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Shower Valves Buying Guide

by Bystrov 14 Dec 2022 0 Comments
3 outlets thermostat valves

Back in ancient times, when people led straightforward lives, showering was a pretty simple task as they simply cleaned themselves under the waterfalls, adapting to their natural water flow and water pressure. But along with the evolution of humanity evolved the showering system simultaneously.

Thus, coming back to the present times, we can have the best of showering experiences with the latest technology. Luxury has become so easy to attain that with a push of a button, we can adjust the water pressure precisely as per our requirements. This is where the role of shower valves comes into play!

Shower mixer valves play a vital role in regulating the water flow along with the water pressure. There are different types which can save your time and work.

To have a rejuvenating bath to your liking, you need the correct kind of shower mixer valve to reduce those surges and maintain a temperature that is as constant as possible!

In order to make it simpler to update or replace a shower system, this guide delves into the meaning of shower valves, the various types of shower mixer valves, and how they operate.

What Are Shower Valves?

Shower valves are fixtures made to regulate the shower's water flow and temperature. A modern shower mixer valve, when set correctly, can lessen temperature swings and unexpected variations in water pressure, making your bath experiences more enjoyable.

The flow and temperature of the water going to a shower head are managed by a shower valve, which is linked to both the hot and cold water supply. As per the design of your shower and its features, some shower mixer valves work for just one outlet, such as a shower handset, while others deliver water to a number of outlets.

shower control valves

Depending on their distinct features and functionalities, there are two main types of shower control valves: the manual shower valve and the thermostatically controlled valve which is more efficient and convenient to operate.

Diving deeper into this subject, the diverter valves fall into the category of more elaborate shower valves apart from the basic ones. Such shower mixer valves with premium features shall allow you to have the tap and the shower functioning simultaneously.

Furthermore, it comes in two more categories with context to the visibility of the pipework that is concealed shower valves and exposed shower valves.

Scroll down further to learn about each type and find out which shower valve is best suited for your bathroom and why!

Types of Shower Valves:

All shower valve types serve the same purpose, but different varieties have different qualities that make them ideal for various situations. Before moving on to the next step of renovating your bathroom, you should be aware of the various types of shower mixer valves, regardless of whether you want to purchase a new valve, modify your shower system, or simply learn more about the topic. So, let's quickly review the various shower valve types:

Manual Shower Valve

A manually operated shower has its water flow entirely controlled by the user. They adjust the temperature of the water by turning one or more handles until they feel comfortable with it. Manual shower mixer valves are among the more common shower valve styles you will come across. 

They are operated similarly to a basin tap or spout, and most modern valves are controlled by a single lever that controls the temperature and water flow. As a result, manual shower valves are easily operated, but their user-controlled nature makes them susceptible to hot and cold bursts if someone flushes the toilet or runs the tap elsewhere in the house at the same time. 

Generally, manual shower control valves will work with either high or low-pressure water, but this can vary from model to model, which is why it's essential to check the specifications before buying.

Due to its simplicity and ease of use, a manual shower valve is extremely popular. It has only one lever that can control both the flow of water and the temperature. Controlling the temperature and pressure of the water with a lever is moderately simple. However, the manual shower valve is ideal for secondary bathrooms.

The absence of a thermostatic control is the biggest drawback of a manual shower mixer valve over one with a thermostat. So, the water will run either ice cold or searing hot if someone flushes a toilet somewhere else while you're in the shower. 

Push Button Shower Valve

The concealed push button shower valve can be used with pressure as low as 1 bar. To turn on the shower, simply press the push button flow control to initiate or stop the flow of water.

Showers with push button controls

Showers with push button controls are the ideal option for families since they make it simple to switch between showering modes with the help of the convenient push-buttons placed on the backplate.

Thermostatic Shower Valve

The thermostatic cartridge constantly monitors the water temperature to ensure that it is kept at the selected temperature in thermostatic showers. When the supply of hot or cold water changes, the thermostat adjusts the temperature so that the user does not feel any difference; additionally, some thermostats automatically shut off when the water level is insufficient, preventing sudden water bursts at either end of the temperature range. 

Thus, having the option of turning down the flow without the water temperature getting affected when shaving or shampooing shall also help you conserve water. In this way, every shower will be perfect when they are turned on, saving you both time and money. They are an excellent choice for a family with children.

