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Shower Trim Terminology 101

Jun 25, 2021 1:03:55 PM / by Mariah Farrens

Understanding bathroom trim terminology:

Shower trim, trim kits, bathroom trim, valves... there are a lot of industry terms when it comes to your shower and tub. What do they mean and what should I look for when I'm designing my shower? 

  • Understanding your design (shower configuration, size, number of outlets) 
  • What things should I be looking for when making selections? (price, lead time, finish, manual or digital controls) 
  • what shower valve do I need?

What is a trim kit for a shower?

The trim is referring to the visible or "decorative" parts of the shower. The handles, knobs, showerhead, and tub filler. The trim works along with the shower valve to control the shower system and is installed over the valve. 

032221 Alldridge Shower

9 Things to consider before you get started:

  • What kind of shower/tub configuration do you have? Are you simply replacing an existing shower setup or are you looking for a complete redesign with more outlets? 
  • Do you want manual controls or smart/digital trim?
  • Are you interested in having multiple shower components running at once? Let's say body jets, shower wand, rain head, and a ceiling mount?
  • What style are you looking for?
  • Are there specific colors or finishes you have in mind?
  • How it's made. Is the trim made with plastic of solid metal construction?
  • What shower valve do you need for your setup?
  • Have an understanding of the scope of work. 
  • Have a budget. 


Additional Resources:
Bathroom Fixtures Checklist
How to Choose Shower Fixtures
Guide to Buying Bathroom Fixture Online


How it's Made

There is a difference in the craftsmanship of the shower trim. 

A good rule of thumb when making your selection is to see if it has some "weight" to it when you hold it in your hand. If it is lightweight, most likely it is mainly made from plastic thus driving down the price tag. If you are online shopping, see if there are any details about the product being made from solid brass. 

trim color


What color or finishes are you interested in?

Depending on the finish you are interested in for your shower can plan a big role in the timeline completion of your project. Specialty finishes may delay your project if the company you are ordering from doesn't stock those finishes. The most popular finishes in 2021 are matte black, chrome, and an increase in satin brass.



trim shape


Consider the Style or Shape

There is a multitude of styles available for shower trims. 

  • Round
  • Square
  • (Curved (Round/Square)
  • Combination 

If you are interested in having multiple shower components running at once you'll have to choose trim with multiple knobs to control these outlets. 

number of trim styles



What valve do I need for my shower setup?

You are looking into installing a new shower setup and you come across this terminology for shower valves; pressure balance, thermostatic, shared, and non-shared...honestly it can be a tad confusing.

There are two main valve types we will be diving into today and learning what the difference is between these two valves, but most importantly which one is best for your next shower project.

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Tags: Shower Systems

Mariah Farrens

Written by Mariah Farrens

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