Did you know that on average, people take 13-minute showers? If you take a shower every day, you’re going to be in the shower for more than 75 hours per year! That’s a long time to spend in a shower that doesn’t perform as you’d want.
However, when you do have a great handheld shower head, you’ll be willing to spend more time in the shower.
In this guide, we are going to talk to you about handheld shower heads, why you may want a handheld shower head over a fixed on, and so much more. By the time we’re done, you’re going to be brimming with knowledge and you might even want to go out and find a new shower head for your own home!
Different Types Of Shower Heads
When it comes to choosing a shower head for your bathroom makeover, you don’t want to skip out on a cheap shower head. There are several different types of shower heads that you could install in your bathroom:
Standard Wall-Mounted Shower Head
This is your typical shower head. It’s mounted onto your wall and you can adjust the neck slightly to change the direction that the water sprays on you. There have been various designs of these shower heads that include nifty features like different spray modes, the angle that you can adjust the neck, and the overall quality of the unit itself.
While some units only have one spray setting, some offer a selection of spray options that range from massage, misting, and other effects. These are beneficial for homeowners who are on a budget because these options are the most affordable.
LED Shower Heads
LED Shower Heads are wall-mounted shower heads that use LED lights to turn your shower into something a little more fun. They don’t require any batteries or electrical hookups (fortunately!) and they’re powered by the water. You can find these shower heads in a variety of styles and designs so that you can find and until that will match your décor.
Bluetooth Shower Heads
Bluetooth Shower Heads are another trendy newcomer to the shower head scene. These shower heads do require electricity to operate, but you can charge them via a USB port. Most devices can run for several hours on a full charge.
These are great options if you want to listen to your favorite music, podcast, or audiobook while you’re showering. You can even find these options with LED lights incorporated into the design.
Low Flow Shower Heads
Low Flow Shower Heads are designed to reduce the amount of water being used while you shower, without reducing the amount of water pressure.
Top Mounted (Or Rain) Shower Head
These are shower heads that are attached to the wall, but they are positioned to create a rain-like feel. The traditional top mounted shower heads are designed to hang from an extension arm.
However, you can find some models that will be installed directly into the ceiling. People like these types of shower heads if they have a low ceiling. They tend to be more durable than other designs because you’re not handling it (like trying to adjust the spray direction).
Sliding Bar Shower Head
With this type of shower head, you are going to have much more movement. The unit has a section that can move up and down on a bar that is mounted to the wall. This particular design is meant to cater to homes where family members vary in height.
This allows tall people to move the shower head up so they can enjoy a shower without having to crouch down, while shorter people can move the shower head down if they wanted to. These shower heads are perfect for families, but because they will get moved often, they are more prone to breaking.
Shower Panel / Body Spray System
If you have a shower panel (or a body spray panel), then this is going to give you the most customizable shower experience. This unit features several shower heads that are fixed to the wall. Depending on what you’re looking for in a shower experience, you can attach the shower heads to one or more walls.
Every shower head is going to have its spigot that will spray the water to a specific part of the body. These shower heads are great for those who have special requirements when bathing. You can find these systems already put together according to the manufacturer’s specifications, or you can create your system.
Since the pressure of each of these spigots can be adjusted to your desire, these shower panels are going to be able to create more water pressure to where you want it. This can be a disadvantage too if you’re environmentally conscious.
Handheld Shower Head
With these shower heads, you have the most flexibility of all the other options because you can remove it from the mount and put the water directly where you want/need it to be.
Most models will come with a 5-foot hose that makes it convenient for you to clean the shower stall, bathe your children, or give Fido a bath.
Ideally, you’ll want to find a dual shower head with a handheld shower head. This way you can stand under the warm water while you direct more pressured water to other parts of your body with the handheld.
High-Pressure Handheld Shower Head
These options are designed to give you more pressure than what you currently have with your existing shower head. Many people prefer taking a shower with strong water pressure because it is much easier to rinse the soap from your body and hair. Also, since you are taking a high pressured shower, you can rinse off faster, thus saving some water too.
