Are Showerheads Universal?

At some point in your life, you may need to install a new showerhead in your bathroom. Whether the need for a replacement is due to the showerhead becoming broken, clogged or because you're simply looking for a more modern-looking showerhead, it's important to know about any specifications needed for your new showerhead. But what size showerhead do you need? Are they all the same size? These are great questions. We've done a bit of research on showerheads and how to replace them to answer these questions for you.

In the United States and most parts of Canada, showerheads have a universal thread size, which is 1/2 inch NPT (National Pipe Thread). When you purchase a shower head online or in local hardware or home improvement stores, you will find that they all conform to this standard size.

Replacing a showerhead is one of the few ways that you can help to transform your bathroom or add a touch of modern decor to it. But what type of showerhead should you choose? What are the options? Continue reading to learn about the most common types of showerheads.

luxury shower in domestic bathroom with falling water against Italian glass mosaics with luxurious showerhead, Are Showerheads Universal?

How do I choose a showerhead?

There are several options to choose from when picking a new showerhead for your bathroom. From water pressure to placement, color, and material, showerheads offer more options than ever before! So how do you begin to choose the best one? Well, the first step is to know what options are available. Let's look at a few common ones.


Fixed showerheads are ones that are attached directly to the wall of the shower area. Some fixed showerheads may have an option to tilt up or down, but they cannot be removed from the wall. This is a great option if you have a small tub area.

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Hand-held showerheads are attached to a flexible hose and can be removed from a bracket attached to the wall. They can be more advantageous as they can allow you to wash certain body parts that may be harder to reach, such as your back and feet.

High-pressure showerheads

If you prefer a stronger water pressure, you can also consider a high-pressure showerhead. These showerheads are great for helping to relax tired muscles and stimulating blood circulation.

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Low-pressure showerheads

You can also consider low-pressure showerheads on the opposite end of the spectrum if you are looking for a more energy-efficient option. Low-pressure showerheads may also be able to save you on your water bill, depending on the brand and model.

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Filtering showerheads

You can also purchase a showerhead that has a water filter. The filters are designed to remove foreign particles, bacteria, and unhealthy minerals from the water before touching your skin. The filters are typically made of mesh and will need to be replaced every few months, depending on how often the shower is used.

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Dual showerheads

If you prefer spa-like luxury, dual showerheads may be worth taking a look at. Commonly referred to as combo showerheads, they include two independent showerheads that typically face the same direction, allowing you to receive multiple streams of water while you shower. They're especially useful if two people in the shower prefer different spray patterns.

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How often should you change the showerhead?

You'll find that most showerhead brands recommend changing showerheads about every six to eight months or twice a year. When purchasing a new showerhead, always take a look at the recommended replacement date to be on the safe side.

What happens if you don't change your showerhead?

Over time, showerheads can become clogged with water minerals and bacteria and eventually hinder your shower experience. But how do you know when it's time to change your showerhead? Here are a few signs.

Non-stop dripping

Sometimes a dripping showerhead can be the result of the head not being screwed on tightly enough. However, the washer ring and supply valves on the showerhead can also become worn out. Replacing these parts alone can be the expensive side. A better option would be to purchase a new showerhead and toss the old one.

Black mold

If you are starting to notice black specks on your showerhead's nozzles, this is typically black mold. Black mold is very toxic and should be eradicated as soon as possible. Often, it can be challenging to remove the black mold from inside a showerhead. In which case, it is recommended to simply replace the showerhead.

Change in water pressure

One of the most common signs that it's time to get a new showerhead is when you notice any water pressure changes in your shower. If you notice that the water pressure has gotten weaker over the past few weeks or fluctuates wildly, projecting softly at one moment and then harshly a few minutes later, the showerhead could be past its retirement date.

Sediment deposit buildup

Another common sign that it's time to change your showerhead is when you begin to notice sediment buildup around the nozzle of the head or hard water stains in your shower area. The water that enters your home is typically treated with additives and chemicals to make it safe for human use. However, this can cause sediment to build up in your showerhead base, eventually blocking water flow and pressure.

Is changing a showerhead easy?

Changing a showerhead is a reasonably simple home improvement project, and it can typically be done within about 15 minutes. Here's how to do it.

  1. First, you'll need to remove the old showerhead by turning it counterclockwise with your hand.
  2. If you have an expensive shower head and prefer to protect the finish, wrap electrical tape around the showerhead's arm to protect it, and then remove the head with pliers if it's screwed on tightly.
  3. Next, take a clean rag and wipe off any mineral deposits, rust, grime, are old ceiling from the threads on the shower arm.
  4. Then take your new showerhead and place it on the shower arm, turning it clockwise until it is tightened securely.
  5. After you have attached the new showerhead, turn on the water and check for any leaks. Be sure to turn the water on both cold and hot settings. If you noticed any leaks, you might need to remove the showerhead and check the valve. In some cases, you may need to tighten the new showerhead with an adjustable wrench.

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How do I clean a showerhead?

It's a good idea to clean your showerhead every few months to help remove any buildup of bacteria, mineral sediments, and debris that may develop through continued use. Here is a quick way to do it.

Steps to clean your showerhead:

  1. Take a plastic Ziploc freezer bag and fill it with one cup of white vinegar and one cup of water. Next, place it over the showerhead so that the head is submerged in the solution.
  2. Then, take a twist-tie or a rubber band, and wrap it around the shower arm to hold the bag in place. Be sure to release the bag slowly to ensure that it is secure.
  3. Leave the bag on the showerhead for 15 to 20 minutes. It's also helpful to check the showerhead every 15 minutes or so. If your shower head is made of brass or has a nickel coating, do not leave the vinegar solution on for more than 5 minutes, as it can damage the finish.
  4. Once the showerhead is clean, remove the rubber band or twist-tie and remove the plastic bag.
  5. Next, turn on the hot water and flush out the showerhead for 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Lastly, take a clean, dry cloth and buff the showerhead to restore its shiny finish and remove water spots.

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Can a showerhead increase water pressure?

Yes. If you are looking to increase your shower's water pressure, you could purchase a high-pressure showerhead to do so. These showerheads work by either utilizing a compression chamber or decreasing the water flow rate. You can also install a shower pump to increase the pressure in your shower.

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Are rain showerheads worth it?

It depends on your preference. Rain showerheads can be a fairly extravagant purchase, as they can retail for up to $500. They can be enticing if you prefer low water pressure as opposed to high water pressure.

However, they typically offer a wider area of water flow and, as a result, usually require a bigger shower area for installation. So it really comes down to preference. As far as water usage, they consume about the same amount of water as traditional showerheads.

Wrapping Things Up

Yes, showerheads typically come in a universal size to make for easy purchasing and fitting. There are several showerhead designs and options available on the market. It's best to familiarize yourself with the various types of showerheads on the market to ensure that you get the most from your purchase.

Before you go, be sure to check out our other posts:

How To Clean Mold Off A Shower Bench

Best Type Of Tile For Shower Walls

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