Showerhead Buying Guide

An invigorating shower can get the day off to a smart start, but many people don’t realize the options available beyond the plain showerheads that are already in their bathrooms. If you’re shopping for a new showerhead as part of a wholescale bathroom renovation or just for a touch of luxury keep these considerations in mind.

There are two basic types of showerhead: fixed and hand-held.

  • Fixed are mounted permanently to the wall of the shower unit.

  • Hand-held are connected to the wall by a flexible tube or hose, allowing a range of motion. Hand-held showerheads most often hang on a fixed-mount bracket, which can sometimes be fixed low on the wall to adhere to the principles of universal design. Hand-held showerheads are also useful for bathing children and pets, and they make cleaning the shower and tub easy.

Some fixed showerheads are mounted in such a way that the height can be adjusted to accommodate different people. Look for this feature if very tall and very short people share your bathroom.

For energy savings, look for a low-flow showerhead, which uses less water than a standard model. According to Canadian government standards, no showerhead can have a water flow rate greater than 2.5 gallons per minute at a standardized pressure of 80psi. Low-flow showerheads use even less than that, which translates to lower energy costs to the consumer.

But not every home has water pressure as high as 80psi, and levels substantially lower than that can make a dramatic difference in the effectiveness of the shower. If it feels like you never can get the shampoo rinsed out of your hair properly, look for a model designed specifically for low water pressure use.

An adjustable arm can modify the height of the showerhead.

Some showerheads also come with a cut-off valve that allows you to stop the flow of water while shampooing, greatly reducing the amount of water used in every shower.

Different spray patterns and options are available. A wide, round showerhead feels like a drenching rain, while a massaging unit can offer a sharp spray, a fine mist or a combination of several sensations. Look for a unit on which the spray pattern is easily adjustable, even with soapy hands.

Examine the holes on the showerhead to determine the spray pattern.

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