Which shower should I choose?

Whether your bathroom is your personal oasis or at the centre of family life, there’s little doubt that your shower will be an important focal point. Choosing a shower that effortlessly meets your needs whilst seamlessly complementing your bathroom design can be a challenge, but when you get it right your bathroom will feel fresh and stylish for years.

We’ve put together a guide on how to choose a shower, the types of shower you should look for, and how to select one that complements your style.

Exposed or recessed showers?

These showers are exactly what they sound like – showers with controls that sit on your wall (exposed) or inside/flush with the wall (recessed).

If you’re styling a smaller bathroom, choosing a recessed (or concealed) shower will help give the feeling of more space. All you’ll see is the control and a plate that neatly conceals the shower, reducing visual clutter. Even if you have a vast oasis at your disposal, these types of showers lend themselves perfectly to minimalist and Scandi-style designs, where clean lines are a must. To make things a little easier, Heritage concealed valves are designed to fit into the smallest wall cavities, requiring only 35mm depth.  It’s still worth checking with your plumber before you purchase one though to ensure that it will be suitable for your wall.

Exposed showers are still a popular option, and in some instances can add something extra to a bathroom design. They’re also easier to install and fix in case something does go wrong, which may prove useful for busy family bathrooms.

You can view our range of shower valves here.

Single or dual control showers?

Choosing your controls is a matter of personal preference. A single control shower will operate the flow and the temperature from one dial or lever. A dual control shower will have separate controls for each. Ask yourself where the controls would sit, what would be easiest for you to use, and which options come with the shower you want.

Which shower head: fixed, handset, or both?

When it comes to choosing a shower, the shower head will be one of your most important considerations. As well as holding aesthetic appeal, the shower head you select should meet your needs and help you transform your bathroom into your personal haven.

Fixed shower heads are permanently secured to the wall or the ceiling. Alternatively, they may be attached with a rigid riser/fixed kit, where a pipe leads from the shower valve and control unit to the fixed head. Types of fixed shower head include rain shower heads, which are perfect for creating a home spa experience.

Handsets, on the other hand, are fixed to a rail and can be moved up or down depending on the height you want; it’s also very easy to control the direction of the water. They are attached to the shower control unit with a flexible pipe, and can be removed for ultimate manoeuvrability. These types of shower head may be ideal for families where everyone has a different preference. To help make sure you find the perfect match, Heritage handsets and rails are sold together as shower kits.

Many showers will only accommodate one outlet, which means you would have to choose between a fixed shower head and a handset. If you don’t want to compromise, however, Heritage showers allow you to feed the water to a second outlet, which means you can install both options at once; simply alternate between the two using the control for your perfect shower.

Styling your shower

Of course, choosing a shower that perfectly fits your needs is about more than function. If you’re renovating a bathroom you’ve probably put a great deal of thought into everything from layout to colour schemes, and while a shower may seem like a purely functional addition, the wrong unit can throw your new aesthetic out of line.

Designers are paying increasing attention to shower designs, opening the door to more choices. The growing trend for industrial chic is reflected in beautifully designed exposed outlet showers, while concealed valves will unobtrusively lend themselves to an array of styles.

Don’t forget to pay attention to the range of finishes on offer, either; from brushed steel to vintage-style rose gold, the material your shower is made from will help integrate it seamlessly with the rest of your bathroom.

Avenbury shower

The Avenbury, a stunning showering focal point for any bathroom.

Shower buying guide

To find your perfect shower, look for the following:

Good temperature control

When buying a shower, make sure the temperature is easy to control so you can find your perfect level. Heritage showers are thermostatic, and set at 42-53 degrees. Even in the event of a cold water supply failure, Heritage showers will maintain a safe temperature.

Make sure your shower is compatible with your system

All homes are different, and some showers may not be suitable for your hot water system. Before choosing a shower, ask your plumber which types of shower will deliver the best results in your bathroom.

Think about size

Larger shower heads won’t necessarily give you a stronger, or better, flow of water. If you have low water pressure a large shower head may result in a disappointingly weak flow. Choose your shower head based on your water pressure and your plumber’s advice to help ensure you get the perfect end result.

Check water efficiency

Heritage has joined the Bathroom Manufacturers Association’s Water Label Scheme to help people save water.  To check how much water our showers use, just click on a product and select Water Label.  If you see a high flow rate with a red background the shower uses more water but provides a drenching experience.  If you see a low flow rate with a green background, the shower has been optimised for water efficiency.  You can reduce water usage on most showers by installing a flow limiter - speak to your plumber to find out more.

Why buy Heritage?

Our shower controls are stylish, rigorously tested and come with a five-year guarantee. We have also worked hard to ensure that our showers match our tap ranges so that you can coordinate both the style and the colour; either glistening chrome or vintage gold.


Heritage showers are designed specifically for the UK and so can operate effectively even at low pressure, making them suitable for all water systems.

Above all, when you’re choosing a shower, remember to look at all your options and make sure you are completely happy; it’s worth spending a little extra time on the decision. As the centre of your bathroom, your shower should last you – and make you happy - for years to come.

Download our brochure or locate your nearest Heritage Bathrooms stockist and find the perfect shower for your new bathroom.

Discover more product buying guides for baths and toilets in our design inspiration section.