Today we’re going to talk about the showering apparatus that you might have in your shower or tub area. What do I need? Do I need to fixed head? A rain head? A hand shower? A body jet? Body sprays? What do I need?

Basic Shower Heads

Obviously, the need is what your desire is.  And understanding your functional needs and what is available is the first step in determining what you’ll need in your shower. It used to be that we typically had a fixed showerhead and we turned on the water and off we went. Then, we have multi-function showerheads which can provide range of spray options from narrow to wider.  These are the basic showerhead options that most people are going to opt for.

tubless shower

Hand Showers

The next option is a hand shower option.  Why would I need a hand shower? A lot of people choose a hand shower for various reasons. One, they want to take a body shower or vice versa, they want to just wash their hair and they don’t want to wash the rest of themselves. The other option is for cleaning. By being able to pull the handheld down, you can hose out the tub or shower area and get to the farthest corners. Some use them to wash their pets.  Sometimes we’ll set a hand shower at a lower level for a child so that you can have some higher functionality for the adult and then the lower functionality for the child. Then, finally, elderly or special needs individuals who need to sit on a bench to take a body shower, can simply use the hand shower and have total control over where the water is directed. Those are just some of the main reasons to install a hand shower. Now you can, these days, have a hand shower as your main functional showerhead. There are a lot of new types of hand shower units out there that are much more functional than the old school small scale hand showers, such as the well-known Waterpik units.  Moen makes an incredible one that is magnetic, so that it’s easy to remove and reattach. It just snaps in simply,  if you’ve got soap in your eyes and see the bracket. This allows you to minimize all the gadgets and gimmicks that you have in your shower with one functional, multifunction type hand shower.  It also reduces the cost as you don’t need separate diverter valves and controls to operate multiple units.

Rain Shower Head

Another thing that people consider is a rain head.  It’s kind of a neat thing, however, there are a couple negatives to them. First, there are only a few heads out there that will actually drive the water. There are only a couple that have more than one spray option.  Most, however, are simple “cans” coming from the ceiling that are allowing water to filter through them via gravity. The main issue about a rain head is that it’s typically located in the center of the shower and if for some reason you’re trying to soap up and shave your legs or do things that require you to be outside of the water, it’s kind of hard to get away from them. So if you need to be able to do that, the best thing to do is to have a diverter switch that you can flip from back and forth from the various units and install a handshower or fixed regular head.

running water showerhead


Of course, the more options you put in your shower, the more things cost. Rain heads can range anywhere from $100 to $1,200, depending on size, finish and functionality. Hand showers can also range from $100 to $1,000.  The need for valves and additional plumbing can also drive budget.

There are many variables to consider. You’ll have to weight functionality and cost and make the best decision for your project.