The Ultimate Mixer Showers Buying Guide

Choosing the right type of shower for your bathroom can be difficult, especially when replacing an existing shower. That’s why we’ve created a selection of helpful guides on the main types of shower options. In this guide, we’ll be discussing everything relating to mixer showers. Keep reading to find out more.

What is a mixer shower?

A mixer shower connects to both cold and hot water supplies in your home. They mix the existing hot and cold water in a valve before sending it on to the shower head, where it comes out at what’s normally a stronger flow than that of an electric shower.

The flow you receive is entirely dependent on the pressure of your water system. The water flow and temperature can either be controlled via a shower valve or it can be controlled by adjusting bath taps. This, however, will depend on the type of mixer shower you purchase. Whichever you choose it gives you fine control to ensure you can pick whatever temperature you desire.

Is a mixer shower right for me?

It's important to check if a mixer shower can work with your home water system before you buy. While many of them are equipped to work with any system, others will only work with high-pressure systems (such as a combination boiler) or low-pressure systems (a cold water tank in your loft and a hot water tank in an airing cupboard). 

Thankfully if you do have a low-pressure system, you can always add a shower pump to increase the flow rate. If you need to know more about shower pumps, you can consult our guide on which pump you need and our common questions about shower pumps.

Standard mixer shower vs thermostatic mixer


A thermostatic shower, unlike a standard mixer shower, can always hold a steady temperature. Even when other water outlets are turned on in the house a thermostatic shower can automatically adjust its water temperature to prevent any cold or hot spikes in the water. This makes thermostatic mixer showers ideal for family homes, as they’re a great way of preventing the risk of scalding.

What are the types of mixer showers?

Mixer showers are available in multiple configurations and designs, from the classic bar mixer shower to concealed valve options.

Concealed valve


If you’re looking for a sleek and minimalistic look for your shower, then a concealed valve is a wonderful option. With all shower workings neatly hidden behind the wall of your shower except for the controls and shower head, there’ll be no unsightly pipes or workings on show.

However, as all workings are concealed behind the wall, this can make it difficult if you encounter any issues with the shower and makes it a harder job to fix.

Exposed valve


An exposed valve on the other hand leaves nothing hidden behind your wall, creating a less streamlined look but making it easier to access when any fixes are needed.

Bar mixer showers

Bar mixer showers have two controls, but they are both on one bar. One control is for the water flow while the other manages the temperature. They can also have diverter valves instead of flow controls, which allow you to switch the water between an overflow shower head and a separate shower handset. You can buy these in both vertical and horizontal models.

Sequential mixer showers

These are the simplest to use thanks to a single rotary control. You start the shower by turning the control and the more you turn it, the hotter the temperature. The downside to this type is that you can’t control the flow rate. As with a single lever mixer shower, you can buy this type in either exposed or concealed form.

Single lever mixer showers


This style features a single lever that can be moved up and down to control the flow of water from the shower. Moving the lever from side to side allows you to control the water temperature. There are also two types; exposed showers, where both the plumbing and shower valve sit on the wall, or concealed showers, where the plumbing fixtures are inside the wall and the shower lever valve remains on the outside.

Concentric mixer showers

Here you have two rotary-style controls that sit on top of each other. By turning the outer control, you can turn the shower on and operate the water flow. The inner control regulates the temperature; turning one way will make it hot and the other will make it cold.

The good thing about this type of mixer shower is that you can leave the inner control set to your preferred temperature before turning the shower off, so the next time you turn the shower on it will instantly reach the temperature you had it set to last time you used it. As usual, exposed and concealed models are available.

Dual control mixer showers

These feature two controls; one which operates the flow and one which operates the temperature. As in concentric models, the temperature can be left at your chosen setting for the next time you use it. Some models replace flow controls with diverter valves, which allow you to switch the flow of water between two shower heads or a bath filler. Dual controls are normally concealed.

Smart showers


In most cases, smart or digital showers are mixer showers featuring a digital element such as precise temperature control, and even the ability to control your shower from your phone, or other devices such as Google or Alexa speakers.

Traditional design


If you’re looking to create a traditional design for your bathroom then a traditional mixer shower is the perfect option. With classic designs such as crosshead and lever controls with white ceramic accents, this type of shower is perfect for a luxurious traditional bathroom and would be the ideal match for a beautiful roll-top bath.

Material and design options


When choosing your ideal shower, yes, the functionality and compatibility might be the main points to consider but the aesthetics of the shower can’t be forgotten.

Mixer showers are not only available in the variety of options we’ve mentioned above but also come in many different finishes and colours. From classic chrome to contemporary black and even elegant, brushed brass, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect mixer shower to suit your bathroom design.

How much does a mixer shower cost?


Mixer showers can cost from as little as £55 for basic options with high-end thermostatic options costing over £1000. There are, however, plenty of options in between.

Further information on types of showers

If you're looking for further detailed info on the different types of showers, our handy shower buying guide might be of use.

If you're looking for further information on showers, you might find the following posts useful - What is a Digital Shower & How Do They Work? - Thermostatic Shower Buying Guide - Electric Shower Guide For Buyers.

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