The Lily Bain Guide to ....Showers

Often the shower can be the most difficult part of the bathroom to order, with several different components it’s important that they all match up, are the correct size for your space and of course is something that you will love.

See below for the Lily Bain complete guide to showers doors, trays and shapes.

Shower Doors (Cubicles, enclosures and glass surrounds)

There are main types of shower door i.e. Pivot, Hinged, Saloon, Bi-fold, In-fold and slider.

The Pivot and Hinged doors

These work in the same way, in that they open outwards as a single piece of glass. With the pivot door the hinges are at the top and bottom of the door. The advantage of this is that it makes the door well balanced and put very little strain on the framework. The hinged door has the hinges on the side of the door. This does mean however that when the door is open, the opening on the hinged door is wider than that of the pivot door. These types of door tend to be less expensive than any other due to the simple design. There can be a difficulty with the water running off the door onto the floor when the door is opened after a shower.

The Saloon door

This is less common and has two hinged doors which join in the middle. They tend to open inwards but also outwards if desired.

Bi-fold and In-fold doors

These two doors both open inwards and so overcome the difficulty of water getting onto the floor by dripping water off the door. The bi-fold door is hinged in the centre and as the name suggests folds exactly in the middle. The in-fold door swings in as a single door by means of a canter lever arrangement at the top and bottom of the door.

Single, Double and Triple sliding doors.

These doors work in the same way in that the doors slide on rollers back and forth to open or close. The difference between the two is the number of doors used to gain access. The single or double sliding doors have less framework and as such has a more minimalist appearance, whereas the triple sliding door creates a wider opening when the doors are pulled back.

Important terminology to consider ;

Door Adjustments

If you purchase a door that is 1200mm; the door could for example adjust downward to fit an opening of 1170mm or up to a maximum of 1200mm, it will not adjust beyond either of those measurements. If you need 1220mm you will have to purchase an extension profile. If you need less than 1170mm you will need to purchase a smaller door.

If you are not sure about door measurements we recommend you contact us before making your purchase.

Please take care to order the correct size and handing of door if appropriate. We cannot accept returns of door where the box has been opened. Adjustments and other information will be printed on the box you receive.

Extension profile

An extension profile increases the size of the shower door by a set size e.g. up to 20mm.


For example if you have a shower door that is 1200mm and add one extension profile of 20mm, your door is now 1220mm.

Shower shapes

There are a myriad number or shower door shapes. The most common are the square, rectangle, pentangle (penta- or five-sided) and the quadrant (quad of quarter round). One of the most common shower tray size is 900mm x 900mm.

A quadrant cubicle has a rounded front edge designed to save space.

Shower Trays

There are 3 different shapes of shower tray:

And all come in either low level or standard height

Rectangular/Quadrant/Offset Quadrant/Low Level

The difference between the standard and low level shower tray is height. Standard trays are generally 80mm high while Low Level trays are 25-45mm high. Low Level trays are minimalist and contemporary in design.

All our shower trays are sold with the correct size of waste so it is important that you add the compatible waste when ordering.

Shower trays must be fitted by a professional to ensure they do not flex under pressure or leak. It is your plumbers responsibility to ensure your tray has been water tested after installation.

Handing Trays:

Offset quadrant trays come in a right or left had version. Most doors to suit these trays are universal but there are a few that require handing as well.

Finally your shower valves

A shower valve is the working part of your shower which includes the water control for flow and temperature.

We have a wide selection of shower valves so there will be something to suit your tastes whether it is an all in one shower valve kit or a concealed valve with your choice of head, jets or slide rail kit.

Our shower valves are Thermostatic Valves with Volume Controls. This multi-piece shower control system consists of a thermostatic valve which works only to maintain the temperature of the water, and a volume control which turns the water on and off for each water outlet.

A thermostatic valve allows a homeowner to have greater control over the temperature of the water, allowing the user to pick the temperature before turning on the water.

An anti-scald feature prevents the temperature from being turned past 100-degrees accidentally by including a two part control, which requires the user to deliberately push and turn the valve to achieve higher water temperatures.

Thermostatic systems work well with performance showers, for homeowners who prefer complete control over their shower, and for showers being used by two people with widely different tastes in water temperature.

Shower Valve Kit:

An all in one shower system

In their simplest form, they contain a bar valve with on/off and temperature controls connected to a slide rail kit that holds the shower head & hose.

Go one further and choose a kit that also includes a drench shower head. This kit will have a diverter within the bar valve so you can choose which outlet the water goes to.

Concealed Shower Valves:

These are made up of your choice of water outlets: slide rail kit, shower head and/or body jets. You can control which outlet the water comes out from using the diverter within the valve.

A water diverter acts as a means of moving water from one outlet toward another.

There are 5 steps to follow when creating this style of shower valve.

1. Decide how many water outlets you will have; 1, 2 or 3
2. Choose which design of concealed valve you want; square, round or cross head to suit your look
3. Choose the water outlets that you want to go with your valve. 1 way diverter = 1 outlet / 2 way diverter = 2 outlets /  3 way diverter = 3 outlets
4. If you have chosen a slide rail kit, you must choose a wall elbow to go with it. This will connect the hose to the shower wall.
5. If you have chosen a drench shower head, you must choose a wall or ceiling arm to connect it to wall.

Shower valves will only be covered by our warranty if they are fitted by a professional. If they are removed from the wall, they will no longer be covered by the warranty.