Shower Heads, Valves and Drains Buyer’s Guide: What You Need to Know!

By thewriteDuffy •  Updated: 07/07/24 •  6 min read

Besides the shower base and walls, the most important parts of what makes a shower a shower would be the shower head, valves, and the drain.

This guide is your go-to resource for selecting these shower components to fit your needs and style. I’ll walk you through the key features, types, and considerations to make an informed decision. Whether you’re looking for functionality, style, or a bit of both, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s dive in and find the perfect components for your shower.

Shower Head and Handle Sets: Finding Your Style and Function

After choosing the correct size of walls and bases it is time to choose a handle and head set. If you have a shower-only shower you can look for multi-handle shower sets and single-handle shower sets for a style and finish that fits your bathroom best.

Multi-handle sets feature a head and two handles for adjusting the temperature (a hot and cold) while single handle set feature a head and one handle that adjust from cold to hot. There are no advantages to one over the other and instead the purchasing decision should be made on personal preference. Although double handle does mean there is one more handle to clean.

If you have a shower/bath you will need to shop through the multi-handle set for shower and tubs or single handle sets for shower and tubs. These come as complete packages with a shower head, bath faucet, and handles.

Shower head and handles are the perfect way to incorporate bathroom style into the shower. Available in contemporary, traditional, functional and transitional styles you will be sure to find the perfect style and finish to top off the look of your bathroom.

There are also many set available that meet the requirement for independent living, special needs and ADA handle sets.

Elevate Your Shower Experience: Upgraded Head Options

If you are looking for an upgrade from the traditional shower head which is installed in the wall, hand held showerheads are often cited as a luxury item. Hand held showerheads are available in any finish to match your bathroom including chrome, nickel, bronze and copper and are also available with massage options and more.

Alternatively, if you don’t mind having a shower head that does not have the ability to be moved but it is at an angle you are unhappy with there are shower arms available to achieve the perfect positioning.

Shower Valves and Drains: The Essentials

The shower valve and drain are the behind-the-scenes products that help your shower accomplish what it is supposed to; namely providing clean water and disposing of used water.

Shower Valves: The Heart of Your Shower’s Functionality

The valve is installed behind the wall of the shower and be accessed during home building or if you are remodeling you will need to cut a hole in the wall (from behind, not through the shower tiles) to access and replace the old shower valve.

The shower valve must be purchased to match the shower or bath handle sets. For example, a valve for a bath will be shorter than that for a shower because the shower head hangs up much higher than that for the bath.

Selecting the Best Shower Drains for Efficient Water Flow

Shower drains will be attached to plumbing, typically PVC piping and will be screwed or secured to the shower base. It is important to look for a drain that will fit your plumbing as well as the shower base.

Other things to look for when shopping for valves and drains include finish and features. Some valves are EnergyStar or WaterSense rated meaning they will save you water and therefore costs. Finishes available include chromebrassnickelbronze and copper.

Final Thoughts: The Perfect Shower Heads, Valves, and Drains for Your Bathroom

Wrapping up, the right shower heads, valves, and drains can make a huge difference in your bathroom. It’s about finding that balance between functionality and style that suits your space and your needs. Whether it’s a relaxing shower at the end of the day or a quick, energizing rinse in the morning, choosing the right components ensures your shower is up to the task. So, take your time, weigh your options, and pick the pieces that will turn your bathroom into the haven you deserve.

Next Steps: Your Complete Bathroom Upgrade

That’s a wrap on our guide for shower heads, valves, and drains. You’re now equipped with the knowledge to make the best choices for your shower. But why stop here? A great bathroom involves more than just a fantastic shower. Check out our other comprehensive guides to complete your bathroom renovation:

Each guide is designed to help you create a bathroom that’s not just functional, but a personal haven. So, whether you’re overhauling the entire space or just updating a few elements, we’ve got the guidance you need.


At home, April is a mom, wife, and DIY darling. Among other home projects, she helped her husband Dan renovate their 1986 bungalow and is currently designing and decorating the 2023 custom home they are building themselves. Professionally, April is a writer, author, and online marketer with 15 years of experience writing for newspapers and magazines, building online authority websites, and publishing books.