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Bathroom Remodel

Best Types of Showerheads

On this page:
  • Popular types of shower heads
  • Average cost per fixture
  • Water pressure options

Although there are several types of shower heads on the market today, they are not all created equally and not all of them will meet your household’s specific needs. Whether you want a shower head that provides a luxurious spa experience, saves water, provides multi-function settings for a personalized experience, or is designed for those with limited mobility, there are many options available for you. To help you find the best choice for you, the experts at Modernize have compiled the following list of the most popular shower heads to choose from as you remodel your shower.

This list is based on competitive research by the Modernize home improvement experts. We considered five main factors – cost, adjustability and multi-functionality, accessibility-friendly, water settings, and positive impact on home value. We provide the total cost to install each shower head, including both materials and installation. Professional installation typically costs between $75 and $150 per fixture.

Fixed Shower Heads

Fixed shower heads are the most common and easiest type to install, since most bathrooms are already set up to support them. You can usually install these on your own by removing the old fixture and attaching the new one. Fixed shower heads are also very affording, ranging from $20 to $100.

Fixed Showerheads

The most common type of shower head. Benefits include:

  • Multiple water settings

  • Readily available

  • Easy installation

  • Budget-friendly

Fixed shower heads are small (5 in. in diameter or less) and provide a variety of water stream settings. However, what they have in versatility they lack in adjustability. They can move up and down and side to side, but the range is minimal compared to other types. This makes it difficult for people who need to sit in the shower to get the flow of water they need. Fixed showerheads are the best option if you need a standard product without extra bells and whistles.

Handheld Shower Heads

If you are looking for something with versatility, look no further than handheld shower heads. They are mounted to the shower wall and have a flexible, 5-foot hose made of metal or plastic. You can choose to use it for targeted water pressure on specific areas of the body, or leave it in the mount for a standard shower experience. Thanks to the flexibility, this is a great option for those with limited mobility and may need to sit in the shower, as well as for families with children and pets.

Handheld Showerheads

Great for versatility and targeted water pressure. Benefits include:

  • Family friendly

  • Pet friendly

  • Adjustable water pressure

  • Simple installation

Handheld showerheads range from $30 and $200. They can be installed by a DIY-er, but since installation is a bit more complicated than standard shower heads, you may want to hire a professional.

Dual Shower Heads

Those who want the combined experience of a handheld and fixed shower head will love the multi-functionality of a dual shower head. These use a diverter valve that allows you to switch between the two types at your leisure.

Dual Showerheads

Best two-in-one option. Benefits include:

  • Adjustable for any family member

  • Allows for a quick shower

  • Different water pressure options

Despite having two nozzles in one, dual shower heads do not double the amount of water flow. If you use them simultaneously, they each reduce the flow of water since they share the same amount of water that normally flows through a single spout. Keep in mind that dual shower heads also take up a good amount of space in the shower.

The most common type of dual shower head you will find is a handheld and rain shower head combination. These products can be installed without the help of a professional, and you can expect to pay about $30 to $250.

Filtered Shower Heads

If you live in an area that has hard tap water, it may leave deposits on your shower tiles, door, and pipes, as well as damage your hair and skin. A filtered shower head can help you address these issues while reducing the amount of chlorine, scale, and heavy metals in the shower water.

Filtered Showerheads

Reduces water chemicals and provides soft water. Benefits include:

  • Minimizes chlorine and heavy metals

  • Avoid deposits and blockages in pipes

  • Easy to install

Filtered shower heads will improve water quality, but may not provide the same luxury experience that you get from other types. These are completely no frills types of fixtures. If you are looking for various features and functionalities, you may not find them with this. However, their simplicity does make installation simple. Filtered showerheads are reasonably priced, with products costing $50 to $270 and filters costing about $20.

Massage Shower Heads

A massage shower head can be a good choice for people looking for a product that will provide a concentrated flow of water to certain muscle groups.

Massage Showerheads

Provides concentrated water to certain muscle groups. Benefits include:

  • Handheld and fixed options

  • Great for hydrotherapy

  • Multiple water settings and pressures

Massage shower heads can be handheld or fixed, and you can find them in different shapes and sizes. They also have multiple water settings and provide a stronger water flow than many other types. Therefore, keep in mind they are not the best for water conservation.

Massage showerheads cost around $20 to $230 or more. The complexity of installation differs depending on what type of fixture you choose. Pay attention to the instructions and decide whether you can do a DIY installation, or if you will need assistance from a professional.

Rain Shower Heads

A rain shower head is a great choice for relaxation, as it allows water to pour straight down on you. This stress reliever is a trendy choice for modern bathroom remodels, thanks to its elegant appearance.

