Published on February 17, 2023
Rain showers have gained popularity in recent years for their luxurious and relaxing shower experience. With a gentle rain-inspired flow and stylish appearance, they can instantly elevate the look and feel of any bathroom. However, before you decide to install a rain-style showerhead in your home, it’s important to consider some potential downsides that you might not realize. In this article, we will explore seven factors to keep in mind when choosing a rain shower for your bathroom.
1. Your existing plumbing might not work
One of the most significant considerations when installing a rain shower involves plumbing. Ceiling-mounted rain showers, in particular, require a different type of rough-in than standard wall-mounted showerheads. You may need to ensure that your plumbing reaches above the shower ceiling, which your current setup might not accommodate. Additionally, rain showerheads are larger than traditional showerheads, ranging from 8 to 12 inches wide and sometimes even up to 20 inches. This means that the same amount of water must travel further to be distributed across a larger area, potentially resulting in low water pressure. Upgrading the plumbing with larger pipes may be necessary but could involve significant costs and construction work.
2. Your water heater might struggle to keep up
If you opt for a rain showerhead with a high flow rate, it can put a strain on your water heater. The increased demand for hot water could lead to shorter shower experiences as you may run out of hot water faster. To address this issue, you may consider installing an additional water heater closer to the shower to handle the increased load.
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3. They cost more and offer less versatility
Compared to standard wall-mount and handheld showerheads, rain showers tend to be pricier, often costing hundreds of dollars more. This is partly due to their larger size and more luxurious appearance. Additionally, rain showerheads typically offer fewer settings and functions. If you enjoy having multiple spray options, such as light mists, pulsating bursts, or pounding jets, you may find that rain showers only provide a single function.
4. It’s hard to avoid getting wet
Rainfall showerheads come from above, making it challenging to avoid getting wet if you prefer to keep your hair dry or dislike water in your eyes. Unlike wall-mount or handheld showers that can be directed away from your head, rain showers require you to either stay outside the water, which is inefficient and cold, or lean out of the water, which can be uncomfortable and difficult for some individuals. To address this issue, you can consider supplementing a rain showerhead with a handheld shower or a wall-mounted showerhead, providing you with more options for different shower experiences.
5. Washing long hair is a challenge
Despite the abundance of water in a rain-style shower, the combination of lower water pressure and the distance from the showerhead can make it more difficult to wash and thoroughly rinse long hair. Shorter or seated users may also encounter challenges in using rain showers effectively. It’s important to consider whether these factors align with your personal needs and preferences.
6. Ceiling height matters
The height of your shower stall is an essential factor to consider when installing a rain shower. Mounting the showerhead at the right height is crucial to ensure it is not too low, risking head bumps, or too high, resulting in a colder shower experience. Additionally, ceiling-mounted rain showers can be harder to clean, as they may be out of reach. Regular cleaning is essential for functionality, particularly when low water pressure becomes an issue.
7. Drips and leaks are common complaints
Rain-style showerheads are often associated with complaints of drips and leaks. These issues can occur due to various reasons, such as buildup in pipes or water left inside the showerhead after use. Faulty diverter or improper plumbing installation can also contribute to the problem. To minimize the likelihood of leaks and ensure proper installation, it is advisable to hire a qualified plumber from the beginning.
While rain showers offer a luxurious and relaxing shower experience, it’s crucial to consider the potential downsides mentioned above before making a decision. Assess your specific needs and preferences, as well as the feasibility of necessary plumbing modifications and the impact on your water heater. By weighing these factors carefully, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your requirements and ensures a satisfying shower experience in your home.