How to Create a Custom Shower System
Shower System - Let's start with the basics
A shower system is a great way to transform your bathroom from just average, to EXTRAORDINARY. A Custom Shower can add value to your home, and can also take your shower experience to a whole new level. This guide will talk about How to build a Danze shower system however if you are interested in a Delta Shower System, check out How to Build A Delta Shower System.
The price of a Shower system has gone down dramatically in recent years and a custom shower is now within your reach. With a little knowledge, you will be ready to put together the shower system of your dreams. They call it a CUSTOM shower for a reason. You can set it up however you like. With a few basic elements, you will be able to choose from a wide variety of peripheral shower faucets. Shower heads, body sprays, handheld showers, multiple shower heads, the sky is the limit if you understand how the system works. Remember, the only limitations on a shower system are WATER FLOW and your imagination. This hub will explain how to put together a fully functional, custom shower system. Keep the rules in mind while you plan your's today! Remember, purchase EARLY - if you want a great Custom Shower System a little PLANNING is required.
Get everything ordered in advance. Don't be subjected to back-ordered items, shipping delays, and other unforeseen problems which can delay your project and force you to comprimise your vision. Order early as Shower valves are one of the FIRST things that must be installed in a bathroom remodel or new home construction. You will NOT pass inspections if you don't have the valves installed in the wall so make sure to decide EARLY. The valves must be welded in, so changing them later is not really an option. Best to make up your mind as to what you want well in advance.
The process of designing a shower system will be explained in detail below, so please keep reading! If anything is unclear, comment with questions and I'd be happy to help! I have 5 years experience setting up this kind of custom shower and have seen thousands of people through the process.
Do you want to be a part of the hottest trend in American home design? Consider a Custom Shower System for your home!
Standard Custom Shower System shown above
The shower system shown above is a pretty standard set-up, which works great for most people.
Is the picture confusing? We will break down each of the elements and step-by step discuss what it takes to make this abstract picture of a custom shower into a reality. The example I'll talk about is good in general and will work with many different styles. I will be using Danze oil rubbed bronze shower system components as this is a very popular finish.
Here's a list of the items shown above:
- Top left, Danze oil rubbed bronze personal handheld shower faucet
- Top right, Danze oil rubbed bronze 10" ceiling mount shower arm
- Right below, Danze 8" oil rubbed bronze sunflower shower head
- Bottom left and right, Danze oil rubbed bronze multi-function body sprays
- Middle, Danze Opulence oil rubbed bronze 4 port diverter
- Middle bottom, Danze Opulence oil rubbed bronze Thermostatic Control
Below (while featuring a different style of products) is a great picture I found that can help get your imagination working. I've seen a lot of custom showers but this one really blew me away because of the amazing glass work.
Amazing dream custom shower system
Understanding the plumbing of a Custom Shower
When you take the pieces of a shower system apart and look at them, you are missing some critical aspects. Once the custom shower is installed, you will not see any of the actual plumbing and pipes which must be installed to create an easy to control, custom shower system.
There are two very important valves which must be installed. Typically the fixtures you will purchase include the valves, but sometimes they do not, so make sure to check. I will only recommend products that are sold complete.
The base of the shower system is the Danze opulence oil rubbed bronze Thermostatic Control. This item includes a rough-in valve which must be installed prior to everything else. This, along with the 4 port diverter valve, must go in the wall very early.
Inspectors will come to make sure the rough-plumbing is installed WELL before you will have anything close to a finished product (in fact it will be before the walls are even sealed up). Due to this fact, you need to get you shower system planned, and ordered, so you will have the rough-in valves ready when the contractor demands them.
If you wait to order these items, you may find that the contractor did not let you know about the installation scheduled, and he/she will suddenly try to force another product on you because of a time crunch. Don't let this happen!! PREPARE and purchase in ADVANCE. I cannot stress this enough if you really hope to create a custom shower to be proud of.
Custom shower system STEP 1: Rough-in valves and copper pipe
To create a custom shower system you need to have a valve to power it all. The Danze thermostatic valve is a special, high flow valve which generates enough water pressure to power the entire system. The copper piping (both hot and cold) will run into this valve and build the necessary water pressure to send water to the rest of the shower system's faucets.
The thermostatic valve has another important function. It mixes the hot and cold water, and allows you to set the water to a desired temperature. The thermostatic valve then directs the pressurized, warm water to the 4 port diverter valve.
Why do you need the diverter? Without a diverter, even though you could split the piping and send water to each individual shower faucet in the shower system, you could not control them individually. The diverter valve and control allow you complete control over which shower faucets will actually spray water and when.
The Danze Opulence Oil rubbed bronze 4 port diverter has 8 settings. This allows you individual control over all the shower faucets with one control.
Even though it has 4 ports, one port must be reserved for the water flowing from the thermostatic valve into the diverter valve. This means you can choose 3 shower systems.
