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Shower Kits Buyers Guide

Shower Kits Buyers Guide

Showers have moved on from the days of a temperamental simple mixer unit that blended the hot and cold water supplies, aiming for a temperature to suit the user through the shower head. Variable pressures and a cold supply that came straight from the mains meant that showers weren't always the relaxing, unwinding moments at the end of the day that many people now know. The showers of the decades up to the more modern showers of the 90s were often cold and weak - perhaps refreshing in the summer months, but withering in winter. Thankfully modern mixer units allow you to control the temperature precisely, using thermostatic dials and controls to ensure each user finds the right temperature, every time they step in the shower.

When thinking about how to buy the right shower, there are numerous things to consider - far more than just the temperature control. Our selection of modern Origins shower kits offers the best of both worlds: continental big-brand style and sophistication at a fraction of the price. Perfect for updating or installing a completely new shower system, the huge choice of different types of shower kits can be overwhelming to navigate. You'll find slider rails, different types of thermostatic controls, and a huge range of shower heads so you can find the style of shower that's right for you, your plumbing, and your bathroom. As with all the products on our site, we can't be beaten on price - and, as you'll see, a modern, stylish and highly functional shower kit needn't cost the earth. Let us take the strain out of finding the right kit - read on for our simple buying guide.

A buyer's guide to shower kits

A shower kit (or shower set) typically includes a shower head, a shower hose and a rail or fitting to hold the shower on the wall. They usually also include a thermostatic temperature control panel (normally a dial) to ensure the user gets a temperature that suits them, as well as a host of optional extras. These extras can include flex hoses, dual shower heads, and adjustable soap dishes and shelving that connect to the rail. There are plenty of styles and extra attachments available. To get started, try filtering your selection.

Choosing a shower kit

Here's a quick checklist of what to consider:

Water pressure - how strong is the water pressure in your home? The level of pressure will have a huge impact on the type of shower you should buy. To find out what the pressure is in the area of your home where you'd like to put your shower (or where an existing shower is), use a pressure gauge. If you're not confident using a gauge, ask a plumber to test it for you. Once you know, you'll be able to narrow down your choice of showers to match.

Water system - which type of water system do you have? In the UK there are three main types of water system used in the home: combination boiler, gravity fed, and high pressure / unvented cylinder systems. Again, knowledge is power, and you'll be able to select a shower that is more likely to work in your home once you know. Read on for more about these systems.

Design - once you understand the technical parameters, you're ready to talk styles. What do you want your shower to look like? Finding a shower that matches the aesthetic of your bathroom - and your overall home - can make a huge difference.

Understanding water systems

Get clued up on the three most common types of water system found in UK homes with our quick guide.

Combination boiler systems

Combination (or combi) boilers have no cylinders or tanks, quickly heating up water on demand as and when you need it. Usually wall-mounted, they provide the highest water pressure of the three systems, so most shower kits will work well if you have a combi boiler system.

Gravity fed systems

More common than any other system in the UK, low-pressure gravity systems involve a water tank (usually in the loft) and a cylinder (usually found in an airing cupboard). The water in the smaller cylinder is heated by your boiler or immersion heater before being fed through to your taps and radiators. Depending on the setup of your home, this can lead to low water pressure as it relies on gravity to feed the water through the system. The higher your tank, the better the pressure. For larger homes with multiple showers, a shower pump might be a way to improve the water pressure, creating showers with more oomph.

Unvented cylinder systems

An unvented system involves a water cylinder which is heated by your boiler or immersion heater under high pressure, providing larger volumes of hot water in one go and at higher pressures.

Working out what you want from your shower

Now you know what type of water pressure and system you have at home, it's time to think about what you want from your shower. With so many different shapes and styles available, it's really a question of taste and how well you think it will fit into the rest of the brassware and fittings in your bathroom.

Shower heads

Different shower heads create different water patterns - and entirely different showering experiences. Choose from:

Fixed shower heads

Fixed to the wall or the ceiling, a fixed shower head can't be repositioned or held by hand. Reminiscent of spa and hotel experiences, they can be ideal for creating an elegant, clean look. However, while they may be chic, they may not be the best fit for busy families or homes with pets where the ability to detach the shower from the wall may be useful.

