The concept of showers has been seen in various cultures across centuries. The first-ever ‘showers’ used by man were waterfalls, found in nature. The natural, cascading water helped to rinse and clean the bathers and offered a very efficient way of bathing. And today, the modern shower has been designed by taking inspiration from nature. Compared to bathing, showering is preferred because not only is it considered to be more hygienic, but also efficient because it uses less water.
A shower is an enclosure where you bathe under a spray of hot, warm or cold water. Usually, showers have an adjustable temperature, showerhead nozzle and spray pressure and most of the showers have a swiveling shower head nozzle, which you can aim at yourself.
Indoor showers usually have a drain on the floor, where the water drains out from. Showers can be installed in a small cubicle or stall or a bathtub with a door or curtain.
Showers are very simple systems that are designed in a way to contain 1-2 persons and the water and drain out the dirty water into the sewage system. There are many types, designs, sizes and configurations of showers and most commonly, showers are either prefabricated or inbuilt.
- Prefabricated Showers: These are essentially made of fiberglass or fiberglass with reinforced acrylic and come in a wide variety of styles and colors. Some are single units, while others may be modular styles that have 3 walls with a base.
- Inbuilt Showers: These are small stalls or cubicles with walls of stone, tile, etc. and a swinging or sliding door. These units have a floor made of plastic, tile, stone, etc.
The parts of the shower include:
- Shower Head: Usually made of chrome, copper, brass or rubber, the showerhead comes in a range of shapes and sizes and releases a stream of water. The showerhead has tiny holes that distribute the water uniformly and you can allow the speed, strength or pattern of the water flow.
- Water Supply: The water is supplied via two pipes to the shower, i.e. hot and cold. In older homes, these pipes were made of galvanized steel; however, in newer homes, the pipes are made of copper, PEX or PVC plastic and connect to the shower valve, which helps to control the water flow to the showerhead, as well as the temperature. If the shower is installed in a bathtub, then the valve, known as the diverter valve or a lever, helps to switch the water flow from the showerhead to the tub spout.
- Shower Pan: The shower pan is the part at the base of the shower on which you stand while showering. Usually, the shower pan is made of a variety of materials; however, it is usually covered with a waterproof membrane to prevent any leaks.
- Shower Strainer or Drain: The shower drain essentially gets rid of the dirty water for the shower. Typically, in older homes, the drains were made of galvanized steel; however, in newer homes, it is made of PVC plastic. The other parts of the drain include the drain cover, drain tailpiece, P-trap and trap arm.
- Shower Hose: This essentially connects the shower outlet and the tub, which you can stretch and control the water flow.
- Shower Cartridge: This regulates the capacity and temperature by opening the hot- and cold-water faucets as the trigger of the shower is pulled.
- Shut-Off Valves: The shut-off valve regulates the water flow into the shower pipes. When they are open, the water flows freely into the pipes, while if they are shut, the water flow is turned off.
- Waste Outlet Pipe: This removes and carries the waste away.
- Domestic Showers: These are typically cubicle showers or showers installed over a bathtub, which has a curtain or door to contain the spray of water. Usually, domestic showers have a single shower head that is installed overhead.
- Wet Room: This is essentially a bathroom without any raised or dedicated area and has an open shower.
- Mixer Showers: This is the most common type of shower seen in modern homes where the water is drawn from both the hot- and cold-water inlets and mixed. The mixed water, which is at the temperature set by you, is delivered through the showerhead. A valve or lever enables you to adjust the temperature of the water according to your preference.
- Electric Showers: These have an in-built element, which heats the water, allowing you to enjoy hot or warm showers. These are more energy efficient because the water is heated only when required.
- Power Showers or Pumped Showers: Commonly used in spas and hotels, these systems are inbuilt with a pump and are best suited for low-pressure water systems. However, the limitation is that these systems are quite expensive to install and repair and they consume a lot of water.
- Digital Showers: These are excellent alternatives to a mixer, power and electric showers, which are very user friendly as they let you choose your preferred shower experience i.e., temperature, pressure and volume and they are eco-friendly too. The sleek, minimalistic design makes the digital shower a great space-saving option for your bathroom.
A shower is a great way to start or end your day. It is a quick and easy way to have a refreshing bath and be on your way. As you can see, there are many types, designs and styles of showers available and you are sure to find one that will not only suit your preferences and budget but one that will complement the décor of your bathroom perfectly.