Coming clean on showerhead styles
Your choice of showerheads will be influenced by both the features and the finish you desire, and you have plenty of options in each case. Choosing the right showerhead will help you get a lot more enjoyment out of your home's shower, and since you probably spend time in it every day, it's worth an extra investment.
Showerhead Styles and Features
Showerheads are available in two basic types: fixed and handheld showerheads. The same family of features is usually available no matter which type you prefer.
Most showerhead features revolve around the spray pattern settings. Typically, the water pressure is controlled by the fixtures you use to set the shower temperature, though some showerheads feature adjustable pressure. Special low-pressure showerheads are favored by people who value green building principles, as they save water.
Rainfall showerheads are becoming more and more popular; these fixtures release water in short, rapidly alternating bursts, creating a rain-like effect. High-end showers also feature rain showerheads with full-body spray, rather than just sending water down from overhead.
Dual showerheads are another intriguing option. These fixtures provide a thick downpour of water, creating a relaxing experience like no other. Some manufacturers don't stop at dual showerheads, either; you can purchase fixtures with up to eight heads (or possibly even more), and many multiple-head units are adjustable so that you can alter the directionality of one or more heads to customize your showering experience.
Select the Right Showerhead
There are a few practical considerations you'll need to take into account to select the right showerhead for your bathroom. First, you should be aware that not all showerheads are compatible with all plumbing systems. If you have your heart set on a particular feature or style, you may have to install new plumbing to accommodate it, and that can cost a significant amount of money. As a general rule, water-main-pressured plumbing systems are universally compatible, while gravity systems and boiler systems work best with simpler showerheads.
Also, remember that it isn't always possible to affix a new showerhead to an old shower. Fixed showerheads generally require replacement piping if you want to change them. Handheld showerheads are more flexible, as you can usually replace both the head and the hose without ripping out your piping.