As is often the case, the most minimalist installations with the least visible components often require the most work, as it’s often very difficult to make things look simple – there is a lot going on behind the scenes, and therefore this type of shower is not always suitable for all applications, especially those where cost is the deciding factor.
Other restrictions beyond installation cost include the depth of the valve and the necessity that 50% of it (normally 3-4”) remain hidden behind the finished wall surface (see below) meaning that these types of showers are not ideal for solid walls.
However, as we were building the stud wall into which this valve would be placed from scratch we could accommodate this design.
- The stud wall is build straight, flat & plumb – perpendicular to the main bathroom wall, so the bath would fit against it tightly allowing for a good watertight seal.
- 4×2” CLS studwork is used to give the stud cavity suffiecient depth to accommodate the valve fitting, and a piece of 18mm plywood is fixed to the back of it (to screw the shower valve onto for a secure fixing).
- Horizontal noggins are added at levels that correspond with plasterboard sizes and in locations that will not clash with the intended locations of the shower head(s) or the shower valve.
- The shower valve is then screwed into position, centred over the bath at a comfortable height, and the intended locations of the fixed shower head & hose outlet are noted.
- A piece of wood is screwed to the plywood rear of the stud wall and levelled with packers to ensure that the shower valve protrudes out from the tiled wall by the correct amount as set by the valve manufacturer. This will ensure the controls protrude by the correct distance when the wall is finally tiled.
- The shower valve is then piped up to with hot & cold supplies, and piped out of with mixed supplies leading to the fixed head, hose shower head and bath:
- Hot and cold water feeds flow separately into the valve at the bottom, and the mixed water flows out of the valve at the top at the temperature determined by the bottom (temperature) control.
- Depending on which way the top control is turned will determine whether the mixed water flows to the fixed shower head, the hose shower head or the overflow bath filler:
- Once all the pipework is complete & tested, the bath is fitted and the wall is boarded, tanked & tiled.
- Here you can see the bath waste and some of the copper pipework that feeds the shower valve and bath filler before the bath is dropped into position onto its supporting timber framework.
- Once the bath is dropped into position, the bath filler is piped up so that the water can flow from the shower valve to the bath filler. This is then tested before being boarded in and tiled.
- After tiling & grouting, a cover plate slides over the shower valve to offer a neat finish, and the 2 x shower heads are fitted.
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