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belasea_gw

Shower head- is a handheld necessary?

belasea
9 years ago

Hi, we are remodeling our bathroom and have one fixed shower head that has been fine all of these years. Our bathroom is very small and our house was built in 1906. We want simple and uncluttered. Our contractor is recommending a handheld shower system, but we think one shower head is fine. One shower head or is two really necessary? Is a handheld really worth it? Does it have the same pressure? We do not have kids or a dog, just a cat that we wouldn't bath:).

Would love to hear other opinions. Thank you so much.

Comments (63)

  • ILoveRed
    9 years ago

    I am staying with dd helping with new baby. This is the shower head in her guest bath. It detaches to become handheld. Don't know the brand but it is an awesome shower.

    I would not build a bathroom without a handheld. Essential for a good rinse, IMHO. Nurses perspective.

  • worthy
    9 years ago

    A handheld brings the water to you rather than the other way around.

    Invaluable for a trivial cost.

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  • williamsem
    9 years ago

    I have always had just a handheld. Works great. I get annoyed staying in hotels since they are always fixed. I don't feel completely clean until I shower at home.

    Unless you want a rainfall type fixed head, a handheld would be absolutely fine. I don't understand having both when a handheld can easily function as both.

  • lazypup
    9 years ago

    I have both a standard shower & a handheld on a bar but there is simple reason. When our shower mixer gave up the ghost I went to my mini-warehouse and sorted through all the materials that I had bought for jobs over the years, only to have the jobs cancel and I was stuck with materials, otherwise I would have probably just installed a handheld with a bracket to hang it as a conventional shower as in the photos above.

    On the other hand, having both does work very well for Jan & I because I am 6' tall and she is only 5'1". I can comfortably use the conventional shower head so we set the bracket for the hand held lower where it works better for her as a conventional shower, and we both have the option of using the hand held for those hard to reach areas.

    The bottom line, I could care less about the impressive brand names or comforming to whatever is in vogue at the moment. For me it is purely a matter of form & function, but in this case we seemed to have resolved the form & function for both of us.

    Now if your looking for Handsgrohe and italian marble I am afraid you would be very disapointed in my bathroom, but if your looking for a comfortable shower with enough hot water that you can stand in there for an hour without it getting cold, this is it.

  • Annie Deighnaugh
    9 years ago

    We have both in our shower, we have a hand sprayer in our tub and a combo shower head with hose to use as hand sprayer like williamsem posted in our other shower. Would not be without one, just for cleaning purposes. But then are the other things that work so well, like in the summer, I barefoot all the time, and like to wash my feet before I go to bed...it's perfect to do with a hand held.

  • niteshadepromises
    9 years ago

    Don't need both, especially in a small shower space. Just go with a handheld and you'll be glad you did. I actually introduced my husband to this fancy new contraption when we first started dating...his response was why in the world hadn't his own parents done these in their showers. Between that and using a loofah rather than a cloth to wash up with, I think I rocked his shower world :d

  • lee676
    9 years ago

    I like having both, as it allows the water to flow overhead from the rainshower whilst using the hand spray to aim at, say, my leg, which can also speed up showering if i'm in a hurry. Not the best thing for water conservation i'll admit, but it feels good.

  • islanddevil
    9 years ago

    Don't think a hand held or multiple heads is necessary.Depends on personal preference and space. I live in Southern CA and wouldn't think of multiple heads because I try to conserve water. We have one tiny shower stall in a downstairs bathroom and when we remodel that one we'll probably replace the standard head with a single handheld because it would be easier to rinse off.

  • Iowacommute
    9 years ago

    If you go with the handheld on a bar make sure it's a good one. Our current house had a cheap plastic one, and it was always sliding down in the middle of my shower.

    I also will never have a bathroom without a handheld sprayer. My parents don't have one and have to use a cup to fill and then throw water on everything. I was usually the one who cleaned the shower because they hated doing the cup thing so maybe I'm jaded. : )

  • likewhatyoudo
    9 years ago

    niteshadepromises - Your post made me laugh - When we remodel our hall bath I will be getting a handheld fixed combo and a large deep soaker tub.

    My DH still takes a bath and has a single shower head and uses bar soap and a wash cloth. He will be supplied with liquid shower soap, a poof and a hand held/fixed combo shower head.

    Oh My Goodness he refuses to use shower soap and a poof. A loofah might send him over the edge.

