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4 Key Questions to Ask Before Buying a Showerhead

Updated on June 1, 2010

Why do you need to buy a new showerhead?   Well, one common reason is lime and mineral deposit buildup around the nozzles.  Usually caused by hard water, the result can be a fixture that starts running slower and slower or a water stream that starts coming out in many different directions.

A second reason for replacing your shower head may be mildew, mold, and bacteria that starts growing inside the fixture.  Regularly cleaning your showerhead can help, but over time it’s best if you just treat yourself to a new showerhead.

Finally, you may just decide it’s time to spruce up your bathroom and create a new, comfortable space in which you can start and end your hectic day.

Whatever the reason, before buying a new showerhead consider each of the following questions.

Question 1: Do I want a fixed or handheld showerhead?

The stationary, or fixed showerhead, is the traditional choice.  It attaches directly to the pipe coming from the wall of the shower.  But even most fixed showerheads allow you to adjust the position of the head so water falls on the part of your body you want it to.  If you don’t want to get your hair wet, simply point the showerhead down.

A newer option is the sliding bar showerhead.  This allows whoever is taking a shower to move the showerhead up and down a bar that’s mounted on the shower wall.  This is ideal when you have people of different heights using the same shower.

A handheld showerhead is one that attaches to a flexible hose that can be from 3 to 6 feet long.  By unhooking the hose, you can point the water spray to whatever part of your body you want it to go.  Another benefit is that you can then use the flexible hose to clean off the shower walls.

Also, if you are in the habit of using a shower seat or shower chair, you can move the flexible showerhead where you want it, even while seated.

Question 2: What kind of spray do I want?

Most modern showerheads will allow you to adjust the spray settings and levels of pressure.  But first you have to decide the type and number of setting options you want to pay for.  Available types include settings that feel like a soft summer rain, a gentle mist, a pulsating massage, and a steady, high-pressure stream, just to name a few.  There are also narrow and wide focused sprays.

These settings can be changed by moving an adjustment ring that’s located on the outer edge of the showerhead.

Question 3: What shape and finish do I want?

This question has to do with style because the shape of your showerhead and the finish you choose for it will contribute to the look and feel of the entire bathroom.

Showerheads come in both traditional and unique shapes.  You are most likely familiar with the simple round showerhead.  But designer showerheads are available in square, rectangle, triangle, and round shapes.  There are also bell and star shapes as well as ones that have spokes.  Of course, the more unique the shape, the more the cost.

Finishes are also available to meet all tastes and budgets.  There is chrome and chrome plated as well as brushed and polished nickel.  Also available are solid or polished brass, rubbed bronze, or copper.  There are even white polished plastic finishes should you desire.

Selecting the right shape and finish for your showerhead will help you coordinate the environment of your entire bathroom

Question 4: How many and where should I locate my showerheads?

If you are building a new bathroom or doing a major upgrade, you may also want to think about having more than one showerhead and putting them in different places.

Many manufacturers now make dual showerheads – one fixed and one handheld. There is then a lever that lets you choose which one you want to use – or even both at the same time.  Both these heads can come off the same wall pipe.

But you can also have two different water pipes installed.  You can then locate showerheads on two different walls or have both directly above you.  They can even each have a different type of spray.  Think of the unique showering experience this can provide.

If you set a budget and ask yourself these 4 questions, you’ll find the perfect showerhead.


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    • Billsnotes profile image

      Billsnotes 7 years ago

      Thanks for your comment.

    • Gladys Hunziker profile image

      Gladys Hunziker 7 years ago from Boston

      Thanks for all of the great information. I never stopped to consider mold growing inside the showerhead, ut it does make sense. Great hub.