One of the biggest considerations when designing your shower will be the type of shower head you want. The sort of shower head you choose will obviously play a major role in how the bathing experience 'feels', as this is what will be distributing the water. When people design a shower, the first ideas that spring to mind are usually the screen type and possibly tiling patterns. When it comes to the actual business end of the shower though, it's a matter of finding a shower head that's capable of providing a comfortable and sufficient flow to everyone who's going to use it.
Getting a head
There are two main types of shower heads – fixed and hand-held. There are many different interpretations of both these types though, including massage showers, rain shower heads, waterfall showers, multi-head showers and high and low pressure jets - in singles or multiples. What type of shower head you install will largely dictate your comfort in the shower. If you don’t have enough pressure, you won’t feel clean. If you have too much you’ll waste valuable water.
Consider your needs
The type of shower head setup you choose really comes down to what you want from your shower. If a shower is nothing more than a faster way to wash off than a bath, then you can get a low cost water efficient washower head that will do the trick simply and effectively. If however, you treat the shower as a way to relax and unwind - or if you're after a specific visual theme - then you may want to explore some of the more elaborate options. Waterfall and rain-effect shower heads, for example, create a gentle, natural effect, and come in all sorts of eye-catching designs.
How to decide what's appropriate
Consider where your shower is going to be located. What kind of plumbing will your shower head require? How much room will it need? If you’re planning to have the latest in multiple head wet rooms, then specialist plumbing and an increased budget may be necessary, but most single shower heads are easily interchangeable, and this can be done very quickly and cheaply by most plumbers.
Who is the shower head for?
For bathing young children, many people prefer to use a hand-held shower head. Also, as any tall person will tell you, it's far better to allow for a bit of height when positioning your shower head. If the shower's going to be used by people of significantly different heights, you need to take into account how comfortable it's going to be for each of them.
A shower head that allows you to easily vary the height is a good idea. If it's likely to change position several times a day to compensate for several peoples' needs, you should also consider how bolts or joints will loosen as a result of this regular movement, and ensure you get something that's well designed for the purpose.
How it feels
The sensation of the shower will be the ultimate decider. Everyone is familiar with how a standard shower feels. A massage shower will vary its flow in pre-arranged patterns to concentrate a high pressure flow on your back and shoulder muscles, relieving stress and strain. Rain shower heads not only give the appearance of rainfall, but the feeling of standing in a revitalising summer drizzle too (or even a winter drizzle, if you prefer). Likewise, as anyone who's had the pleasure of experiencing one will tell you, there are few luxuries more satisfying than a multi headed shower.