Rain Showerheads

Largest surface area and water flow. Benefits include:

  • Relaxing shower experience

  • Stylish, modern appearance

  • Multiple water settings to mimic rain

Rain shower heads, which can be found in square or rectangular shapes, have the largest surface area of any other type, coming in at 6 to 12 inches. They can be mounted to your shower wall, or alternatively overhead as a ceiling tile fixture. They are a great fixture to add to frameless showers, as the open and airy glass doors will show it off.

On the downside, they can be a bit pricier, ranging from $100 to $650, and a bit more complicated to install. If you want a ceiling-mounted showerhead, you may need to get a plumber or contractor to run pipes through the ceiling, which will raise the cost. Another consideration is the size of your shower area. Due to the size of these fixtures, they are not the best choice for smaller showers, such as the shower/tub combo.

LED Shower Heads

LED shower heads make your shower a colorful experience by lighting up based on the temperature of the water. If the water is hot, this fixture will shine a red light, while cold water will be blue, and warm water will be a greenish yellow. These lights, which are battery operated, are not only fun and unique—they can help you see inside the shower better if your bathroom has low lighting.

LED Showerheads

For a visually appealing shower area. Benefits include:

  • Unique, customizable lighting

  • Good for bathrooms with dim lighting

  • Many affordable options

Although LED showerheads elevate your shower experience, they rarely have extra bells and whistles. So if you want special features in addition to lights, you may want to opt for a different type. However, since they do not usually have additional features, they are easy to install. Therefore, this is a simple project for a DIY-er. LED showerheads are reasonably priced, costing between $30 and $120 for the fixture.

Low Flow Shower Heads

If you want an environmentally-friendly option that will help you lower your water bills and slash water consumption by 40% or more, a low flow showerhead may be right for you.

Low Flow Showerheads

Most eco-friendly showerhead option. Benefits include:

  • Helps lower utility bills

  • Simple to install DIY

  • Budget-friendly

  • Can include adjustable water settings

While most showerheads use 2.5 gallons of water per minute, low flow showerheads can reduce the amount of water to as low as 1.25 gallons per minute. However, with this lower water pressure, it can be difficult for some people to enjoy their shower. The shower duration will likely be longer.

Low flow showerheads do not have multiple functions, but they are easy to install. They generally cost $15 to $200 per shower head.

Shower Panels

Shower panels provide a unique experience for shower remodels. Also called shower towers, they are long columns made of PVC backed composite, fixed to your shower wall and connected to pipes.

Shower Panels

Most customizable shower experience. Benefits include:

  • Multi-functional with many water settings

  • Sleek, modern appearance

  • Spa-like experience

These multi-functional shower heads include various water settings. Features include a waterfall function, a handheld shower head, and multiple body sprayers/massagers that can be adjusted. Shower panels also have a modern appearance that can upgrade the look of your bathroom.

Due to the complexity of shower panels, they are fairly difficult to install and should be handled by a professional. Bear in mind that shower panels take up a lot of real estate on your shower wall. They are not the best fit for smaller showers. Shower panels fall on the more expensive side for bathroom fixtures, and generally cost between $300 and $750.

Choosing The Best Shower Head For You

Because there are so many shower heads available to homeowners today, choosing the right one for your needs can be challenging.

bathroom shower head

As you decide on the best shower head for your household, consider water settings and functionality, water pressure needs, cost, and energy-efficiency. We also recommend using a bathroom remodel cost calculator to estimate the cost of your project based on your specific needs.

Remember that for certain models, you will likely need installation assistance from an experienced shower remodel contractor. Modernize can help by connecting you with top-quality bathroom remodel professionals in your area.

FAQ

How do you replace a shower head?
A shower head replacement is typically an easy DIY job, depending on the type of shower head. Basic types such as fixed shower heads can be removed and replaced by twisting it counterclockwise by hand or with pliers. You may need to use a wrench to unscrew an older shower head. Clean the fixture thoroughly before attaching a new shower head. Screw in the new shower head by twisting in a clockwise direction. If you have trouble installing the fixture DIY or if you experience water leaks after the replacement, be sure to call a contractor to ensure the job is completed correctly.
How much do shower heads cost?
Shower heads generally cost anywhere from $20 to $200 and even more, depending on the type. You can buy shower heads from local home improvement stores, online, or by working with a professional contractor. Cheaper shower heads tend to have basic functionality, while more expensive shower heads can provide multiple water settings and include luxury features. If you are having the fixture installed professionally, it will typically take less than an hour to complete and costs range from $75 to $150 for installation, depending on labor rates in your area.
What is the best shower head?
The best shower head will be different for each homeowner and bathroom. When choosing the ideal shower head for you, think about your budget, the look and feel of your bathroom, and the water functions you prefer. Rain shower heads and handheld shower heads are two of the most popular options for modern bathrooms today.