I’m a big believer that if there’s one thing you’re going to splurge on in a bathroom remodel, it should be your shower head. After all, there are other changes you could make that might be more aesthetically pleasing, but there’s really nothing else that you’ll get as much practical use from. A high quality, versatile shower head is something that you’ll use and enjoy every day, and a little slice of luxury you can afford even if you don’t have the budget for a big dream bathroom remodel. If you agree, or just really enjoy your morning shower, I’d like to offer a few reasons that the shower head you splurge on should be an extra-luxurious, not-that-much-more-expensive hand held shower head.
With a standard shower head, even a really nice, fairly expensive one, the most functionality and adjustability you can hope for is however many functions are listed on the outside of the box. But with a hand shower, you can have all the multiple settings of a standard shower head without the fixed placement. Hand held shower heads like this Hand Shower from Fima Carlo Frattini can be adjusted up and down along a bar, offering everything from a higher positioning for taller users to a hydrotherapy lower back massage. And because hand held shower heads are attached to long, flexible hoses, you can even remove them from the wall entirely to target specific areas, like the backs of your shoulders.
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This added flexibility makes for a shower that’s not only more customizable and relaxing, but also more hygienic and efficient. Being able to control the flow of water means you can wash and rinse more effectively (especially rinsing long, shampooed hair!), which can save you time and water in the morning. And for those with limited mobility, an ADA compliant hand held shower head like this Linden In2ition from Delta makes it easier to tend to intimate hygiene. Combined with a simple shower chair, a hand shower can actually help enable continued independence.
Makes Cleaning Easy
Hand showers not only make it easier to clean your body, it also makes it easier to clean your shower as well. Hand showers with long hoses can be used to thoroughly rinse the inside of your shower, helping prevent the buildup of soap scum and making it easier to rinse away cleaners. The flexible hose also makes it easy to remove hard water buildup from your shower head, too. Plus, if you happen to have a furry family member, hand held shower heads like this Hydrotherapy Hand Shower from Ramon Soler can turn your tub or shower into a full doggie-grooming station, making it easy to soak down, lather up, and rinse off your dog without making a huge mess in the process.
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Great For A Clawfoot
In addition to being incredibly practical, hand held shower heads can also be quite stylish. In fact, they make basically the world’s best pair for clawfoot tubs. Why? Because while you can, of course, stick your clawfoot tub in a corner and have a traditional wall-mounted shower head and a 360 degree shower curtain, I’ve always found such setups a little cumbersome and not always terribly attractive. Opting instead for a hand held shower head as part of a floor or wall mounted clawfoot tub filler like this Royale Set from Herbeau allows you the freedom and flexibility of a shower head (and makes it possible to wash your hair in the tub!) without the hassle of having to carefully enclose your bathtub.
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A Little Slice Of Spa Style
Hand held shower heads often come as part of dual-shower head systems or shower panels which have one regular shower head and a second hand held shower head attached either to one of the sliding bars I mentioned before, or a fixed mount at about chest level. Many such shower panels, like this Bonzai shower system from Pulse, even have multiple body sprayers in addition to the dual shower heads, to create a custom shower experience at a price that’s only slightly higher than your average high quality shower head. Designer models will run a little higher, but it’s entirely possible to get a good combination of quality and functionality for just a few hundred dollars.
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You Can (Still) Do It Yourself
Installing a new shower head is easy. With a few basic household tools and a little practice, you can easily change out a shower head in about five minutes. Now, hand held shower heads are a little more complicated, especially if you opt for one with an adjustable height bar, but only because you’ll need to mount the hardware into your tile, which can require a heavier duty drill than you might have if you aren’t otherwise an avid DIYer. That said, hand showers often come in complete installation kits, like this Water Harmony Kit from LaToscana, that have all the parts you need, and other than mounting the grab bar, installing a hand held shower head really just means screwing the hand shower’s flexible metal hose into place and attaching the shower head to the opposite end. It’s really as easy as that.
Now, I’m not saying swapping from a standard shower head to a hand shower is going to change your life or anything. But if you have a couple hundred dollars and a shower head you hate, it’s an upgrade that’s well worth the splurge. Do you think you’d upgrade to a hand held shower head? Is it worth the extra expense, or would you rather stick with a five-function?