When it comes to showers, valves work behind the scenes to control water flow, temperature, and pressure. Whether you are replacing valves on an existing shower or designing a new bathroom from scratch, you’ll want to ensure you’re getting the right fittings. But with all the different types of shower valves available, it can be tough to determine which one is right for you.
With over 40 years of experience designing functional and high-performing shower systems, KALLISTA offers the finest-quality valves and trim kits for every plumbing configuration and style preference. To help you make the best decision, we've put together a comprehensive guide of shower valve types with pictures.
Types of Shower Valves Explained
Pressure Balancing Valves
Pressure balancing valves are designed to maintain water pressure and temperature consistency, even if someone uses a faucet or toilet in another part of the house. They accomplish this by mixing hot and cold water in the valve cartridge, preventing sudden changes in water temperature.
Like pressure balance valves, thermostatic valves also maintain water temperature consistency. However, they do so by sensing the cold and hot water temperature and adjusting accordingly. Thermostatic valves are generally more expensive than pressure-balancing valves but offer greater precision and temperature stability.
Some thermostatic valves feature a temperature-limit stop to prevent scalding. This can be especially beneficial in homes with small children who may accidentally turn the wrong handle for the shower faucet.
Also known as transfer valves, diverter valves control water flow between multiple showerheads. They're typically used in bathrooms with numerous fixtures, like a rain showerhead and handshower. Diverter valves are also often used in steam showers, where they control the flow of steam as well as water.
Naturally, a two-way diverter valve controls water flow between two different showerheads, while a three-way diverter valve controls water flow to three different shower fixtures.
Volume control valves allow you to control the flow of hot and cold water. This can be beneficial if you want to save water or have low water pressure and need to increase the flow rate. A volume control valve is often used in conjunction with a diverter.