tap. The shower valve is controlled by a handle and escutcheon or a wall plate, according to Riverbend Home. So, you won’t actually see the valve.
The installation process involves inserting the valve into the wall, then putting the shower stall or shower system into place. Finally, you will need to install the faucet set or trim kit with the handle or control panel covering the valve.
Shower valves come in thermostatic and manual options. Both are relatively similar, although thermostatic shower valves contain a device that turns off the flow of water if it goes above a certain temperature, Do It Yourself says.
With a thermostatic shower valve, worrying about your shower scalding you is a thing of the past. Additionally, these valves solve the problem of a shower losing cold water if a toilet is flushed or that cold water is used elsewhere.
2. Pick the Configuration and Type
When you’re looking for a faucet, you can either choose a solo shower head or an all-in-one combination that offers both the shower tap and the bathtub faucet.
When it comes to types of shower taps, they generally fall into five main categories. These categories include: single-head spray shower heads, rain showers, dual and multiple shower heads, hand-held shower heads, and body sprays.
Single-head spray shower
Single-head spray shower heads have four or more individual nozzles that distribute the water spray in patters. The nozzles on these shower heads are adjustable and adjust with a small lever that changes the flow pattern of the water spray from a wide spray to concentrated streams.
Rain showers are large and flat. These shower heads are suspended directly above the user and spray water straight down.
Multiple shower heads
Dual and multiple shower heads feature more than one shower head. This option is controlled by a single set of handles or levels and they are usually wall-mounted. In some instances, HGTV says a diverter valve allows the shower user to operate either shower head or both at the same time.
Hand-held shower heads
Hand-held shower heads include a single head sprayer that is attached to a flexible hose. These shower heads are good for washing hair and hard-to-reach places. Hand-held shower heads are especially useful for those with limited mobility and/or those who may need to sit in the shower.
Body spray shower faucets
Lastly, body spray shower taps have multiple spray heads, which you can integrate into the shower wall. The spray heads are either compact nozzles or flat and nearly flush with the wall surfaces, HGTV says.
3. Check the Water Pressure
According to Angie’s List, the water pressure for most shower heads fluctuates between 40 and 60 pounds per square inch (psi). Most hardware stores sell testers that you can screw onto the shower arm in place of the shower head. This helps you determine your home’s water pressure before you buy a new shower head or faucet.
Keep in mind, leaks, clogs, and old pipes that are wider than half an inch in diameter can all lead to low water pressure.
4. Consider Accessories
When shopping for your shower head or faucet, you’ll have a variety of accessories to choose from including:
Diverters shift the flow of water from the spout to the shower head. They are usually located on the spout. To activate the shower head, pull the diverter upward.
You'll need to install and extra hole in your tub or shower wall to install a hand shower, but it will be worth it. Hand showers make rinsing off and bathtub cleaning a much easier task.
An anti-scald valve will help protect you from sudden burst of extreme water temperatures. No more freezing in the shower when someone else in your house flushes a toilet!
Pressure-balancing valves will maintain a preset water temperature when hot or cold water pressure drops suddenly.
5. Find Something in Your Budget
Finding a shower faucet in your budget is especially important if you’re completing a full bathroom renovation. You’ll want to make sure you leave enough funds in the budget for more than just your bathtub and shower faucets.
According to Homewyse, faucets can cost between $147 and $351 on average. Don’t forget to consider labour costs to have your new faucet installed as well.