Different Types of Shower Heads & Their Uses
From luxury rainfall models to ordinary single spray options, there are different types of showerheads that can enhance your shower experience. Perhaps you want to replace your old flow shower head with a little more kick, and don’t know which type to get.
Or, perhaps you are remodeling your bathroom and want to avoid overpaying for a shower head that you will end up hating, it is high time that you know about their different types and pick the right on from the start.
Some models cost over 500 dollars while some are as cheap as 20 bucks. I know what you are thinking, “Why are they so damn expensive?”
Most of them aren’t worth the extra cash and I wouldn’t consider them as a good investment. However, price isn’t the only factor here. You also need to look at their types, their design, and how well those showerheads will pour water.
Depending on their mounting system, there are two different showerhead types. They are:
Design-wise, there are more. Some models lack water pressure while some feel like you are standing under a watering can. Continue reading if you want to know more about each different type.
Types of Shower Heads
In this section, I’ll be highlighting some of the most commonly used shower heads with their uses, preferences, and what makes them worth the investment.
Rain Shower Heads
In the fixed shower head category, rainfall and waterfall heads are considered as a premium upgrade over traditional showerheads. You can mount them from the ceiling or the wall, and they are usually larger.
You have the option to increase the coverage as you wish, and they generally start from 6-inches and up. More extensive coverage means more water will pour on your body, and you will be able to enjoy a refreshing shower without wasting too much water.
If you decide to mount them from the ceiling, make sure to contact your plumber because you need to run pipes through your ceiling. If you want to save the extra cost of running a pipe, there is still a solid compromise.
And that is the Overhead Shower Arm. The standard connection for showerheads in the United States is ½” IPS. Because the arms can extend between 12 -16 inches, which sometimes can even increase the height of the actual head, you don’t have to worry about any mounting issues.
In terms of function, there is a single, one concentrated spray, and there is a multi-function rain shower that allows adjusting the settings to give you the most satisfying shower experience.
The choice is yours whether you want it mounted 3-4 feet above your head or go with an extension arm.
Finally, let’s talk about diameter. Because of the new water flow regulation, you are limited to a maximum of 2.5 gallons of water output per minute. For those Eco-performance shower heads, it can get as low as 1.5 GPM.
So, no matter how large the diameter is, you are still going to get the same amount of water output. Whether you choose an 8-inch or 12-inch head, you won’t experience any sharp pressure.
However, your shower experience will vary. Rather getting blasted by concentrated spray, it’s way better to enjoy a relaxing shower under large water droplets.
With that being said, make sure to check the water pressure in your house. Typically, the flow rate is 60 PSI, and this pressure can be adjusted. If you are experiencing low pressure, it means you are getting restricted and not getting the full flow or your shower head is restricting your normal water flow.
Fixed Shower Heads
Most likely, you already have a fixed shower head in your home. They are also known as wall mount showerheads. These are smaller in size, no-frills, and simple to install.
If you are looking for a simple unit with no bells and whistles, these are the ones to go with. The maximum size of the heads is 5-inches. However, there are even smaller ones out there, and they are pretty cheap too.
If you are looking for something more feature-rich, there are multi-function units that allow changing the spray patterns to your liking.
Handheld Shower Heads
This versatile option is, without a doubt, one of the most popular shower head types on the market. Whether you are looking for an upgrade or looking for something for flexible, this is the one to get.
Handheld models are sold in packages, and they usually come with a holder to mount the showerhead and a detachable hose. The best feature of this type is the freedom you get while showering.
You can keep it in a fixed place, and this will serve as a fixed mounted unit, or you can take it off the wall to clean shower walls, rinse the soap off your body, wash your pet, etc. These are ideal for bathing kids and have fun while doing so.
Some models only offer the showerhead without the mounting accessories or the hose. Those are the cost-saving options if you already have a hose and mounting unit in your bathroom.
Make sure to check the hose length before you buy one of these. Standard handheld models will come with a 5-feet long hose. However, there are some units that have a shorter hose, and sometimes they are stiff. You need a flexible one to enjoy the benefits of a handheld model fully.
Hose material also comes into play when you are looking to buy one. For example, a metal hose is durable and flexible at the same time.
Filtered Shower Heads
If you live in a place where the water is exceptionally hard, you need to consider getting yourself a filtered shower head. They can greatly reduce the amount scale, chlorine, and most importantly, hard water that comes through your pipe.