All your plumbing components will be safely held behind your shower kit's polished reflective chrome mounting plate. Stylish and sleek, most kits include separate control valves that include ceramic cartridge technology for intuitive access to temperature and water flow. A fixed but articulated waterfall-style oversized 200mm diameter shower head combines hotel looks with the convenience of being able to angle the spray up to ten degrees in any direction, according to your preferences. Requiring a minimum water pressure of one bar, it isn't suitable for lower pressure environments.

Offering even more control, three valve sets (that come complete with a separate flow, temperature and a diverter valve) and a fixed wall mounted arm, each glossy chrome set has been designed for easy use without compromising on style. Available with two different sizes of shower rose - either 200 or 250mm - they can capture the essence of contemporary continental style as the perfect example of Origins' design credentials. In terms of plumbing, most of these fixed kits from Origins can be used in high and low-pressure homes.

Riser kit shower heads

Riser kits use wall fixings with a bracket and a rail so you're able to move the showerhead up or down to find the optimum height for you. Ideal for busy families where versatility is key, the shower head can be detached from the wall and handheld, making it perfect for cleaning the dog, the shower or children.

Combination shower kits

For the best of both worlds - handheld and fixed - choose a combination shower kit. They come with two shower heads, with one detachable and on a hose for more focus and one fixed to either the wall or the ceiling providing a drenching. The ultimate in both luxurious style and versatile function, they include some of Origins' most popular shower kits.

Comprising a thermostatic control, wide diameter overhead shower head and a matching smaller handset, some of Origins' stylish combination sets are sleek and minimalist to match modern, cosmopolitan bathrooms. Finished with high-shine chrome, the valves and shower heads are unified by the same cylindrical design for an intuitive yet polished style. Only suitable for higher pressure homes above one bar, each kit can include a 200mm diameter rainfall-style fixed shower head on a 330mm curved wall mounted arm, plus a handheld shower attachment with a wall outlet, hose and support.

Other stylish options from Origins include fresh and contemporary designs with compact square shapes to complement any modern, urban shower space. Combined with the latest in temperature control technology, they can help to create a luxurious and fully functioned experience. These kits can include a classic square overhead shower rose and a smaller separate handset featuring a powerful spray and generous length of flexed hose. It's worth noting that some of these kits will only be suitable for high-pressure homes.

Incorporating Origins' fusion thermostatic shower valve with a two-way diverter, another option for a combination shower kit is highly user-friendly, putting precise flow and temperature control at your fingertips. Versatile and fully functioning, they can offer multiple shower options to suit your changing preferences. Three separate spray patterns allow users to change the strength of spray, and a generous amount of hose means that the handheld showerhead is convenient and simple to use. Choose from two diameters of round, fixed arm showerheads - either 200mm or 250mm. Please note that these kits are often only suitable for homes with high water pressure.

The Origins range also incorporates high quality, well-designed shower kits that combine enhanced safety and control features with a sharp, high gloss chrome finish that wouldn't look out of place in the bathrooms of elegant hotels. Ingeniously the water supply can cut off within five seconds if it goes above 46 degrees or dips because your hot water supply has failed. They are also surprisingly versatile and able to work with water pressures as low as 0.5 bars up to a huge 10 bars and with all types of plumbing systems. A three spray pattern handset gives you plenty of options, as well as a 200mm diameter overhead shower head for a thorough drenching, giving you truly the best of both worlds. The rigid riser rail also allows you to adjust the height of the handset easily and quickly according to personal preference. The cornerstone of the inimitable Origins Fusion range, these kits are a highly flexible shower solution that won't compromise on design and the quality of materials whilst still offering great value for money.

The final word on Origins shower kits

What many people may not realise is that Origins is our own flagship brand of bathroom sanitary ware, brassware, fittings and furniture. Drawing on over 10 years of experience in serving our customers, we know what it takes to create well-designed products that offer quality at a great price. Combining the best of contemporary styles and European production, the Origins range meets the requirements of the modern living space. Building on our extensive knowledge of how people best function in their living spaces, Origins is the perfect place to begin when envisaging your perfect bathroom. Unpretentious yet polished, the chrome finish and clean lines of Origins shower kits and fittings will help you to transform any shower space into one of impressive luxury as well as functionality - all at a competitive price.


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Published on Tuesday, 9th May 3:10pm
category:  Shower Fittings

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