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Are rain shower heads and body sprays worth putting in?

Posted by kaysd (My Page) on
Tue, Jul 3, 12 at 19:15

I need to buy shower fixtures for our master bath remodel that is supposed to start at the beginning of August. We are putting a walk-in shower in place of the current tub/shower combo. It is in a 3-sided alcove that is 59" wide x 41" deep x 8' high. The 59" back wall has a 3' W x 18" H window. The front 59" "wall" is glass. I already purchased a Thermasol steam generator at a great price when a local chain went out of business. We used a Hansgrohe Raindance hand shower on a 36" slide bar in our last house and loved it, so we are using one of those again. DH thinks that is all we need since that set-up worked for us before. I think it might be nice to have a second shower head, since we have to take turns under the water on the mornings that we shower together, and I get a little chilly waiting for my turn in winter. I am also considering body sprays, because I have a lot of pain in my lower back.

Do shower body sprays actually help with back pain like hot tub jets do? I am not interested in horizontal sprays of water if all it does is get me wet from a different angle. I can slide the hand shower down the bar and tilt it to massage my back and that works pretty well. I don't know if the small body sprays have the same forceful water pressure.

I have never tried a rain shower head. Is it a really gentle spray? I want to make sure there is enough water pressure to get shampoo out of my long hair. (I really like the pressure of the Raindance 5" hand shower head.) Kohler offers identical looking models of both rain shower heads and body sprays with "soothing spray" or "stimulating spray." I have no idea which to pick without trying them. I want a decent amount of water pressure, but not a pelting or stinging spray. It would be nice to have a shower head or body spray where you can adjust the type of spray.

The rain shower head will cost $660 in parts and 3 body sprays will cost almost $500 in parts, plus extra plumbing costs, so I have to decide if it is worth it to put in one or both extra features. As I am typing this, I am starting to talk myself out of getting either, because I am not sure how often we will use them. The main reason for getting them might be re-sale, as I wonder if it would seem strange to have a steam shower in a master bath that has only 1 shower head.

To put things in context, the house is expensive because of the neighborhood and view. The master bath was a real sore spot when we bought the house 2 years ago, because it is small and not at all luxurious. (When you walk in, there is a toilet, then a 42" vanity, then the tub/shower.) We are stealing a little bit of space from the bedroom so that there will be a 6' vanity with 2 sinks, and the toilet and shower will be separated from the rest of the bath by a pocket door. There is no way to make the bathroom large enough for a tub (there is one in the hall bath). I am considering whether adding some "luxury" items to the shower, like body sprays and a second shower head, will make the house easier to resell when the time comes. I don't want to waste money with items we don't need, but it sure is a lot easier to add items now while the walls are open.

WWYD? (Thanks if you read this far -- sorry for rambling.)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Are rain shower heads and body sprays worth putting in?

I've been wrestling with this question, and my husband - like yours - thinks we need just the handshower on the bar. Having recently stayed in a lovely hotel with a ceiling-mount rainshower plus the wallbar set, I can definitely see the allure. This rainshower was quite gentle, but felt good! The handshower was more versatile. I used both. Despite how nice the rainshower was, I decided not to install one in my new shower. I'm going with the handheld on a bar (also Hansgrohe) and a fixed wall-mount showerhead. A 6" Raindance showerhead from Hansgrohe can be about $110, plus you spend a bit more getting the 2-function valve and trim. For that money, it seems like a reasonable investment for resale, and added options for our showers. I may be wrong, but I feel like we can have a similar feel with the showerhead coming out of the wall as when it comes out of the ceiling.

I tested the Hansgrohe and Kohler showerheads at our local Fergusons showroom, and thought the Hansgrohe performed much better. The 3-function Raindance ones are wonderful!


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RE: Are rain shower heads and body sprays worth putting in?

Before we did our remodel I asked around extensively about shower heads and sprays. To a one, no one I knew who had body sprays used them regularly. We skipped those. My husband REALLY wanted a rain shower. I wanted a hand shower. So we did both, with the hand shower mounted shower height. My husband loves the rain shower and uses it every day. I find the pressure too light for my liking and have only used it once. My husband doesn't like the hand shower for some reason, and I really like the way I can change spray settings and get a concentrated spray.

If I were you, I'd think about the way members of your family like to shower and choose accordingly. Body sprays and rainshower heads will not sell your house in the future. Get what you think will please and make sense to you.


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RE: Are rain shower heads and body sprays worth putting in?

I can only offer my opinion.

First I think body sprays are a waste of money. I've used several types/variations, they don't appeal to me in the least bit. I'm done with that topic.

I do recommend two shower heads in a "couples" shower. A true rain head will give a different shower experience than a regular shower head. Gentle. Soothing. But not enough force to scour shampoo from a head of hair in a timely manner. The problem (well..."a" problem) is that rain heads have been twisted into everything besides a rain head while still being called rain heads.

