Shower heads have come a long way in recent years. If you haven’t shopped for shower fixtures recently, you’ll find a variety of options that you may not have known even existed when visit your favourite web site or home store. What was once a utilitarian fixture is now an opportunity to add a special custom tough your bathroom as well as spa-like features. Handheld shower heads, rain heads and wall-mounted shower panel systems are just a few of the options. Before you select the shower head for your bathroom renovation, make sure you consider all the options and have a conversation with your plumber about what you want. Read on for a breakdown of the options.


Single-Head Spray

Single Head SpraySingle-head shower heads have been common in bathrooms almost since the advent of indoor plumbing. Today’s models contain four or more individual nozzles within them. Many allow you to adjust them so that the water comes out in a pattern that suits your preferences. Gone are the days, however, when single-head shower heads need to be completely stationary. Many are connected to a flexible hose so they can be removed from the wall and held in your hand. Others are mounted to a vertical bar that lets you adjust the height – perfect for a couple or family of varying heights who shares a shower.




Multiple Shower Headsmultihead

A variation of the  single-head, multi-head units contain more than one head within a single fixture. A lever typically directs water from one head to the other or allows water to flow from multiple heads at the same time. Combine a handheld head with a wall-mounted one, place two heads side-by-side or mount one on the wall and one to an adjustable bar. You can even have water falling down on you from the ceiling and from the wall at the same time. The choices are many.



Rain Heads

rain headsRain shower heads are either mounted to the ceiling or attached to an extension arm that comes out from the wall, so that, as the name implies, the water falls from above, like rain. Typically, rain heads are wider than standard heads, creating a truly luxurious, rain-like environment.





Shower Panelsbody sprayers

Body sprays, or shower panels, consist of multiple heads installed on the walls of the shower that can be arranged to spray water exactly where you want it. Think of them as a car wash for your body, or, to put it in more luxurious terms, a Jacuzzi that you stand up in. Configure these units just how you like and adjust them so they hit just the right spot. Consult with your plumbing contractor early and often if you are considering this option as there are minimum water pressure requirements and the plumbing in the wall will need to match configured correctly.



steamIf you’re after a steam room instead of a Jacuzzi, you can have that too. These systems  include a small generator the creates heat to convert water to steam, along with special piping that pumps the steam into the shower. The most complete systems also include special doors to keep the steam contained inside the shower. This too, is a relatively complex installation requiring that the heating unit be housed in the wall or in a closet or cabinet nearby.




Green OptionsLow_flow_showerhead

All shower heads are built to control flow rate, the amount of water the flows out of them per minute. To step up your environmental conservation efforts, you can select a shower head that is low-flow. There are even units available that let you adjust the flow rate down and then back up again based on your needs. Aerated shower heads mix air with the water that they spray in order to create the sensation of more water pressure even though they actually use less water.


High Tech

shower controlThe wave of high-tech gadgetry that has swept the home construction business has not missed the shower head. You can add adjustable LED lights that illuminate the water and give your shower different mood every day. Everything, from the lighting to the temperature and pressure of the water can even be controlled from a digital control panel.





It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer variety of shower heads that are available. If you’re renovating your bathroom, though, this is your chance to create the shower of your dreams. Consider all the options carefully, consult who are doing the work early in the process, and you’ll end up with the shower you want, whether it be simple and utilitarian or luxurious and spa-like.

Want to read more?

Bob Vila: Shower Heads 101

HGTV: Shower Buying Guide