So unhappy with Kohler rainshower head

Linda RossNovember 8, 2008

I have a new beautiful shower, love the tile but not the plumbing fixtures. I spent forever picking them out, Kohler rainshower head and the handheld sprayer with a separate valve to turn the sprayer on. It looks beautiful. I have great water pressure also, but I had never used a rainshower head and the salesperson at the plumbing showroom said "everyone" was buying them and I would love it. Well, I don't and it was sooo expensive. I have thicker shoulder length hair. It takes me forever to get my hair wet enough for the shampoo to lather and imagine how long it takes to get the shampoo rinsed out. I end up using the handheld 99% of the time. The handheld is all metal, large and very heavy to hold. We went to the beach last weekend and the hotel had a shower that was wonderful, lots of forceful water, I was in and out in a minute. I decided I liked a shower the nearly blows you back against the tiles and not this rainshower stuff. That is just my opinion but giving you something to think about if you have never used a rainshower.

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I find the forced air rain showers to be much more effective. I have a Hansgrohe shower head with air that is 8" wide and it is really forceful. Does Kohler make an air injected rain shower that you could replace your with?

Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 10:03AM
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I chose a Moen "rain" showerhead that is called something like Velocity. It is supposed to be able to be either forceful or rain. I also added the handheld as a separate option b/c I also have thick hair and want to make sure it gets the job done. My handheld will be on a bar and can be used like a regular showerhead. Can you do that? I hope we like ours. I am worried about the rain thing too b/c I had heard that. I think the fact that it has a strong feature will hopefully work!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 4:50PM
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Linda Ross

I also have the hand-held on a bar. I am also realizing that when I clean the shower with that "spray-on" stuff and I have used several gentle brands but finding it makes the bar so slick that the heavy hand-held slides down the bar. There is no adjustment screw to make it tighter. My husband is also having a problem getting used to the "rain" shower as he likes forceful water also. I investigated everything for my new bathroom but never thought about the rain head.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 6:23PM
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Yeah, we tried a rainhead a while back. My DH hated it, so we went back to a water-saving (mandatory here in CA) but more forceful spray.

Oxygenics supposedly makes a forceful spray for very little water, but I'm fondest of our Water Pik. 1/10 the price of the Grohe in our master, and a lot better, frankly.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 7:02PM
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There may be a flow restrictor in your rainshower head that can be removed. Federal regulations mandate that no shower emitter may be sold that delivers more than 2.5 gallons per minute -- but there's no regulation that says an owner can't alter the emitter after purchase so that more water flows. Of course, your water usage will go up (and your water bill and water heating bill), but you may find you like the rainshower better if you can get more water flowing.

Unscrew the showerhead and see if there's a little plastic gizmo at the bottom of threaded fitting (these look different depending upon manufacturer, so I can't tell you exactly what it might look like). If you can pry it or drill it out, you'll increase the water flow. Not all brands utilize these gizmos to restrict flow, relying on other methods instead, but if yours is one that does, it's an easy fix.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 8:11PM
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i'm REALLY sorry you don't love your rain shower ...but thank you so much for posting. i'm in the process of choosing our fixtures now and i LOVE the way the rain showers look, but i'm wondering if i'll be able to actually wash my hair with one. my hair is also shoulder length and very thick. i need a lot of water, not some piddly little sprinkle!
i had no idea there were forced air rain showers available. i'll look into it, but for now i'm thinking it will be a plain old shower head (that works) for us. i hope you can resolve your situation without much expense. sorry again...

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 7:43PM
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Linda Ross

I'll fess up, I simply bought it for it's looks plus it sounded nice, like a rain shower, but not very practical for us getting ready for work every morning. We had a very large remodeling project, kitchen/masterbath/bedroom and for the most part I like everything I picked out but there were a couple of things I wish I had made different choices on, the shower head was one of them.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 8:24PM
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I am including a link of an example of the air injected shower heads. The oxygenics is the same type of thing but I don't think they have a rain head.

Best of luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Hangrohe Showerhead w/ Air

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 8:25PM
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You really must check the inside of your showerhead. I too have thick long hair, and my time to shower is directly related to how much water flow I get out. The way I look at it, I need the same amount of water to wash my hair- it's just a matter of how long it takes to come out.

Now my teenage kids.... they need the watersaver.

If you look inside the opening of your shower head, most likely there is some kind of device restricting flow. Some are designed to be removable, some require you to break it in order to remove it. I won't buy a shower head if I can't increase the flow. We have our own well, not in a drought, I shamelessly like my high volume shower.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 8:47PM
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We have a Sunrise shower head on our claw foot and we all love it. It looks like a small rain shower type head but doesn't feel like the water is constricted. I can rinse my hair in a nano second. It is only about 4" around.

