Who's got a rain shower/shower and hand shower combo setup they adore?

Circus Peanut
2 months ago

Currently prepping and beginning to order fixtures for a full bath remodel. It's the main bathroom in our 110-year-old house; will have a fully tiled walk-in shower. The rest of the bath fixtures (5'8" standing drain Standard J-tub, huge oval pedestal sink) are vintage restored chrome. We have fairly strong city water pressure with excellent soft water (Portland, Maine).

I'm a regular bather and my non-negotiable was keeping the bathtub. Here's the reason for this post: husband's sole request is a rain shower like the one he loves at the gym. If we do this, I'd want a hand-shower for rinsing feet, cleaning etc and I'd get one on a rail for those times I don't want to wash my hair. We had a poor experience in a previous house with a railed Moen handshower that continually drooped so we couldn't use it as a regular showerhead; presumably the design of these has gotten better in the intervening years. Should I consider three fixtures -- handshower, rain head and fixed wall head? My searches show that handheld rails with a fixed top showerhead are also available.

Our plumber will work with any brand but has mildly advised against Delta/Brizo and Pfister. He's a miracle worker who brought our old Crane sink and Case kidney toilet downstairs back to fully functional life, and I'd trust him with any installation. I see many positive reviews of the Grohe rainshower systems but my only concern is that their ultra-modern style won't jibe with our vintage vibe. Aesthetically, we are not huge fans of the sensor button/LED/motion-detecting type of setup -- very basic manual Chicago Faucet type or even commercial styling is fine. Brands like Signature Hardware and Kingston Brass offer more vintage styles but I don't know anything about their quality and durability.

So have at it: what combination rain shower/hand shower do you folks have, and what fixture set-ups and/or brands do you either love or strongly advise against? Thank you!

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