These days the “standard” shower head just doesn’t exist. There are so many options out there it can be hard to choose just one.
Types and Benefits
Standard Wall Mount
Your standard wall-mounted shower head comes in plenty of different designs including high tech models with different spray modes. These high-tech options also prevent corrosion and tarnishing. These days you can buy a normal shower head or a shower head that can massage you while showering. Prices depend on the features but generally these are the cheapest option.
A top mount showerhead is perfect for those who like being showered from above. They can be attached to your ceiling or an extension arm.
A sliding bar shower head can be adjusted to the height you prefer by moving along a wall-mounted base. This is a great idea for a bathroom shared by a whole family as adults, kids, and teens can adjust it to just the right height.
A handheld shower can be removed from its mounting and is great for washing kids and pets. If you can’t choose between a handheld showerhead or a traditional one you can find a two-in-one variation. If you go handheld then don’t forget you need one that can be gripped easy, even with wet hands.
Shower panels are basically like Jacuzzis that you stand in. They give you the most customised shower experience possible; allowing you to adjust pressure when and where you want to. They are available in pre-configured units or separate units you can arrange yourself to create the ultimate shower pane system. The only thing to keep in mind is that they tend to use more water, so they can knock up your water bill.
Also ensure that your plumbing has room for the shower system you’re interested in. The standard size of water pipes is half an inch but some custom showers will need wider piping. Your water heater may also not be powerful enough to meet the demand of the new shower. It’s always best to talk to the professionals and get their advice.
Aerating shower heads work by mixing air and water to create higher levels of water pressure while using less water. They tend to have a higher initial cost but pay for themselves over time as they reduce your utilities bill.
Lighted showerheads use LED lights to create a shower that really matches your mood and looks and feels better.
The EPA introduced regulations in the early 90s that US showerheads had to have a flow rate no higher than 2.5 gallons per minute (GPM), in order to preserve water and the fuel that keeps water heaters running. You should consider finding a showerhead that uses even less water than this given how much water the average family goes through. If you see a model with the EPA WaterSense label this means it uses less than 2GPM and is a solid choice.
If you’re going entirely green then think about the water pressure. The flow rate the EPA specified is for a standard water pressure of 80 pounds per square inch (PSI). If your water pressure isn’t that high then you might not get what you need with a low-flow shower head. If you know water pressure is an issue in your home then go for a showerhead that’s been designed to combat low water pressure.
Upgrading your shower can cost you between $5 and $1,000, or even more. Decide which features you need and the price you’re willing to pay. Also remember that if you find two models that fit your specifications the more expensive one isn’t necessarily the highest quality one.
You should also think about how long it will take to install the new shower head. If you’re doing a bathroom renovation or building a new home then the time factor may not be an issue. If you’re looking to wrap everything up over the weekend then a basic wall-mounted feature is for you.