Always go for the most recognized brands when you buy one of these. Make sure they have the NSF certification because they are one of the most well-known and respected independent product testing organizations.
For the health and safety of consumers, they ensure that shower head manufacturers meet strict standards imposed by them. Otherwise, they won’t get their certification in the first place.
Depending on your water condition, you might need to buy filter replacements every six months. There is also the option to add filters to your existing showerhead.
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Dual Shower Head
When a fixed shower head meets a handheld one, it becomes a dual shower head. It’s literally a combination between the two. Following this trend, the manufacturers decided to make some creative fixed models that include rainfall models units with fixed units.
With purchase, you will get all the necessary pieces to install them. It’s a great way to upgrade your shower experience on your own. They are fairly easy to install and come with all the components.
Now, there is a drawback. Just like large shower heads, having two of them means you will lose water pressure. This can be fixed by adding an extra pump if you have the budget to do so.
You can run both of them at the same time. But if you want maximum water flow, run one at a time. Since the highest flow rate is 2.5 GPM, you’ll most likely get 1.25 GPM from each shower head.
Ceiling Mount Shower
If you want to give a luxurious finish to your bathroom area, you might want to go with this type.
Ceiling mount showers give your bathroom a facelift, give a great finish, and add a sense of classiness.
These are large showers that you see on luxurious hotels and cribs. It’s a great way to enjoy some quality shower time thanks to its large diameter. And because of the size, the water is dispersed equally.
If you want to cover a large part of your bathroom, add some sense of luxury and enjoy a quality shower time, this is the type to get. There are other perks of installing one.
For example, the water pours in a straight manner, which means, other areas of your bathroom will stay dry. The holes are easy to clean, which means you will have less clogging.
However, it’s not efficient with water, and they are costly to install. And you can’t use them in a place with low water pressure.
Low Water Pressure Showers
Speaking of water pressure, if you happen to live in a place with low water pressure, you might want to skip all of the above and go with something that is designed to work with low water pressure.
These showerheads are designed in a way that maximizes the pressure just enough to give you a clean rinse. However, there is a catch. They are expensive to install, and you will need a good décor bathroom space if you want to rip the most from each shower session.
However, if you want to save money in the long run, these showers are economical and will save you costly water bills.
If you shower at least two times a day, don’t care about water bills, you are just showering for relaxation purpose, prefer high water flow, these are the types to get.
These showers provide a steady stream of water and maintain a consistent and powerful spray pattern. Some models allow to change the spray pattern, but those are somewhat expensive.
Another luxurious addition to your bathroom, and this panel is very similar to body spray showers. These handheld units allow you to experience a relaxing massage each time you take a shower.
These might look small, but they provide a sufficient amount of water to give a nice rinse, plus they are low maintenance. Because of their design, they are less likely to clog.
There are some multi-functional shower panels that are so advanced; you will feel like you are in the future. If you are a shower snob and want to renovate your master bathroom with the absolute perfect showerhead, these are the type to get.
The high-end models feature a sleek look with multiple settings like led screen, temperature control, random blasts of water from a different direction, etc. It’s truly meant for shower freaks that want nothing but the best.
However, there is a catch. I’m sure you already guessed it by now. With all these features, these types are way more expensive than your normal shower panels. I mean, the screen and temperature control with timer setting will cost more than the base design.
LED’s looks cool almost anywhere. In the bathroom, these lights can really add some spice to your overall shower experience. The lights will change its color depending on the water temperature. Some models don’t even need batteries.
They are powered by running water. The high-end models feature different water flow settings like power rain, economy rain, hydro-mist, etc. This can be a neat addition to your bathroom.
Especially for kids, they are most likely to spend a lot of time showering because of the attractive color-changing LED lights. Also, who doesn’t love showering in the dark with colored lights? It will make showering before bed much more attractive.
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Choosing a certain type of showerhead will depend on your preference. You know your budget and your bathroom size. I’m just showing the various types out there. Since each one has their different uses and functions, spend some time to know about each of them. This will allow you to make a better choice for yourself.
Now, last but not least, you should also consider the installation process. If you are building a new home, this won’t be a problem. However, if you are renovating, make sure to pick one that is quick and easy to install.