Shower Panel: Review & Recommendations

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Do you want to upgrade your bathroom even further and add a modern and chic appliance that stands for luxury? A shower panel will not only make your bathroom look more modern and elegant, but will also pamper you and your loved ones with various water jets and other additional functions, such as a thermostat or massage.

Our large shower panel test 2020 is designed to help you find the best shower panel for you. Here we advise you about the different materials and additional functions that are available. In this way you can easily find out which shower panel best complements your bathroom.

The most important facts in brief

  • Shower panels are shower columns that consist of different water jets and offer the user numerous functions, such as a thermostat or massage.
  • Before you decide on a particular model, you should evaluate a shower panel on the basis of the size of the material and the assembly.
  • Shower panels can be purchased in many places. The Internet is particularly useful because of the greater choice and more affordable prices.

Shower panel test: Favourites of the editors

  • The best shower panel with water temperature display
  • The best shower panel with rain shower
  • The best shower panel with massage jets
  • The best height adjustable shower panel

The best shower panel with water temperature display

The high-quality stainless steel shower from Auralum is equipped with three different functions. With a slight turn of the regulator you can choose between rain shower, hand shower or massage jets. The shower head and the body of the panel are made of stainless steel, the hand shower is chrome-plated.

The LED water temperature display shows the water temperature in real time via a sensor. The ceramic cartridge technology guarantees a comfortable adjustment of water quantity and temperature. The modern angular design of the shower panel and hand shower makes every bathroom an attraction. Switching on the jet nozzles also guarantees an incomparable wellness feeling.

The best shower panel with rain shower

The Auralum shower panel made of stainless steel with LCD display and waterfall overhead shower is equipped with 2 massage fields with 50 jets each. An integrated thermometer is available to assist in temperature control. The exact water temperature is shown on the LCD display.

The Auralum shower panel is made of stainless steel and has a silver design. The shape is rectangular and the panel itself has a very simple structure. This way it fits easily into the shower cubicle. The anti-lime glands prevent lime deposits.

The best shower panel with massage jets

This shower panel allows you to really relax while showering. Because in addition to a waterfall shower and the overhead shower, you can also use the tilting back massage jets. You can switch between the individual settings steplessly. You can also use the chrome hand shower for individual areas.

You can adjust the water temperature and water quantity with the single lever mixer as desired. The nozzles are all equipped with silicone knobs and are therefore very easy to clean. The shower panel has a total length of 125 cm.

The best height adjustable shower panel

This shower panel is made of brass and has a rain shower and a hand shower. The rain shower head measures 20 x 20 cm and is attached to a height-adjustable shower rod. The shower rod can be adjusted between 92 cm and 135 cm.

Installing the shower panel is quick and easy, as the height-adjustable wall brackets adapt perfectly to your shower. The hand shower measures 8 x 8 cm and is mounted on a 150 cm long hose.

Advisor: Questions you should deal with before buying a shower panel

What is a shower panel?

A shower panel, also known as a shower column, consists of different water showers and can offer the user a unique showering experience, depending on the function.
For some years now and still more and more simple shower heads have been replaced by complex fittings. These include a thermostat, LED or massage showers. Apart from that, a shower panel can serve as an expression of luxury. For example, a shower panel with a dousing shower is an indication of a higher hotel category.

What are the advantages of complex shower panels compared to shower systems?

In contrast to shower systems, the individual parts of shower columns are permanently installed in a panel, making the installation of the finished product much easier. When moving house, the shower panel can be easily taken along. Corner mounting is also possible with the right bracket.
In addition, the design elements of the panel offer many different options, from materials to functions. Since these are already predetermined, the final purchase decision is probably easier than if you had to choose the individual mounting elements. You also end up spending less than if you bought all the parts (thermostat, shower head, etc.) separately.
Depending on your available budget, you can easily make your own personal statement. In this way you can offer yourself and others a regular and varied wellness experience in the future.

What is particularly important for shower panels?

First of all, you should of course choose the right shower panel. Which functions are most important to you? If you’re the less complicated type, one shower head and several massage showers are probably enough.
However, if you like to spend more time in the bathroom, you should consider a waterfall shower and LED lighting.
In any case, the design may be the deciding factor.
Does your bathroom follow a certain design such as “tropical rainforest”? Then you will of course choose your material according to the circumstances. Ultimately, your bathroom will also play a decisive role.
Is a corner installation more suitable for your bathroom? And who will ultimately use your shower? The height at which you install the shower fitting will depend on this in particular.

