If you think you have to make sacrifices to conserve water, think again. Rain shower heads are the latest trend because they're the stylish and luxurious alternative to traditional shower heads and only secondarily because they are so water efficient. How do rain shower heads work? What are the most popular styles?
How Rain Shower Heads Work
When water saving shower heads first arrived on the market, many users complained of a "pins and needles" effect or felt they weren't really saving on water because it took twice as long to rinse off soap and shampoo with them as it took with a normal shower head. There was some validity to both of these arguments. That "pins and needles" feeling came from earlier technology that aerated the water first and then forcibly ejected it from the shower head. Softer flowing models worked by restricting the volume of water only.
An early innovation that helped improve water saving shower heads' image was the adjustable shower head. With these, users can choose whether to use a wide, fine spray or a more focused flow. This was an improvement, but not the ultimate answer.
The ultimate answers came when engineers started taking a closer look at the water droplets themselves. Bigger water droplets spread over a wider area gave the effect of standing under a cascading fall of rain. Technically, this is called "laminar flow" and is similar to the way rain falls in large, orderly droplets. In order to create a denser stream of water, the water jets are aimed at each other. As water is ejected from the nozzles, streams of water collide with each other and divide into fine droplets.
Styles of Rain Shower Heads
The most distinguishing feature of rain shower heads is their size: they are much wider and thinner than conventional shower heads. They can be circular, oval, square or rectangular, but all of them are designed to distribute water straight down over a wider area, giving the user the feeling of standing under a cascade of rain.
Some rain shower heads are designed to be wall mounted while others are ceiling mounted. Within these parameters, there are innumerable styles to choose from. Both fixed and swivel head models are available and for the ultimate shower experience, you can even choose a rain shower head with a built-in stereo system and LED display. Some things to look for include:
- Adjustable spray shower heads allow users to customise their shower experience.
- Adjustable height models accommodate everyone in the family.
- For even more versatility, look for a combination of overhead and hand held shower heads.
Installing Rain Shower Heads
If you want to try a rain shower head, some inexpensive models are available that you may be able to easily attach to your existing plumbing. If you are doing a complete bathroom renovation
, though, check out all the styles that are available before you complete your bathroom design and have your plumber
install the system for you. Rain shower heads are so stylish and luxurious, you will probably want to design your shower enclosure or wet room to accommodate your shower head rather than choose your shower head as an afterthought.