Temperatures can be maintained at a comfortable level anywhere in the shower, as the result of the thermostat. The main benefit of this thermostatic valve is that it prevents the temperature of the water from exceeding a pre-set threshold. 

If maintaining a child-friendly temperature is one of your priorities, then the thermostatic shower mixer valve is the most ideal one for you as the temperature-regulating shower valves (or TMV valves) ensure that the water temperature is consistently maintained. 

The shower valve prevents the water from turning cold or scalding hot if someone turns on a tap or flushes a toilet elsewhere in the house. The anti-scald device is automatically activated when this valve is installed, so you are always safe while showering.

A shower thermostatic mixing valve typically has two or more handles - the first controls the flow, and the second controls the temperature. As soon as you have reached the desired temperature, you can leave that handle in the same position so that each time you use the shower, you only need to turn it on/off.

How does it work?

You may choose from a number of settings or temperatures on a thermostatic shower valve to determine how hot or cold you want your shower to be.

These shower valves keep a lot of hot water in storage and mix in the appropriate quantity of cold water to produce the ideal temperature. The water remains constant by keeping the slide valve at an adjustable amount of hot and cold water as the element contracts and expands.

In case of water shortage, the valve will automatically close off the hot water supply when the element expands and pushes the slide valve down, preventing scalding by cutting off the water supply.

Most contemporary thermostatic safety valves have the good safety characteristic of being able to recognise when the cold-water supply has failed, which results in an immediate shower shut-off. This makes it less likely that the person taking a shower will be scalded by excessively hot water.

Types Of Thermostatic Valves:

shower valve

           Black Concealed Thermostatic Shower Valve - 3 Outlet

Decide what kind of shower system you want before choosing a shower valve. For example, what would be more suitable for your needs: a simple slide rail system with a hand shower or a more elaborate design with a fixed shower head, handset, and body jets? As soon as you make this decision, you can choose the shower valve type that will work best for you. Below is an explanation of the different types.

Single Outlet Shower Valve:

A single outlet thermostatic shower valve only allows for one outlet to be utilised such as an overhead shower or a bath filler. The single outlet shower valve will feature temperature and on/off controls.

Twin Outlet Shower Valve:

In order to use more than one shower facility, you will need a two outlet (also known as a two way shower valve), which enables users to use two different fixtures.

A dual shower is used with the twin thermostatic shower valve with a diverter (like an overhead shower and a handset). However, this 2 outlet shower valve only enables one head to run at a time; not both at once.

Triple Outlet Shower Valve:

A three way shower valve can regulate water for three outputs, such as the shower head, handset, and the body jets. Depending on their design and features, these valves enable you to operate two of the three outlets simultaneously or all three simultaneously. Each outlet can also be operated separately. These valves are referred to as triple valves or 3 way thermostatic valves.

Reasons To Choose A Thermostatic Shower Valve:

The temperature can be efficiently controlled in a variety of applications by using thermostatic control valves for heating or cooling. These temperature control valves are adaptable and straightforwardly developed with paraffin wax actuator technology. They have several benefits that most other valves just cannot surpass such as:

  1. Precise thermostatic control ensures a constant temperature throughout the bath. 
  2. Children are most often the victims of catastrophic life-changing bathwater injuries. Thermostatic mixing valves allow adults to have a hot bath while protecting children's sensitive skin at the same time. It's a fantastic win scenario for both parents and children.
  3. These valves provide you with the option to use any outlets you wish to, depending on how many outlets they are designed to regulate water for.
  4. They come with an anti-scald technology that ensures the users have comfortable and safe baths.
  5. These valves are extremely resistant and appropriate for hazardous conditions as a result of their shut-off feature that takes charge in case of huge temperature fluctuations.

Concealed Shower Valve

Concealed showers are incredibly popular in modern bathrooms or smaller bathrooms that need to make the most of their limited space.

Concealed shower valves

                     Matt Black Concealed Shower Valve

Concealed shower valves are much preferred over the usual valves and are the ideal option for a bathroom with a minimalist look and for anyone who wishes to create straight edges and lessen clutter because the valve and any pipework are hidden beneath the tiles.

