Bar Shower Valve Buying Guide

Your home's sanctuary often begins with the essential spaces designed just for you. Among these, the humble shower enclosure holds a pivotal place. Here, you start or end essential days with a refreshing cleanse or a moment of personal relaxation. At the heart of this daily ritual lies the unsung hero of your shower setup: the bar shower valve.

Unbeknownst to many, the choice of this valve can significantly impact not only your home's aesthetic but also your overall shower experience—delivering versatility, safety, and convenience in one sleek package.

This comprehensive guide is designed to help homeowners, especially those setting up a new shower or considering an upgrade, make an informed choice regarding their shower valves. From understanding the basics to exploring the nifty features of thermostatic models, Showers to You deep-dive into the world of shower valves to ensure you know what fits your needs the best.

Understanding Bar Shower Valves

Before making your purchase, it's essential to understand the device that's about to become an integral part of your daily routine. As the name suggests, bar shower valves come in a bar-like structure that houses thermostats and controls for a shower's temperature and flow settings. These valves are mounted horizontally on the wall, offering an increasingly popular design for contemporary bathrooms.

But its simplicity and ease of use set the bar valve apart from other types. With most of the mechanics neatly housed inside the bar, this type of valve makes for an elegant and efficient choice for your shower, such as the Nuie Minimalist Thermostatic Shower Bar Valve.

The Main Components

The anatomy of a bar shower valve is relatively straightforward, typically consisting of the bar valve itself with controls for flow and temperature, a mixing cartridge, a backplate that mounts the valve to the wall, and any fixtures or attachments like a handset that ensure water is directed where it's needed.

How They Function

Upon turning the handle, the user manipulates a thermostat, which adjusts hot and cold water blending. The flow control handle opens or closes the flow of water, ensuring a personalised shower experience that's both consistent and with instantaneous adjustments. The bar's ergonomic design and the quick response of the thermostatic valve within ensure that comfort is just a twist away. Some have squared handles, such as the Nuie Thermostatic Square Shower Bar Valve, and some have rounded handles, like the Bristan Frenzy Cool Touch Bar Valve.

Types of Bar Shower Valves

Regarding shower valves, one size certainly does not fit all. Bar shower valves come in several types, each offering unique features to cater to various lifestyles and preferences.

Thermostatic Bar Valves

Thermostatic bar valves are heralded for their safety and stability. These valves maintain the water temperature, guarding against any sudden changes due to variations in water pressure elsewhere in the house. They're ideal for families with children or elderly individuals who may be more sensitive to high-temperature spikes.

Manual Bar Valves

Manual valves are the workhorses of the industry, offering a no-fuss experience that's both reliable and cost-effective. They allow users to adjust the temperature and water flow to their liking manually. One such example is the Nuie Nostalgic Manual Shower Valve at just £106.15.

Factors to Consider When Buying

Selecting the right bar shower valve is more than choosing between thermostatic and manual; several factors are crucial for compatibility, performance, and aesthetic harmony.

Water Pressure Compatibility

Different bar shower valves require specific water pressures to function at their best. It's about ensuring that your shower won't trickle or blast water and that the valve's inner mechanisms are at the right balance to operate the valve's inner mechanisms effectively. Low-pressure systems may require special considerations, such as shower pumps pairing with the valve.

Why not check out our blog post on Understanding Water Pressure for more information?

Design and Aesthetic

Your bathroom's design and ambience significantly influence the valve choice. Whether you opt for a minimalist look with a concealed bar valve or a statement piece with a more elaborate exposed bar, the valve should complement your bathroom style.

Ease of Installation

DIY enthusiasts will appreciate a bar valve that's easier to install, saving both time and potentially the need for professionals. Look for valves with clear installation instructions, and consider the plumbing configuration in your bathroom to ensure an easy fit.


Finding a suitable shower valve can be daunting, especially with the plumbing jargon. Here's a quick FAQ to simplify things:

How Do I Know What Shower Valve I Have?

Your shower valve can typically be identified by examining the number of controls, how these controls operate, and where the valve is mounted. Check out our Shower Valve Buying Guide for more information.

What Is a Bar Shower Valve?

A bar shower valve is mounted on a horizontal bar to control temperature and water flow. It usually has a streamlined, modern design.

Are Shower Mixer Bars a Standard Size?

In general, the length of your shower mixer bar can vary depending on the manufacturer and model. However, the fixing points on the backplate are usually standardised at 150mm but are always measured before installation.

Can I Attach a Bar Shower Valve to a Rigid Riser?

Yes, most bar shower valves are designed to be compatible with a rigid riser. This flexibility in installation allows for a customised shower setup that suits your space and needs.

What Does Thermostatic Mean?

A thermostatic shower valve maintains a set water temperature, offering protection against accidental scalding or cold shock by compensating for fluctuations in water pressure, ensuring a consistent shower experience.

How Does a Bar Shower Valve Work?

A bar shower valve consists of a flow control handle, a mixing cartridge with a thermostat, and a temperature handle. When the temperature handle is adjusted, the cartridge in the valve opens to allow more or less hot water to mix with the cold water, depending on the user's preference. The flow control handle adjusts the rate at which water flows through the valve and out of the shower head, providing added control to the user.


Your shower valve might not be the first thing that comes to mind when envisioning a luxurious bath space, but it's undeniably a crucial element in your shower's form and function. Investing in the right bar shower valve can transform your daily shower into a personalised oasis—adjusting the water and the entire experience to your liking.

Remember, a thoughtful selection process that considers water pressure, design, additional features, and ease of use is vital. And with the vast array of bar shower valves available on the market, there are plenty of options to cater to every preference and budget.

At Showers to You, we understand the significance of this small yet significant fixture in your life. Our range of bar shower valves offers quality, style, and assurance that your shower time is not just a daily chore but a moment of delight. Whether you opt for the classic manual valve or the cutting-edge digital model, the shower promises efficiency, luxury, and, most importantly, safety.