How to Choose the Right Shower

Kohler Watertile ShowerUsually the day begins with a shower, I know mine does.  Like my morning coffee, I just don’t feel right with out it.  Some of us jump in the shower in the P.M. hours to relax or rinse off the sweat from talking too much at the gym. (you know who you are.)  There is a huge expanse of showers, showerheads, and shower systems for you to choose from when renovating your bath or just because your current showerhead is an inefficient calcium laden nightmare.

Pretty much there are two types of showerheads – fixed showerheads and hand-held showers.  A fixed showerhead is well, fixed as a permanent fixture to your wall.  The fixed showerhead is the most common showerhead on the market. Fixed showerheads usually swivel so everyone in the family can bathe accordingly and to hit the shower walls when cleaning.  Fixed showers most commonly come in single handle, two handle and three-handle showers.

Hand-held showers are also connected to the wall but with a long bendy hose attached to the showerhead.  Some Hand-held showers are installed using a fixed vertical bracket on the wall.  These are cool cause they can be adjusted up and down the bracket as needed.  The Delta Traditional Three Function Hand Showeris a good example.  Hand-held showerheads are great for those with limited mobility or for easier bathing of children and your pal Fido.  Hand held showers also make cleaning the tub and shower much easier.

Although a lot of showerheads out there are nice to look at and have multiple massaging options, they aren’t the best at conserving water.  For the dude or dudess concerned about saving the planet, you might want to consider a low-flow showerhead.  These are categorized as “Green Living” products and will have a little leaf symbol on the product description.  Take a gander at the Oxygenics TriSpa Series Multi Function Water Saving Showerhead or the Delta Leland Monitor 17 Series Shower Trim Kit for good examples.  Low-flow showerheads so what you think they would do, they save water.  Actually Uncle Sam mandates that showerheads can spit out no greater than 2 ½ gallons of water per minute using 80psi pressure, low-flow showerheads are well under that curve and use less water than Ol’ Sammy says is acceptable.  Low-flow showerhead allow you to save money by reducing your water bill and the amount of hot water that is used per shower – in turn this helps save on your electric or gas bill.

Now let’s talk about the grand daddy of them all – The Shower System.  Not for the faint of heart, A shower system has valves, showerheads, hand showers, body sprays and water outlets all spitting mass amounts of water at you from all directions.  All of thisHansgrohe Raindance Showers madness can be turned on and off individually and the pressure regulated by a volume control.  These make the shower experience a lot of fun and if you’re like me you can let your imagination create a multitude of scenarios playing with all the gadgets, but I digress.  There are boxed shower systems for the budget conscious like the Moen 275 ExactTemp Vertical Spa Shower System or you can customize your own if you’ve got mucho dinero to play with.  The shower system you choose will vary in the number of valves that are used.  They can be either single handle, which controls water temperature and flow rate, or dual handled with water temperature controlled by one hand, and water flow rate controlled by the other. 

These generally are not for the water conscious like the low-flow showerheads as stated above.  Depending on the system you choose or design, it’s recommended to have at least 50 gallons dedicated to these systems and that’s only for about an 8 minute shower! 

It’s not all bad news though, if you’ve got the cake to spend, companies out there like Hansgrohe have over 206 WaterSense certified products.  They’ve introduced a cool technology into their products called EcoAIR Technology.  Basically, it adds air to every drop of water, enabling up to 40% water saving without feeling like you’re getting shafted.  If that’s not enough, they also offer a water recycling technology called The Pontos Aquacycle, which recycles shower and lavatory waste water.  Of course there’s a price tag along with this technology but if you want the ultimate shower experience without feeling guilty, this would be a good way to go.  The Hansgrohe Raindance Series has a ton of options to choose from if your in the market of designing your dream shower.

Have fun picking out your new toys and like I always say, do your homework!  With a little research on your end, there’s no reason to not love jumping in the shower everyday.  This is supposed to be a relaxing soothing corner of our world where we can wash away the stresses of the day.  Until next time, Happy Showering!

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