Most consumers prefer an alternative to a bathtub in the form of a shower cabin. This device does not take up as much space as a bath, and therefore it is especially important to choose a mixer that is high-quality and convenient in all respects. The main task of the mixer is to ensure a comfortable temperature of the water and its savings, which is also important to keep in mind.
This product is characterized by maximum compactness, the absence of a spout in the form of a spout and has a switch from the bath to the shower. Thus, hot and cold water, coming directly to the mixer, are mixed.
Using the knob, you can select the desired temperature mode. The difference between such segments is the installation methods and is divided into external and hidden. The second method involves drowning the mixer in the wall or in a special box. Accordingly, the faucet and shower head will be outside.
You can also choose a modern heat mixer.
The regulation of water flows and its heating in the mixer can be divided into types:
- Mechanical ones are the simplest of all available options, for the functioning of which only the supply of cold and hot water is necessary, because heating does not occur. The presence of three types of management in this form attracts a wide range of customers. Budget price is a priority when choosing this product. The simplest and most practical is a single lever type or joystick. The ease of use and repair, as well as the presence of a thermostat in the equipment, which ensures a constant temperature in the tap, distinguishes this type from others. A half-turn valve is no less popular, but is rather a retro option, since it is used less often than others.
- Electric mixers are a new generation of products. To heat water in the case when there is no autonomous hot water supply, a small heating heater is built in the device itself, the power of which does not exceed the mark of five hundred watts. Unlike an electric kettle, this mixer is considered very economical. In order to avoid collecting scale in the cartridge and shower head, care should be taken to clean them in a timely manner. The control of such mixers can be of two types: joystick and touch. With one-lever control, the water pressure is regulated when the lever is raised up and down, and to change the temperature of the water, it turns left and right.
- Electronic or thermostatic mixers can set the desired water temperature in advance. From the name of the device, it can be assumed that in the unit of the device there is a thermostat, with the help of which with a light touch of a hand there is a change in the operating modes of the shower. The device’s functionality is very simple to use, and the aesthetic appearance of the touch panel, all of which are hidden inside the shower box, will delight any user. Also, based on electrical control, the entire shower can be equipped with ventilation, a radio and even a telephone. The technology of this century does not stand still and the wireless electric mixer is one of the innovative products. The touch panel can be placed at a distance of ten meters from the shower. Its management is via Bluetooth.
The single-mode and universal variants with 2, 3, 4 and 5 positions are also presented on the modern market. The position height is always selected individually. It is better to choose models with a thermostat.
Materials for the manufacture
In the manufacture of mixers, the common material is brass. Parts are enameled or chrome plated. The quality of such mixers is confirmed by their practicality and durability.
Chrome faucets are quite popular and widely used because of the ability of this material to repel harmful bacteria, although they are somewhat expensive. Plastic is used to make shower heads and faucet handles.
A ceramic mixer cannot be due to the fragility of the material. Separate spare parts made of cermet will last a long time if they are performed taking into account all the norms and requirements for the life of the mixer. Otherwise, the metal may crack and the appearance of the product cannot be corrected.
Installation or installation of mixers directly depends on their varieties. There are two types - wall-mounted and built-in faucets.
Wall mounted - the easiest to perform and cheapest. If there is a rack in it, it involves a complete set of shower room or cabin. It is much more convenient to have an overhead shower than a watering can with eyeliner. The advantage of these mixers is also an open panel and access to devices, and in case of a malfunction, the possibility of prompt repair.
Installation of the built-in mixer is significantly different from the previous one. If the faucet is installed in the shower, the fastening takes place behind the panel, leaving visible control units from the outside, while the faucet is installed in the bathroom directly into the wall.
Such mixers are considered the most reliable and convenient, as they have many advantages. Built-in mixer takes up very little space in the cab. The control modes for water supply are often chosen by a joystick or ball, and repairing such products is very simple and quick. A big plus is the management of several spouts at once, regardless of their location.
For example, the mixer in the cabin can be controlled using a watering can in the kitchen. Of course, such operations are not always advisable, but given all the functionality, this can be considered an additional plus. Also for comfort, you can position the hydromassage nozzles, which are used in most shower boxes. One of the disadvantages of this model is its high cost, which not everyone can afford.
How to choose?