I do like real rain heads. It's not terribly often that I'm in a "shower mood". Usually I'm in and out. But turning on the rain head is a nice experience. My wife loves it and uses it much more than I do. A 12" head gives a nice shower, 10" is about the smallest I'd recommend.

I really like handhelds. The heads these days are the same as the fixed heads, they're just mobile. You mentioned your back. Our handheld has four spray patterns, it's on the generic shower pattern 90% of the time. My wife does have neck issues, she'll sometimes put on the massage spray pattern and lower the head (on a vertical slide bar) to neck height and blast away at her neck for a few minutes.

Handhelds, when "hand held", can also help rinsing hair faster. A hose of adequate length can help ashing down the shower walls too.

You can usually buy additional wall brackets for a handheld. I'll sometimes mount one lower on the wall for folks who shave their legs.


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RE: Are rain shower heads and body sprays worth putting in?

We had a shower with body sprays and almost never used them. I did use the hand shower and wall mounted shower head often enough, but I think many of us are too busy to spend a long time in the shower.

The body sprays were no stronger or more effective than aiming the hand shower at my back after spending too many hours weeding or hacking at brush/trees. YMMV, of course!


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RE: Are rain shower heads and body sprays worth putting in?

Rain heads do not offer a great deal of pressure. Think about getting caught outdoors during a thunderstorm. They will not be great at rinsing out shampoo. It's about the experience of water gently cascading down your body, not rinsing shampoo out. Rinsing shampoo is what the regular shower head or handheld is for.

Body spray are not therapeutic. They are just other wetting ports. Therefore, they are never used 95% of the time for most people. A bidet with heated water is more useful for "targeted cleaning" if you've got that thought in your head as well about body sprays.


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RE: Are rain shower heads and body sprays worth putting in?

OK, at this point I have abandoned the idea of body sprays. I don't want to waste the money or the water if they are not therapeutic for a bad back. I am still debating the idea of a rain shower head. Neither DH nor our designer thinks it is a good idea for a 42" x 59" shower, especially since I have to fit a 10" square light and sound unit for the steam shower on the shower ceiling. I would consider putting a rain shower head right in the middle of the shower so I could use the rain shower and aim the handheld at my lower back at the same time, but if I center the rain head there is no good place for the light panel.

Kmcg, I am glad to hear you are enjoying the Raindance shower heads. A fixed wall mount showerhead sounds like agood option for a 2nd head if I don't go grazy with a ceiling mounted rain shower head.

Sas95, it's interesting that you don't like the rain shower. The lady at the showrooom also told me that it is often the men who like the rain shower and the women like the handshower. My husband has disclaimed any interest in the rain shower, so if I don't like it, it will be a real waste.

Mongoct, I do use the handheld on the slidebar for my back, and will just stick with that, since it sounds like the body sprays are a waste. Which "real rain heads" would you recommend?

EngineerChic, good to know the body sprays don't add anything to the experience for the added costs.

Live_wire_oak, I really had not considered contorting myself to try to use the back height body sprays for "targeted cleaning." Thanks for that mental image, lol.


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RE: Are rain shower heads and body sprays worth putting in?

Just to cement your argument: we just had a hand held and a rain shower installed in our master bath renovation. We had the body sprays from the previous shower removed in the reno - they were not therapeutic and we never used them. Ours seemed unfortunately placed too - the POs were shorter than us, perhaps that is why.

When I was doing my research on rain heads a couple of months back I received many recommendations here for Hansgrohe, that is what we had installed.


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RE: Are rain shower heads and body sprays worth putting in?

Hey Kaysd, I'm going to give you a totally different opinion about the shower sprays! I had them in our house and I loved them! We could turn the pressure down or up , I had 3 for the back (2 on the upper back and one on the lower) and two for the front (these ones we always had the power turned low, we liked to have the water keeping the front of us warm!). I loved loved loved them! By no means did it replace a good massage, but it always felt good. When I was pregnant with my twins, I could stand in there until I ran out of hot water! We are in the process of rebuilding our home and body sprays will definitely be added again!

We also had the handheld and rain shower, the only thing I would say is basically what has already been said, the hand held makes rinsing shampoo much easier, the rain shower worked, but wasn't quick by any means.


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RE: Are rain shower heads and body sprays worth putting in?

We are in the same position as the OP in our build /fixture decision at this time.
& all the above comments are spot on with our thought process also!

The rainshower is more a show than go item for us.
My wife wants it, but I'd rather have an angled shower hand from the wall for more water pressure.

But I had to compromise since the handspray serves that purpose esp. when hung the wall clip.

Since our shower system will be the exposed pipe vintage looking type, most come with rainshower type heads.

The positive byproduct out of all of this is that with our doorless shower entry, the rainshower will have less chance for a splash flooding issue :)


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