Benefits Of A Handheld Shower Head
You may not think that a handheld shower head is going to make a difference in how you shower, but oh… You have no idea what you’re missing. There are many reasons why a handheld shower head is going to make your life a little better.
How many times have you needed to shave your legs, but you were short on time and had to dry shave? It sucks, we know. The beauty of a handheld shower head is that you can turn the water on and use the shower head to rinse away any soap or shaving cream without having to climb into the tub.
Cleaning The Shower
Cleaning the shower stall is no simple task, especially when you have to use a cup or bucket to rinse away the soap off the walls where the water from a fixed shower head cannot reach. With a handheld, you can easily clean the shower walls without struggling with a cup. Not only is it going to be easier, but it’s going to make the chore of cleaning the shower that much quicker.
Helping Someone Bathe
If you have an elderly parent living with you, if you’ve injured yourself, or if you’re trying to bathe your children, you probably know how difficult it can be to give them a proper shower with a fixed shower head.
When you have a shower head with a handheld shower head, they can enjoy the water falling around them, and you can rinse away suds where the regular water cannot reach.
When you’re showering and you’re ready to rinse the soap from your body or hair, you have to move a lot when you’re standing under a fixed shower head. This can be quite dangerous because you could slip and fall.
If you have a handheld shower head, you can stand in one spot and direct the water to go wherever you want it to go. Not only is this safer, but it is more efficient.
Reach Hard Places
For those who enjoy using a thick conditioner or hair mask (or even hair color) in their hair, regular shower heads may not be able to get all the product out of your hair without a lot of wasted water and scrubbing on your part.
However, with a handheld, you can put the water directly on your scalp and rinse away the product so much quicker and easier. Also, with a handheld, you don’t have to worry about getting product in your eyes. This is especially helpful if you’re doing someone else’s hair.
Maybe you decide that you’d rather have a wall-mounted shower head as well as a handheld, you can find these combinations relatively cheap, too. You can even find a rain shower with a handheld shower head if you want a bit of luxury in your private bath.
Typical Materials Used In A Handheld Shower Head
The type of material the handheld shower head is made of usually indicates how well the product is going to hold up. Let’s take a look at some of the commonly used materials that you can find in these useful fixtures.
Plastic is the most affordable option. It’s lightweight, durable, and it can come in a variety of finishes and colors. The plastic can also stand up against hot water pretty well without warping.
Nickel is often used for handheld shower heads because it is going to be much more durable. Nickel is resistant against corrosion and it isn’t going to go through the same wear and tear as plastic would.
Shower heads that coated in chrome plating are going to be more decorative than plastic, and depending on your aesthetic, you may even prefer the look of the shiny chrome.
Also, chrome plated shower heads are going to last a lot longer because the surface is going to be harder and it is going to resist corrosion much better than other materials.
Bronze is an alloy of tin and copper, and it is often used for handheld showers because they are going to be durable, be resistant to corrosion, they’re not going to break if the shower head slips out of your hand.
If you are looking for a fixture that is going to add a bit of glam to your bathroom, you could find gold plated fixtures. Don’t get these confused with a brass handheld shower head because, although they are both shiny and yellow colored, the brass will give your bathroom a retro vibe that isn’t always the most appealing.
How To Install A Handheld Shower Head
Some people hesitate to put in a new shower head because they are under the impression that it’s going to be difficult and they may even need a plumber to do it. That isn’t always the case, especially if you’re switching out your existing shower head for a handheld option.
In this section, we are going to go through the steps that will have you taking glorious showers with your new handheld shower head.
For this project, you are going to need:
- Adjustable wrenches
- Slip-joint pliers
- Teflon tape
- Electrical tape or a towel
Step 1: Removing The Old Shower Head
To remove the old shower head, you are going to want to turn it counter-clockwise. If you are unable to remove the shower head by hand, wrap the jaws of your slip-joint pliers with some electrical tape or a towel. This is going to make sure the finish on the shower arm doesn’t become damaged.
Grip the shower arm with your pliers and then use an adjustable wrench to loosen and screw the old unit. You will then want to clean up any mineral deposits, rust, or old tape or sealant from the threads on the shower arm.
