rain shower headrain shower head

What is a rain shower head?

A rain shower is commonly accepted as being wider in size and larger in dimension than a standard shower head. Although there is no strict definition of how large a rain shower head needs to be, they are generally 5” or larger, and can be as large as 18”. Rain showers are usually seen as luxury showering experiences which can often be found in high-end Hotels and Spas as they provide an indulgent experience for the body and mind. This head-to-toe immersive showering experience is one of the many reasons why, despite the higher costs, rain showers are becoming immensely popular

A rain shower head is typically characterized by its expansive size, exceeding the dimensions of a standard shower head. While there isn’t a strict definition for the specific size, these shower heads are generally 5 inches or larger, reaching up to impressive dimensions like 18 inches. Often associated with luxury, rain showers are frequently featured in upscale hotels and spas, offering a lavish showering experience that caters to both the body and the mind. The allure of this head-to-toe immersive shower experience is a significant factor contributing to the growing popularity of rain showers, even with their higher costs.

What are typical Rain showers’ flow rates and pressure like?

Rain showers can come as a stand-alone shower head or as a rain shower system, depending on the bathroom design. The shower will follow the same flow rate regulation as their peers’ normal shower heads with the greatest flow rate allowed being 2.5 gpm nationwide, and the lowest flow rate depending upon different state or city regulations.[link]  In the WaterSense certification program, rain shower heads are exempted from the center spray force mandate, which requested that shower heads have a minimum spray force at the center of 0.56 newtons at 20 psi to ensure shower quality.

Rain showers are available either as standalone shower heads or integrated into a complete rain shower system, adapting to various bathroom designs. These showers adhere to the same flow rate regulations as conventional shower heads, with a maximum allowable flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) across the nation. However, the minimum flow rate may vary depending on state or city regulations. Notably, in the WaterSense certification program, rain shower heads are exempt from the center spray force mandate, which traditionally required a minimum spray force of 0.56 newtons at 20 psi to ensure optimal shower quality.

How high should the rain shower head be?

There isn’t a hard set rule, but generally, people install 80” or so. The taller the rain head the heavier the drop because the gravity accelerates the droplet more, yet the water gets a bit colder because of the longer travel time in colder air that will cool it down. Installing the rain shower higher up would also make it slightly harder to clean because of the difficulty in being able to reach it.

Rain shower head uses more material 

Whether it is plastic with chrome coating, or a full metal or mix of materials, a rain shower is typically a lot more expensive than their common or even low-flow counterparts. We may wonder why it costs so much more when functionally it isn’t doing a lot more.

Whether constructed from plastic with a chrome coating or comprised of full metal or a combination of materials, rain showers typically come with a higher price tag compared to their common or low-flow counterparts. The question that arises is why the cost is elevated when, functionally, it may not seem to offer significantly more.

The yield is lower for bigger parts

Yield is another factor that is not very obvious to people outside of the manufacturing world. It is a lot easier to produce perfect small than one perfect huge part. In the case of shower headsparts , let’s take chrome plating as an example. Assuming every chrome plating process has the same defect density/occurrence per process step, processing 1 10” shower head at a time versus 8 2” shower head at a time and one coating defect would occur. The 

yield would be 0% vs 87.5%, as this one defect would 100% occur on the 10” shower head, but this same defect would only impact maybe one 2” shower head. This is a considerable production difference. This is the same principle for why full-frame camera sensors or bigger screens TVs are A LOT more expensive than small ones. 

Yield presents a less evident yet crucial factor, particularly for those not immersed in the manufacturing realm. It’s generally more challenging to produce a flawless large part compared to several perfect smaller ones. Taking the example of shower heads, consider chrome plating. Assuming a consistent defect density in each chrome plating process step, if you process one 10-inch shower head versus eight 2-inch shower heads at a time, a single coating defect could result in a 0% yield for the larger one and an 87.5% yield for the smaller ones. The impact of a defect is more pronounced in larger items, influencing production costs significantly. This principle aligns with why full-frame camera sensors or larger screen TVs are notably more expensive than their smaller counterparts.