Are you considering installing a rain shower head instead of a regular shower head in your bathroom so you can enjoy a soothing rain shower?
Did you know that rain shower heads can provide a spa-like experience in your own home? Or that they can help you save money on your water bill?
Not everybody has the same experience with rain shower heads so it isn’t a cut-and-dry situation as to whether they are right for you or not.
Whether you’re looking to upgrade your shower experience or improve the efficiency of your regular shower head, a rain shower head may be the perfect solution. Or, it may not be all it’s cracked up to be.
Keep reading to learn more about the rain shower head pros and cons, so you can make an informed decision about whether or not they’re right for you.
What exactly is a rain shower head?
A rain shower head is a special type of shower head. Its large diameter, ranging from 8 inches to 16 inches or more, creates a wide coverage area for a luxurious spa-like experience. Unlike traditional shower heads, a rain shower head mimics the sensation of standing under a gentle rain. The design also allows for a gentle flow of water.
Some rain shower heads have adjustable flow settings, allowing you to customize the water pressure to your liking. They come in a variety of styles and materials, from basic chrome to brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, and even high-end materials like stainless steel and copper.
There is a lot of interest being paid to rain shower heads as they seem ideal, especially if you have a walk-in shower. Of course, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all scenario when it comes to anything and rain shower heads are no exception.
Is a rain shower head worth it?
People are generally drawn to rain shower heads over a regular shower head for the spa like experience since it provides a very soothing and relaxing shower. There’s no doubt that this is a great reason to own one and there are other advantages as well.
However, there are some drawbacks to a rain shower head that may not make it worth it to have one even if the experience is relaxing. In fact, for some, they are not nearly as relaxing as they imagined due to the disadvantages.
Read on to see if a rain shower head is right for you.
Rain shower head pros
Provides a spa-like experience
The design and water flow of a rain shower head is meant to provide a relaxing and soothing experience, by mimicking a natural rainfall, with soft and gentle droplets, rather than a harsh, pressurized spray. This makes it ideal to take a shower with one for unwinding and washing away stress after a long day.
Many rain shower heads also come with adjustable flow settings, allowing you to customize the water pressure to your liking, and some are paired with other shower features such as body sprays and handheld shower heads to take the spa-like experience to the next level.
Can save money on water bills
Rain shower heads save money on water bills because of their water-efficient design. They have a large diameter and gentle flow, meaning less water is used during each shower. Many also have adjustable flow settings, allowing you to control the water flow and use only what you need. Low flow rate shower heads also use less water, typically 2 gallons per minute or less. This reduces water consumption and benefits both the environment and household budgets.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that people tend to take longer showers due to the relaxing effect of a rain shower head. This means that you will only see water savings if you take a short shower or at least one that is long as you currently take with a traditional shower head.
Better water pressure
Let’s define what improving water pressure means because rain shower heads are not typically designed to improve water flow, but rather to provide a gently fall like rain flow of water. This means that the point of a rain shower head isn’t to give you a refreshing massage so it doesn’t require high water pressure.
The water pressure in a rain head is determined by the water pressure from your home’s main water line, so if you want to improve the water pressure, you should check your home’s main water line. You can read this article for more information about increasing the water pressure in your shower if you are concerned about the pressure and spray water.
Good for couples
A rain shower head can be a great option for couples because it provides a spacious and immersive showering experience. The wide, gentle spray of a rain shower head can create a relaxing and romantic ambiance, making it a perfect addition to a couples’ bathroom.
One of the biggest rain shower head pros for couples is that it can be large enough for two people to shower together comfortably. Many rain shower heads have a diameter of 8 inches or more, which means that the water will fall from a wide area and provide plenty of room for two people to stand underneath.
Another of the big rain shower head pros is that many come with additional functions such as LED lights or massage jets, that could create a spa-like experience, making the shower time a more intimate and relaxing moment for the couple.
Available in a variety of styles and finishes
It doesn’t matter how much space you have or what the design of your shower is like since there is a type of rain shower head that works for your situation and will still cover your entire body.
You can choose a ceiling rain shower head that frees up space inside the cabin since it has rain pouring directly from above for even the tallest person.
There is also the possibility of a dual all directional shower head. These shower heads have two heads attached to one pipe, one of them can be the rain shower head, which is the larger and more traditional one, and the other one could be a handheld shower head for more flexibility to spray water. This allows you to switch between them and use them both to create a personalized shower experience for the entire body and even the tallest person to still enjoy all of the rain shower head pros.
There are also many different types of finishes for rain shower heads that suit every taste. They range from brushed nickel, chrome, and copper to name a few.
Rain shower head cons vs regular shower heads
May be more expensive than traditional shower heads
Rain shower heads can be more expensive than traditional shower heads for several reasons. They are often made with high-quality materials, such as stainless steel, which are more durable and long-lasting than plastic shower heads. There are also some luxury rain shower heads may include features like LED lights or massage jets which will add to the cost.