Let's say your 3 shower faucet systems are as follows (like the first picture on this page)
- Danze opulence oil rubbed bronze personal handheld shower faucet
- Oil rubbed bronze ceiling mount shower arm hooked to the 8" oil rubbed bronze sunflower showerhead
- 4 multi-function Danze oil rubbed bronze body sprays
The 4 port diverter will allow you to choose if you want shower system 1, 2, or 3 only. It will also let you choose combinations. 1 and 2, 1 and 3, or 2 and 3. It offers full control from one easy handle.
EVERY DANZE SHOWER SYSTEM must start with both a thermostatic control and a 4 port diverter. All the peripheral shower faucets are up to you, but you need to start with this base.
Stage one of installation, will be to actually install the valves and hook them from to the hot and cold copper pipes. It will also involve connecting the thermostatic control to the diverter with a copper pipe.
Next, you must decide and determine what shower systems you want for your custom shower, and where you want them to be located.
REMEMBER! The items I'm recommending below INCLUDE the rough-in valves pictured above (which install in your wall under the tile and are hooked up to the water lines)
Shower system Base - You MUST have these before moving on!
This includes the rough-in valve shown above!
Custom shower system shower faucets: Here comes the fun!
Once you have the base of the shower system installed, now you have to decide your additional shower faucets. You also must decide where in your shower they will be located. With a Danze system, you can choose 3 systems (one for each port).
You will then run the copper pipe out from the diverter, in the wall and ceiling, and have it stick out where you want to install each custom shower faucet. This must be done before tiling, as you need these copper pipes to be sticking out after the tiling is all finished. Consult your contractor or leave me a COMMENT if you have questions. This way I can answer it in a way that everyone who might have the same question can see.
Shower system showerhead options
A Shower head is one possible part of a custom shower system. You can theoretically have as many as 3 shower heads running on this style of custom shower. Each would be powered by an individual diverter port. Danze offers many options of shower heads - there are wall mount showerheads, ceiling mount showerheads, massage style showerheads, large sunflower showerheads, and various other styles.
Typically I recommend you go for one or two standard showerheads and use the open diverter ports for something else - That's just a suggestion. Check out some options for Showerheads from Danze below.
Showerheads require shower arms!
In all the cases above, except for the Danze 6" ceiling mount showerhead, you will also require a shower arm. There are many options as far as the style of the arm goes, but just remember, it is not included!
(Great if you are taller!)
(note this is in face wall-mount - it's just pictured vertically)
Shower system: Body Sprays
When creating a custom shower system, most people want some body sprays. These are like little showerheads that spray out from the wall. You can put multiple body sprays on the same diverter port as long as you don't want individual control over each one.
I would recommend putting 1, 2, 3, or 4 body sprays on one port (depending on your preference). You can run one copper pipe out of the diverter valve and split it to accommodate however many body sprays you choose. You will then run the pipe inside the wall to the location you wish the body sprays to be located.
I would NOT recommend exceeding this number unless you plan to devote another diverter port to body sprays. If you have more than 4 you will start to run into water pressure issues. Helping people install thousands of these systems has given me some insight so if water pressure is an issue in your area, make sure to go with less. Most people choose either two or four.
Danze oil rubbed bronze multi-function body sprays
REMEMBER: This is a price for EACH body spray
Shower System: Personal Handheld Shower Faucet
Another great use for a diverter port is a personal handheld shower. You can decide between whether you want the functionality of the slide bar, or if you only want the handheld showerhead. This item is pretty straight-forward and will occupy one of your diverter ports.
Popular Shower System Set-up
Remember the first picture from this page? That was the most popular set-up I saw people choosing, and it works GREAT! You can't argue with a good thing right? All the feedback I got on setting up a system this way was very positive. That being said, I hope you understand now how to set up a custom shower system. If you believe in the saying, if it "ain't broke, don't fix it" Why not order this whole system TODAY!
Amazon prices may vary, but as I publish this page, the total cost for the entire Shower System is: List Price: $2001.00, Amazon Price: $1018.26
Here's the photo again so you can see the big picture. Below are the links to purchase from Amazon. Remember, DON'T wait until the LAST minute. ORDER now, and start building the Custom Shower System of your dreams!
This includes the rough-in valve
This includes the rough-in valve
Price for 4: $129.56
Shower System Summary
Remember, if you are looking to purchase a Delta Shower Systems, Take a look at Building A Complete Delta Shower System.
Creating a Custom Shower System is easier then you thought right? I tried to make this as clear as possible but I realize what may seem clear to me, might only be that way because I have helped thousands of people put together a shower system. If you are unclear about any aspect of the entire shower system, please leave your question in the comments. This way I can respond to any questions publicly to help anyone else who might have the same question.
Remember, a shower system starts with the thermostatic valve and diverter. You then can add 3 peripheral shower system shower faucets to the base set-up and create a truly custom shower. I hope you have found this page interesting and helpful. Please comment, Tweet, and Like this - I would really appreciate it! Thank you :)