A shower head is one of the most integral parts of your shower system which may also consist of the shower faucet and bath.
The type of shower head determines how water comes out falling on your head, ease of use, and even the cost. A typical head comes with a valve that controls the temperature of the water and the overall water flow.
When shopping for manufactured home shower heads, you want the best product that will keep giving service for a reasonable period. Also, there are specific features that even the most basic shower head must possess.
Manufactured Home Shower Heads – 8 Shopping Factors
Keep in mind these factors if you want to select the best shower head:
- Type of The Head
- Material and Finish
- Energy Savings
- Spray Patterns
- Installation Type – Wall v/s Ceiling Mounted
- Flow Rate
- Pressure Levels
1. Type of The Head
The type of the head has a say on how you spray yourself with water.
Your choices will be limited to four popular types of heads –
- Shower Head + Hand Shower
Fixed Heads are mounted permanently to your shower unit’s wall. Some heads, however, can be installed in such a way that you can adjust them vertically along a line to accommodate different user heights.
Most of the spray and rainfall heads can be easily mounted on the ceiling (you’ll need special plumbing for this) to replicate rainfall.
Fixed heads are the best choice if you are looking for a head that can spray a larger area.
And because they don’t move much, they tend to last longer than most other types of heads.
Handheld heads are installed to connect to the wall via a flexible hose, allowing different motions.
This type of head normally hangs on a fixed-mount bracket, which can either hang high or low on the wall according to your preferences.
If you are shopping for a head perfect for bathing pets and kids, this is the best type of shower head for your shower unit. Also, they make the process of washing your shower unit to be as easy as ABC.
Shower Head + Hand Shower
This can be the best choice if you can’t make your mind between handheld and fixed heads.
It comes as a 2-in-1 unit that allows the user to conveniently switch between fixed overhead shower and handheld head.
Adjustable heads are a unique type of fixed showers that can be adjusted to suit different heights, like this one:
- Bright Showers PSS1807 – 02 Multi-Function Dual Shower Head – Cost: $62: Not only is it fixed yet adjustable, but features 3 unique spray settings as well.
- Brands to check out for adjustable fixed heads are KOHLER, Bright Showers and Moen.
2. Material and Finish
Most of the shower heads you will find in the store are made from solid brass, metal, or plastic with a colored or chrome finish.
Some manufacturers make limited use of porcelain and stainless steel. The material of construction and finish influence such aspects as durability and aesthetic value of the head.
Brass heads are known for their durability and quality. Another good side of brass is that it is corrosion and rust-resistant. Better yet, it is hassle-free, meaning you will rarely spend time and money to replace it.
Stainless Steel is a low-maintenance metal that’s easy to clean at the same time. It is also naturally stained and rust-resistant.
Porcelain is mainly found in heads meant for vintage-style bathrooms. They are also used to make custom heads with specific user-suggested features.
Most of the handheld showerheads you will find in the store are from one of the materials:
Nickel is the most popular material in handheld showerheads probably because of its eye-pleasing looks. Nickel also fares well under very high or low temperatures.
So, if you are looking for a handheld head that can spray hot water for a long time, this is the best type of material. Better yet, nickel resistant to corrosion and abrasions.
This is important if you want to keep your handheld showerhead sparkling clean and flawless for longer.
So, a showerhead made from or finished with nickel is ideal for smaller sower units where you will be prone to keep hitting the head on the wall during bathing.
Chrome is a common material in both handheld and fixed showers
Chrome plating protects your shower head from discoloration.
As such, it can be a material of choice if you want your shower head to keep the shining texture for long.
Besides anti-discoloration properties, Chrome is resistant to corrosion and can be a cheaper alternative for nickel.
Gold-plated heads are fairly common and can be preferable when adding luxury to your bathroom.
The high aesthetic value of gold-plated heads usually comes with a high price tag.
A couple of things to keep in mind
- If the metal of construction and the coating metal is different, ensure that the two don’t have the same tarnishing rate.
- Whichever finish and materials of construction you choose, ensure it is resistant to most bathroom chemicals and soaps
3. Energy Saving Properties and Environmental Friendliness
For energy savings, choose a shower head with a WaterSense® label on it – it will save you a significant amount of money and water.
Also, note that low-flow heads (more on this later) use a smaller amount of water compared to standard models.
According to U.S. government standards, a showerhead must never come with a flow rate of more than 2.5 gal. per minute at the standard pressure of 80 lbs. per square inch (or PSI).
The good thing about Low-flow heads is that they use far less than that, meaning you will use less energy on them. Unfortunately, not every household has water pressure exactly at 80 PSI or even slightly higher.
Yet levels below this standard level can make a huge difference in the way your showerhead works and its overall effectiveness. If it starts feeling like you can never get all the shampoo rinsed from your hair properly, consider choosing a head that is specifically made with low water pressure.
Also, some showerheads come with cut-off valves that permit you to pause the water flow while bathing, something that can go reduce the total amount of water you use in every shower.
If you are committed to saving the planet (as most of us should), then you should probably be thinking about a showerhead that supports green living by having a low carbon footprint and probably being made from recycled materials.
4. Spray Patterns (Type of Nozzle)
How water gets out of the showerhead can be something of aesthetic value.
The spray pattern determines the time it takes to rinse yourself although some heads are capable of adjusting the rate of the water flow.
Generally, showerheads mostly come with three nozzles:
- raised nozzles
These three types of nozzles can influence the “texture” of the shower.
They resemble the head of a biro pen and are perfect for creating a more streamlined and powerful downward spray. Raised nozzles are often removable and allow you to remove the sediment buildup using a cup of vinegar or hot water.
