This article shows the difference between an exposed and concealed thermostatic mixershower & why costs vary on installation and materials (and by how much!)
Mixer showers (intro)
Mixer showers mix hot & cold water in a valve and then spit them out of a shower head (basically!).
They are usually thermostatic, meaning that they balance the incoming hot & cold supplies (so if someone flushes the toilet elsewhere in your house, you don’t get scalded.
Be wary of manual valves which do not do this!
Mixer shower can be used with a variety of systems: combis, gravity fed (pumped or un-pumped) and unvented.
Although they work in the same way, there are two main types:
Costs to buy
A regular bar mixer shower may cost £150, whereas a twin head version may set you back £250+.
A concealed valve & fixed head assembly may cost £350, whereas a twin head version will set you back £400+ depending on the brand.
Costs to install
Let’s say for sake of argument a bar mixer shower costs £200 to install on it’s own.
This would involve some work and a few materials at 1stfix i.e. running pipework in the walls:
…after which the tiler would do his thing and the plumber would fix the valve onto the pipework at 2nd fix using asimple bracket.
All in all a very simple and relatively cheap installation with very few plumbing materials:
Working backwards from the finished installation…..
…you can immediately see that there is a lot more pipework going on behind the scenes with a concealed shower valve, particularly when multiple outlets are factored in.
This means that there is a lot more plumbing materials to purchase to fit this kind of shower.
In the example above there are 5 x (22mmx3/4”) fittings to attach the pipework to the shower valves and these cost £10 each on their own!
Also, due to the level of pipework work involved, this invariably takes a lot longer to do and as a result there is a lot more plumbing labour to cover the installation as well.
In our example installation pricing, there may be an additional £250 to pay in both labour and general materials.
And don’t forget that this is on top of the increased price of the unit itself!
So there you have it, that’s why it costs more to fit a concealed valve!
Some people prefer the minimalist look of a concealed valve, and of course a concealed valve allows you to do some nice things like mount the valve away from the shower area so you can turn the shower on without getting a wet arm!
Thanks for reading.