We bought a similar head for our up and coming shower upstairs. I unscrewed the water constrictor and threw it away. We're on a very good well that taps into an underground river and I take quick showers. At 85 gallons per minute, I don't think my well will even notice I removed that plastic thing.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 9:33PM
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Your salesman didn't do you a service. Rainshower heads give a delicate flow typically, and result in the problem you cite. People may like them for the rainshower feel, but they do have drawbacks.

How is it mounted? It may be easy to install a regular showerhead instead. If so, I would demand the salesman give you full credit.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 9:16AM
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Ditto heimert (and others as well),

I've never installed a rainshower head to be used as the primary head in a shower.

It's more an alternative to a standard hard spraying head, something to give you a different bathing experience.

If your salesperson sold it to you without telling you that, the person did you no favors.


    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 12:51PM
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Linda Ross

Okay, if I go back to the Kohler store, which shower head should I get if I want a great shower in the mornings? I need some suggestions, if you could look on the Kohler site it would be helpful to me as I am absolutely lost and nervous about the saleswoman's recommendation again. I was hoping I could just unscrew this head and screw on another shower head. I don't want a tiny or narrow stream but a shower head that I can wash my hair and get ready for work shower. I don't relax in the shower, that's what I have the tub for in the evenings. The shower is all business for work.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kohler Bath Products

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 10:40AM
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If you want a good shower without using a lot of water, pay attention to the suggestions above for aerating shower heads. We have a low-flow aerating shower head that really gives you a good strong shower while saving water as well. This saves you money on both water and the power to heat your water (electricity or gas)...and is also good in areas like mine where water is dependent on annual rainfall that has been skimpy the last few years.

Our shower head also has an on/off switch that is a good option as well.


    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 8:23PM
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Linda Ross

I really don't have to conserve water as I live in an area that is not in a water restriction. I live on the river that our community gets our water from. Like I said earlier, the shower is a quick morning thing for work, so I don't waste any water or stay in the shower very long. I stay in the shower longer than I ever have trying to get the soap off or shampoo out of my hair with this rain shower. I just want a good forceful shower head.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 8:41PM
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Kohler does not appear to have an air injected showerhead. I would go back to the store and ask them to replace it with a Hansgrohe or someone else that makes an air injected shower. It is not just about saving water but they are really forceful.

My local plumbing showroom has several showerheads hooked up so you can see them in action. The Hansgrohe are really very forceful. Maybe you can find somewhere that has these on display first. Oxygenics are also well rated but I wanted a really big shower head and the ones they carry are normal sized.

Just for reference, I have a Hansgrohe S150 Air. The shower head from Ira Woods is under $100. You can replace your current shower head without a problem.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 10:18PM
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I don't like rain shower heads either. My MIL put on in their lake house and to make matters worse they have bad water pressure...not a good combo. Hope you find a solution soon!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 2:23PM
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I so wish that I had read this thread before purchasing the American Standard Copeland. I could not get the shampoo rinsed out of my hair. Fortuneately, DH saved the old one, he removed the Copeland and put the old one back on. It claims to put out 2.5 gals. per minute, but no way.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 4:36PM
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i got to see a few shower heads which were plumbed and i have to say i'm not very impressed with the forced air rain shower they had. it was the hansgrohe. honestly, i preferred the traditional rain shower (also hansgrohe) which seemed to produce a more forceful rain. but it could have also been the number of holes in the head they had display. i'm going to get the 12" hansgrohe rain shower with a fixed shower head which will do the work of rinsing my crazy thick hair. we'll also get a hand shower as well; it's a big shower and that will make it much easier to clean.
i would suggest not buying any shower head, if at all possible, without seeing it in action. i realize this is unrealistic, but this is my "rule" for purchases at least regarding our master bath.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 7:51PM
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I would definitely talk to the manager at the store where you bought the shower head - every single salesperson should know if they have any familiarity with what they are selling at all - that a rain shower is no substitute for a regular shower head. THey should work with you to replace it with something acceptable. You did not go to HD or shop online and if these bricks and mortar stores want to stay in business they need to make good on the customer service promise - remind them of that.

I too thought they looked cool when they first came out and then I went to a couple boutique hotels that had them installed - TG I had that experience before we started our renovation. I also have thick wavy hair and it was ridiculous even trying to wash my hair.

We have a very simple shower head and I love it - there is a name for it - it is basically controlled by a lever and has no fancy massage settings - just a nice single function steady stream - we chose one with 8 water jets. Looks kind of basic and old fashioned - not really a design statement but very functional. I can be in and out with rinsed hair in minutes.

I did put a rain shower in our pool bath - it comes straight down from the ceiling and it is just for quick kids rinsing after swimming in the pool. It is also our powder room bath for guests so the look was definitely part of the decision. THere is a handheld for anyone wanting more pressure but it is definitely not a regular use shower.

I wish you the best of luck. It is so disconcerting when you spend all this time effort and money and it falls short of your expectations.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 8:28PM
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