Our closing date is creeping up and that means the reno will start soon. Unfortunately Patsy won’t be here for a couple of weeks (L) so I am trying to finalize as much reno details before she leaves. Been looking at faucet for the bathroom (Shower and sink) and have to say, I didn’t know there are that many different parts and brands out there. We didn’t really want a tub since we don’t draw baths much so we decided on a shower stall. Patsy wants a shower “wand” and I want a rain showerhead so we were looking around for something in we both like. After visiting a few plumbing stores, we can’t find anything that we like and can afford so I started my research on the net for an alternative.

So here’s what I found out about shower faucet this week:

Faucet Companies

Grohe and Hansgrohe – Both of these German companies were founded by the same family, one was sold while one is still held by the family. Seems like they have a pretty good rep around the industry. I like the European designs they offer.

Delta, Moen and Kohler – These are your standard mass market companies. Their styles are very generic, but there is the odd gem in there.

I am sure there are more out there but I got tired of looking because the internet connection at my work really slow for some odd reason.

Valve type (a.k.a rough in valve) – The actual piece that controls the water flow and there are 2 different types of shower valve: Thermostatic and Pressure Balancing. Both work on the same principle; adjusting the flow of cold and hot water on the fly, if either water pressure drops due to any reason (i.e. toilet flush) the valve will compensate the change in pressure. Thermostatic costs more than Pressure Balancing and here’s the way:


  • Water temperature will be within +/- 1 degree Fahrenheit
  • There are 2 knobs to control the water output from the faucet, one for the temperature and one for the volume. This setup allows you to always get the same water temperature unless you adjust the temperature knob.

Pressure Balancing

  • Water temperature will be within +/- 3 degree Fahrenheit
  • There is only 1 knob that control the water output from the faucet. You will have to setup the water temperature every time you use it.

I am not sure if there are shower valve that doesn’t adjust the water temperature on the market but that’s not something we are interested in anyway.

Trims – This is the pretty/stylish looking part that you see everyday

For the trims, any brushed finish will cause you an arm! If you want a brushed finish, be prepared to pay at least 20+% on top of the chrome price.

After a few days of research, this is what I found out about their pricing. The entire package (valve + trim) are pretty competitively priced if you are looking for anything non-generic. Some companies will charge you more for the valve and cheaper trim or vice versa (Hansgrobe). Not sure if you can mix and match different company’s valve and trims but I highly doubt it.

The last part puzzled me a little. In the traditional faucet I grow up with, you pull the lever on the tub spout and the water goes to the showerhead. And since we don’t have the tub spout, how am I suppose to divert the water from the showerhead to the rainshower: the answer is the diverter valve. Seems so trivial now but I didn’t know such product existed!

So after 3 days of browsing, pricing, mixing and matching…this is what our shower faucet will look like!

The water control:

The diverter valve:

Hand Shower


Shower Stall

This is the 4 panel version, we want to get the 3 panel version (The piece of glass on the right hand side of the faucet will be a wall on ours).

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