Last updated: August 4, 2021

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A shower system is usually an installation set consisting of a shower head, hand shower, shower rod and thermostat. There are surface-mounted shower systems, which are installed directly on the wall, and flush-mounted shower systems, which are installed under the wall. Special features such as the popular rain shower or an anti-brewing system are part of the inventory of most shower systems.

In our shower system test 2021, we took a closer look at the different shower systems. Many shower systems have numerous features that make showering a wellness experience. But even if you are looking for a replacement for your old shower system, it is worth comparing the current shower systems. By explaining the advantages and disadvantages of individual shower systems, we hope to make the purchase decision easier for you.




Summary

  • A shower system is an installation with a shower head, temperature control and possibly an additional hand shower. Nowadays, there are many variants of shower systems on the market with special features that you can use to upgrade your own shower.
  • There are surface-mounted shower systems, which means that the shower system is mounted on the wall and connected to the water pipe from there. Concealed shower systems must be mounted behind the wall so that the shower rod and the connection to the water pipe are not visible.
  • A particularly popular feature of new shower systems is the rain shower. The soft drops of this shower spray make you feel like you are standing directly under the rain. Some manufacturers even offer different spray types that you can change according to your mood while showering.

The Best Shower System: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for shower systems

There is a large selection of shower systems on the internet. In this section, we will therefore take a closer look at which features are important in a shower system.

In summary, these are:

To help you decide, we will now explain how the shower systems differ from each other.

Material

When it comes to the material, it is important to make sure that it can withstand water, i.e. that it does not start to rust. Materials such as steel or chrome are suitable for this purpose. You should exclude aluminium or iron as materials for a shower system.

Most manufacturers offer their shower systems in brass with a chrome coating. Others use stainless steel or chrome-plated stainless steel. Some manufacturers work with plastic, which is also water-resistant. The greater the proportion of plastic, the cheaper the shower system. However, this is also noticeable in terms of design and quality.

Water consumption

The recommended flow pressure in the shower is 3 bar.

Depending on the strength of the flow pressure in your home, the shower system will use more or less water. The flow pressure defines the level of pressure that gives the water withdrawal a specific speed.

Now there are shower systems that use less water in connection with the flow pressure. The specifications range from 7 litres to 16 litres per minute. If you attach importance to ecological showering, it is therefore worth taking a look at the water consumption per minute.

Concealed / surface-mounted

Shower systems can be mounted on the tiles from the outside or connected to the water pipes from inside the wall. Flush-mounted shower systems are modern and give your bathroom a clean look. If you prefer a concealed shower system, you must take this into account when building the shower.

The concealed shower system is installed under the wall.

The surface-mounted shower system is easier to install. It is attached directly to the shower wall and connected to the water pipe. If the shower system becomes outdated after a few years, you can install a new one within a short time.

Thermostat

The thermostat is used to regulate the temperature.

You can buy the various shower systems with or without a thermostat. If you already have a separate fitting in your shower, the shower system without thermostat is of course the best choice.

For the variant with thermostat, there are those that have a built-in heat control. This prevents a higher temperature from 38 to 40 degrees. This way you can be sure that you will never accidentally burn yourself under water that is too hot.

Rain shower

As mentioned in the name, the rain shower gives the impression of standing under the rain. Showering is particularly pleasant under such a shower because the droplets feel soft and light. If it is a surface-mounted shower system, it is often possible to swivel the Rain Shower in different directions.

Rain shower heads are available in square or round format, some even cover the entire ceiling.

Many shower systems are offered with a Rain Shower for ceiling mounting and a separate hand shower. If you don't want to get your head wet, you can go for the manual showerhead. Some manufacturers also offer the option of choosing the type of water spray. You can choose between light rain drops, stronger rain or a massage jet.

One disadvantage of the rain shower is that because of the gentle drops, shampoo takes a long time to wash out. In this case, it is worthwhile using an additional hand shower. In addition, the rain shower uses a lot of water.

Shelf

Some shower systems already have a shelf integrated into their design. Most, however, come without a shelf. When showering, a shelf comes in handy for placing shampoo or soap.

If you need many different products when showering, it is worth investing in a separate shelf.

So if you don't already have a shelf installed in your shower, you should look for shower systems with a shelf. Often these are in the same league in terms of price. Note that the integrated shelves are not particularly large.

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a shower system

In this section, we explain what you should look for in a shower system. We have studied the topic and hope to be able to answer your questions here.

What is special about a shower system and what advantages does it offer?

The special thing about a shower system is its different features. Depending on the preference, there are shower systems with hand shower or rain shower function.

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With many shower heads you can choose between different jet types. Soft or strong rain and the massage jet are the most common options.
(Image source: 955169 / Pixabay)

If only one part of your shower is no longer working, you can also look for it. For example, there are offers with or without a shelf and thermostat.

Special shower systems with different jet types, rain shower or waterfall function are suitable for you if you want a special shower experience.

What types of shower systems are there?

If you want to buy a shower system, there are two types of products you can choose between. The two types of products offer different advantages and disadvantages. We will go into more detail in the following sections.

Surface-mounted shower systems

The surface-mounted shower system is the most popular of the shower systems. This is because it is technically easy to install. If a part is damaged or calcified, you can simply replace it.

Compared to the concealed shower systems, the surface-mounted shower system is rather cheap. However, this does not mean that the quality is inferior. Some manufacturers offer a quality guarantee of up to 5 years.

Advantages
  • easy installation
  • low price
  • quality guarantee depending on manufacturer
  • additional hand shower or shelf possible
  • easily replaceable individual parts
Disadvantages
  • Design less appealing
  • faster wear and tear because constantly in contact with water

There are surface-mounted shower systems that only have a hand shower. Others offer a rain shower as an overhead shower with an additional hand shower. If you need a temperature controller, you can buy one integrated in the system. As you can see, the shower system offers a suitable variant for every wish.

