Do You Have the Right Showerhead in Your Bathroom?
Today’s showerheads encompass a wide range of spray patterns, adjustability and water saving features to give nearly everyone a personalized showering experience in the comfort of their own bathrooms.
By Chelsea McGrath
If you’re still using a single spray, stationary shower head — and you aren’t aware of anything different that’s available — it may be time to talk to your remodeling contractor or take a trip down the bathroom fixtures aisles at your local home improvement store. Today’s showerheads encompass a wide range of spray patterns, adjustability and water saving features to give nearly everyone a personalized showering experience in the comfort of their own bathrooms.
Not every type of showerhead is right for everyone, of course. Here’s a rundown of five fun, convenient, or luxurious options to assist you in finding one that fits your family’s needs.
Singin’ in the Rain
A rain showerhead disperses water flow over a large surface to give you a more gentle, relaxing shower. Mounted high on the wall or directly overhead, a rain showerhead gently disperses water in a dripping pattern, although you can find models with a little more pressure thanks to the injection of air into the water stream.
You’ll need a larger-than-average shower for best results, because the distributed water hits a bigger area than with a traditional showerhead. Depending on how you can position the showerhead, you may need some professional help for installation. Improperly angled and installed rain showerheads may drip more heavily on one side.
Seeing the Light
Did you know your showerhead can also put on a light show? Showerheads with incorporated LED bulbs can display continuous light of one color, light that changes with the temperature or flow of water, or light that is programmed to change over time. Look for a showerhead that powers the lights with running water — no batteries needed. These LEDs can be incorporated into almost any style of showerhead, and range from very inexpensive to quite costly.
If saving water and being environmentally friendly are your top priorities, you’ll want to look into low-flow showerheads. Unlike the water-saving devices of years past, which slowed your flow to a tiny trickle, new water-saving showerheads deliver comfortable water pressure for your showering needs while saving on your water bill.
How much can a low-flow showerhead really save you? You can find excellent models that use just 1.25 gallons per minute — half of the standard for shower flow. Look for the WaterSense label on the package. That means the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has tested and found the showerhead to use less than 2.0 gallons per minute. Using one can save your family as much as 2,900 gallons per year, according to the EPA.
Adjust to Size
If your family includes people of varying heights, an adjustable showerhead can be a nice way for everyone to feel comfortable while showering. It used to be that the showerhead would be mounted and adjusted for the tallest person in the home, but sliding bar showerheads let you easily bring the shower down to your level. These work by letting you move the showerhead down a stationary bar and then clamp it into place. They’re far nicer and stay in place better than adjustable flex arms.
While many showerheads have a spray pattern labeled “massage,” the resulting water pressure may leave something to be desired. True massage showerheads have significant water pressure and a mix of spray patterns to deliver a relaxing experience that works into your neck, shoulder and back muscles. Look for handheld options that deliver pressure where you need it.
If your massaging showerhead — or any other type of showered you choose — isn’t delivering the right flow, remember that low water pressure can be caused by several factors, including old or broken pipes. HomeAdvisor’s Cost Guide estimates you’ll spend an average of $1,056 to replace aging or damaged pipes to improve water pressure.
With the range of unique showerheads on the market, you should be able to find one that will meet the needs of everyone in your family. Talk to your plumbing professional or remodeling contractor to learn about even more options.
Chelsea McGrath is an editor with a love for all things home, health, sports and nature.