Once you have mounted your panel, changing the height can be a very awkward task. It may even leave traces from the previous installation. Exceptions are special adhesives, although you will probably have to get new ones.

Which shower panel is most recommended?

The perfect shower panel does not exist. The market offers a wide range of products from which you have to filter out the most suitable shower panel on your own. In doing so, the objective and the budget play the most important role. Be absolutely clear about what you want.
On this page we compare different manufacturers and sales channels to give you a good overview. In short, there is only one specific perfect shower panel for everyone.

What advantages do LEDs or thermostats offer for shower panels?

Shower panels with LED are becoming more and more popular, as the various lighting effects can create a very individual atmosphere. This makes showering an experience for individuals, couples or families. LED light is less costly and wasteful than lighting candles. Thermostats are also a successful innovation.
They prevent the shower from suddenly becoming cold – for example when someone in the house flushes the toilet. High-quality shower panels often have a shower thermostat or mixer tap built in, which mixes hot and cold water so that the desired temperature is maintained at a constant level.
This has the advantage, among other things, that you don’t have to find the perfect temperature first. In short, water can be saved and cold shock prevented. There is also a child lock so that no one will be scalded by too high temperatures.

Are shower panels with LED dangerous?

The only dangerous shower columns are those that are powered by electricity from the socket. Fortunately, these have almost completely disappeared from the market today. A successor are turbine controlled shower panels, which unfortunately have some disadvantages.
Under certain circumstances they create a disturbing background noise. In addition, they quickly lose their function in very calcareous water.
Far more recommendable are shower columns that are battery operated. On average, the batteries only need to be replaced every 2 to 3 years and the battery compartment should be easily accessible.

Why is infrared used for shower columns?

Infrared emitters are a new trend for bathrooms and especially shower columns. This is mainly due to the fact that the heating of the body takes place more gently in contrast to the classic sauna and the circulation is less strained.
The warmth of the emitters has a direct effect on the skin and by the pleasant stimulation of the sweat production your harmful substances are washed away.  During this process you can control the temperature and light according to your needs. In general, your skin respiration is gently improved and muscle pain after exertion is reduced.
It is important to note that the infrared function can only be used without a glass cabin.

What is the purpose of the mixer tap on shower taps?

The mixer tap is a technical device or fitting in which the mixing of water at different temperatures is regulated. This is done by valves operated by one or more handles.
The water flow is metered to obtain the desired temperature by mixing cold and hot water. Additional functions are:

The stabilisation of the mixing temperature, even with pressure and temperature variations of the inflows, by means of thermostat
Flow limitation by means of a pressure point within the lever adjustment range

What does German quality mean for shower columns?

This refers primarily to the inner life of the product.
The cartridges, for example, comply with current EU mixing technology and come from special high-quality manufacturers. Furthermore, the water hoses are made of good material. Steinkirch, for example, only uses Kott-Glide hoses manufactured in Germany.
They are enormously flexible, cannot bend away as easily as plastic hoses and carry a high flow rate. They also comply with the drinking water regulations.

Which shower spray is best for you?

There are numerous types of shower heads:

You can choose from these and other shower heads when you buy your shower panel. The high-quality shower columns usually have several shower heads that can be adjusted according to your needs.

What are the most common problems with shower panels?

Among the most common problems with shower columns are the cleaning process and malfunction of the temperature control. Sometimes there were complaints about the lack of hot water in individual glands. In this case the mixer tap is probably defective. An independent repair can be cumbersome and require special hand tools.
Accordingly, a specialist should be consulted. Depending on the model, it may be more worthwhile to buy a new shower panel. Lime water can also quickly wear out certain raw materials.
Stinking water from the shower is also a recurring theme and the reason is always the same: Cheap feed hoses. You should be aware of all the risks before buying.

Who will build or install the shower panel for me?

