How to choose a showerhead
Today’s showerheads are drifting further and further from the conventional, utilitarian showerheads of the past. Strolling the aisles of your local home improvement store presents today’s consumers with an enormous amount of choices. From sleek handheld units with adjustable spray settings to the stand-up spas, there’s something to suit everyone’s preference as well as budget.
Standard wall mount: The standard wall-mounted showerhead ranges from the usual, more conventional designs to the more complex, feature-heavy models with adjustable angles and multiple spray modes. Its features also include technology to ensure there is neither a buildup of hard water deposits nor rusting and tarnishing. Some have a single setting, while others include mist, massage, and a plethora of other shower effects. Similar to any home fixture, the prices will vary with the number of features and build quality, but if you need value for your money, I think we can help you out.
Wall or ceiling mount: This would easily pass for the most common type of showerhead. A wall or ceiling mounted model can either be installed directly on the ceiling, which is commonly paired with a rain head or mounted to the wall with a small extension arm. While the wall mounted version is by far the most common, the rain head version can seemingly transform you to a tropical paradise as the water falls down on you.
Sliding bar: If you share a shower with other members of your family, a showerhead mounted on a sliding bar can mean the perfect height for everyone. The height of the showerhead is easily adjustable with just the twist of a knob. These type of showerheads are most often attached to a hose and can usually be converted into a handheld shower faucet.
Handheld: Attached to a hose, a handheld shower valve can be moved from its mounted position. A handheld showerhead performs well in bathing applications and can also be useful not only for bathing yourself but also for washing pets and the kids too. With the hand-held showerhead, you can now reach body parts other kinds of showerheads can't reach. While some handheld showerheads are mounted in a fixed position, many models also incorporate the sliding bar height adjustment feature.
Shower panel systems: Also called body spray showerheads. Shower panel systems incorporates many body sprays that can be independently adjusted for the perfect angle and spray power. They’re like a car wash you stand up in. Highly adjustable to your preference, shower panel systems offer more water pressure where you want, less where you don’t. While there are many prefabricated shower panel systems on the market, you can also create your very own system by placing spray heads around your entire shower.
It only follows that in homes with body spray showers installed, water consumption tends to increase. You’ll want to confirm with a professional if your plumbing can accommodate the shower system you’re about to choose. Also, check if your water heater system has enough capacity to meet the increased level of demand. One option for increasing your hot water capacity is to install a tankless water heater.
The EPA has limited showerheads in the U.S. to a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) since the early 1990s, thereby reducing the consumption of both water and the fuel that fires water heaters. The average person goes through approximately 100 gallons of water in a single day, so it's considered good environmental stewardship to invest in a showerhead that uses even less than 2.5 gpm.
One thing to keep in mind is that the EPA-specified flow rate is for a standardized household water pressure of 80 pounds per square inch (psi). If your home’s water pressure isn’t that high to begin with, a low-flow showerhead probably won’t offer the results you’re looking for. If you’re already discontent with the water pressure available in your home, concentrate on models that have been specially engineered to address that issue or check with a plumbing professional to see if you can increase the water pressure to your home.
You can spend $20 to more than $1000 to upgrade your shower fixtures. You’ll have to decide for yourself if the unique features that determine the price of the fixtures are worth it. When comparing two similar models, keep in mind that a higher price does not always indicate higher quality.
Think about who’s going to be using the bathroom your renovating. If it’s the master bath and you don’t plan on sharing the space with guests, you can select the fixtures you most desire without considering the needs of others. However, if it’s a bathroom that your guests are likely to use, select models that are generally easier to use.
Furthermore, consider how much time and energy you are willing to spend installing a showerhead. If you’re remodeling the bathroom entirely or building a new home from scratch, the extent of the work already being done would easily absorb an otherwise demanding and costly installation.