    I told DH when we get the remodel done that the bar soap leaves a ring and residue and he would have to use liquid soap. I am trying to find data that supports my argument.
    : )

  • williamsem
    9 years ago

    Tell him he is responsible for cleaning the bar soap shelf weekly.

  • Gina_W
    9 years ago

    I can vouch for liquid soap=no more scum! We banished bar soap in our house many years ago. My husband likes Dr. Bronners almond castile soap - uses it as shampoo too.

  • cathie2029
    9 years ago

    I say get the handheld sooo practical..

    Not to sound like a smart ass...but how the heck do you wash off the bathroom cleaner products without a handheld? I know a fixed shower head only tilts so much and you cannot get the area under the shower head...??? This is precisely why I got rid of the regular heads and got hand helds.

  • MuleHouse
    9 years ago

    We love a handheld shower head. You don't have to hold it, as it attaches in its holder so can be used the same way a fixed shower head is. It's really great for hair washing as you can press the unit right against your head. Once you have one I'm sure you will love it to.

    Georgia in Alabama

  • erikarochelle
    9 years ago

    We have only a handheld shower head in our kids' bathroom. It's in a holder, like the ones above. I like it so much that we'll have a hand-held as well as a rain shower head in our new shower. We have kids and a dog, so it's invaluable for that, but where it really shines is cleaning. Imagine being able to rinse your shower walls without throwing buckets of water all over the place and making a splashy mess! That shower gets cleaned more often than the other, simply because it's so much easier to do with the hand-held. I wouldn't have a shower without one any more.

  • wi-sailorgirl
    9 years ago

    We went with a handheld (Kohler Flipside) only when we built our new bathroom. While i love it for ease of cleaning (seriously, how DO you rinse the shower well without it?), my favorite part of it is that we mounted it on a slide bar. There is more than a foot difference in our heights and the slide bar allows us to both have the showerhead at a comfortable distance.

  • nosoccermom
    9 years ago

    Funny. Handheld shower heads have been the norm in Western Europe for decades. I always hated them compared to a regular wall-installed shower head. I always found it a make-shift shower. Sooner or later, they will dip their heads, slide down, or swivel around, or you drop the thing, banging up your enamel. They are good for rinsing the shower walls or cleaning the tub, though.

  • itltrot
    9 years ago

    I rinse my shower walls with a cup of water because I don't have a handheld. *hangs head in shame

    Our guest bathroom was only a tub when we moved it. DH added a cheapo handheld that mounted to the spout. It worked really well despite not being able to adjust it and it would spray out of the tub. When we remodeled for some reason I chose not to go that route and kick myself for it. We have moved into that bathroom while we remodel the master bathroom and cleaning the shower frankly just sucks.

    If I have any money left from the master remodel (which is getting a handheld) I will change out the shower head in the guest bath for a handheld that is adjustable.

  • corgimum
    9 years ago

    When we remodeled our master bath we did add a handheld sprayer in addition to the regular shower head. Then we got a dog. We sure were glad to have it for him. It's also great when you just want to wash off your feet or to clean the shower as others noted.

  • ganesha
    9 years ago

    we are in the process of gutting our bathroom and installing the mirabelle edenton alcove soaking tub, new tile surround and replacing the shower head AND installing a hand held. we use shower primarily but definitely enjoy soaking in baths often. in the process of this remodel we are taking down a wall (opposite of shower/tub spout) from 8feet high to 4 feet high. we want the feel of an open shower/tub (there will be a partial glass wall on the tub enclosing the opening near the shower) we want to install the hand held on a bar next the the shower head. my question is how does this set up work? how many diverters will we need? one for the tub to shower head and one from the shower head to the hand held? does anyone have any examples of how a set up like this would work? i like the hansgrohe raindance S but then i need the tub spout too.... the plumber is coming next week and i dont have the slightest idea how to proceed with the shower/tub accessories. since we are spending quite a bit on the custom tile work i want to get the plumbing in that will work the best and last. we dont want to pull out the tile in a future remodel...
    will we have to buy each one separately? i could see that adding up quickly.

  • ganesha
    9 years ago

    https://www.houzz.com/photos/carolina-st-modern-bathroom-san-francisco-phvw-vp~102041-St-modern-bathroom-san-francisco
    this link is a picture of how our finished remodel will look with the partial glass panel execpt our opposite wall is only 4 feet tall- it's too bad this pic doesnt show the handheld and shower head and tub combo....