Rain shower heads are often larger than traditional shower heads to cover the entire body, which means that more materials are used in their construction and you need to have more shower space.
Even though a rain shower head can be expensive, many people find that the cost is worth it for the luxurious and immersive showering experience that a rain shower head provides.
Also, keep in mind that you don’t need to buy the most expensive rain shower head, there are many options in the market for all budgets.
May require more cleaning and maintenance
All shower heads are susceptible to clogged nozzles and require cleaning and maintenance. This is especially true if you have hard water. The large size of a rain shower head makes it more of an effort to keep clean. If you have to remove a rain shower head to soak it in a de-scaling solution for a few hours then this can be tedious.
Since a rain shower head is more expensive than regular shower heads, you should make sure to keep on a regular cleaning schedule by wiping them down with a vinegar solution and soft cloth to keep it from getting clogged.
May not be suitable for low water pressure
This highly depends on the type of rain shower head that you have since some work well with low pressure and others don’t. Many rain shower heads don’t need to have high pressure since they are meant to be more relaxing and gentle than regular shower heads. However, a weak flow can end up having a dripping effect instead of rain, especially if you have a shower filter attached. If you have low pressure you can still get a rain shower head but make sure to either buy one with air injection technology, or one that has thin nozzles to maximize the water pressure like this one.
Not ideal for renters
Even though rain shower heads can be a great addition to a bathroom over a regular shower head, renters may want to consider a few factors before deciding to install one in their rental property.
Rain shower heads typically require specialized installation, which can be difficult and costly for renters to do. There’s also the issue that some landlords may not allow renters to make changes to the plumbing in their rental property including the faucets and regular shower heads.
Rain shower heads can be difficult to remove and may damage the existing plumbing or tiles, which can be costly for renters to repair. Some renters might not want to leave behind a potentially costly repair issue for their landlords.
You may still be able to have a rain shower head even when renting but make sure to check with the landlord or property manager before making any bathroom renovation changes to a rental property, such as installing a new rain showerheads or even a regular shower head.
How to pick the right rain shower head
After reading the rain shower head pros and cons you should have a good idea of whether you still want one or not. Once you have decided to buy one, you will need to know what you are looking for to make sure that you get the right rain head. Here are some of the factors that go into finding the right rain shower head.
Rain water shower heads can cost between $20 and over $300. There is a wide gap in quality between those prices. This doesn’t mean that you have to get the most expensive rain shower head to be happy but you should avoid paying the lowest amount there is.
This is because the materials that are used in cheap rain shower heads is not great and it isn’t likely to last long. With how difficult installation can be for certain models, it makes sense to get a rain shower head that will last a long time and works perfectly every time.
Think about the maximum that you can reasonably spend and then buy the rain shower head that matches that number. If you can afford the most expensive rain head and the style and type suits your needs then, congratulations, you will have an amazing shower experience.
If you can only afford $100 then this will still get you a fantastic rain shower head that you will be happy with.
What size is best?
Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the rain shower head pros and cons, it’s time to select a shower head diameter that suits your preferences. Rain shower heads generally come in sizes ranging from 8 inches to 12 inches. Although these shower heads offer more versatility than regular shower heads, it’s essential to choose one that complements your installation type.
The idea is to cover your entire body without needing to move around to get under the stream of water. For some this means that 8 inches is not going to give them enough room for this to happen. Larger people should look for the large diameters around 12 inches or so.
There is also the possibility of limitations due to the size of the shower stall. Consider how wide it is before settling on a large diameter rain shower head. If you have a narrow shower stall then the smallest size you can get and still have the rainfall effect is wise.
The celing height will also factor in. If there is a lot of distance between your head and the celing above then you can get away with just about any size that you like. A wall mounted version will be more limited.
One last thing to consider is the water pressure. Those that suffer from low water pressure will likely be disappointed in the experience if they buy a large size head. This is because more water is dispersed to all the nozzles and low pressure makes them all weaker as a result. Those with low household water pressure should get the small sized rain shower heads since they can still give you a good flow even with low pressure.
Wall or ceiling installation?
The growing trend of rain shower heads has led to an increase in the number of brands offering wall-mounted options. These allow you to install a shower arm at a 90-degree angle to the existing vertical pipe behind your shower wall. However, keep in mind that the 90-degree turn in the arm will make the shower head several inches lower than before, so make sure you have enough height clearance. Mounting the shower head on the wall is generally less disruptive to your bathroom.
A celing mounted rain shower head will need to not only have the space above your head to not always be banging into it, but also area for the pipes to go to provide water.
The way they are generally installed is to have the pipes for the shower head inside the celing and not exposed. This gives you more room for clearance compared to the wall mounted version that has an arm that protrudes from the wall to make it over your head. Running pipes through the celing is quite a project, however, and can add considerably to the costs.
A wall mounted rain shower head can be installed by anybody without needing a plumber or to do any type of demolition work.
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