Buyers Guides

Shower Jargon Buster

There are lots of words and phrases used to describe showers and fittings, and we don’t expect everyone to be as fanatical about showers as we are. So here’s a quick guide to some of the most commonly used words for showers, associated fittings, and their meanings.

Bath Shower Mixer

A shower system which takes water from the hot and cold supplies and is either plumbed through wall or directly from the taps via a flexible hose.

Concealed Shower Valve

The valve which controls the flow rate and water pressure of the shower, which is recessed into a wall.


A style of shower tray/enclosure which is in a D-shape with the straight edge fitting snugly against the wall and the radius making up the enclosure. A D-shaped shower sits flush against a straight wall, so it’s the ideal solution for awkwardly shaped rooms that don’t allow for a shower in a recess or corner.

Exposed Shower Valve

A wall mounted valve which controls the flow rate and water pressure, usually for mixer showers, which is fitted close to the shower rail in the shower. Exposed valves typically require less work to install than concealed valves.

Flow Rate

Flow rate is measured in L.P.M (Litres Per Minute) and describes the amount of water different showers generate, depending on the shower system and water system in a house. A higher water flow rate means the shower has a higher volume water (measured in Litres Per Minute), giving a more powerful shower.


A shower screen made of strong tempered glass that doesn’t sit within an aluminium frame, creating a minimalist look.

Hinged Door

A style of shower enclosure with a full, hinged door (just like a door to a room) to give the maximum possible entry space.

Infold Door

A style of shower enclosure with a door that essentially folds in half (like a concertina), and requires less space than a hinged door.

Manual Shower Valve

A shower valve whereby the water temperature is controlled by manually adjusting the valve. Unlike a thermostatic valve, a manual valve will not maintain the desired water temperature and pressure if another water outlet (such as a tap) is in use elsewhere in the house.

Offset Quadrant/Quadrant Shower Tray

A style of shower tray/enclosure which fits into a right-angled corner, with a circular frontage to maximise showering space. The offset quadrant has one side longer than the other to suit different spaces, and to provide additional space in the shower.

Rectangular Shower Tray

A rectangular style of shower tray to fit an enclosure, which provides ample space inside.

Shower Enclosures

Units with screens and doors which sit around a shower tray for a separate or free standing shower.

Shower Handset

A shower handset connects to a flexible hose and fixes to the wall via a shower rail and bracket. This handheld shower can be single or multi-functional and detaches from the wall to direct water where required.

Shower Head

A shower head comes in a range of styles and can be single or multi-functional, angled or long projection. Fixed shower heads are usually fixed either to the ceiling or to the wall.

Shower Hose

A flexible hose which attaches to the shower unit or water supply and connects to the shower head / handset

Shower Rail

A fitted rail to a wall that attaches either the fixed or detachable shower head, usually has a slider bracket that is height adjustable so shower can suit people of different heights

Shower Tray

The part of a shower enclosure that you stand on. Can be made from moulded plastic, filled formed acrylic or strong resin. Is shaped to drain water away.

Shutdown Function

A feature of an electric shower system which flushes hot water through the system after a shower, to eliminate build up from water deposits and lime scale.

Side Panels

Side panels combine together with a sliding, hinge or infold door to create a shower enclosure and are made from strong tempered glass.

Sliding Door

A style of door for space-saving shower enclosures which slides behind a fixed panel rather than opening into the bathroom or into the shower enclosure.


A design which is ultra-slim, with a lower profile for a seamless and minimalist effect.

Square Shower Tray

A low level shower tray for corner or free standing shower enclosures.

Thermostatic Shower Valve

A shower valve which gives you precise control over the water temperature and pressure in the shower, preventing fluctuations in temperature if another water outlet is in use.

Walk-in Shower

A large shower enclosure without doors creating a spacious showering area. Many walk-in showers also incorporate a drying area.

Walk-Through Shower

A luxurious and contemporary style of open plan shower, with no doors and only one panel, which sits in parallel with the wall.

Water System

The type of plumbing system in your house. There are three main types of water system: gravity, pressurised and combination boiler.


A process that takes place before installing a wet room, to protect the walls and floor from leaks. The technical term for this is ‘tanking’.

Wet Room

A luxurious and continental-inspired bathroom which is fully open and doesn’t need a shower enclosure or tray. The floor will have a drain to take away water.



Writer and expert