The shower is one of the home’s more practical elements – an essential piece of kit in the interior architecture that comes in a variety of sophisticated styles and which can incorporate a surprising range of high-tech functionality to deliver that all-important get-up-and-go early morning fix. You have the choice between gentle, pulsating and power sprays and a bewildering array of designs to complement the décor of both your bathroom and the living spaces beyond. From body sprays to showerheads and temperature controls, the contours and ambience of your chosen shower is an extension of your aspirations and choice of lifestyle, and as such you need to put some thought into its various elements.
This is by far and away the most popular shower option that sees the showerhead attached directly to a cubicle wall or ceiling. There is a great range of design options available to achieve everything from the ultra-contemporary look to a luxury spa with sauna feel. The great advantage with these fixed showerheads is that they can usually be finely adjusted to provide different modes of water delivery, depending on inclination. Many homeowners are also opting nowadays for the installation of a pair of fixed showerheads designed for use by two people, or alternatively for heads positioned so as to give back and front coverage to the bather.
These increasingly popular showerheads incorporate a greatly enlarged spray area to simulate natural rainfall and create a soothing experience, the polar opposite of the invigorating power shower that shocks you awake and simultaneously massages. The majority of showerheads are fed by gravity and have a drooping pattern of spray, which is similar to that from a watering can, and often fails to provide sufficient pressure. However, new and innovative technologies are now available which use self-pressurising systems to increase the flow and force of water delivery and recreate regular natural rainshowers without compromising on efficiency. A thoroughly satisfying, rain-drenched experience is now possible whilst at the same time reducing usage of water by anything up to 20%, making it a green option too.
A handheld shower is often a favourite option to supplement a bathtub. These showerheads are normally hose-mounted and attached to a wall holder that can be adjusted for height, and it is this flexibility of adjustable mount and hand-held operation that accounts for this type of shower’s immense popularity across the user spectrum. The bather can take a body shower only, or detach the head to bathe a child or pet or to rinse out the bathtub. Elderly and disabled users find it the safest shower option as they may need to sit down whilst bathing. Handheld showers also often include added functionality in the form of controls for different spray modes, such as wide and relaxing or concentrated and invigorating sprays, and these can consume almost half the water of standard heads.
These combine adjustable body jets with a fixed showerhead and a handheld shower, providing the benefits of all three, to be used either separately or together. The body jets can usually be adjusted to point in different directions, with one-touch activation and full custom presets for the ultimate shower experience.
David Bell is a freelance writer and blogs about interior design, food, travel, business and technology. Follow him on Twitter @DavidBellWriter