In terms of spray types, the surface-mounted shower system is in no way inferior to the concealed shower system. Here, too, the manufacturers offer various spray types, including the popular rain shower.

Cleaning a surface-mounted shower system is particularly simple. Water droplets can be easily removed with a bathroom cleaner. Limescale deposits on the shower head can be easily removed thanks to the silicone nozzle system: wipe the silicone nozzles of the shower head with a cloth and some bathroom cleaner.

Concealed shower systems

The shower system with concealed installation impresses with its modern design. With this system, the water pipes are connected to the shower system under the wall so that they are not visible from the outside. The shower head, thermostat and hand shower are visible as individual parts on the wall.

A concealed shower system is suitable if you are planning a bathroom conversion or shower renovation. Otherwise, for the concealed shower system, you have to tear out the entire wall, install the system and reinstall the wall. If something is broken, the repair is expensive.

Advantages
  • modern design
  • especially large rain shower possible
  • waterfall function
  • stable
  • comfortable showering
Disadvantages
  • difficult installation
  • wall must be torn open for replacement

The advantage of a concealed shower system is that the rain shower can be as large as you want. You can choose between the square or round model for the wall-mounted rain shower. You are sure to find the right model for your bathroom.

Some concealed shower systems offer a waterfall function in addition to the different spray types of the rain shower. This is located directly behind the shower head of the rain shower. Note, however, that the waterfall function consumes a lot of water. Some manufacturers also offer a built-in massage for the back.

Another advantage of the concealed shower system is its stability. Since everything is firmly mounted under the wall, the shower system will not be damaged so quickly. It's also comfortable; you won't bang your head against the shower bar.

Who are shower systems suitable for?

Shower systems are suitable for anyone who wants to redesign their bathroom or needs a new shower system for repair reasons.

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Some shower systems even offer an integrated waterfall function. So you feel like you're on holiday while showering.
(Image source: Pexels / Pixabay)

Depending on what you need your new shower system for, different models are suitable. If you are remodelling your bathroom anyway, it is worth investing in a shower system with concealed installation. This system lasts a particularly long time and is characterised by its stability.

However, if you are simply replacing your old shower system, the surface-mounted shower system is more suitable. You can easily install it yourself in about 2 hours. This model is also a wise choice for rented flats, as you can easily replace it when a new tenant moves in.

How much does a shower system cost?

The price range between the different shower systems on the market is very wide. Depending on whether you choose a simple shower system without features or a shower system with special features, the prices vary from 74 to 920 euros.

Type price range
Shower system with surface-mounted features approx. 74 to 600 €
Shower system with concealed features approx. 140 to 920 €

The price of a shower system depends on the type of shower system. A shower system with surface-mounting costs about €74 to €600. These systems are generally slightly cheaper than the concealed shower systems. A surface-mounted shower system can still have many special features, which naturally pushes up the price. Here are a few examples of the special features:

  • swivel rain shower
  • Silicone nozzles for easy cleaning
  • Thermostat
  • additional hand shower
  • different spray types

A concealed shower system is somewhat more expensive, with a price range of around 140 to 920 euros. Again, the more special features, the more expensive the model.

How high should shower systems generally be?

The height at which you mount your shower system naturally has to do with your own height and that of your fellow occupants. In general, a height of 2.15 to 2.3 metres is recommended for installing the overhead shower. If you want to install the shower system in relation to your height, it is recommended that your head is at least 30 cm away from the shower. This gives you enough freedom of movement.

Type height
Shower system with exposed showerhead the head should be at least 30 cm from the showerhead, a height setting of 2.15 to 2.3 metres is recommended
Shower system with concealed showerhead the showerhead is attached to the ceiling, for a maximum height

If you have purchased a shower system with surface-mounting, you should bear in mind that the entire assembly takes up additional space. You should not forget this when installing the shower system, as otherwise you will have too little space under the shower.

With the concealed shower system, the question of height is easier to answer, as this shower system is simply attached to the ceiling. You can attach the additional hand shower at upper arm height. This does not have to be particularly precise, as you can adjust the height manually there anyway.

What is the alternative to a shower system?

From this point of view, there are not many alternatives to a shower. Nevertheless, here we list a few other options to the most common shower systems:

Type description
Bathtub very relaxing, steam bath possible, uses a lot of water and energy
Shower panel quick cleaning in the garden, fun for children, easy to use, proper washing rather awkward
Shower panel can be installed in the shower corner, less appealing in terms of design

With its size, the bathtub needs about 150 litres of water. That's up to five times as much as you need for a 10-minute shower. You not only use more water, but also more energy.

If you are looking for a shower for the garden, shower panels are suitable. They work by spraying the person on the plate with water from below. This option is suitable in summer or for children.

The garden shower needs a water connection and can be moved from place to place as desired.

An alternative to the shower system is also the shower panel: it is also suitable for corner installation. This way you can save some space in your shower. Unlike the shower system, the panel consists of a device to which the overhead shower and hand shower are attached. Depending on the manufacturer, it can make a clunky impression.

Are there also shower systems for the corner?

More and more suppliers are offering shower systems for corner installation.

A shower panel is a shower system that consists of one piece.

These are shower panels that can be installed directly in the shower corner. The advantage of such a shower system is that you have more space in your shower because it is mounted in the corner.

With shower panels, the additional hand shower can often be detached from the panel with a clip. In addition, the panel often has a massage function for the back.

Image source: Milasan/ 123rf.com

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