Choosing A Showerhead : Different Models and Things to Know
Last modified: 2018/10/05 | Approximate reading time 4 mins
To many, the shower is a sanctuary, one of life’s most enjoyable but simplest of pleasures. Most of us shower once a day, or at least once a week. Thus, this space is quite important to our wellbeing. Choosing the right showerhead for your bathroom will make all the difference. However, there are various options on the market and knowing which choice will complement both your bathroom and your needs can be challenging.
Luckily, we’re here to go over the different types of showerheads and assist you in making the right decision.
Here’s how to choose a showerhead!
Different types of showerheads
When it comes to choosing a showerhead, there are essentially four different styles on the market and these are: fixed showerheads, hand-held showerheads, top-mount showerheads, and shower panels.
Fixed showerheads are those which are affixed in the wall and mounted permanently. They are also referred to as wall-mounted showerheads. If you’re looking for the least expensive option on the market, then this is your best bet. These tend to work with existing plumbing and can be easily attached. More sophisticated options will come equipped with a nozzle that allows you to change the spray patterns.
Hand-held showerheads are good for those looking for additional reach and flexibility. This style showerhead hangs from a fixed-mount bracket and is connected to the wall with a flexible hose. This showerhead is generally favoured for a family bathroom or by those with children or pets, as it offers the necessary motion to bathe them. Some options also include a sliding bar that can be set to various heights and can be installed in combination with a standard showerhead.
Top-mount showerheads are an excellent option for those searching for an elegant take on a showerhead. Also known on the market as rain showers, they are installed directly above the bathtub or wet room sitting above the bather's head for an all-encompassing drenching experience.
Depending on the style you choose, they can be suspended from a pendant or flush-mounted directly from the ceiling. It’s important to mention that this style showerhead will require excessive plumbing work and in most cases will require an upgrade. Therefore, these are usually best for bathroom remodels or renovations. This style showerhead can work great in bathrooms where the ceiling might be too low for a traditional shower.
Shower panels are the newest type of showerhead on the market and can be thought of like standing jacuzzies. This type of shower consists of multi-spray panels that are comparable to the numerous jets and solid water pressure. They are generally installed in rows on opposite or adjacent walls alongside the shower, with pressure that provides a water pattern for cleaning and massaging.
These types of showerheads have gained plenty of popularity and can be purchased in pre-fabricated patterns or customized with the number of spigots and their placement as chosen by you. Again, this type of showerhead is best left for bathroom renovations as they generally require extensive plumbing work.
Showerhead spray patterns are what helps to determine why most people choose individual showerheads and these various settings that control the water stream have a huge pull. An ideal showerhead is one for which the spray pattern is easily adjustable as well as without too many moving parts, as these can wear down easily.
A wide spray is ideal for everyday use as it feels like a drenching rainfall and leaves you feeling very clean and refreshed. Targeted spray patterns produce a sharp stream which is very soothing and can do wonders for sore muscles.
Energy saving showerheads
With the environment being at the top of many people’s minds, using a showerhead to curb your water usage is an excellent option. When discussing energy savings, the important metric to keep in mind is the flow rate. Flow rate is a number based upon how many gallons per minute (GPM) flow out of the showerhead.
WaterSense, like EnergyStar for electricity, is the industry standard for rating plumbing fixtures, sanitary appliances, and general watering systems that use less water and are more efficient. Showerheads with a WaterSense label indicate that it will dispense a maximum flow of about 2.5 GPM which can be up to 40% less than conventional showerheads. According to Hydro Quebec, we use 65% of household water in the bathroom. Further, heating water can account for as much 20% of your annual electricity bill.
While other provinces such as Alberta and Ontario have guidelines in place for those wishing to cut their water consumption, HydroQuebec offers a unique pilot project. Hydro Quebec has paired with a supplier of efficient water products to offer the public “efficiency kits.” These kits come with a WaterSense certified showerhead, a low flow faucet aerator, a small hourglass to time your shower as well as some plumber's tape to make sure everything is watertight.
For those thinking about consuming less water, remember that hot water consumption increases with shower panels since they’re technically made up of multiple, smaller showerheads. Less water use translates to saving more on your annual energy bills.
Materials, finishes and prices for showerheads
Most showerheads on the market are made of metal, plastic with a chrome-like finish, or solid brass. These materials are standard as they hold up well over time with minimum wear or required maintenance. The fixed and handheld varieties are available in an assortment of finishes, and it’s likely you’ll be able to find a seamless match for any other faucets or hardware already installed.
The most popular finishes are often oil rubbed bronze, brushed chrome or nickel, copper, antique brass, and of course the classic white.
Prices will be wide-ranging, from very small amounts for a basic showerhead to thousands for a customized shower panel. This is why it is important to plan out your budget beforehand, as this will allow you to effectively determine which showerheads work realistically in your bathroom.
You should also consider where the shower lives. For instance, if it’s in the master bathroom or if you’re looking to replace a guest bathroom showerhead, which model would work best? In any case, choosing a new showerhead can give you the sensation of showering in a whole new bathroom, so take a little time to explore the options available to you!
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