Guide for Buying: How to Choose Bathroom Shower Faucets?

bathroom faucet

Transforming your bathroom with a gorgeous new shower or just replacing worn-out hardware? Whatever the motivation, picking new shower faucets brings an exciting yet potentially overwhelming amount of options to weigh. 

This detailed guide breaks down the key considerations step-by-step when selecting bathroom shower faucets to help dial in the perfect fit for your needs and style. 

  • Define your preferred design style first to narrow down choices
  • Consider finish sheen and color for visual harmony
  • Prioritize functional factors like easy cleaning and reliable valves

Leverage this guide to demystify the planning process and zero in on shower hardware that checks every box, both style and substance. Let’s explore what matters most when selecting bathroom shower faucets!

Decide on Design Style

Today’s huge faucet selection means you can perfectly match your decorating vision. But so many styles and finishes can seem overwhelming. Focus first on the look you want to achieve.

1. Contemporary Styles

For a sleek modern aesthetic, straight lines, geometric forms, and minimal ornamentation define contemporary shower faucets. Matte black, polished chrome, or brushed nickel finishes give a cutting-edge feel. If your bathroom features more daring design elements like wood slat walls or concrete floors, contemporary fixtures blend right in.

2. Traditional Styles

On the flip side, traditional faucet styles reflect more classic decorative themes with familiar shapes and detailing. Flowing curves, arched forms, and cast brass construction exude vintage character. Combined with classic white subway tiles and a neutral earth-tone palette, traditional fixtures reinforce a warm “Old World” bathroom environment.

3. Transitional Designs

The best of both worlds, transitional faucets fuse contemporary and traditional looks for broad appeal. You’ll find tapered bodies, sleek lines and contemporary finishes paired with traditional decorative accents. The mix of new and old creates a flexible style at home in most bathrooms.

Finish Options

Along with style, the faucet finish ties everything together visually. This crucial detail deserves careful consideration as you explore options. Analyze sheen, color tones, and how finishes interact with light.

1. Shiny Finishes

For a clean and bright bathroom environment, chrome and stainless-steel finishes offer mirror-like shine to beautifully amplify natural and artificial light. The reflective qualities literally brighten up the entire space. This creates an airy, crisp ambiance perfect for contemporary styling or small bathrooms where the goal is opening up the feel.

Polished nickel provides a similar gleam but contributes a warmer, more lustrous tone. The shine is intense yet more champagne-like in color. If you adore the luminosity of chrome but find its sterile white light too harsh, polished nickel strikes an elegant balance.

2. Brushed Finishes

With subtle luster, brushed finishes like brushed nickel and oil-rubbed bronze have textural depth. The understated sheen downplays the faucet while adding warmth. If your style leans more casual and eclectic, brushed is a perfect match.

3. Living Finishes

For a dynamic, rich look, the living finishes change appearance subtly over time through use. Oil-rubbed bronze, for example, develops its signature stately patina gradually. Other living finishes like brushed copper and brushed brass also evolve, mellowing beautifully. If you want fixtures to echo the character of naturally aged materials found elsewhere in the bathroom, choose a living finish.

4. Black Finishes

Recently on trend, matte black faucets make a dramatic style statement with their void-like darkness. Black creates a bold focal point while also acting as a neutral canvas for other colorful accents in towels, tiles, or accessories. Especially alluring in contemporary designs, black faucets convey a confident attitude.

Functionalities and Versatilities

With so many design styles tempting you, it helps to focus on functional factors, too, when selecting shower fixtures. This ensures they perform flawlessly once installed. Prioritize quality and convenience.

1. Easy-Clean Construction

Limescale and soap buildup plague inferior faucets, so check that metal surfaces are smooth without gaps and crevices. Tight seams, concealed supply lines, and single-handle operation also simplify cleaning tasks enormously.

2. Comfortable Handles

If choosing traditional dual-handle types, compact lever designs take up less room while operating smoothly. For single-handle mixers, ergonomic shapes that fit your hand feel best. Any handles should turn evenly through the full hot-cold sweep without sticking spots.

3. Convenient Height

Standard faucet heights fit most users, but if any household members are much taller or shorter, made-to-order custom lengths help optimize ergonomics and spray positioning. Easy height adjustment post-installation also adds flexibility.

4. Reliable Valve Technology

Pay attention to the valve technology integrated into potential faucet models. Advanced ceramic disc valves last over a decade, maintaining smooth handle control. Avoid outdated compression valves—their friction worsens over time.

5. Easy Connections

Flexible supply lines with 3/8-inch compression fittings simplify DIY connections and adjustments down the road. If your project requires more complex work, many companies offer expert support.

Handheld Options

Many shower heads now include integrated hand showers on a slide bar for adjustable spray modes. The hand shower conveniently reaches the whole enclosure for rinsing down walls, cleaning, and bathing kids or pets. Without a fixed showerhead taking up space, handheld designs also allow taller access and freedom of movement.

If your bathroom layout permits, freestanding tub fillers with hand showers provide similar flexibility in a striking stand-alone column design.

Don’t Overlook Drains

It’s easy to hyper-focus on stunning faucets and neglect drains during planning. But they’re just as crucial, so choose durable and reliable drain hardware that harmonizes visually, too. Modern linear grates, for example, suit contemporary schemes. Vintage motifs, oil-rubbed finishes, and floral themes echo traditional decors.


With so many design styles tempting you, the key is focusing on functional factors too when selecting shower fixtures to ensure flawless post-install performance. Prioritize quality and convenience – easy-clean construction, comfortable handles, convenient height adjustment, reliable valve technology. Don’t overlook drains either to complete the streamlined look.

No matter your personal style or particular practical needs, today’s vast faucet selection lets you realize your dream aesthetic while meeting must-have performance requirements. Define your priorities upfront, then explore exceptional options from quality manufacturers like Wangel.

Article Sources
The Wangelgroup uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Our commitment to accuracy and reliability ensures that readers receive well-researched information they can trust.

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