Once upon a time, your choice was simple. You filled a bath and marinated yourself in your own juice (a practice that some in the Middle East and elsewhere find incomprehensible): or you showered, usually in a shower bath, under a single shower head.
Then came the separate shower room or shower stall, which for many eclipsed the bath completely: and more recently we learned to love the wet room concept.
But a concurrent trend came to us in the last 15-20 years from the Continent of Europe: the all-singing, all-pummeling shower towers and shower panels that come at you from all sides and often from some unexpected angles.
This requires some planning: and the normal practice is to enclose these units in a shower cubicle so as to give you an intense watery work-out without drenching the entire bathroom.
Plumbworld offers you a choice.
Manual Mix Tower
From Architeckt comes the Avus model, which can be fitted on a flat wall or into a corner, which is a handy feature for those who are not blessed with space (i.e. the majority of us). Its full unit height is 1830mm.
The overhead shower has a 3-way choice of spray pattern. In addition you get a handheld unit and the all-important body jets whose options include 2 pulsating patterns.
With this simpler manual mixing control system you can easily select your favourite temperature. Those with young children or frailer elderly people should probably opt for the thermostatically controlled style of unit.
Thermostatic Shower Tower
A good example of this type is the Triton Unichrome (below). It gives you control of both the temperature of the water, and of the water flow pressure.
Within a series of 5 options, you can elect to receive a head and body shower or a handset and body combo of what are described as ‘showering sensations’.
There is an adjustable, numbered temperature control with a maximum stop that can be adjusted to suit your preference. Importantly, the tower is protected from sudden stoppages of the hot or cold water. It automatically shuts down in the event that either of these flows is cut.
It is a modern design with its square shower can, bisected by the supply tube, and its subtly curved polished chrome effect body unit.
If you are thinking of one of these types of system, check your water pressure and make sure that it is sufficient for the rating of the tower. The Unichrome, for instance, requires at least 2.0 bar.
So what is the difference between a shower tower and a shower panel? The simple answer is, none. Some call their unit a tower: others a panel. The words are often used interchangeably in the same article. The descriptions are likely to get more rather than less confusing because built-in wall-mounted body jets are catching on and the passion for hiding whatever device you can will make the panel or tower itself in some cases redundant.
But if you don’t want to go to all the trouble of building kit into a wall, go for the full-blown steam cabin, such as those from Aqualux (pictured).
- multi-function shower jet possibilities galore
- and a steam option to create a little bit of Turkey in your own home.
It is said that you even burn calories, detox the skin and relieve the symptoms of various ailments. Bliss.