Exposed Shower Valve

An exposed valve will have all its working parts on the outside of the wall with two exposed pipes that will connect to your pipework behind the wall. Exposed shower valves will either be manual or thermostatic, and come in a traditional exposed valve design or modern exposed valve design. If you are replacing an existing valve you will need to make sure the pipe centers are the same.
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Q. What is an exposed shower valve?
A. An exposed shower valve is a valve which will be seen, and sit in front of the wall or tiles, as opposed to being concealed behind the wall and tiles. This means that you will see the entire valve, and not just handles and face plate.
Q. Why should I choose an exposed shower valve?
A. Most people will be able to have an exposed shower valve in their bathroom, as opposed to concealed valves where you will need a recess for the valve to sit in, and have access within your wall. Plumbers and installers tend to prefer installing exposed showers as they are less complicated and time consuming to install, than some concealed valves. Although there is not the same kind of design choices as there are with the concealed valves, there are still lots sizes, designs, shapes and brands to choose from, at different price points.
Q. What style should I go for?
A. This will be dependant upon a few things, such as the style of other items in your bathroom, the overall look you are hoping to achieve, and shape etc. For example, if you are looking for a beautiful traditional style bathroom you aren't going to want to choose a sleek contemporary style shower valve.
Q. Will I need anything else to go with my exposed shower valve?
A. Under this section you will be receiving the valve only, so you will need the outlets for the valve, likely to be a pole with overhead shower and a hand shower, or a hose and handheld on a riser rail. No pipework or fitting or fixtures will be included either, these are something that will depend on your install and your plumber should provide this, or they will be available from your local plumbers merchant.
Q. Are exposed showers suitable for use in cloakroom bathrooms?
A. The answer to this should probably be no, as to be classed as a cloakroom bathroom you would not have enough space for a shower or bath, therefore a shower valve would be of no use. However, the shower valve itself can be installed anywhere your installer can fit it and run pipework.
Q. What things should I consider before purchasing an exposed shower valve?
A. You will need to consider the style of valve that you are looking for, the budget that you have available, and what system you are running on, ie combi boiler, before starting your search for your ideal exposed shower valve. Thermostatic shower valves will require a certain amount of pressure to run, for the majority of valves without outlets this will be a 1 bar minimum required. You then need to consider the outlets that you want to use with it and how much additional pressure you will require to run these. If you have a gravity fed system with no pump it is unlikely that you will have enough pressure to run these types of shower. As a general rule a 1 meter drop would give 0.1 bars of pressure which would mean that for the valve alone you would need at last a 10 meter drop from the bottom of your tank to the top of the tallest outlet, which in most homes would not be possible. You can ask your installer to install a pump for you to increase the pressure you have available, we would always recommend a negative head shower pump as they will work in most situations, but this will be another cost you will need to consider. You may be better off choosing a manual shower valve which won't require the same sort of pressure to run, or look specifically at shower valves that are suitable for low pressure. Always read the technical section on each valve for all of this information, and check the install and technical links which are there to guide you and provide further information. If you are at all unsure it always best to be guided by your plumber, or you can contact our technical team or the manufacturer directly, who will also be able to provide further help.
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