Built-in showers vs external elements: the advantages and why to choose them

Category: Remodeling
Date: 17 jun 2021
  • We resolve one of the dilemmas arising when undertaking a bathroom renovation. 
  • Noken Porcelanosa Bathrooms has built in showers and external elements adapted to all needs and all styles of bathroom.

Taking on a bathroom refurbishment brings with it plenty of uncertainty. Firstly, we have to choose between a shower or a bath, and if the shower is chosen, what type of shower do we get installed. These are two of the main available options: built-in showers or external elements; like shower columns are.

Built-in showers: what they are like and what their advantages are

Built-in showers are those which are installed internally in relation to the wall. Like so, only the important parts can been seen which, is exactly the case with the shower taps, namely: mixer tap or thermostatic; the jets, the hand shower and the shower head. Noken offers two types of built-in shower structure installation: Smartbox and Project Line; with the latter being cheaper than Smartbox.

In relation to Smartbox, it is a system from Noken Porcelanosa Bathrooms which, not only reduces the space in the shower, but it also offers a large number of benefits, such as greater comfort and far less noise. With the tap system being apart in a box, it reduces the sound which is made by the water running through the shower hose.

Easy installment is yet another feature regarding the Smartbox, which greatly reduces the time it normally takes to have it fitted. As well as that, it adapts to any type of surface, namely: solid walls, plasterboard, etc. It is also compatible with every type of tap from Noken. Design freedom and easy fitting.



Hotels shower taps


The advantages of built-in showers

Apart from the advantages of the Smartbox system by Noken, built-in showers offer a number of additional benefits, which must be taken into account when choosing the installation type:

  1. Customising the shower. The built-in shower systems offer users the possibility of setting up a custom-made shower, thanks to the different available options in the Noken catalogue. From the jets which create an all-over feeling of water, to the ceiling-mounted shower heads with multiple functions, and chromotherapy and aromatherapy programmes. As well as that, it is possible to choose wall-mounted shower heads, cascade water outlets, shower packs; as well as being able to choose between different types of support for hand showers
  2. Aesthetic harmony. With the built-in systems, not only is it possible to choose between different elements when customising the everyday shower experience, but it is also possible to put a bathroom concept together in which the design of each piece is in perfect harmony with the set as a whole. Noken offers this integral solution where all the shower elements follow the design of the rest of the pieces in the bathroom, such as: the basin taps, the furniture, the mirror, the accessories, etc; which create a special and unique atmosphere in perfect harmony. Aesthetic beauty which is increased with the different available finishes, namely: black matt, copper and titanium.  
  3. Optimising the space. Because of the built-in box structure, the taps take up less space in the shower.



Forma taps, shower pack and shower head. 


The problem with built in showers: separating the facts from the myths

Falsehoods abound when it comes to the perceived 'problems' with built in showers. Let’s unravel the myths:

"Built in showers are hard to install"

As you can see in our video Installing the Smart Box Vario built in shower system - Porcelanosa Bathrooms by Noken, SmartBox is an advanced technical solution that houses the mixer system in a small box, resulting in silent shower taps and quick installation.

"Replacing a bath with a built in shower is problematic"

Precisely for the above reasons, this is an advantage of built in showers, not a drawback: connections on bath taps are perfectly suited to shower columns, and there's no need to do any extra pipework.

External elements. The advantages of shower columns

The external elements are shower elements which leave a part of the installation visible, with the shower column being a perfect example of this. Different column designs are available, simple and minimal designs, which come with the shower head and hand shower, and the column panels which have jets for those relaxing back massages.

Among the advantages of the shower columns over the built-in showers, we have:

  1. The shower column’s versatility when carrying out refurbishments, with changing the bath for a shower being a perfect example. Normally, the bath tap connection adapts perfectly to the shower columns, in such a way that it will be possible to carry out the change without having to resort to any plumbing work.
  2. The easy maintenance comes from having a large part of the elements on show.

Although this is an advantage which highlights the external elements over the built-in showers, Noken guarantees straightforward access with Smartbox to the built-in wall structure through its easy disassembly. An option which is highly sought after by architects and interior designers because of its numerous design options, which do not affect maintenance or reparation in any way.


Touch&Feel thermostatic shower column in Round and Square version. An alternative with rain and hand shower functions, available in chrome and matt black Finish Studio. It incorporates the Noken Safe Stop safety mechanisms and the Noken Thermotrust temperature control, which increase comfort when using the shower.


Advantages of built in taps: more space, streamlined design

Built in bathroom taps have become one of the most influential trends in the design and interiors world in recent years. As well as the more obvious benefits in terms of aesthetics, built in shower taps have a number of other advantages worth considering.

  • Gain space: being able to move around more in the shower will give you an improved customer experience. This is without a doubt one of the main advantages of having built in shower taps. They free up more room, making it feel more spacious, and of course improve the aesthetic.
  • Added comfort, easier to use: built in taps often come with the option to control the water flow as well as the temperature, making it easier to be in full control of your shower experience. And with thermostatic taps you can keep your water at just the right temperature, even when the pressure is adjusted.
  • Easy cleaning and maintenance: let's look at an example. The SMARTBOX series features a minimalist design, resulting in an incredibly streamlined aesthetic, as well as making the area easier to clean than more conventional models.
  • Improved comfort. Quieter: built in taps are housed inside a box, meaning they're insulated, so the amount of noise generated by water coming through the pipes is greatly reduced.
  • Less is more: built in tap solutions exude modern design - the ideal finishing touch for minimalist spaces. The perfect balance between aesthetics and function.
  • Versatility and design freedom: built in taps have been designed to suit installation on any type of surface, from solid walls to plasterboard, etc.