Shower Panel Buying Guide
One fairly simple way to reinvigorate your daily shower is by installing a shower massage panel. These multifunctional fixtures feature shower heads and body massage jets for the ultimate shower, and many also have hand showers and tub fillers for added convenience. Because the shower column is a non-traditional fixture, knowing some key details can make selecting one much simpler. Learn more our buying guide below, or shop shower panels now.
Planning for a Shower Panel
First, you (with the help of a licensed professional) must determine whether a shower panel is right for your bathroom and how much space you have available. Most importantly, the wall containing the water outputs must be able to accept the necessary anchors and installation hardware. If the panel will be installed above a tub enclosure, look for a unit that has a tub filler, or a shorter model. Panels that will be installed in shower enclosures or with shower trays have more flexibility in length. Other plumbing considerations include your home's water pressure (should be above 50 psi), adequate drainage capacity, and adequate supply lines (3/4" recommended).
Installing a Shower Panel
Installation will vary from model to model, so be sure to reference the instructions that come with your unit. Generally the installation of a shower panel is relatively easy procedure. The primary steps involve installing the elbows and anchors into the wall, affixing the mount, connecting the water supply lines, attaching and sealing the cover, installing the diverter handle, and adjusting the slider. For savvy diy-ers, this can be a simple upgrade, though ensure the manufacturer's warranty doesn't require professional installation before attempting.
Shower Panel Features
Most shower columns have luxurious overhead showers or rainfall shower heads as the primary shower. The body of the column will have body spray jets, from two to eight or more, for strategic massage relaxation. A hand held shower head offers more flexibility and will be attached with a flexible hose. Tub fillers replace the bath tub faucet for all-in-one fixtures and allow users to enjoy baths as well. Thermostatic shower panels & faucets are desirable features because they keep the water temperature stable to prevent scalds and uncomfortable fluctuations. Other features you may find on shower columns are built in shelving, lights and shaving mirrors.
Styles & Finishes
Massage panels are typically made of stainless steel, aluminum, acrylic, pvc or glass. Stainless steel shower panels are known for their durability and stain-resistance, though aluminum offers a great alternative and is often more affordable. Acrylic and pvc are lightweight, strong materials frequently used in bath applications that are also scratch-and stain resistant. Glass shower jet panels can give a dramatic look to your bathroom, but may be a little heavier. Make sure any glass is tempered in case of a break. Finishes on metal shower columns include brushed steel, aluminum, brushed nickel, bronze, gray and chrome while acrylic panels are typically white or silver. They are available in both modern and traditional designs to fit all decors, and are priced to accommodate most budgets.