Installing a new shower head is an easy way to upgrade your bath. It's even an opportunity to go more eco-friendly. With a wide range of shower heads, you can upgrade your fixed shower spray.
You can utilize a low-flow shower head to conserve water. Or add an advanced model with LED lights. Stay protected with a shower head with temperature indicators. There's even features like detachable heads and body spa systems to choose from.
There are various ways to make your showering experience better every day.
This guide will help you understand different types of shower heads. Keep reading to explore the features and innovative options available.
Types of Shower Heads
There are two basic types of shower heads: fixed and hand-held. Shower heads are available in a variety of configurations. Many range from one to eight (or more) adjustable settings.
Fixed shower heads are attached to a shower arm. The arm is then mounted permanently to the shower wall. Some styles can be mounted to the ceiling.
Handheld shower heads are connected to a flexible hose. It detaches easily from a mount for showering variety. Detachment allows better control over water spraying direction.
Dual shower heads are the most popular type of shower head. It is a combination of a hand-held and a standard fixed shower head.
Tip: Hand-held shower heads are ideal for washing children and pets. They even make cleaning the shower easier. ADA-compliant hoses need to be 59 inches or longer. They cannot be mounted higher than 48 inches off the floor.
There is a wide selection of shower head styles to choose from. The best solution depends on the setup of your shower and your needs.
Traditional/fixed shower heads:
- Low entry-level cost.
- Offer a wide range of spray patterns and streams that vary from strong to a fine mist.
- Wide selection of spray patterns, materials and shapes. These include round and square shower heads.
Dual shower heads:
- Two shower heads running from a single pipe.
- The best shower heads for a wider water flow over a larger area.
- Can spray at multiple angles.
- Features include independent adjustable flow rate and massaging heads.
- Multiple configurations available. One offers two sprays on one unit. One offers an overhead with a side spray. Or another offers a traditional head and a hand shower.
- Use strips of jets or misters to create a soothing, massaging spray.
- Offers body coverage from head to toe.
- Used primarily in custom showers.
- Larger up-front investment.
- May have special installation and plumbing requirement.
- Known as top-mount shower heads.
- Cascade water direct from above for light, even distribution.
- Low-flow rate.
- Most only have one setting. Some models feature a more high-powered rinse setting.
- Features a movable mount on a vertical bar. The bar can be moved up and down to the ideal height. It's perfect for families with notable height differences.
- Make it easier to shower without getting hair wet.
Things to Consider
When choosing the right shower head, there are a few other things to keep in mind aside from style and design. Spray pattern as well as your home's water pressure are key components in the shower head you choose.
Water pressure and volume:
- Volume of water delivered measures in gallons per minute (GPM). The water pressure in your home affects GPM.
- Not every home has high enough pressure to accommodate high-pressure heads. Lower levels of water pressure can affect your shower head's power.
- If you have low pressure, look for a shower head designed for low water pressure. While they use less water, they still provide a full shower experience.
- Some shower heads allow you to adjust the nozzle for stronger flow when needed.
- Since 1992, U.S. government regulation has mandated shower head pressure. All models must be manufactured for a maximum flow rate of 2.5 GPM. Pre-1992 shower head models still in use may flow as much as 3.5 GPM. Upgrading to a new model showerhead will do two things. It will conserve water and reduce your water costs.
The standard GPM of 2.5 since 1992 can vary according to a state's regulation:
- In Colorado and New York City, the maximum GPM allowed is 2.0.
- In California, the maximum GPM allowed is 1.8.
- The type of spray pattern you choose will depend on your preference. For instance, some shower heads offer a pause feature. This allows you to stop the flow of water while shampooing. In turn, it reduces the amount of water used. Some other types include full body, massaging, pause, drenching, rain and combo sprays.
When selecting your shower head, consider the material from which it's made. Select a color and finish that matches the other fixtures in your bathroom.
- Chrome may have a polished, brushed or matte finish. It's durable, economical and easy to clean. It resists oxidation but shows watermarks more than other finishes.
- Nickel may have a brushed or satin look. It's stylish, durable and easy to clean. Look for units with a titanium finish. This option will better resist scratching and tarnish.
- Solid color finishes are made of epoxy or baked-on enamel. This finish cleans easily. The most common colors are black and white. But you can choose from a wide selection of deep, rich colors. The finish may chip or fade more than other finishes.
- Brass may have a high gloss, satin or antique finish. This option is ideal for traditional decor. Shower heads with lifetime finishes resist damage and wear.
- Bronze complements neutral color palettes. It's a popular choice for a rustic look. It may have a polished, brushed or darker oil-rubbed look with highlights. It resists scratches, tarnishing and corrosion.
- Mixed colors and metallic tones can be matched to your bathroom’s color scheme. Striking combinations include satin nickel and polished brass. Or, brushed nickel and polished chrome. Maybe even satin nickel and white. Combinations are endless.
- Stainless steel has an attractive, modern appearance and doesn’t show water spots.
Personalize your shower with a range of optional features. Options include deluxe heads, bendable nozzles, cut-off valves and more.
- Deluxe heads shower systems feature electronic control panels. They alter spray intensity, frequency, pattern and water temp.
- Self-cleaning heads help prevent limescale buildup. Swivel the nozzle from time to time to shake bits and particles of lime scale loose.
- The best handheld shower heads come with a rubber grip. This makes it easier to hold, particularly when it’s wet. An arm extender allows tall people to raise the head. This makes showering much easier.
- Diverters allow hand-held and fixed shower heads to be used together in the same shower. This provides you with multiple configuration options.
- Shower head filters remove chlorine, contaminants and skin irritants. Filters help reduce damage to the skin and hair. Shower head filters are recommended for areas known to have heavy water.
- Shower faucets are also available with adjustable streams and flow rates. This allows for a customized shower experience. WaterSense shower heads are high–performing, water–efficient fixtures. Shower heads with WaterSense labels will help you reduce water use in your home.
- Want a convenient place to store all of your shower accessories? Look for a head that provides a soap dish, shower basket and shelves. Some even include no-fog mirrors. Say hello to easy shaving and teeth brushing.
- Complete shower systems provide a more relaxing shower experience. They use a combo of shower heads, configuration designs and features. You can choose an economical multi-function shower head. Or, go for an easy-to-install tower shower. Many systems can connect to existing plumbing.
- For a more personalized shower experience, go for custom shower designs. There are high-end systems with multiple valves, sprays and patterns. You can choose from virtually limitless combinations. These systems are designed to your specifications. They're a popular option in new construction. This is due to the unique requirements for plumbing, water pressure, drainage, hot water and ventilation.
With many options available, it can be overwhelming. We can help you find the best bathroom shower head. There's an upgrade for your lifestyle, budget and needs. Ready to start your bathroom project? The Home Depot delivers online orders when and where you need them.