Rain + Handheld Shower Recommendations?
November 5, 2019 9:07 AM   Subscribe

Thinking about upgrading the shower in our bathroom & have some interest in a large rain-style showerhead with a handheld accessory for rinsing off soap, etc. Looking for your recommendations/experiences.

This is in a rented apartment, so noninvasive installation is important.
posted by slkinsey to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I hate our rainhead, never use it. Useless thing. I'll never put another one in.

BUT my piece of advice, make sure you are buying from a well known manufacturer. We've got a German made brand, and getting replacements is proving to be a pain in the ass. We've had to replace the cartridge/handle, and also the hose for the handheld, both times involved extra time and money to get them.

Also, our rainhead and handheld can work at the same time. Which sounded like a lovely feature. But in reality, they are two different temperatures, and we can't get them to regulate to one. Most people I've mentioned it to say their's is the same.
posted by Ftsqg at 10:09 AM on November 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

Are you positive you like rain heads? They sound like a good idea but every time I try one (admittedly only in hotels), it's only pleasant for about thirty seconds. Turns out, I don't actually enjoy taking long showers when the water is coming from directly overhead and streaming straight into my eyes (or showering with my eyes closed the entire time).
posted by yeahlikethat at 10:21 AM on November 5, 2019 [3 favorites]

My gym installed them, so I've showered with one on a near-daily basis for months. I have such a dislike for rain style shower heads that this question makes me itch to rant about them, even though I know it might not be a useful/helpful answer.

They sound fancy and romantic, but when you see them in a catalog, you don't consider that the water is always falling on your head first. To wash your face, you have to look up. To keep your head/face out of the water, you have to bend over. WATER RUNNING INTO YOUR EYES IS THE DEFAULT STATE no matter which direction you're facing.

If you have other experiences/opinions about rainfall showerheads, you're welcome to them. But this is my experience, and make sure you will not have my experience before you proceed.
posted by itesser at 10:24 AM on November 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

Rainfall showers were developed by Satan, for use in hell.

However, I am a longtime renter and adding on a better showerhead is - 95% of the time - really easy. It may take some firm pressure to get the old one off, but be patient with it, as ripping the whole thing out of the wall is bad and problematic. Use ample plumbing tape when installing the new head.

5% of the time you will find out that the entire shower was installed in some alternate universe with nonstandard plumbing and you may have to try to get the old shit back on.

I do have a policy that anything I install in rental property I intend to leave rather than trying to take it with me, because it's trying to undo it where you most likely screw everything up. I have never had a landlord complain about me leaving a better showerhead, ceiling fan, or dishwasher.

I have without problem installed extenders and nicer showerheads. Maybe you would like a nice double-head rig like this in lieu of a rainfall + handheld?
posted by Lyn Never at 10:37 AM on November 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

I installed this Moen Refresh combo last year & love it - you can use one or the other shower head, or both at the same time, and the handheld has several different spray patterns. Easy to install, just screw it on. Possible difficulty for shorter folk: the knob to change from one head to the other or both is behind and above the rain head.
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 10:40 AM on November 5, 2019

We got this setup, but anytime you use the rainhead it collects freezing raindrops to drop on you while you next use the regular shower.
posted by slightlybewildered at 12:01 PM on November 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

Rainfall showerheads aren't the best, or the worst in the world, but an important consideration is to make sure that your plumbing can support the weight of the shower head filled with water.

Prior owners had installed a lovely rainfall restoration hardware shower head, but to make sure you aren't showering right up against the wall, needed to extend the pipe further out of the wall. the handheld shower head that it came with had the hose cracked before we moved in, but more importantly; 11 years later, the plumbing extension bent and cracked under the weight of the showerhead, flooding the walls... behind the tile. 5k later, we have now installed a very simple adjustable showerhead and slightly missmatched tile.
posted by larthegreat at 12:04 PM on November 5, 2019

Best answer: I bought a Pulse Kauai III for around $200 on Amazon, looks very spa-like and solid quality but you could definitely manage it in a rental situation. The bottom mount of the rail sticks on the tile with a 3M adhesive pad.
posted by impishoptimist at 4:54 PM on November 5, 2019

I bought a rainfall showerhead at Bed Bath and Beyond years ago and have loved every minute of it. It has a jointed mount so you can raise it super high, which is very important for us taller folks. (I personally hate handheld shower contraptions with the power of a thousand suns, but that I think that puts me in the distinct minority.)
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:50 PM on November 6, 2019

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