A tiny shower area can be challenging to use with an exposed unit because the valve can be knocked while showering, lowering the water pressure, or accidentally changing the temperature. Therefore, a concealed shower valve is the best option to choose since it allows you to make the most of the available space.

  1. Exposed Shower Valve

Exposed shower valves are mounted on the wall and come in both contemporary bar designs and traditional types with lever controls and ceramic accents. An exposed valve is typically less expensive to buy and install than a concealed shower valve, although not producing such a tidy finish.

If you have solid brick walls that cannot fit a concealed valve, exposed shower valves are also the best option. This sort of valve is quicker and simpler to install because the hot and cold water pipes just need to be chased in within the wall.

Bar Shower Valve

                   Exposed Shower Valve with Cascade Spout

Although an exposed valve is less expensive, they come in limited designs while leaving you with even lesser options when it comes to choosing a location for them to be installed in.

Bar Shower Valve:

Bar shower valves are a particular kind of exposed shower valve that get their name from the fact that they are fashioned like a horizontal bar and are often connected to your hot and cold water connections by two wall fixtures. 

Designs can have squared edges like a cuboid or rounded corners like a cylinder. If you want something for the entire family, you can opt for a bar shower mixer valve that possesses a thermostat as the thermostatic bar shower valve is a more efficient fixture to have in one’s ensuite.

Diverter Valve:

    Diverter shower valves are utilised while working with various shower outlets. Instead of adjusting the temperature of the water flow, these shower valves with a diverter allow you to control the direction of the water flow.

    Diverter shower valves

                                        Brushed Brass Manual Diverter Valve

    Diverter valves may come with or without a thermostat thus leaving you with a wide variety of valves to choose from.

    The options are always expanding hence, you can also get a 2 way, 3 way, or even an amazing 4 way diverter shower valve for your shower.

    Let’s have a look at the various features these varied types possess:

     2 Way Diverter Valve:

    This 2 way shower diverter valve has two knobs: one that rotates to control the hot and cold water, and another that directs the flow of water between the shower and bath filler or the bathtub.

    3 Way Diverter Valve:

    The three way diverter valve has three knobs: one for switching between the hot and cold water streams in the shower and tub, and the other two for hot and cold water thereby allowing the users to avail of multiple bathing options and making their task immensely easy!

    4 Way Diverter Valve:

    This shower diverter valve is another highly intelligent invention. Having a single intake and four outlets, the 4 Way Diverter is a utility product. It is extremely helpful in areas of the home where there is only one supply but many water outputs are desired—the shower, the tub, body jet and the other.

    Concealed vs Exposed Valves:

    concealed shower valves, you can easily get your bathroom

    By investing in concealed shower valves, you can easily get your bathroom to have a refined and immaculate finish.  The only components in the shower area that are visible are the shower face plate and handle, with the concealed shower mixer valve and all of the pipework concealed under the tiles.

    This concealed shower mixer valve is available in a variety of styles to complement any bathroom décor. Any décor will look fantastic with the premium design and the robust construction guarantees exceptional durability. 

    While traditional handles have more decorative embellishments, modern handles can be either square or round. You can always choose a gold concealed shower valve with crosshead handles for a traditional aesthetic and to bring a touch of antiquity into your bathroom!

    It's crucial to take into account the recess that must be made behind the tiling. If the area is not available, a light stud wall can be constructed to solve the issue.  The face plate gives the tiled area a finished, streamlined appearance. The concealed shower valve's handles can be taken off to reveal the cartridges in case something goes wrong or there is a concealed shower valve problem.

    Coming to the exposed shower valves, there are numerous other benefits to selecting an exposed pipework thermostatic shower valve. First off, there are a variety of styles available, so your exposed shower may easily blend in with the design of your current bathroom. You may make an exposed shower mixer valve that meets your demands a part of your bathroom, regardless of whether your bathroom is ultra-modern or has an older, more quaint style.

    However, when weighing your alternatives against concealed types, the installation process is where exposed shower valves really shine. As previously said, concealed showers can be more expensive to install and can harm existing tiling, but since they can be quickly and simply put on top of your tiles, this is not a concern.