When choosing a faucet for a shower, you need to consider the place and installation methods. More recently, in order to regulate the flow of water into a bathtub, sink or shower, one device was used for three devices. Now it seems possible to use a separate regulator for each case. It is important to remember that the more practical and functional the mixer is endowed with, the more expensive and more affordable it is. When choosing a mixer, be sure to pay attention to the quality of the goods that are purchased.
As for mechanical mixers, it is necessary to pay attention to the weight of the product - the heavier it is, the better the material of manufacture. The quality of new generation products depends on the manufacturer.
When buying a thermostatic mixer, it is enough to set the temperature once and then just control the pressure of the water. Due to the fact that time for temperature control is not used, water consumption is significantly saved, and this is a solid plus. The disadvantage is the same overpriced model.
Cold water is sufficient for normal operation of the electric mixer; the heater in the device will heat it itself as quickly as possible. But unfortunately, the water flow will not be so intense and the formation of scale will lead to the need for too frequent cleaning. If you suddenly need to repair the mixer, a specialist call will be expensive.
If the choice is a digital mixer, you need to pay attention to some aspects. Undoubtedly, the design of such a mixer is amazing, besides multifunctionality along with ease of operation puts this mixer in a row with the best models. Temperature control and water saving add weight to the model and justify its high cost and inaccessibility.
When choosing a mixer in the shower, it is important to consider the adjustment of the water pressure and distinguish between their types.
One of the most economical options to be installed in the cheapest cab options is a mixer with one or two positions. One state has a switch to either a shower or a watering can. Two positions facilitate switching from shower to watering can and vice versa. The presented modification excludes functioning with any frills and is suitable for temporary installation in the country or in the summer.
The three-position mixer controls the switching between overhead showers , hydromassage sprays mounted in the cabin wall and shower head. It is considered a relatively cheap option, endowed with a sufficient set of functions. It can differ in two types: cartridge and ball. In the latter there is a ball, which has three holes, providing cold, mixed and hot water. When the lever is pressed, pressure is applied to the ball, which changes its direction, as a result of which the movement of the water flow also changes.
In the sample set with four positions, the foot massage function has been added. It is good for relieving fatigue after working days and perfectly relaxes the body. Also included in the massager shower group.
Five positions in the mixer are not always applied, and therefore are not successful with the consumer. Therefore, in order to determine how many positions the shower of your dreams should include, you need to think about what functions you can’t do without being overpayed for unnecessary functionality.
You need to know that with a small pressure of water, some functions of the mixer will not work. The cost of the product depends on the number of operating modes. The more of them, the greater the amount spent on them.
The quality, functionality and design of the shower faucet directly depend on the choice of the manufacturer. Currently, a large number of companies produce plumbing, because the demand for this line of products is huge. Domestic and imported faucets are distinguished by a variety of forms and design, and it is easy to get confused, choosing the suitable option. It is important to understand which product you want to see, and then weigh the pros and cons.
By tradition, the best quality products are offered by companies that are well-known throughout the world. They offer a warranty of up to five years, as well as service for ten years.
To make a choice, you need to study the manufacturers rating, know the types and characteristics of the mixers, be able to distinguish fake from high-quality goods. The list of producer countries listed below will help you figure out which faucets are the most practical and in demand among buyers around the world.
Germany ranks first in the production of shower faucets. Ergonomics, as well as the unique design of models distinguish them from the products of developers of other countries. Mixers with a set of modes and high reliability are functioning properly and do not lose their characteristics at the end of the warranty period. A significant reduction in water consumption when using a mixer is especially relevant now for consumers.
Thrifty consumers will appreciate the mixers made in Switzerland , not at all begging for their practicality and ergonomics. These models are resistant to damage and operate silently. In the price range, they are not inferior to their competitors and are available to every second family.
Finland, having a good reputation in the world market, focuses on quality in the manufacture of its models. Their guarantee is much shorter than that of other manufacturers, and is two years. But the service life is determined by 10-12 years, and this is an excellent indicator. The alloy used in their manufacture includes brass and plastic, and so that the product does not corrode, it is coated with zinc, chromium or nickel.
Price and quality are not separable when choosing a mixer for a shower made in Spain. Variations of styles correspond to the shape, design of the product, as well as its location. Seven years is a serious warranty period for the mixer, given that the main material used for the manufacture is cermet. With proper processing, the material is not inferior in strength even to brass.
