A simple guide to shower head styles

The selection of shower head options available on the market today can be daunting. Building the perfect setup for your new bath is no longer as simple as heading down to the hardware store and picking one up off the shelf.

In this post we’ll cover all the different options so you can make an informed decision for your home.

Keeping it old school

The standard wall-mount shower head is the one you grew up with. Installed directly to the wall above your head, this traditional design offers the advantages of low price and simple modification.

Wall-mount heads are the most economical and the most easily replaced should you wish to change out your head down the line. Wall-mount heads are also available in a wide variety of flow rates and spray types.

Their primary disadvantage is a low level of adjustability as these heads can only be moved slightly at the neck.

It’s raining from the sky

Top-mount (or ceiling-mount) shower heads extend down from above to provide a perfectly vertical spray. This style of head is ideal in bathrooms with low ceilings where a wall-mount head would need to be installed too low to be comfortable.

One advantage of top-mount heads is that they are better suited for the luxurious rainwater technique. Rainwater heads are designed to emulate the natural feeling of rain as opposed to producing high-pressure streams.

However, switching from wall-mount to top-mount can be a challenging endeavor in terms of rearranging the pipes behind the wall, particularly in homes that are not built with wood/drywall construction.

It goes anywhere

Long popular in Asian countries, the handheld shower head is making huge inroads in the United States.

Constructed with a three- to six-foot hose and a handheld wand, these heads make it easy to wash those hard to reach places and are great for rinsing the shampoo out of your hair. As an added bonus the wand serves as a quick and easy cleanup helper to rinse soap scum off the walls and floor.

The main problem with handheld shower heads is that constant motion makes them more prone to leaking, especially inexpensive models.

Upgrade to a sliding bar shower head

Perfect for couples or families with members of very different heights, a sliding bar shower head does just that, slide up and down on a bar mounted to the wall.

This setup will cost a bit more compared to a wall-mount, but the added mobility makes it possible for multiple people to shower at the perfect height for their personal needs.

Water from all around

Body mist and body spray jets are installed directly to the walls to produce streams of horizontal water that soothes your body from head to toe.

No luxury shower enclosure is complete without this lavish bonus.

Calculating flow rate

Shower heads come in high and low pressure models. While some low-flow heads can compete in effectiveness, generally the more gpm (gallons per minute) a head is rated, the stronger the pulse of the streams.

In general flow rates fluctuate between 2.5gpm all the way up to 8gpm.

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