  • belasea
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    hi ganesha - we just finished a bathroom with almost the same exact door. I posted this original post because we really went back and forth about having a hand-held or not. After a lot of thought, we decided not to get a handheld for aesthetic reasons. Now after using the shower, I'm glad that we didn't put in a hand held because I'm not sure how I would do with keeping the water inside the shower with this type of open door with using a handheld. I'm clumsy and I'm not sure I wouldn't accidentally get water outside the shower/bath. However, I'm not used to having a hand-held, so perhaps it would be fine, but just thought I would put that out there to consider. I love the new door and am really happy with it.

    p.s. I'm also in San Francisco where your houzz picture was taken from. Our contractor has been installing these doors and he said that they have been working out really well. I have to agree. Good luck with your bathroom remodel! :)

  • ganesha
    9 years ago

    belasea,
    thank you for your response! we have never had a hand-held before so i appreciate your comment and i am thinking that i too would be awkward with keeping it at an angle that would stay in the confinements of our mostly open shower space. and we are trying to keep the clean lines look of the tub/shower so maybe we would rethink this.... i'd like to know what that diverter would look like to operate each spout (tub faucet, hand-held, shower head) separately. like i said we dont want to clutter the space. the most benefit i see with the hand-held is cleaning the tub/shower with the spray down.
    do you have pics of your finished project? i would like to see your glass wall is mounted.

  • belasea
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    ganesha - here are a couple pictures. Please note that we originally had the shower handle/faucet and shower head on the right hand side, but when we remodeled we put the shower head on the left side. This made more sense with our bathroom - it allowed us to put the shower door on the same side as the toilet, without moving the plumbing, and it's really nice to turn on the water without being under it. We did have to use a shower arm that was pointed down, and we also added a volume control. We previously had a thermostatic valve which allowed us to reduce the water pressure. We went with a pressure valve, and realized that we still like controlling the water pressure because we have very high water pressure and we need to turn it down. One more thing to consider - which kind of valve! Pressure or Thermostatic! I wish we would have went with a thermostatic, but that also means more controls and I was trying to reduce the clutter. In retrospect, I liked the thermostatic valve better and will use it when we do our master bath.


  • jennyh_80
    9 years ago

    I personally think a hand held shower head is pretty necessary in any shower, maybe more so for women.
    Sometimes I like to have a shower but not get my hair wet because I have very long hair and it takes me ages to dry my hair!

    I found a cool hand held shower filter that comes with an attachment that fits onto the shower pipe that allows you to either use the hand held shower head as a fixed head shower or a hand held shower.

    So you get the best of both worlds. I'll like it here for you :

    Here is a link that might be useful: shower filter

  • User
    4 years ago

    I want to get a handheld shower head and am restricted to using Delta - not much of a fan. Does anyone know of a GOOD Delta hand held? Or how about if I got a fixed AND a handheld. Is that done? Thanks for whatever help you can provide.

  • J Corn
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    We love Delta’s In2ition shower head. It comes in a variety of finishes. You can use it with the hand held separately or as a part of the main shower head. I greatly prefer having both options. It’s Deltas Intuition series, which they spell as In2ition. The one on Amazon is better quality than that we found carried at Lowe’s- heavier and clearly of superior quality

  • User
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Does the handheld snap into the fixed? I have seen that type and worried it might be hard to seat or would come loose and bop me in the head. I read about this on Amazon and there were some gripes about the hose being stiff. Any issues for you? Thank you for responding.

  • J Corn
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Yes, the handheld does snap into the fixed head. It has always been easy for us to use and has never come loose, even when we’ve adjusted the water to a hard and direct spray setting.

    But here’s what I think is vital: paying for the upgraded and better quality Intuition showerhead. The one at Lowe’s looks the same and is also an Intuition brand showerhead.

    But it is not made the same as many of the ones sold elsewhere. . I know this because we purchased the Lowe’s one first and we still have it as a back- up. It is lighter and doesn’t feel as nice or seem as sturdy as the other one we bought .

    Anyway, after waiting a long time to redo our bathroom we decided to spend the extra money on the showerhead .

    Delta has two major pluses:

    1. Lifetime warranties. We had a very small issue with a 3 year old Delta faucet and they replaced it, no questions asked.

    2. The universal valves, fittings, etc on many Delta products . If we replace our current showerhead with another Delta showerhead it will easily go into place and we probably won’t even have to open up the shower wall or disturb existing tiles. It will simply fit into what’s already there.