    Manual Shower Valve Vs Thermostatic Shower Valve

    concealed shower valves, you can easily get your bathroom

    A manual shower valve often has just one handle, which is used to regulate the water flow and temperature, much like a mixer tap you may find on a sink. In other words, one must control the water pressure and temperature manually by hand.

    The manual shower mixer valves continue to be popular among many individuals, but more useful designs with greater market prospects are currently dominating the market and gaining appeal among consumers day by day. Due to the simple concept they're constructed with, manual shower valves are still readily available on the market. 

    They come with a single handle that you can use to turn on and off the shower and regulate the water pressure and temperature. They are also among the least expensive shower valve kinds on the market, which contributes to their popularity.

    The thermostatic shower mixer valve, with preset temperature control on the valve, gives you full control over the water's temperature and prevents scalding.  If you get this valve installed in your bathroom, you can also specify a maximum allowed temperature as it comes with the best of technology that allows it to keep the temperature where you want it to be. 

    Additionally, you don't need to adjust the temperature handle after setting the temperature as per your requirements for the shower in order to maintain it for subsequent showers. 

    The thermostatic valve can be considered as the most costly type of shower valve and is thought to be superior to a pressure balancing valve.

    Modern Or Traditional- Which One Is Best for You?

    If you are renovating your bathroom and wish to fill it up with the latest style fixtures, you can add some more pzazz to your bathroom with contemporary shower valves that come with modern designs such as the shower valves with modern square handles or the push button shower valves at Tapron! 

    Getting the latest shower valves with a contemporary design can turn your bathroom into a dashing trendsetter and an inspiration to all!

    If you wish to give your bathroom a touch of antiquity, you can always go in for traditional shower valves having a classic vintage and timeless designs such as Victorian designs that shall let your bathroom stand out having an old-world charm and grace. 

    traditional shower valves

                      Traditional Thermostatic Concealed Shower Valve

    Tapron has an enormous variety of Victorian style traditional Shower Valves and Lever Shower Valves that shan’t leave you disappointed in any circumstance!

    Shower Valve Maintenance:

    Shower valves are usually put together with the best of and thus are meant to last for years to come especially the shower valves available at Tapron that come with lengthy guarantees!

    The best solution to maintain your valves, allow them to function as good as new ones, and keep them from malfunctioning is to make use of them on a regular basis which prevents them from getting clogged and acquiring limescale.

    Here lies a step-by-step guide to clean your shower valve and make it spick and span:

    • The first step, in the case of shower valves with levers, would be to unscrew  the lever control handle so that you can directly reach out to the grooves. 
    • Next, in case with a shower valve with a wall-plate, gently detach it from the wall.
    • Now unwind the valve so you can see the pipework properly.
    • After this, you must remove the thermostatic cartridge along with other valves
    • Now finally begin to clean these parts and the valve housing with the help of a damp cloth or a tooth-brush.
    • The ideal way to clean the thermostatic cartridge is to wipe it with diluted vinegar (vinegar+water in equal amounts).
    • If the cartridge seems too difficult to clean, simply let it rest in the solution mentioned above for a short while ( suggested time: 7-12 minutes). 
    • You shall now find it easier to scrub the cartridge and remove the collected dirt from it.
    • After cleaning the parts, you have an option (which is a wise move) to interchange their positions- fix the valve you removed last in the place of the valve you removed first and so on), just ensure that the o rings are in place as they were before. Tighten all of them up!
    • You can also let the pipe face outwards on fixing the thermostatic cartridge back while seeing to it the O ring is in place and is tightly fixed on top of the cartridge. 
    • Now fix the backplate followed by all the knobs and handles back. You may want to replace them in case they’re really worn off.
    • The next step involves ensuring there lie zero chances for leakage, thus to do so, turn on your shower and notice carefully.
    • Notice the water flow as well as the overall performance of your shower, if you feel it still is not functioning as its original self, it’s time to contact a professional plumber!

    Shower Valve at Tapron

    At Tapron, we offer you a vast assortment of luxurious shower valves at the best prices, which shall put your search for the most ideal valve matching your choice and needs to an end. Our collection includes manual shower valves, thermostatic concealed shower valves, exposed shower mixer valves, multiple outlet valves, diverter valves, etc.

    With this readily available extensive collection, you can turn your dream bathroom into a reality, therefore, explore the luxurious shower range at now!

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