A Beginner’s Guide to Shower Design

Maybe you read our 2022 Bathroom Trends post and are not sure how to start remodeling your current shower. There are so many options available that it can be overwhelming, so today we will walk through some of the most common types of shower spaces as well as common terminology you’ll want to know when planning your dream shower.
If you’re looking for help with your shower remodel, Studio41 has over 30 years of experience bringing dream bathrooms to life. Work with us online, in our showrooms, or with your contractor on TradeConnect.

What kind of bathing space is your perfect fit?

The first place to start is deciding what style of shower is right for you. The type you decide will help set guidelines for the products you can choose from. These are some common configurations:
WALK-IN SHOWER Ideal for primary/master baths since they allow for body sprays, rainheads, a sit-down bench, or steam functionality. Also useful for people with mobility issues and generally the most popular choice for remodelers
DOUBLE SHOWER A type of walk-in shower that is made for two people to use at the same time. Perfect for large bathrooms and great for couples. These also have a stunning, symmetrical look that elevate the space.
OPEN SHOWER A type of walk-in shower with no boundary between the shower and the rest of the bathroom. Great for easy access when using a wheelchair or other mobility aids. Open showers can also include a half wall to keep spray from getting on the rest of the bathroom.
ENCLOSED SHOWER A type of walk-in shower that is fully enclosed, floor to ceiling, by shower doors. Enclosed showers prevent any splashes and sprays from escaping the shower to keep the bathroom clean. If you are looking to install a steam system, this is the configuration for you!
TUB/SHOWER COMBO If your home only has one full bath then a tub/shower combination is best since it is the most versatile and useful for any children at the house. Usually a combination shower will have both a showerhead and a tub spout and use just one valve trim with a diverter function either in the trim or on the tub spout. These are also great for guest or children’s bathrooms

Parts of the Shower 

Now that you have a better idea of what kind of shower space you’re looking for, it’s time to add the fixtures. There are plenty of options, but any shower will need at least one trim, one valve, and at least one water outlet.


This is how you turn on your shower. This can be a lever, dial, or digital interface. Trim is the exterior component of the valve, and is sold separately. Many trim options can match with sink faucets and other fixtures in the room for a cohesive design. SHOP SHOWER TRIM ⇒


Valves connect to the trim to control the temperature, flow, and destination of water in the shower walls.  Each type of valve performs specific functions.
DIVERTER VALVE This valve diverts the flow from one outlet to another, like switching from a shower to a handshower. A valve connected to the pressure balance or thermostatic valve that changes where the water is sent. SHOP DIVERTER VALVES ⇒
PRESSURE-BALANCE SHOWER VALVE This valve is an all-in-one solution that lets you turn the shower on and off, as well as control water temperature. This type of valve is typically used in basic applications like a standard tub/shower or shower only configurations. Extra outputs like body sprays and rainheads cannot be added to pressure-balance systems without additional valves. SHOP PRESSURE-BALANCE VALVES ⇒
THERMOSTATIC MANUAL SHOWER VALVE This valve takes a basic shower to the next level. Set the temperature once and the valve automatically maintains it. Perfect for all applications from a basic bath & shower to more elaborate custom showers with multiple components. You can add separate volume control valves to adjust the flow of each component—showerheads, handshowers, and body sprays. Thermostatic manual valves are turned on by a button or knob and maintain consistent pressure. SHOP THERMOSTATIC VALVES ⇒
THERMOSTATIC DIGITAL SHOWER VALVE These are the ultimate in clean design, functionality, performance and convenience. With an intuitive, easy-to-operate digital interface, they can be used with basic or custom tub/shower systems with options for music, lighting, steam and other spa-like experiences. SHOP DIGITAL VALVES ⇒


Any fixture that water comes out of in the shower is an outlet, including showerheads, handshowers, and body sprays. The more outlets your shower can run simultaneously, the more water your system will require. Be sure to check your area’s code for efficiency requirements and choose high-efficiency products when possible.
SHOWERHEADS Come in all shapes and sizes with features like massage spray, built-in handshowers, and more. These usually are best for washing up since the spray at an angle that makes washing the hair and body easier. SHOP SHOWERHEADS ⇒
RAINHEADS Sometimes called ceiling showerheads or raincan showerheads, rainheads spray directly down in a way that feels like rain. These offer the user a gentle rinse. SHOP RAINHEADS ⇒
HANDSHOWERS Are showerheads that can be removed from the wall. These are connected to the valve by a strong metal hose and are very useful for washing pets and children. SHOP HANDSHOWERS ⇒
BODY SPRAYS Are built-in mini showerheads that target the body to completely douse the user. Usually used in combination with other outlets for a relaxing experience. SHOP BODY SPRAYS ⇒

Now that we know the different parts and outlets for the shower, you might have a better idea about what you want in your ideal bathroom. That’s great! Start putting your project together at Studio41 or work together with your contractor on TradeConnect.

Ready to create your dream shower? Talk to our experts at Studio41 or ask your contractor to get started with TradeConnect today!

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