Buying guide for Showers
Here again, like in so many other cases, your options for showersets depend on your existing conditions.
If you are replacing an existing 2 or 3 valve tub & shower set, then the question is whether you would like to stay with a similar set up or upgrade to the new Pressure balanced or thermostatic valves, also, if you are doing this renovation under a permit and you are being inspected, then by law you can only install a pressure balanced or thermostatic valve.
Pressure balance valve
The most common type of anti-scald valve in the market today, it works by sensing changes in flow from either the cold or the hot side and thus reducing the flow on the opposite side, maintaining a steady temperature (± 4°F), and minimizing the potential for burning or scalding due to sudden change, because somebody flushed a toilet or started the washing machine, generally these valves are single handle and do not have a volume control, once you have set it to your temperature, it will give you 100% flow, which in most cases it is not a problem, since most of us want to get as much water out of our showerheads as possible, you can also add a separate volume control, which will allow you the flexibility to adjust the flow to your own preference. Also there are in the market a few companies that offer a pressure balanced two handle tub and shower set, in this case one handle sets the temperature and the other handle acts as the volume control, an added benefit is that if you are replacing a traditional two handle shower, it saves you the cumbersome task of breaking the tile or granite and then having to patch it around the single handle shower valve.
It accomplishes the same objective as the pressure balance valve but it does it based on temperature fluctuations instead of pressure changes, this means that it maintains a much better control of the set temperature, (± 2°F). this valve generally comes equipped with an extra volume control.
Two and Three Handle Shower sets
We are all probably most familiar with this type of shower valve, after all this is what was installed in our parents and grandparents shower, in this case one handle is the cold valve and the other one is the hot valve, on the three valve models, the middle handle serves as the diverter.
Hope fully this has given you enough information to decide which shower valve system you would like, then is just a matter of finding the shower valve that matches your bathrooms décor.
For way to customize your shower, please read our article on the Showerscape collection, where we will give you many ideas of how to personalize your shower experience.