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6 Types of Shower Valves (Function, Brands, & More)

shower parts wrapped around tub faucet
shower parts wrapped around tub faucet

When it comes to bathroom renovations, one of the key elements that homeowners must consider is the shower valve. This often-overlooked component plays a crucial role in controlling the flow and temperature of the water in your shower. With a plethora of options available in the market, selecting the right shower valve can be a daunting task. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various types of shower valves, including:

  • 6 types of shower valves
  • Factors to consider when choosing shower valves
  • Top brands and their offerings

🚿 6 Types of Shower Valves

shower parts being installed

Understanding the various types of shower valves is crucial to selecting the right fit for your bathroom. Below, we outline the key features and benefits of each type, helping you make an informed decision.

1. Pressure-Balancing Valves

Function: Pressure-balancing valves are designed to maintain a consistent water temperature by adjusting the water flow to compensate for pressure changes. If someone flushes the toilet or uses a faucet while you are showering, this type of valve ensures that you won’t experience a sudden change in water temperature.


  • Prevents sudden temperature changes
  • Enhances safety, especially for children and the elderly
  • Typically more affordable than thermostatic valves


  • Less precise temperature control
  • May not be as effective in homes with significant water pressure variations

Popular Brands: Delta, Kohler, Moen

2. Thermostatic Valves

Function: Thermostatic valves provide precise control over water temperature. They maintain the desired temperature by mixing hot and cold water and adjusting automatically to compensate for changes in water pressure and temperature. This type of valve often includes a separate control for water flow and temperature.


  • Consistent and precise temperature control
  • Enhanced safety features
  • Suitable for homes with varying water pressure


  • More expensive than pressure-balancing valves
  • May require professional installation

Popular Brands: Grohe, Hansgrohe, Brizo

3. Diverter Valves

Function: Diverter valves are used in showers with multiple outlets, such as a combination of a showerhead, handheld shower, and body jets. This valve allows you to direct water to different outlets without the need for separate controls for each one.


  • Convenient control of multiple shower outlets
  • Space-saving design
  • Adds versatility to your shower experience


  • Limited to directing water flow, not controlling temperature
  • May require additional valves for temperature control

Popular Brands: Symmons, American Standard, Pfister

4. Transfer Valves

Function: Transfer valves are similar to diverter valves but offer more precise control over the direction of water flow. They are typically used in complex shower systems with multiple functions, allowing you to operate different outlets simultaneously or separately.


  • Precise control over multiple shower functions
  • Enhances the luxury shower experience
  • Compatible with advanced shower systems


  • More expensive than basic diverter valves
  • Installation can be complex

Popular Brands: Delta, Kohler, Grohe

5. Mixing Valves

Function: Mixing valves combine hot and cold water to deliver the desired temperature. They are a fundamental component of both pressure-balancing and thermostatic valves and can be found in a variety of shower systems.


  • Simple and effective temperature control
  • Widely available and affordable
  • Essential for maintaining water temperature


  • Basic models may lack advanced features
  • Not suitable for precise temperature control without additional mechanisms

Popular Brands: Moen, Kohler, Delta

6. Volume Control Valves

Function: Volume control valves regulate the flow of water to the showerhead or other outlets. They are often used in conjunction with thermostatic or pressure-balancing valves to provide independent control over water flow and temperature.


  • Allows fine-tuning of water flow
  • Enhances water conservation
  • Compatible with various shower systems


  • Requires additional valves for temperature control
  • Can add to the overall cost of the shower system

Popular Brands: Hansgrohe, Grohe, Kohler

🤔 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Shower Valve

shower valve being installed with hand tools

Selecting the right shower valve involves more than just picking a reputable brand. It’s essential to consider several factors such as the type of shower system, water pressure, and personal preferences to ensure optimal performance and satisfaction.

  • Water Pressure: Understanding the water pressure in your home is crucial when selecting a shower valve. Homes with inconsistent water pressure may benefit from thermostatic valves, which offer more precise temperature control.
  • Shower System Configuration: Consider the complexity of your shower system. If you have multiple outlets, such as a rain shower head, handheld shower, and body jets, a transfer valve may be the best option. For simpler setups, a pressure-balancing or mixing valve might suffice.
  • Safety Features: Safety is a paramount concern, especially in households with children or elderly individuals. Thermostatic valves with anti-scald technology can prevent accidental burns by maintaining a consistent water temperature.
  • Budget: Shower valves come in a wide range of prices. While thermostatic valves and advanced transfer valves offer numerous benefits, they are also more expensive. Pressure-balancing valves and mixing valves are typically more affordable and can still provide reliable performance.
  • Brand Reputation: Choosing a reputable brand ensures quality, durability, and customer support. Brands like Delta, Kohler, Moen, and Grohe have established themselves as leaders in the industry, offering a range of products to suit different needs and budgets.
  • Installation Requirements: Some shower valves are more complex to install and may require professional assistance. Consider the ease of installation and whether you are comfortable with a DIY project or prefer to hire a professional plumber.

✅ Top Brands and Their Offerings

Selecting high-quality shower valves and choosing a reputable brand can make all the difference. Here, we explore the top brands in the market—Delta, Kohler, Moen, Grohe, and Hansgrohe—and highlight what each offers to enhance your shower experience.

  • Delta: Delta is known for its innovative designs and reliable performance. Their pressure-balancing valves, such as the Delta MultiChoice Universal Valve, are popular choices for homeowners looking for affordability and functionality. Delta also offers advanced thermostatic valves for those seeking precise temperature control.
  • Kohler: Kohler offers a wide range of shower valves, including pressure-balancing, thermostatic, and transfer valves. The Kohler Rite-Temp valve is a standout product known for its reliability and ease of installation. Kohler’s thermostatic valves, like the MasterShower Thermostatic Valve, are designed for luxury shower systems.
  • Moen: Moen is a trusted name in bathroom fixtures, and their shower valves are no exception. The Moen Posi-Temp valve is a popular pressure-balancing option that provides consistent temperature control. For those seeking advanced features, the Moen ExactTemp thermostatic valve offers precise temperature adjustments and enhanced safety.
  • Grohe: Grohe is renowned for its high-quality products and innovative technology. Their GrohTherm thermostatic valves are designed for precision and safety, making them ideal for luxurious shower setups. Grohe also offers reliable diverter and transfer valves for more complex shower systems.
  • Hansgrohe: Hansgrohe combines German engineering with stylish designs, offering a range of shower valves to suit different needs. The Hansgrohe Ecostat thermostatic valve is a popular choice for its precise temperature control and eco-friendly features. Hansgrohe’s volume control valves are also highly regarded for their functionality and design.

🙌 Find Your Perfect Shower Valve with Thelen Mechanical’s Expertise!

Choosing the right shower valve is essential for a comfortable and safe shower experience. At Thelen Mechanical, our expert team is here to help you make the best choice. Whether you need a basic pressure-balancing valve or a sophisticated thermostatic valve, we ensure you understand the different types and their functions for an informed decision. We consider your specific needs, budget, and shower system configuration to find the perfect fit. Trust in our experience and dedication to quality service. With reputable brands like Delta, Kohler, Moen, Grohe, and Hansgrohe, we guarantee the perfect valve to enhance your shower experience. Contact us at Thelen Mechanical today to start your project and experience the difference our expertise makes!

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