For many of us, starting or ending the day with a hot shower is not only a daily ritual but also a real pleasure, so it’s no surprise that bathroom renovations are often top of the list when it comes to home improvement projects. While you may well want to employ a qualified plumber to install a new shower, fitting a new riser rail and head is a breeze for anyone willing to take on a spot of DIY!
Find the right shower style for you
When it comes to shower styles and showerheads, consider whether you want single or dual spray (with two heads, one a separate hand shower), a rainfall head or an LED one that bathes you in coloured light as well as warm water… If you have a smaller shower, why not go for a concealed mixer valve or a mounted ceiling shower head, which sits flush just like a light fitting?
Consider your water pressure
When you’re thinking about buying a new shower, your attention is normally focused on cost, aesthetics and how easy it is to install. But the main factor to consider is actually the water pressure requirement, as not all showers will work with your home’s particular plumbing and hot water system.
If you have a gravity-fed system (with a hot-water cylinder and a cold-water header tank in your loft), you can choose a power shower, an electric shower, a mixer or a thermostatic shower – with or without a pump. If you have a combination boiler, or your cold water comes directly from the mains, you can’t fit a pump, so you’re limited to either an electric mixer or a thermostatic shower.
What’s the best type of shower?
- A power shower combines hot and cold water supplies and increases the pressure via an internal pump – fantastic if you have low water pressure.
- An electric shower draws cold water before heating it internally to your desired temperature. They’re great if your hot water supply is unpredictable.
- A mixer shower combines hot and cold water supplies and mixes it in the unit before releasing it to the showerhead. They work best with combination boilers as they rely on readily available hot water.
- A thermostatic shower is like a mixer shower, but has a thermostat to keep the water temperature consistent – even when someone in the kitchen starts doing the washing up!
Cut your water consumption and save on your water bills
Did you know a shower uses around 30% of your household water consumption? So it’s worthwhile investing in one with an optimised flow rate, such as those in Methven’s Aio collection. Alternatively, you can also save water by fitting a shower flow reducer, which screws in either at the shower outlet or between the hose and handset. Croydex offers a Water Saving Shower Adaptor, which restricts the maximum flow rate to 8 litres per minute.
How to replace shower riser rail
You will need…
- Methven Aio Easy-Fit Shower Kit, priced £179.11
- Electric drill
- Masonry drill bit
- Silicone sealant
- Wall plugs
- Spirit level
Start by laying out the parts of the shower kit so you can see everything clearly. Slide your hose retainer onto the rail.
Next, slide on the soap tray and followed by the end brackets.
Place the rail vertically at an appropriate height and mark the tile intersections closest to the end brackets. Check that the line between the marks is straight with a spirit level or plumb line and adjust as necessary. Using a masonry bit to drill into the wall where you’ve made the marks. Fill the holes with silicone then carefully push in the wall plugs. Screw the wall fixings into the plugs.
Next, place the rail brackets over the wall fixings then twist and lock them so they’re held securely in place.
Check for the proper placement of the washer and seal, before screwing the hose onto the main shower unit. Attach the shower head at the other end.
Feature Catherine Smalley. Photos Methven.