Since shower panels are known for their simplified assembly process, you can usually mount your faucet yourself. Nevertheless, the instructions can be both simple and difficult to follow. A simple procedure is to fix the panel’s cross braces to the wall hooks at their notch.
Four hands can simplify this process, although panels usually weigh no more than a few kilograms. Some manufacturers even use a gluing method where you can easily attach the shower panel to the wall with secure adhesives. Corner mounting requires more intensive preparation, as the fitting must fit perfectly.
Nowadays, a YouTube tutorial can give you a good idea of the necessary mounting steps. If you have any questions or complications, you can of course contact the manufacturer directly and, in an emergency, hire an installer.

What is an alternative for shower panels?

A simple overhead shower can never replace a shower panel, as this is primarily known for its multifunctional properties. But some companies offer their customers the option of ordering a complete set of individual parts.
As with shower columns, if necessary you can also call in a plumber to advise you and install the individual parts. The shower system in the complete package may be cumbersome to install, but at least you don’t have to select or locate every single element first.

What does a simple shower panel cost compared to an exclusive shower panel?

The price range for shower columns extends from affordable to expensive. Expressed in figures, this means prices ranging from around 1000 euros to 3000 euros. The difference is not primarily the interior, but rather the material of the panel, i.e. the visual aspects. Cheaper raw materials are plastic and aluminium, whereas marble is noble and robust, but expensive.
In addition, the choice of the seller plays a major role. If you are clever, you can save more than half. In retail, wellness products are definitely more expensive, as there is no direct comparison with the competition.
These prices are not always justified, but among others top brand manufacturers like Grohe and Hansgrohe sell products at fair prices on the internet. When researching, you should of course look for good quality and, if possible, a guarantee. Furthermore, if you know your way around, you can save the costs of the installer.

Where can I buy shower columns?

You can buy shower taps in specialist shops, DIY stores, retail stores or online. As the majority of buyers tend to check the quality of domestic products personally and DIY stores have an inspiring effect, DIY stores continue to be very popular.
Nevertheless, you can compare prices directly on the Internet and find much cheaper offers for shower columns. As the popularity of shower columns is steadily increasing, there are numerous manufacturers and companies that offer the wellness product:

eBay.com
amazon.com
Hornbach
Bauhaus

All shower columns that we present on our site have a link to at least one of these shops, so that you can immediately strike when you have found a panel that suits you.

Decision: What types of shower panels are available and which one is right for you?

A basic distinction is made between six different shower panels:

  • Stainless steel shower panel
  • Aluminium shower panel
  • Glass shower panel
  • Plastic shower panel
  • Shower panel made of wood or bamboo
  • Soch panel aus Marmor

What distinguishes a shower panel made of stainless steel and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

The most conventional material for shower fittings is now stainless steel. Besides its attractive appearance, this raw material is durable, low-maintenance, temperature-resistant and hygienic.

Advantages

Durable
Hygienic
Easy cleaning

Disadvantages

Visible traces (lime stains, fingerprints)

A disadvantage is the visible fingerprints, but under normal circumstances these are easily washable.

What distinguishes an aluminium shower panel and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

The suitable alternative to stainless steel is aluminium. It is also less expensive and its lightness simplifies transport and assembly in particular. It is therefore also suitable for combination with other heavy raw materials such as glass.

Advantages

Value for money
Light weight (for transport / assembly)
Easy to clean

Disadvantages

Visible traces (lime stains / fingerprints)
Short-lived

It is also easy to clean, despite visible traces. Its increased maintenance requirements are nevertheless worth mentioning.

What distinguishes a shower panel made of glass and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Another popular material is safety glass. The transparent version fits into any bathroom, so to speak. On the other hand, glass is also available in various colours, but may require more intensive cleaning.

Advantages

Visually appealing
Available in different colours
Easy cleaning

Disadvantages

Visible traces (fingerprints)

To avoid excessive weight, glass is usually combined with light aluminium.

What distinguishes a plastic shower panel and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

The cheaper alternative to glass is plastic. This has the same properties, but is more short-lived.

Advantages

No visible traces
Available in different colours
Low cleaning requirement

Disadvantages

Short-lived

Although there is less need for cleaning, scratches or the like are visible more quickly.

What distinguishes a shower panel made of wood or bamboo and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Shower columns made of wood or bamboo are also optical highlights, through which you can support a tropical feeling. With these raw materials, however, you should definitely follow the manufacturer’s cleaning tips, as special types of wood require individual care.

