Shower mixer, the real partner of well-being: types, characteristics and differences
Why do you have to carefully choose a component like the shower mixer? The well-being we feel during and after the shower depends on several factors, and not all of them are subjective: the right temperature is not, the ability to keep the flow of water constant, as well as the fast reaction in reaching the ideal temperature and balance the changes, moment by moment.
We are told that the invigorating showers are those with a water temperature of around 26 - 28 degrees, that the most relaxing ones are warm and around 30 degrees, and that it can even reach 35 - 37 degrees to reduce stress in excess. The theory is simple, but then you regularly find yourself in the shower to "fight" with a temperature that is never optimal, which changes constantly and which, if it exceeds upwards, can also cause significant problems.
Choosing an excellent shower mixer allows you to prevent these problems and to really enjoy a moment of peace and well-being, by also guaranteeing durability and ease of maintenance, affecting not so much on well-being but on costs.
The shower mixer and its main component: the cartridge
The topic of the shower mixer is part of a broader subject: the choice of taps created specifically for this environment. Here too, it is an apparently simple topic, but one that hides so many options that it deserves further study.
Of the shower mixer, the only really simple thing is the definition. Everyone knows what it is: it is the tool used to mix the cold and hot (up to now, separated) components of the water, generating a single flow at an ideal temperature depending on the activity in progress. As for the shower, it has already been said that an overall standard range goes from 26 to 37 degrees, but obviously you can push it up or down depending on your needs.
Regardless of the types and options that will be considered, the essential component of the mixer is the cartridge: it is on this that the correct mixing of the water, the fast reaction in reaching (and maintaining) the ideal temperature and the response time to the sudden changes in temperature in thermostatic models depend. An excellent shower mixer starts with an excellent cartridge, functional and durable over time.
Built-in and exposed mixers: which one to choose?
The first decision concerns the composition of the shower system. Only by having clear what you are looking for and the final result you want to obtain, it is possible to narrow the field of shower mixers by opting for the correct solution.
Will the shower mixer be built-in or exposed? The question is not trivial, since the aesthetic impact depends on it, but also the functionality of the solution, as well as the simplicity of installation.
The built-in is a very elegant solution, ideal for those who want a modern and minimal look: the mixer is not visible, (usually) there are no external columns or bars and it is also possible to integrate the shower head into the ceiling creating a great impact. Certainly, the built-in solution is very widespread and requires fairly invasive interventions, which is why it is frequent in renovations and new builds. The only limits are therefore related to the complexity of installation and maintenance activities, because otherwise it is a solution of great elegance and practicality.
The mixer, for its part, can support multiple alternative or concurrent outlet modes (ways), in particular by means of a shower head or hand shower. The latter is usually connected with a hose to a water outlet and supported by a wall support.
The alternative is the exposed shower or wall solution. Here the mixer is external, which means greater space but no limitations from a functional point of view. Thanks to the use of an external shower column, in fact, it is possible to directly connect fixed or mobile showers and even shower heads of a certain size. The use of quality materials and finishes, combined with modern and refined designs make them very attractive even from a purely aesthetic point of view.
The traditional mixer and the benefits of the thermostatic one
A few words about the first category, because everyone knows the traditional or single-lever mixer. The strength of the delivery and the temperature of the water are governed by a single lever or possibly by knobs, a popular solution long ago and now especially in line with retro styles. In the latter case, the fusion of modern technology with the style of the past has created products equipped with different knobs, even three or four: each regulates the intensity of the delivery of the single outlets (shower head, hand shower ...), while one is dedicated to temperature.
In this field, innovation mainly concerns thermostatic mixers, where the main investments in research and development are concentrated. With a thermostatic mixer, the user simply sets the desired temperature and sends the mixer all the operations necessary to reach it. There is also a safety lock that protects against burns.
The benefits are clear: you can't burn yourself and the temperature is kept stable regardless of external circumstances. In fact, it may happen that this undergoes sudden variations when the system and the boiler are used by several people: with a thermostatic mixer, these variations are read and compensated quickly by the device. In addition, the benefits in terms of consumption and sustainability should be emphasized: a thermostatic mixer greatly reduces water waste because it reaches the ideal temperature faster than a manual device.
In this context there are many qualitative differences between the products on the market, which largely depend on the thermostatic cartridge: the fast reaction in reaching the ideal temperature and responding to sudden changes, combined with duration over time and ease of maintenance, identify a particularly valuable product.
Nobili has also been using the exclusive cold-body technology for some time, which also avoids the danger of burns when in contact with the body of the mixer. In fact, hot water, passing inside a special insulating body mounted inside the mixer body, never comes into contact with the brass part, leaving the external parts cold and contact-proof. Especially important when elderly people or children are taking a shower.
How important is the aesthetic factor?
Short answer: a lot. Form and function come together in the best solutions, which guarantee the benefits of a healthy shower combined with the beauty of the most sophisticated design.
The row material is brass, which is treated with different types of finish so as to integrate perfectly with the style of the environment. On the market we find classic solutions, typically with a polished chrome finish, up to the elegance of black and the charm of gunmetal gray. This is due, as is well known, to the PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) method, which allows for solutions of great visual impact thanks to sophisticated colors (smoky, copper, etc.), all supported by extreme resistance to corrosion and light. In other words, insensitivity as the time passes.
The offer is wide and able to satisfy all tastes, it was said. The minimalist, for example, is one of the great rulers of the scene thanks to its essential, beautiful appearance embellished with quality materials; attention then to the classic and its ability to mix slightly retro features with cutting-edge technology, to guarantee durability, performance and sustainability; not to mention, finally, those who want to give a touch of color to their kitchen to underline their brilliant, creative and whimsical soul. There are perfect solutions for him too.