Alcove tub/shower - What is the best showerhead setup?

piscesgirlMarch 30, 2014

Planning our hall bathroom which has a 60x30 three wall alcove tub/shower.

Current plans are for an air tub (which will require a wood skirt w/ access panel) and for a glass shield (hubby insists on it).

Would love some opinions on what type of showerhead setup we would work best in our alcove tub/shower bath and give us the least water outside the tub issues:
1. Fixed showerhead only
2. Fixed showerhead and wall handheld (separate water outlet)
3. Fixed showerhead and handheld (sharing same water outlet using showerhead diverter)
4. Fixed showerhead and handheld on bar (separate water outlets)
5. Wall handheld fixed as a single showerhead
6. Handheld on bar
7. Other

Also what type of showerhead? Mulit setting, rain showerhead?

Ruled out option 1 since we want a handheld to clean the shower. Ruled out option 3 since I think the shower hose would have to be crazy long to reach a user in the tub and for cleaning if the starting point is at the fixed showerhead inlet.

Was leaning toward option 6 (handshower on a bar), but now I am concerned with this setup for a couple of reasons.
(1) Unlike option 3 we would want the water outlet low on the wall and this would eliminate the possibility of ever changing this setup back to normal fixed showerhead (although I am not sure we would want to).
(2) I am concerned that with the handheld as the primary showerhead it could be left pointed out to the tub after being put back from cleaning or bathing and then when turned on the water would get outside the tub. Or that the showerhead angle for this type of setup is not ideal. Thoughts?

Also would a rain showerhead be better for directing the water directly into the tub? Should we consider this with a handheld (wall or bar mount)? Is a rain showerhead in a tub make sense or is it just silly?

FYI - The bathroom is a hall/guest bathroom in a 4 bedroom 2.5 bath family home. We are in our early 40's and plan on staying in the house for many more years. We don't have any kids (without getting personal there is a very small possibility we may have a child but more likely not). This is the only tub in the home (master too small for tub). Bathroom is currently used by guests (friends and family) and as a second bathroom by us on occasion (toilet and vanity primarily...don't use tub as it is a shallow steel tub).

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Why do you want the shower outlet low? Use a handheld on a bar for the shower. You slide it where you want it and it's just like a fixed head. Then the next person puts it where they want it. You remove it from the holder to clean the tub. You need a tub filler that diverts to the shower. Are you thinking that you'll fill the tub with the showerhead? If so, you'd be waiting all day for the tub to fill.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 2:39PM
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firsthome, I have a similar situation (aside from the air tub, access panel, glass shield...not sure what all that means). I have the same size alcove tub/shower that's in a hall/guest bath and is the only tub in the house. It's only used when I infrequently have overnight guests or if I want to take a bath (seldom).

I am planning to have a handheld only, as enough folks on GW say that will be fine. Originally I considered the bar, but now am thinking I would probably be fine with the fixed wall attachment. My situation doesn't have people of varying sizes using the shower frequently. I might change my mind but since everything's adding up, this is one area where I could spend less.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 2:56PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Have you actually found an air tub with an integral tile flange? All that I've seen are drop in only and not suited to be used as a tub shower. And have you actually used an air tub before? It's NOT a jetted tub experience. Find someone that has one and try it out before you commit to this plan. It's a lot of money to spend on something that won't get used.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 5:48PM
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Catbuilder - the outlet high on the wall works fine if you are only using the handheld during showering or for cleaning but not if you want to use it while laying in he tub. If you have a normal 59" hose and the starting point is way up high on the wall and you are sitting in a 60" tub with your head at the other end and want to wash with the handheld it won't reach. You would need a much longer hose and I don't want a super low hose (like 80") dangling down all the time.

Hollysprings - I actually have a Jason air tub with integrated flange that I purchased for a steal on Craigslist. No, I have never used an air tub. I would love to find a showroom near me where I could test one out.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 6:11PM
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So, you use a slide bar. The outlet goes near the bottom of the bar, not the top. You can put it at the top if you want, but for your purposes the bottom would work much better. You could put a hook holder for it at the other end of the tub if you like, so you can park it there while taking a bath.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 9:57PM
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Thanks catbuilder.
Like I mentioned, my concern with that set-up is you could never go back to just a normal fixed showerhead setup, but I guess once I drill all these holes that ins't up for discussion anyway :-)

Any cons to just going with the handheld on a bar as the primary showerhead?

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 1:26PM
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I am advocating that you DO go with the handheld as the only showerhead. It's what I have had for the last 20 years, and frankly I don't see the point in spending money for a duplicate showerhead, unless it's in a totally different location (ceiling, different wall).

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 2:49PM
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Thanks catbuilder. You confirmed my initial gut feeling but then I started second guessing and over-thinking...bad habit of mine.

So do you have a slide bar or just a fixed wall hook setup? Do you also have a separate hook on the otherside near the tub for bathing. That is something I never thought of but is a great idea.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 2:10PM
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