Two showerheads?

pdx7700September 30, 2013

I am planning a new master bathroom. There will be a 5 foot shower, and a separate bathtub. Should I install two showerheads in a 5 foot shower? Thanks!

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Babka NorCal 9b

Do you mean two heads at oposite ends so that two people can shower at the same time? OR do you mean an overhead spray with a handheld? Can you put the controls where you can turn on the shower before getting under the water?


    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 1:58PM
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Oops! I'm so new, I didn't even know to specify.

I was thinking of possibly a showerhead from up above as the second one. I've seen it in some higher end remodels, and I am wondering if I should do it. Is the purpose a more "luxurious" showering experience? Or can two people use that?

There is an easy option to put the controls for the main shower so you can turn the water on before getting in. Not sure about that for a second showerhead.


    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 2:24PM
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There is no need for second showerhead. i have seen showers that have the head come off and sort of used as a shower stick. Im not sure if im explaining it right but no need for second shower head. Thats plumbing costs that are unnecessary.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bathroom Remodeling

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 2:51PM
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There are at least three kinds of showerheads. First, there is the traditional fixed head that we are all familiar with. Then there are the rainshower heads that can hang directly from the ceiling or from an arm that comes out from the side wall horizontally. Then there are handshowers that come out of a holder and can mount on an adjustable arm. Those handshowers can also be mounted at traditional shower head height, which I believe is what innercityskyline is referring to. They can also be mounted on a slide bar on the wall. You can do one, two or all three of these.

Whether you "need" a second showerhead depends on what you want. We opted for a rainshower head in our five-foot shower PLUS a wall-mounted handshower that was mounted to the side and slides up and down. The rainhead can give the luxurious shower experience you refer to. I know that ours does. The wall-mounted handshower serves two purposes. One, when I want to shower and don't want to get my hair wet, I use it--I adjust the head to pretty high up. Second, it is extremely useful for cleaning the shower. There is a third use for those people with dogs--it is good for washing the dog.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 3:22PM
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Thank you both for the info. I certainly didn't know about all of those options.

One follow up question for NYC - with your shower configuration, can two people shower at once? Or it is designed mostly for 1?

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 8:20PM
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It is designed for one. I don't think a five foot shower is big enough for two people.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 11:33PM
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I think a 4' x 4' space (or even 3-1/2') with two showerheads on the same wall works better for two people than one showerhead on each end of a 5' x 3' space.

You can add these easily to a single showerhead outlet with an inexpensive adapter like this one:

Some of them have a shutoff valve for one of the showerheads for when you only need one, and there are different shapes and sizes available that allow the two showerheads to articulate into different positions, or combine one fixed and one handshower. Another possibility is something like the Delta In2ition showerheads which require only one connection, but have a central portion that can be removed and used as a handshower as the outer section of the wall showerhead is still in use.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 6:05AM
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Pretty much every master bath I've designed and built over the past umpteen years has had two heads. Some have had more, but I try to keep it at a max of two heads.

Think basic bathing needs. For that you at least need a "standard" shower head, with a standard type of spray to wash and rinse hair.

Then think shower experience. Some folk like the multi-spray heads. And that's fine, that can be combined with the "standard" head in the previous paragraph. Some like a rain shower head. A true rain head (a gentle shower of water droplets) can give the best "rain experience" by being ceiling mounted and away from the wall. Rain heads should have the water dropping straight down. So mounting it on a somewhat short arm coming out of the wall may not do the head or the bather justice.

Think practicality of cleaning up the space of a larger shower. For that, a handheld on a long hose is a great addition that allows you to easily wash down the spaces in a larger shower.

Then there is always the plumbing cost and the cost of the additional fixtures. There are affordable valves that have a built-in diverter. Or you can plumb in two supply valves, one for the "standard" head, and another for the rain head.

My somewhat standard setup these days is the "standard" head being a handheld on a hose. The handheld can be mounted on a sliding bracket for adjusting the shower head height; higher for a tall bather, lower for a short bather, or even lower for shower from the chest down. Most handhelds have accessory wall brackets. Example, you can add an extra bracket to hold the head at thigh-height for shaving legs.

The length of the hose on the handheld can allow you to use the handheld to rinse down the far-flung corners of the shower.

Or to wash pets. Or young kids.

Personally, when using the shower head and the rain head at the same time, I prefer the water to come out of the rainhead at a different temperature. So instead of using a single supply valve and a diverter to supply both heads, in my own shower I have two separate supply valves; one for the handheld and one for the rain head. The cost of the two valves combined was less than one of the fancier supply valves with a built-in diverter.

Having the spray from the overhead rain head offset from the wall-mounted handheld can allow two bathers to shower at the same time.

So there are various ways to skin this cat. But in general, for a larger shower that will have a single head, I do recommend that the single head be a handheld on a hose. If users want a "shower experience", then I'd recommend adding a second head and that the second head be a true ceiling mounted rain head. If there is a third head, that head can be a fixed location shower head on a standard shower arm coming out of the wall. Just my opinion.

When you go to more than three spray heads, then you have to increase the size of the shower's drain and drain branch lines to remain code compliant.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 11:10AM
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I think a 4' x 4' space (or even 3-1/2') with two showerheads on the same wall works better for two people than one showerhead on each end of a 5' x 3' space.

In our last house, we had two shower heads on perpendicular walls. the one on the short wall was a fixed shower head, and the one on the long wall was a hand-held on a hose/sliding bar thing. The shower measured about 5'+ x 3.5', and had a bench at the other short end. It was plenty big for two not-so-big people (us). I wouldn't ever bother with a bench again. It went unused.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 12:04PM
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Wow - thank you everyone so much!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 3:53PM
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"I wouldn't ever bother with a bench again. It went unused."

I've been against built-in benches for quite a few years. If someone wants a bench I recommend a moveable bench or stool. There are times when a wall mounted fold-down seat can work. But usually a moveable wood bench or stool is the better option.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 8:14PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Our bench is a pony wall in the shower 12" wide x 36" long. I couldn't be without it! That is where I put my foot when I bend over to wash my legs, or shave. We had that same set up since 1978 when we designed our original shower. It had no niches, so the products (shampoo, razors, loofa thingies) went on the 20" bench. Never sat on on it ever, just for feet and putting stuff.

How do women shave their legs w/o a bench or ledge to put a foot on???? Or how do old farts bend over to wash their legs and feet?

Our designers wanted to put in a triangle bench. We opposed that as it would remain wet/damp on the underside and what a haven for bacteria and mold that would be.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 12:43AM
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How do women shave their legs w/o a bench or ledge to put a foot on????

Well, I didn't say I wouldn't put in a ledge :-) just that I wouldn't take up room with a bench! Actually, we built a ledge for our "products" (rather than a niche -- saw it in a hotel and liked it) as well as the bench. I would take out the bench, and put in a ledge at leg-shaving height.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 2:05PM
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