  • User
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Is this the upgrade you describe? It is $241 so I'm hoping this is deluxe! 4 stars. Please let me know! Thanks for staying with me here. Delta Two in One

  • J Corn
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    That’s also nice and has good reviews but we went with model 58471 . It’s $234 for Venetian Bronze, far less for other finishes. . If you want detailed comparisons, check out a site called Wirecutter here: https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/the-best-shower-head/. I think their info is accurate. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009MLXJXI/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1.

  • J Corn
    4 years ago

    And another thing. The showerhead kit generally does not contain the shower flange and shower valve . You probably need to purchase those. I did.

  • User
    4 years ago

    Ok, J Corn, thanks. Is that the right faucet (green link)?

  • J Corn
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Yes. We also purchased the Delta Dryden towel bars, robe hook, faucets etc...set because each manufacturer can have varying finishes. If the Dryden design doesn’t appeal, there are other styles to choose. We did stretch our budget because we’d saved for many years to get our desired bathroom. I know the prices are high but so is the quality. it may look like the shower head doesn’t match the Dryden but it does. It’s darker in real life. Or at least ours is.

  • J Corn
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    It was cheaper to buy the set than individual pieces. You may find that set for less elsewhere. We also added an additional towel bar to our shower with a bar both inside and out, and they were specially designed to work with a shower. They weren’t part of the Dryden line but luckily the finish matched..

    i really didn’t care whether the robe hook or toilet paper holder matched since we attached the holder to our vanity side, out of sight, and the robe hook was behind our door.

    . However, I really like the fact that the Dryden toilet paper holder doesn’t have a center roller that needs to be detached when you replace the toilet paper.

    The center part stays attached while an arm which simply lifts up, making the holder much easier to use than conventional holders. No springs, no risk of a roller dropping on the floor.

    It’s a a small thing, all in all, and certainly not necessary but I still appreciate it.

  • User
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    J Corn, You are a such a valuable resource here! Thank you so much for all of your input. I'll let you know how I do later this summer or early fall. If you have any other great ideas, you have my attention!

    Will you explain what you mean about the extra shower bar inside and out? Maybe a photo?

  • J Corn
    4 years ago

    Here’s photos of the shower towel holder we installed and the towel bars which run both inside and outside of the shower. They are connected together through the glass. It’s a frameless shower door so the edges may be hard to see.

    i hope these photos clarify things. The photos are angled and the tile may look slanted but that’s just the photo angle..

    I thought the inside towel bar would get wet when we take showers but it doesn’t, mainly because our shower head isn’t aimed toward the door and we don’t automatically aim the hand held in that direction either.

    It’s very convenient to have a towel hanging in the shower, ready to grab, and to have the extra hanging space for towels, both inside and outside the showert.

    Some people use the towel bars to dry bath mats but our mat is a Chilewich runner and never gets moldy or mildewed because it isn’t fabric and it dries naturally., without hanging.

  • User
    4 years ago

    Love this! I will look up the floor mat, too - never heard of it. Nice job on the bathroom - love the basketweave - and a picture really is worth 1000 words.

  • J Corn
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Just to clarify, we also have a towel bar on our wall but we rarely use it because the shower towel bars are enough and so we can avoid hanging a wet towel near the wall. Only dry towels go on the wall towel bar, so no water drips on the wall ( we didn’t have a towel bar in our old shower and wow...do I appreciate having one now )

    The link below is the chilewich site showing a neutral color combo with size options We actually went with a bright color runner to contrast with all our neutrals ( and picked brighter towels too) but if neutral is your preference, there’s plenty. These are not soft fuzzy runners but they’re practical, long wearing, and low maintenance choices.

    Mold, mildew and chlorine resistant. We have allergies so traditional mats are a problem.,https://www.chilewich.com/store/floor/shag_indooroutdoor_floormats/shag_skinny_stripe/mushroom_24x72

  • User
    4 years ago

    How big is that basketweave panel on your wall, please? So pretty.

  • Helen
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Love the dog bone panel. I'm doing a dog bone floor in my guest bath.

    I'm not sure why someone would want to exclude something as functional as a hand held shower since it provides one with options versus only have a fixed head. You can use a hand shower as a fixed head shower but not vice versa. In my old bathroom, I had one of those cheap handheld attachments and I used it to stand under it when it was hung on the wall and detached it when I needed the hand held function.

