Last updated: August 29th 2016
You may have never been to a spa before, but you know how a shower can be a soothing experience when you have the right set up. These days, recreating the experience of a showering in a spa is not really a hard investment as you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to get a full set up replica on your own bathroom. The shower panel systems are a set with several different shower heads and shower spray patterns in only one device, and some of them don’t even require you to hire a specialist to deploy it. The prices can be quite affordable and in general will just be more expensive when it involves fanciest materials or the use of digital interfaces to manage the functions of the shower set. All in all, here you will take a look on some of the best shower panel systems available in the market as well as you will know how they work and how they are implemented.First we will show you our list with reviews of some of the most traded models for 2016, considering their authentic quality and the rating of buyers who already got them at their bathrooms. Later, check our purchase guide on how these panels works, what is different about them and many other questions you must not miss before purchasing your own model.
Best Shower Panels with Reviews :
Blue Ocean Stainless Steel SPV962332
A very fancy and complete experience is what you get from the Blue Ocean shower panel SPV962332. This is one of the most sophisticated panels you can get in the market to create a spa experience in your house, with several different spray options to shower and have a massage experience.The panel itself is 52-inch long, with 8 jet shower heads providing horizontal spray, plus a big 9-inch wide rain shower head and a 5-inch wide handheld shower head. These three different sets offer a wide variety of combinations. The rain shower head can provide, apart from the rain shower spray, a full spray jet, as well as the handheld head that also includes a jet massage spray in the inner circle of nozzles. The set of 8 horizontal jet heads offer a high-pressure mist spray. The nice thing about all these options is the individual control for each one of them. Each head has its own dialer, so you can control the strength of the jet and consequently the amount of water poured. You will be able to make each one of them work separately or all of them together, or just one or another combined, is up to you to make all the combinations you wish.For last, you can control the water temperature through a digital controller. Just set how warm you want it and voila.
The pipe system here has an individual setting where both cold and warm water are controlled digitally, so you don’t have to waste your time turning the faucets to find the ideal mix. The manual of the shower panel indicates the recommended temperatures but you can easily discover from these standards your own preferences and save the numbers for perpetual use. The last temperature set remains registered in the controller. As a plus, this panel comes with a tub filler.The handheld shower head includes the hose, 59-inch long. All the shower heads are made of stainless steel and finished in chrome, but the panel itself is made of a durable UPVC, which will be resilient against moist over time and will not corrode.
Blue Ocean SPV878392H
Not much different from the previous Blue Ocean we saw in this list, this second shower panel developed by the brand is just another version of that model but with a different skin. We though it would be interesting to give you a second option regarding the looks of the shower but with the same quality and features.
The panel itself is made of stainless steel and finished on a blue tempered glass. The outcome is quite beautiful and elegant, design to work with more minimalist, futurist decor sets. The bigger shower head itself is a squared design for example, even though the handheld shower remains traditional.
Everything else here remains the same, including the tub filler.
AKDY 5333D Shower Panel
We have reviewed before here some AKDY models for other lists of best shower heads, and the brand doesn’t disappoint when it comes to shower panels. This set of shower heads is quite similar to the Blue Ocean one, but it is a little bit shorter (51-inch tall) and is made of aluminum, which is a great alternative for a material that is resistant to water. Another difference is the inclusion of LED lights to indicate the temperature of the water.While this panel also has a digital controller for temperature, houses where the plumbing system is wider and the water takes longer to get warm will benefit from this feature. You can set the temperature and wait for it to get the ideal warmth. While it is not ready, the lights will be blue, and when the light is orange, the water is ready so you can get under the shower at last. It will be red when the water is too hot, so this also work as an alert to avoid stepping under scalding water.Different from the Blue Ocean panel shower, this model has only one main dialer you can turn to set the showering you wish, including the combinations of all shower sprays or each one separately.And if you have a bath tub, this panel can work perfectly altogether as there is a tub filler valve included at the bottom of the panel. While it doesn’t include the tub, it does include the hose and the handheld shower.
AKDY 787392B Shower Panel
This is a different version of the same kind of AKDY panel shower we saw but with a different skin and a little bit less features, making it more affordable though. AKDY developed a dark looking skin for this version, and like the second Blue Ocean we saw, this one is also made on tempered glass. The LED lights system also was removed from this version that comes with a big rain shower squared head. The handheld shower though of this version has more sprays than the previous model, up to 4 different sprays, including jet massage and a champagne aerated spray.The horizontal massage jet shower heads will work like the previous models, as you are able to graduate the strength of the jet from massage high-pressure jet to mist spray.
Decor Star 004-SS
Another great option for those that are looking for a more minimalist, modern decor set, this shower panel is a quite tall model, 62-inch long, and all its controls are quite minimalist and intuitive. As an art design, this model is by far one of the fanciest, most beautiful acquisitions you can have, but is not all about looks, at all. The horizontal set of jet shower heads is a differential to start: there are 100 high-pressure nozzles jets that can provide a massage jet spray or a more smooth and soothing water fall touch.And talking about rain fall, the big vertical shower head, designed on a squared shape, can provide either rain shower, high-pressure full body spray or a water fall spray, which resembles exactly a water fall in your bathroom. The handheld shower head also has 2 different spray patterns, either a high-pressure jet or rain fall.This model is all made on stainless steel finished on brushed chrome. The controls are all rotating dialers that can control the intensity of the water and the temperature of the water. This feature enhances the variety of jet strength, as you can have a wider array of nuances from spray to spray. If you want them to work all at once, you just have to activate all them.
