Posted by: Fonte Dei Marmi | October 6, 2010

Get your head right – A quick guide to shower head choices

Before we delve much further into the elements to make your perfect shower it is worth noting, at this early stage, what those elements are: 

  • Shower tray
  • Waste
  • Shower enclosure
  • Tiles
  • Shower head
  • Arm or ceiling connector (for overhead showers)
  • Hand shower, bracket and wall outlet elbow (with back flow preventer)
  • Shower hose
  • Valve
  • Faceplate (if concealed valve)

Be aware you will need to order each item separately. 

So, what are the things to consider when choosing a shower head? Firstly, think about the people who will be using the shower; does the height of the shower head need to change between users? Secondly, do all of the users of the shower wash their hair every day? If not, you will need a shower head that be positioned such that the hair does not get wet. Are the users people who like to spend a lot of time under the water, or is it mainly in and out before rushing out the door to work? 

To help you choose, here are the different types of shower head that are available: 

Fixed shower head

Fixed shower head

Fixed shower heads are ideal for a neat, modern look. Although there is movement in terms of the direction of the head, as the name implies, they are fixed on the wall and cannot be adjusted to different heights. Make sure it is mounted high enough on the wall to accommodate its tallest user. 

Overhead shower

Overhead shower

Overhead showers usually have large diameter heads. They can be suspended from the wall or ceiling with a connector or recessed into the ceiling. Also known as drenchers, overhead showers may be thought to be more for getting wet than washing. The spray is wide and gentle; unless you have a large enclosure you may find it hard to move out-of-the-way to lather up before the soap is washed off. Despite the wetness of an overhead shower, the gentleness makes it hard to rinse away shampoo and other hair products effectively.

Slide rail shower

Slide rail shower

Slide rail shower heads are height adjustable; however, do make sure the slide rail is installed high enough for the shower to raise for its tallest users. With a minimum of three components; rail, shower head and hose there are more things to keep clean and shiny and are not the most attractive option.

Hand shower

Hand shower

Hand showers are a great addition to any shower, especially fixed and overhead. It can be focussed for rinsing and cleaning the shower area too. Hand showers come in a wide range of sizes from 80mm to 160mm diameter. Don’t believe bigger is better, choose a mid-range head. Too small will be too powerful while too large will not be powerful enough and will feel like you’re wielding a large frying pan. 

Air shower

Air shower


Air showers are the latest technology in shower heads. Air showers mix air with the water being delivered through the nozzles and are designed to save water – often around 40%- without losing the feel of high water pressure. Providing a “champagne feel” the water droplets do feel different on your body; the air/water mix clings to the skin rather than runs off. It can take a bit of getting used to so try one first. 

Whichever head you choose, make sure that you know your water pressure and flow rate. The larger the shower head, the slower the water. A smaller shower head will produce a faster water flow. 

Don’t be tempted by numerous spray settings – most people keep to one shower spray. At most, opt for three settings.

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