Two Key Components Needed for the Perfect Shower

Your shower is a very important part of your day.  It plays a vital role in your morning wake-up routine or helps you to wind down and settle in for a restful night’s sleep.  It can also offer a therapeutic water massage any time of day.  To get the most out of your showering experience pay careful attention to two key components:  the shower valve and the showerhead.   

The Shower Valve

The Shower Valve is a mystery to many because it is hidden behind the wall (behind the on/off handle, also known as the valve trim).  There are two basic types of valves:  the pressure balance valve and the thermostatic valve.  Which is best?  That all depends upon your preferences and budget. 

Pressure Balance Valves feature just one handle controlling both the volume and the temperature at the same time – they cannot be controlled independently. 

Thermostatic Valves have two handles – one controlling the water volume (or flow) and one for the water temperature.  Being able to control the volume flow without affecting the temperature with a thermostatic valve makes water conservation easy – just turn down the water flow while shampooing or shaving! Typically, a thermostatic valve offers more functional options than a pressure balance valve and is therefore a bit more expensive. 

Because the valve lives behind the wall, think about what functions you want in your shower before the plumber installs your shower valve. 

The Showerhead

The Showerhead can be mounted from the ceiling to the wall, or come in a handheld option.  You can have one or multiple types of showerheads in your shower.  How to choose? Think about what you want your shower to do for you. 

Do you have gorgeous, thick hair that needs a powerful, cleansing rinse?  Do you have a pain-point in your neck that requires some direct, pulsating power?  Will a gentle rain help to wash away the day’s stresses?  Will your shower double as a dog-washing station?  Do you sing in the shower (as ¾ of us do!) and could you use a handheld option that also doubles as your “mic”?  Seriously, handheld showers are great options for cleaning children, pets, and the shower walls. 

Take a look at the tiny holes, or jets, on the face of your showerhead.  How these individual jets are spaced and positioned determines the shower’s spray pattern(s).  Many multifunctional showerheads have multiple types of jets designed for specific functions, such as soft or intense rain, downpour, wide coverage, whirl, and various massage modes.   

Showerheads are much easier to swap out than a valve and so can be a simple and relatively inexpensive way to upgrade your shower. 

With the right planning and combination of shower valve and showerhead(s), you can enjoy your very own “dream” shower. 


Call 603-436-1401 or click here to book a Showroom appointment. Let our product specialists help you pick out just the right showerhead and valve for your space. All showerheads and valves pictured are available for sale. 

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Julie Brady
Julie Brady

Julie Brady owns Portsmouth Bath Company with her husband, John. They launched the business in 1996. Always interested in home design, Julie was lucky to find industry professionals ready and willing to bring her into the world of decorative plumbing. Born in the Midwest and raised in California, Julie now lives in the beautiful Seacoast region of New Hampshire with John and their three dogs: Rosalie, Emma, and Jasmine.

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