Step 2: Wrap The Threads
After the threads of the shower neck have been cleaned, you will then want to wrap some Teflon tape around those threads. Wrap the tape clockwise around the threads about two or three times. Make sure that you press the tape into the threads.
Step 3: Installing A Fixed Mount With A Handheld Shower Head
Attach the diverter that is going to direct water to the shower head to the shower arm. Tighten the diverter by hand, but be sure not to over tighten it. You will then want to screw the fixed mount shower head onto the end of the diverter. This is going to be in a clockwise direction and, again, hand tighten it but not too tight.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to attach the handheld unit to the fixed shower mount. You will then want to connect the hose to the handheld unit to the diverter. Hand tighten these connections and then place the handheld shower head to the mount.
Test your connections by turning on the water and adjust the diverter so that the water goes from one unit to the other. There shouldn’t be any leaks at any of the connections. If there are leaks, use the Teflon tape on the threads to create a good seal.
How to Clean Your Shower Head
Over time, your shower head is going to become grimy and it isn’t going to perform the same as it once did. Mineral deposits are going to build up in the shower head and it’s going to cause you to experience low flow or low water pressure.
Here are some tips that will help you clean your shower heads (handheld and mounted) easily.
Tip 1: Rubbing The Nozzles
Most show heads will have flexible rubber nozzles. You can remove the mineral build upon these by rubbing the nozzle with your fingertip. If you think the nozzles are clogged, you can scrub it gently with a toothbrush.
Tip 2: Soak The Shower Head In Vinegar
There are two ways that you could do this:
- Leave the shower head attached to the wall. Fill up a plastic bag with white vinegar and wrap it around the pipe coming from the wall. Use a zip-tie, a rubber band, or even tape to make sure the bag stays in place. Leave the bag sit around the shower head for several hours. Then remove the bag and let hot water run through the shower head.
- Remove the shower head from the pipe and you can completely submerge the shower head in a bag of white vinegar. Let the shower head sit for several hours and then rinse it with warm water. Reattach the shower head to the pipe and let warm water run through it for a few minutes.
Tip 3: Clean The Filter
This is the most challenging way to clean your shower head, but it is still worth doing once in a while. To clean the screen, you will want to check the owner’s manual, either the actual booklet or on the company’s website.
Usually, the screen is located in the part of the shower head that connects to the pipe. You are going to have to remove the shower head from the pipe to gain access to the screen.
Once you remove the screen from the pivot ball with a pair of needle-nose pliers or tweezers, you will want to gently rub the screen while letting warm water run over the screen. This will flush out any mineral build-up that may be coming loose.
When the screen is cleaned, put it back into the unit and reattach the shower head to the pipe in the wall. Make sure you connect everything securely so that there aren’t any leaks!
After a long day at work and a tough workout, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as relaxing in a nice hot shower. You can turn the water up as high as you can take it and just let out a sigh of relief as the heat makes the stress, aches, and pains seemingly melt away.
For those extra tough spots in your back, a handheld shower head makes all the difference in the world, especially if it gives you the ability to adjust the water flow.
There are many types of shower heads available on the market, that much is true. You can find all sorts of styles and designs with even an array of finishes. All of these things can take your plain shower from boring to something spectacular.
It isn’t that uncommon to find people with a fixed shower head with a handheld attachment. These combinations give you the ability to enjoy the water as it cascades down around you while focusing strong water onto those sore parts of your body.
Of course, handheld shower heads can be used for a variety of applications, too. They can help you bathe a dog who isn’t that fond of bath time. You can help your loved ones shower if they need help because they cannot do it on their own. These handhelds can even help you clean the shower!
People may not think that it’s very classy to have a handheld shower head because the hose can be tacky and strange. But for people who aren’t living in a model home, we say you’d be doing yourself a disservice by not having a handheld.
If you are thinking about upgrading, we recommend that you check out our buying guide. In the guide, we talk about the features that you should look for in a handheld shower head, but we also give you five mini-reviews of products that we think are worth the title of being considered one of the best.