I’ve been thinking a lot lately about small, DIYable home improvement projects, especially for the bathroom. While there’s a good argument for routine remodeling and regular renovations, sometimes a little goes a long way in a small space like the bathroom. So if you’re looking to do a little face lift or add a little luxury to your bathroom without going all-out, consider this: is it time to replace your shower head? At first glance, swapping out your shower head might seem like an odd choice for a weekend project, but there are a few reasons you might want to consider it.
How Does Your Shower Head Look?
Shower heads can see a lot of wear and tear, especially if you have very hard water, and are prone to showing their age. A well-used, standard shower head that’s been around for a few years has probably accumulated some water spots and maybe even mineral deposits. And while neither of these things are particularly life-changing, they can be difficult to eliminate in an oft-used shower, and lower the overall aesthetic appeal (and sometimes function) of your shower. Newer shower heads often come with anti-spot coatings that help prevent water spots, and ones like this Touch Clean shower head from Delta allow you to wipe away mineral buildup with a single touch, preventing unsightly deposits and blocked nozzles.
How Well Does Your Shower Head Work?
Tons of new water conservation laws went into effect in the US in the early 90′s, and despite the fact that it’s been almost 20 years since the advent of that legislation, there’s still resistance to low-flow fixtures, from shower heads to toilets and taps. But in those 20 years, water-saving tech has come a long way, with smart innovations to increase water pressure while using less water. While the first low flow shower heads were a little, well, disappointing, newer models use advanced technology to increase the intensity of water at low pressures. The 200 Model from Danze uses pressure manifold air injection technology, which means that it mixes air and water at as little as 1.5 gpm to give the feel of high water pressure without shooting you with horrible water needles, or losing heat. So if you like your super soaker shower heads, shopping around for a low-flow shower head can actually help you get better water pressure while also whittling down your water bill.
Newer Shower Heads Look Nicer
I’ve found that faucets and shower heads are an easy thing to overlook on paper – something that, in an average bathroom, is seen as a purely functional fixture. But in many cases differences in quality (and price) are visible as well as functional. Solid brass shower heads with high quality finishes like this Vesi hand shower from Brizo look better and last longer than ones with inferior plastic parts. Plus, many modern shower heads are available in a wider range of finishes and designs, which can give an otherwise relatively plain shower wall a beautiful, luxury look.
Enjoy Your Morning Shower
In addition to making your shower space look better, upgrading to a newer, better shower head between remodels is actually a great way to enhance the functionality of the shower. You hear a lot about big dream bathroom remodels, but the truth is, most people only have time to take a quick shower in the morning. So even if you can’t afford a custom shower (more on this in a moment), splurging on a really nice massage shower head like this six function Dream shower head from Price Pfister will make it so you can at least get a little more joy out of your morning shower as well as having a set of hardware that looks nice.
Shower Heads Make Great Little Luxuries
I’ve spent more than a little time on this blog talking about custom showers, because if you have a huge budget and want to do a major bathroom remodel, well, that’s what you do. But just because you’re on a budget – or don’t want to rip out your whole shower! – doesn’t mean you cant enjoy a decadent shower. If a massage shower head isn’t quite enough, you can further upgrade to a luxury rainfall shower head. In fact, many rainfall shower heads, like this Ashfield Shower Head, come with special arms that allow you to easily install them into your existing plumbing while still getting the straight overhead downpour sensation of rain falling. You can even install an even-more-luxurious shower panel for a slightly higher cost, but something much closer to the experience of a custom shower without the expense of building one.
You Can Install A New Shower Head Yourself
Maybe the best part of all this, though, is that replacing a shower head is an easy project to do yourself with tools you probably already own. That means that your only cost is the cost of the shower head itself – no plumber or contractor needed – and because it’s a quick fix, you won’t have to worry about having your shower out of commission for long periods of time. In fact, an experienced DIYer could probably have the job done in about ten minutes (though if you’ve never worked with plumbing before, give yourself a good hour or two to be safe!). Better still, installing something like this this low low flow 1.75 GPM Purist shower head from Kohler can even contribute to making your bathroom a LEED certified part of a green home, no contractor needed.
So if you’ve been trying to come up with a quick way to give your bathroom an (inexpensive) luxury refacing, consider installing a new, higher-end shower head. It could save you time cleaning, will almost definitely help lower your water bill, and will give you a chance to enjoy a little hydrotherapy – even if it’s just on your way to work in the morning. Do you feel comfortable installing your own shower head? Do you have a shower head you really hate? Let me know in the comments!
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