Industry Ed with Richard: Shower Design Trends, Part 2

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This is the second post in my two-part Shower Design Trends series. In this post, I’m going to talk about the current trends in hardware and accessories for showers. Read my first post for my opinion on what is big in overall shower design.

A shower designed for a farmhouse bathroom update. See more pictures on our Houzz page. 



Showers are more popular than ever. Bathtubs are still a fixture in many bathrooms, but the new homes I see being built simply don’t not have a shower. With that in mind, I wanted to share some of the latest trends I have seen in shower accessories and hardware. Knowing more about these products can help you and your client come to the best decision about bathroom renovations and builds. 

Rain Shower Heads


Unlike most modern shower heads, which spray a stream of water in one direction, these shower heads use multiple valves to create a rain-like stream.

  • mounted on a 90 degree angle from the shower wall or drop out of the ceiling 
  • wider water coverage than other styles
  • provides a natural showering experience 

Rain shower heads need a bit more room than other shower heads. Be sure to account for both vertical height in the shower and horizontal coverage on the floor. 

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A rain shower head from a local bathroom renovation. See more pictures on our Houzz page. 

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Body Spray Shower


This style was really fashionable five years ago but seems to be tapering off in popularity. I’ve heard many clients want to move away from it because its simply not an eco-friendly design. Remember that each head in a shower uses 2.2 gallons of water per minute; body spray showers, with their multiple heads, use up a lot of water quickly.


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Handheld Shower Heads 


Most of my clients like the added ease of having a handheld shower head. These shower heads making cleaning and shaving convenient. Many people opt for a combination system, with both a mounted shower head and a handheld one.

A handheld shower head that was part of a recent remodel. See more pictures of this project on our Houzz page. 

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Thermostatic Control Valves


Thermostatic control valves are a great safety addition to any shower. Rather than reading the water pressure outlet in order to control the water’s temperature, these valves ensure a continuous mix of water temperatures to prevent excessively high temperatures.

  • blends hot and cold water before spraying into the shower
  • turns shower off when cold water isn’t available 
  • automatically prevents scalding
  • some have further temperature control

Shower Seat


There are natural wood or plastic shower seats available, but, by far, the most popular styles as of the moment are stone.

  • chair height of around 18 in
  • depth of between 14 and 18 in
  • usually made from a suspended piece of stone
  • can also be made boxed in with stone, stone on top, and tile on the front


Like many other accessories on this list, the shower seat’s current popularity has to do with practicality. Having a seat inside the shower makes cleaning and shaving easier. It is also great for people who are concerned with aging-in-place, since they allow people who are unable to stand for long periods of time a place to sit. 

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