Decor Star 006-SS
Our second Decor Star is a shorter panel shower, but it does have all the features of the previous models but with a different design and some extra functionalities. The first one is the elbow connector, with a design that follows the art concept of this shower to do not let anything look out of context in your bathroom. This functionality is not implemented in the 62-inch model.
This panel is 41-inch tall, so the horizontal jet shower heads are more compact in the middle of the panel and will work better for people not too tall. Likewise, the controllers here are compacted into just one faucet, which is the epitome of minimalism. As you rotate the handle of the faucet, it will activate one by one the shower head sets so, while you can’t make a very customizable combination of just one and another shower head, you can gradually put them all to work. The handheld one is the last to activate.All the panel is made on stainless steel, with details finished on polished chrome but most of the surface made on brushed chrome. It includes all the sprays patterns of the previous model.
Quick Purchase Guide: What exactly is a shower panel system and how they work?
If you take a look on how shower systems work on spas, they are robust and complex setups, embedded on walls and generally with more features someone can use at one showering time. The shower panel systems are a compact replica of that kind of infrastructure, firstly because it is possible to have many different options of showering with few resources these days due to technology. Secondly, they become affordable and beautiful, so much many spas often started to integrate them to cut costs and still provide a spa treatment when showering.
While in spas the showers heads are all installed independently on the wall, with a project that often is independent and executed by the establishment, the shower panels integrate all the features into one singular system. The panel is often easily attachable to the wall and all the plumbing connections can become easy to deploy when they are all linked to only one pipe that will connect to the plumbing system of the house through the elbow connector or a diverter, not much different from installing a simple shower head set. More complex models will require you to embed it into the wall, and the ones that have electronic, digital interfaces, may require a power source to make it work constantly. Some models have batteries to make that task simpler to install, but is not exactly that easy to replace them.
What are the benefits of a shower panel system?
Apart from being a great alternative for a spa at your house, shower panel are a great way to unify a lot of options during your showering with more customization and ease. For example, the hot/cold water mechanics with a panel shower is simplified with either digital temperature controllers or just one faucet handler. Many houses still have the two faucets system for hot and cold water, this can be very irritating when the seasons change as your intuition fails to know how warm/cold the water already is. Is a guessing game that can cost your money as you waste some water until you find the ideal temperature. With shower panel systems this becomes much easier and fast.Another great point is the compatibility of many panels with bath tub implementation. You don’t even have to have one at your bathroom already, but the option will be there. For last, shower panels are beautiful and elegant and they cost much less than deploying an independent project. Likewise, you don’t take the risk to later have to open walls in case something goes wrong in the plumbing system (at least if you don’t embed the panel in the wall).
How to Install a Shower Panel System?
That will always depend on the model you did purchase, but the DIY ones require a drilling machine, fixing screws and the basic tools to connect the pipes. It is like affix a cabinet or a shelf on the wall and like connecting a shower head to the pipe line of the house.All models come with a manual guide. If you are not skilled on deploying appliances in general, is always good to have the services of professionals, but for those who know how to drill and install simple showers there is really no big mystery here.
What to Look for on the best shower panel system?
For last, here we give you some tips when choosing the best shower panel system. There are many features and details you can’t miss while you are selecting the ideal model, so take note of them and really check them carefully because they will make the difference between losers and winners on your list of candidates:
Height: Panel shower come with a deal of massaging shower jet heads. You don’t want to waste their potential at all as it would be really pointless to have a complex system like this and do not enjoy one of the most unique features they can provide. You have to consider the height of the shower panel and your own height to know the best combination. The tallest models will surely benefit tall people, and the opposite goes for short people. Kids don’t enjoy too much shower panels because of this inflexible trait. Most models are at least 50” tall, while there are short ones like the Decor Star 006 we reviewed here, which is 41”, ideal for short people.
What happens when you are small and have a tall shower panel is the fact you will likely have either one set of massage jets spraying on your legs and the upper one on your face and the opposite goes for tall people, who will end up massaging their belly and knees with short models, something pointless. Be careful to know whether a panel is compatible with your height and, the height of all people that are supposed to enjoy the showering.
Pressure: As these panels work with several jet heads, they have standards of water pressure that must be met. Most models require at least 41psi, so your house plumbing system must be up to this requirement. Likewise, they can’t handle too pressure either and you have to check their limitations as well before you purchase.
Anti-clog feature: If the water on your house faces issues with limescale deposits and such, is really important that your shower panel system has rubber or silicone alike nozzles, because they are naturally anti-clogging and very easy to clean. All models here have that feature, it is really essential to make your life easier that the nozzles have this kind of material because it can be really, really annoying to clean all these shower heads to remove deposits. You can also think on alternatives to make the water purer with shower filters. We also reviewed some of the best shower filters here in our site so you can take a look in case you think you have to consider one before installing a panel.
Battery sourced panels: Some models of our list here work with batteries to make the digital interfaces work. Is always good to check where in the panel they are stored. All models here have the batteries places at the bottom of the panel, which is much easier to replace them, while other models – not listed here – have the batteries placed at the top of the device. They will be a little bit of a burden to replace as you will need to stand on a chair or something to reach the top.
Shower panels are complex, so they require a more detailed selection of you. The good part is the ease to install them and the affordable price for such treat in your showering times. You can also take a look on our list of the best freestanding tubs to match your panel set.
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