Advantages

Noble sight
No visible traces
Light weight (for transport/assembly)

Disadvantages

Expensive
Intensive care needs

The weight of the raw material is usually low, so that transport and assembly do not present any major problems. Of course, it depends on the combination with other materials. Scratches should be avoided during treatment. If there are any scratches, you can perhaps sand them down.

What distinguishes a marble shower panel and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

For the higher budgets marble is also a welcome material in the bathroom. Although you have to dig relatively deep into your pocket and transport is a bit more complicated due to the high weight.

Advantages

Noble sight
No visible traces
Durable

Disadvantages

ExpensiveHeavy weight (for transport/assembly)

But the precious stone also has some advantages such as its low cleaning requirements. Fingerprints or the like are hardly visible. Marble is also very durable.

Purchase criteria: You can compare and rate shower panels based on these factors

In the following we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate shower panels. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular model is suitable for you or not.

In summary, these are:

  • Material and design
  • Ease of cleaning
  • Size / dimensions of the panel
  • Shower types
  • Fastening/mounting criteria
  • Extra equipment and functions

In the following paragraphs you can read what the individual purchase criteria are and how you can classify them.

Material and design

The material plays the most important role in terms of design. It also influences the weight, quality, cleaning effort and price of the shower column. The precise advantages and disadvantages of the individual raw materials can be read in the “Decision” block.

Nevertheless, stainless steel is the most common material. Aluminium is considered light and is therefore often combined with safety glass. This is, just like plastic, available in various colours. The latter, however, is regarded as cheaper and more short-lived.

Different types of wood and bamboo are considered to be maintenance-intensive. Nevertheless, these go well with the decor “rain forest” or similar. Finally, marble is sometimes the most qualitative and expensive raw material for shower panels.

Ease of cleaning

A shower panel is an absolute eye-catcher and optical highlight for every bathroom. However, to ensure that the appearance of the shower panel remains beautiful, there are a few things to consider.

The fight against the less beautiful lime residues already begins with the choice of shower panel. Higher quality shower panels often use anti-limescale nozzles, this is definitely a good investment and can save a lot of work later on.

If you don’t want to deal with dirt, limescale and fingerprints on the new glossy shower panel in the first place, you should consider applying a nano sealant before using it for the first time. Especially with stainless steel shower panels this can save a lot of work and make your shower panel shine for a long time like the first day.

If you want to clean your shower panel with acid cleaner, you should always check beforehand whether the material of the respective shower panel can tolerate this. For good shower panels, you should pay attention to the instructions in the user manual. The packaging of the acid cleaner should also explicitly mention for which materials it is suitable.

If you are still unsure, it is recommended that you first test the cleaner on an inconspicuous area of the shower panel. Certain metals, for example, can be discoloured by acid cleaners, which is often extremely annoying.

You should avoid scouring sponges when cleaning your shower panel! Especially lime deposits can cause unsightly scratches on your shower panel. Instead, try to remove the dirt with a soft cloth and mild detergent.

Size / dimensions of the panel

The size of the shower panel is one of the most important factors in the final purchase decision. Before you decide on a stylish new shower panel, you should measure whether your shower enclosure is large enough. This way you can be sure that all functions are perfectly usable.

With less space, the water may splash against the wall or shower door. And that’s not where it’s supposed to go.

For the shower panel, different sizes are relevant, because in addition to the actual panel, other fittings (e.g. hand shower) may also have to be installed. Accordingly, the length of the hose also plays a role. Nevertheless, you should first orientate yourself on the length, width and depth of the shower panel.

Shower types

As you have probably already noticed, there is a very complex selection of shower types. These are defined by three main features: the size, shape and number of nozzles.

So it makes a difference whether you have a shower column with 6 individual massage jets of 10 showers each or a panel with 2 massage fields of 50 jets each. A rain shower and a dousing shower can cover the same area. But do you personally prefer a consistent jet or several individual jets?

Here you will find the most common showers listed:

  • Rain shower
  • Waterfall shower
  • dousing shower
  • side / massage showers

Fastening/mounting criteria

A decisive purchase criterion for shower taps is whether you want to install the panel over the corner. Please note that for some models this is either only possible with special additional tools or not at all. Apart from that, you need to be clear about the necessary connections and the perfect position (e.g. height). A standard wall connection is ½ inch.

