Custom Shower Systems Buying Guide
How to Choose Your Custom Shower System
Nothing illustrates today's "ultimate" showering experience more than a custom shower system. It's the perfect indulgence that can be enjoyed every day. Custom systems turn a simple shower into an experience tailored to individual tastes, needs and lifestyle.
There are scores of performance features and styles to choose from, many available in various finishes and coordinating accessories.
When considering a custom shower design, it is important to determine how much water you will need. While a standard shower faucet may use 2.5 GPM of water, a custom shower system may use 12-15GPM or more. You should consult with your contractor to determine:
- Are your water pipes large enough?
- Can your water supply and/or well handle the volume requirement? (well systems typically produce 5-12GPM)
- Can your water heater provide enough HOT water?
- Do you have enough water pressure for the desired system you want? Standard showers are designed for 30 psi of water pressure; custom shower systems can require 40-45 psi or more.
To find total output, add total GPM of all selected outlets.
Total Showerheads Qty _______ X 2.5 GPM=_______ (Total GPM)
Total Handshowers Qty _______ X 2.5 GPM=_______ (Total GPM)
Total Body Sprays Qty _______ X 2.5 GPM=_______ (Total GPM)
Total Output = _______ GPM
This total output GPM number will determine the type of valve needed. Most systems with (1-2) showerheads, (1) handheld and (3) body sprays can use a standard 3/4" high volume valve with an output of 15GPM.
Build Your Own Custom Shower System
Shower Valves control and maintain the water temperature. For maximum safety and comfort, it is best to use a thermostatic temperature control valve - preferably 3/4". The capacity of the valve (GPM output) must be able to handle greater or equal value to the sum of your chosen components.
Volume controls operate each individual function including shower head, body sprays and hand shower, and should usually be placed about waist high and slightly above the thermostatic valve.
Showerheads come in various shapes, sizes, spray patterns and features. They can be mounted on the wall or from the ceiling, and can be used with long or short shower arms.
Handshowers are perfect for personal hygiene, cleaning the shower area and bathing children or pets. They can be mounted to the wall via a hand shower holder or a slide bar which enables the user to change the height and angle of the water so that it can function as a showerhead or as a body spray.
Body sprays are primarily intended to have the entire body covered by water no matter which direction the user faces. Body sprays are usually adjustable and can be installed to suit your preferences.
Drains used in standard shower systems are usually 2", but larger systems should use (2) 2" drains or (1) 3" drain. Normally larger systems will be using (2) high flow valves, which can produce up to 36GPM of water.
Diverter Valves combined with pressure balanced valves can be used for smaller two-function shower systems which could include a shower head with a hand held shower. This will allow one handle to operate the flow and temperature of the water