They resemble raised buttons most of the time but the unifying factor is their silicone construction which is unique considering that most nozzles are either plastic or brass. Silicone nozzles are often accompanied by rubber parts which make them easier to remove and wash. They also are clog-resistant
They are tiny simple holes covering the whole flat plate of the showerhead. Flat nozzles bring a minimalist aesthetic and make cleaning as easy as winking – all you need is a soft towel or damp cloth.
There are three categories of buyers when it comes to the spray pattern (texture) of a showerhead:
- The pleasure-seeker in search of thorough pampering
- The efficiency fan that prefers a showerhead that will heat faster and wake them up even faster
- The focused mind that prefers targeted relaxation
Where do you fall into the above groups?
Whichever reason behind why you would select one shower type over another is important that you consider your personal needs.
There are several spray patterns, but these five are the most common types:
Mainly a low-flow pattern often found in larger showerheads. They produce a light pressure shower that mimics rainfall.
One or several pressure options designed to utilize all the holes in the showerhead
Multiple pressure options with high-pressure settings designed to produce massage-like relaxation.
Medium pressure accompanied by an on/off water pattern.
High-pressure pattern with an option to concentrate the stream at a specific point
5. Installation Type – Wall v/s Ceiling Mounted
How do you wish to install your shower head?
You can choose between two installation types –
- Wall or
- Ceiling heads
each for your own convenience.
These heads are probably the most commonly used type when it comes to the styles of installation. It delivers an even shower compared to the wall-mounted option.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of this method of installation is that that the showerhead is directly above your head at all times.
This is convenient compared to wall-mounted options that require you to keep turning around to get an even shower.
Also, it ensures that your hands are free so that you can scrub yourself sufficiently.
The downside of this type of shower head is the special plumbing it requires to be fully functional. They are also wasteful if you compare them with wall-mounted options.
These heads are a direct opposite of ceiling heads and ensure that you can hold the head in your hands to sprinkle water even in the most remote parts of your body.
And because they tend to come with control to regulate the rate of water flow, you will conserve a lot of energy and water. Better yet, wall-mounted heads make it easy to wash the walls of your shower unit, something that’s impossible with ceiling heads.
If you are looking for the best head for the disabled or washing pets and kids, this is the best type of head. However, if you’re prone to clumsiness, dropping this shower head on the floor can mess the whole floor and even the outside part of the shower unit with pools of water.
Are you thinking of wall-mounted showerheads?
There exist three other less common types of heads based on the mounting style –
- tub deck mount and
- tub wall mount heads.
A freestanding shower head is usually part of a unit that entails four sides, a floor, and a door that when installed correctly, does not need any walls to offer support to the shower stall.
Pfister supplies some impressive freestanding showerheads, like this one:
- Pfister LG61-MFD Modern Single-hole Free-standing Tub Filler with Hand Shower 1.8 gpm Polished Nickel – Cost: About $600.
On another hand, tub deck and wall mount heads accompany the bathtub and are installed on the wall and deck respectively.
6. Flow Rate
All shower heads don’t produce the same rate of water flow. The flow rate of the head is measured in gallons per minute.
The higher the flow rate of the head the less the time you will take to rinse yourself. Most of the products you will find in the store fall into three categories –
- 1.59 to 1.99 gpm,
- Less than 1.59 gpm, or
- 1.99 to 2.49 gpm.
The highest flow rate isn’t always the best unless you want it so bad to meet specific needs. It can also be wasteful if you choose it without proper considerations.
The lowest flow rate isn’t the best either. Understand your needs first then choose the flow rate that suits them.
7. Pressure Levels
Just like the flow rate, the pressure level of the showerhead can improve your shower experience if you choose the right level with careful consideration.
A head can be
- medium, and
- low pressure.
Again, understand your needs and sensitivities before choosing any pressure.
If you have sensitive skin, for example, there is no point in going for a high-pressure showerhead. Likewise, if it is meant for kids or pets then a low-pressure option would be perfect.
However, the overall pressure of water flowing in your home may affect the final pressure of water leaving your shower head.
8. Cost v/s Budget
What is the cost of the showerhead(s)?
How much are you willing to spend on a unit – even the most luxurious option – without blinking?
- Few household items come with diverse price tags as showerheads do – the simplest showerhead can cost as little as $10 while the most advanced and luxurious product can be as high as $600.
- The average cost of the most basic shower head is between $25 and $45.
- An upgraded product has its price tag somewhere between $60 and $120.
- The most advanced and luxury options cost between $150 and $700.
You may end up spending a lot of money if you choose to go for kits from popular brands such as Kohler and Schlüter Shower System.
If you want a fair price for a product of your liking, contact an authorized dealer in your area for a quote before committing to buying it.
It is recommended that you prepare a budget that adequately covers the cost of the showerhead of your choice as well as the cost of hiring a qualified professional to install it (if you will need a professional at all).
There is always a maximum amount of money you will be willing to spend on a unit and the installation process.
If you have $200 in your hands, for example, your budget might not permit you to spend on the best luxury shower head you could find.
Also, a budget prevents you from overspending or potentially opting for boxes you didn’t consider at the beginning.
Choosing the right shower head in a market filled with a wide range of products from different brands is not easy.
While it is important to put your needs first, it is recommended that you look for some definitive features.
Consider such factors as the
- type of the head
- material and finish
- energy savings
- spray patterns
- installation type – wall v/s ceiling-mounted
- flow rate, and
- pressure levels.