Here you will also find an example for the most important steps of the assembly instructions:

Prepare connections

The shower panel may be attached to mounting rails (for corners on mounting brackets). Plan exactly at what height you want to install the Wellness tap: The nozzles should be optimally adjusted to the respective body height and the hand shower should be easily accessible.

Take the dummy plugs out of the water inlets and screw in spacers with an Allen key. Wrap the threads with Teflon tape or hemp so that they are absolutely tight.

The main water tap must be turned off.

Connect shower panel

For the fitting you will probably need an external thread (double nipple), which you also wrap with Teflon tape or hemp and then screw into the spacers and tighten them.

Seal the cavities between the threads and the wall with silicone.

The fully assembled wellness shower panel: However, before the faucet sits like this and the hoses are connected, let the water run for about three minutes. This cleans the threads and dirt particles are rinsed out of the pipe system.

When attaching the panel, it is best for two of you to work together: while one of you holds it up, the other screws the cold and hot water inlets to the water connections at the bottom.

Extra equipment and functions

Anti-calcification nozzles

More and more brand manufacturers such as the German company Hansgrohe offer special shower fittings with modern anti-limescale systems.

These shower heads are equipped with silicone knobs on the aerators and jet nozzles. This anti-limescale system has the advantage that possible limescale residues can be removed particularly easily. With the anti-limescale systems, the limescale deposits can be simply rubbed off without the need for harsh cleaners and time-consuming cleaning.

Thermostat

The shower panel with thermostat offers you safety, comfort and economy.

Your pre-selected water temperature remains constant for the duration of the shower, so there is no risk of burns due to a sudden rise in temperature and no cold shock due to falling temperature.

The thermostatic mixers maintain your pre-selected water temperature so you can enjoy your shower and relax. If you want to turn off the water (e.g. to shampoo your hair), the thermostat will automatically select exactly the same temperature when you turn the water back on.

By installing a thermostatic mixer you save water and energy at the same time. Due to its efficiency, a thermostatic shower mixer pays for itself after a short time.

Performance

Although you probably won’t consider this aspect directly, the radiance of your shower panel can greatly affect your showering experience.

Remember, for example, to buy a shower panel with massage jets. But then you find that the side jets are too weak and the actual massage function is not satisfactory. Or you may spend more time than necessary removing the shampoo from your hair because the performance is very poor.

Besides the loss of time, you also consume more electricity. These are negative side effects that should be avoided at all costs. With some shower panels the intensity of the jet can be adjusted manually. Depending on your budget, it is advisable to consider this first.

Volume

In addition to the individual functions, the constant temperature and the perfect jet strength, the volume also contributes to the perfection of the shower experience.

The customer reviews are very different with regard to this topic. Accordingly, it is important to obtain information before making a purchase and, if necessary, to make the purchase decision dependent on this criterion. If you like listening to music in the bathroom, a controlled noise level is the basic requirement for your satisfaction.

Trivia: Worth knowing facts about shower panels

How does the massage with the shower panel work?

Unlike a regular shower head, a shower panel can offer several side showers, whose jets hit the whole body horizontally. By regulating the strength of the glands, the water gets a massage effect. The individual showers can be adjusted manually to determine the perfect position. You can also turn them on or off as required.

In combination with the dousing shower or the waterfall function, the body absorbs several relaxing stimuli simultaneously. In any case, this function of the shower panel is a pleasant wellness programme to wake up in the morning or to be pampered in the evening.

How can fingerprints or similar on the shower column be avoided?

Although most dirt can be removed with simple bath or glass cleaner. But you can also prevent the coarse dirt in a simple way. To do this, especially with stainless steel, it is best to use the Neoblank 750 ml care product, which you can use to impregnate your panel.

This draws a weak film over the stainless steel and prevents visible fingerprints. Should any fingerprints occur, the lime deposits can be removed very easily. The care product is available on Amazon, for example. In addition to this care product, there are also special impregnating agents for wood or marble.

If this option does not suit you, you can at least rub the towel over your shower panel once after each shower.

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