    I am going to have a separate hand held shower in my remodel master bath but that's because I am placing the hand held shower in the middle of the long wall (converting tub/shower combo to larger shower) so that I have the ability to use the spray wherever I am located.

  • J Corn
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    10bac10- I’m so flattered that you like my basket weave. Dimensions are below. It’s marble tile.

    In my opinion, using marble is not a decision to be made lightly. There are many posts in Houzz which essentially say ”Stop! Dont use marble!” But , a good friend has had a similar marble in her shower for over 10 years, with not a trace of issue. She takes special care with it and uses specific products in her shower.

    i don’t have marble anywhere else in my home.

    My basket weave is 4 feet high and 2 feet wide and bordered with a neutral colored but slightly veined pencil trim which blends with the basket weave and which I think helps to frame the basket weave. (See photo; color may not show accurately due to my crummy camera).

    The veins shown in the enlarged photo aren’t visible from a distance and are a subtle accent even when seen close- up.

    Both trim and basket weave are marble. My large and plainer wall tile is not marble.

    Because the basket weave is marble , I tried to avoid using it on the floor - but it looked unbalanced to me when I only had it on the wall.

    Again, as noted above, a friend has similar marble and has had no etching, starbursts, etc.,,that marble can get

    To achieve this, she uses only ph balanced shampoos, conditioners , cleansers, and soap in her shower. I do the same. I wipe down both floor and wall tile after each shower - to speed the drying process- and run a ceiling fan. I squeegee the shower door after showering, It has a special coating to repel water spots and it works beautifully.

    All my shower tile has been sealed and will need resealing periodically, I don’t find any of this effort a challenge but maybe that’s because I really enjoy having this bathroom after living with a truly awful one for many, many years.

  • User
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Well, it's gorgeous!!! I am about to embarrass myself, but I've come this far... If I order the recommended handheld shower (this is a remodel), what do I order to turn the water on? I wish I had a good emoji for that. The contractor is getting the guts behind the wall, but I have to order the rest. I kind of thought the handheld would come with a temperature mixer (I don't even know what you call them), but only if I get an assembly and I don't need all of that... Please?

  • J Corn
    4 years ago

    I called the main Delta customer service number , gave them them the name and model of my showerhead and they told me what else I needed. I sometimes had to ask them to repeat the info as I was taking notes.

    A good plumber should also know what you need. As I recall, once everything was installed, it took some practice to determine how to get the specific water intensity we wanted. You can adjust that when showering .


    There are various settings, You can have water only come through the handheld and not the main showerhead...or you can have water coming from both heads and vary the water strength.

  • User
    4 years ago

    JC, Your shower head has been discontinued, unfortunately, but there are similar models available.

  • tuckerdc
    4 years ago

    Since this is a revived thread, I thought I'd reiterate what was mentioned much higher up - in choosing a handheld, think sbout having some flexibility for aiming the head. It's one of the things I overlooked - (how do we EVER catch up with all the things we don't know we don't know!). Regardless, I'm very happy with my (very recently installed) Speakman handheld, tho it's quite a sizable apparatus and completely fixed. But that drawback is pretty much overcome with the companion slide bar (ADA rated as grab bar) and allows a pretty good vertical 'aiming' range. The spray choices and water pressure make me happy. A Speakman fixed head will join it, whenever the plumber, or a stray handyman, shows up. (Another slip up - I didn't have a diverter on hand at installation time).

  • User
    4 years ago

    My place is a condo and we are restricted to Delta or Moen b/c of old plumbing or something. My contractor did warn me about water angles with handhelds though so I appreciate your POV. Slide bars are pretty expensive, but it does allow for that versatility. Thanks for reposting that thought.


  • HU-202267935
    3 years ago

    I have a Rinseroo that I use to clean and rinse shower walls. No handheld needed. It slips over the showerhead and makes the rinsing and cleaning super fast and easy. I use one for all the showers in my house.

  • g_niloufer
    3 years ago

    We have a square shaped Moen shower head and want to attach a hand held shower to the pipe/rod. but it does not stay firm, though we have added an extension and falls loose..what does one do about that..any suggestions

  • George Arriola
    3 years ago

    Hello to anyone who can give me some helpful advice, I would appreciate it.


    We already have a rainfall shower head but we would like to add an additional handheld shower sprayer.

    I am assuming this is possible?


    How would I attach it? Do I need to remove the existing rainfall shower head and add sime kind of adaptor and then re-install the rainfall shower head plus the new handheld shower sprayer?

    Thanks,

    George