The faucets from France are technically perfect , their details are carefully thought out, and the smooth bending of the tap hints at the charm and a touch of romance. Connoisseurs of this product line will be pleasantly surprised by the significant period of their application. A five-year warranty, of course, does not preclude particularly careful handling of the goods.
An elite mixer made in Italy with its sophistication and erroneous-looking fragility, is not inferior in quality to its competitors from Germany and Switzerland. Stylish aesthetics will appeal to real aesthetes and will be appreciated properly. The service life is about ten years, and the warranty on the goods is offered up to five years.
The mixer from Bulgaria is not at all afraid of hard water and impurities. Ceramic plates produced by special technology filter particles of calcareous deposits and do not pass rust. The mixer body is made of brass alloy in combination with a low tin content. The service life is no more than eight years. Corrosion-resistant coating consists of chromium and nickel alloys.
The Czech Republic, although it closes the circle of rating , but is not inferior in quality to other products. These products can serve for a long time without replacing components. Advantages include adaptability to water hardness, ease of installation. Among the models are single-lever with a ceramic cartridge, as well as the popular thermostatic and touch models. Such a mixer will fit perfectly into any room design. Beautiful gloss of the coating provides a dense protective coating, which is applied in a thick layer. In addition, these mixers are quite budgetary and among the proposed products you can find one that suits all indicators and will not leave anyone indifferent.
When purchasing a mixer with several modes, you need to think carefully whether all the modes will be required or if only two will be used. With all this, the price tag of this product is quite large and not everyone will be able to afford it. If the pressure of the water supply network leaves much to be desired, then the purchased mixer will not bring satisfaction and will work intermittently. You can repair the mixer yourself, but it is better to call the master, since it is quite problematic to remove it.
Under no circumstances should you buy the mixer from your hands or at a random store. Mixers of well-known brands are sold only in specialized stores with the provision of relevant documents, certificate and warranty card. In this case, there will always be an opportunity to return or exchange the purchased goods.
If the store has its own website, it is useful to go in and get acquainted with the prices, view the characteristics and description of the mixer and the pallet. You must certainly know all the shortcomings and flaws of the goods. It is advisable to be interested in the products of only trusted companies that have established themselves in the market for a large amount of time.
In order not to make a mistake in choosing a model, you need to understand what materials for the manufacture of mixers are the most high-quality and wear-resistant. Centenarians are brass faucets with a ceramic cartridge. Silumin products wear out quickly and careful care is required for ceramics. Proven time is a coating against corrosion of chromium and nickel. Copper coating is not relevant due to the dull color and the need for regular cleaning. Gold is a very expensive material, and the enamel coating is cracking and quickly breaking off.
You also need to remember that almost all imported models are not as resistant to water hardness as they say and write about it. The percentage of water hardness in different areas is significantly different, and this must be taken into account. If, nevertheless, the choice is limited to an import model, you need to purchase an additional water filter, then all expectations will be met.
It should also be borne in mind that the package of the proposed mixers may include a rack up to a hundred centimeters long and a watering can with rinse mode switches. Among the common - ordinary, massage and watering can with air saturation for thorough rinsing of hair. These important points should always be fixed and not overlooked. Perhaps it is this functionality that you will need in a new set.
It is imperative that you carefully inspect the faucet before buying for defects, chips, and various flaws. You need to check the configuration, see if all the parts are in stock. A product with a guarantee and a quality certificate should look perfect and not cause unnecessary questions. Choosing a cheap model, you need to be prepared for surprises in the form of a sudden breakdown and not always cheap repair. A high-quality product will serve for a long time and without interruption.
If, nevertheless, a breakdown occurs, there is no need to despair. It is necessary to follow some recommendations:
- if the shower hose is out of order and leaks in several places, the hose connection must be replaced;
- if there is a leak on the valve - replace the rubber gaskets, after which the valve is screwed into place;
- if the half-turn valve is leaking, it is necessary to dismantle the axle box, purchase a new one and install it;
- if the lever crane stops working, the ceramic cartridge is removed and replaced with a new one, as the other one may not fit;
- if water flows under the nut, then the cracked nut is twisted and changed to a new one;
- if the shower head does not work, it is advisable to replace it with a plastic one with a metal coating. On sale there is a different color scheme for such hoses, and the price is quite reasonable.
The decision to buy always remains with the consumer. Perhaps this article opened the door a little to the previously unexplored world of shower faucets.
Video review of shower faucets see below.