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What is the Ideal Shower Head Height?

When you’re planning your shower layout, you may not give much thought to the position of your plumbing fixtures. 

But the truth is that you should give serious thought to the layout of your shower head. While there are no rules about the exact height you should put your fixture, there are things to consider before installation. In most cases, the standard shower head height is 80 inches. 

However, this height might not be appropriate for all people or bathrooms. So we’re going to look at the ideal shower head height for different situations and other factors.

What Is The Standard Shower Head Height?

The height of a shower head is one of the most essential details of your shower design. This fixture needs to be at the appropriate size to disperse water at the correct angle while being high enough not to risk injuries from bumps or impacts. 

The best way to decide on the showerhead height is to consider the size of the people in your home. If everyone in your house is of average height, you can go with a standard positioning of 80” – 6 feet and 8 inches. 

But if you have people who are taller than average, you may do better with a shower head that’s at a 96” (8 feet) height. A 72” (6 feet) height shower head is more suitable for shorter people. 

Pro tip: Measure everyone using the shower and add 3” to the measurement to help figure out which height would be best for your home. The additional size ensures no one will hit their heads while showering.

However, the type of showerhead can affect the appropriate positioning. And so can the length of the neck – the pipe that sticks from the wall and secures the showerhead. So let’s look at the proper heights for different showerheads.

Rain

Rainshower heads are very versatile, accommodating all heights while providing excellent overhead coverage. This type of showerhead might be the best choice for bathrooms with low ceilings. 

When you use a rain head, you get the sensation of standing in a rainstorm, with the water cascading directly over your head rather than coming down at an angle. Due to this design, it’s best to install rain heads at a higher height of 84”.

Handheld

Handheld showerheads are another versatile choice for showers, accommodating users of all heights due to the design of a showerhead attached to a hose of three to six feet long. These heads should mount at a reachable angle of 72” to 78” in height.

Homes with small children and pets can get tremendous benefits from a handheld showerhead, as you can remove the head from the fixed wall mount to stretch down into the tub. 

Single Spray

The most traditional type of shower head is a single spray nozzle. Single spray shower heads are highly affordable and come in a variety of designs. Most newer models have a nozzle you can adjust to multiple spray patterns for custom showers to accommodate each user’s preferences.

Ceiling

Ceiling shower heads have a similar water disbursement to a rain shower head. The water pours down from overhead, preventing water splatter on the walls – which equals less scum to clean. 

The downside of mounting a shower head on the ceiling is it can be more difficult to clean because it’s higher up. Also, if you have a high ceiling in your bathroom, you may not get the desired water flow from the head.

Sliding Bar

Sliding bar shower heads have a dock attached to a sliding bar that allows you to adjust the head for different heights, moving it higher or lower as needed. 

This showerhead is another excellent choice for versatility, making it easier to bathe small pets or children, or people of exceptional height. And many models of sliding bar heads also work as detachable handheld showerheads. 

Multiple Heads

You can also install multiple shower heads in your shower, allowing you to enjoy the spray from various angles. The great thing about this design is that you can set up the layout in any way you want. 

And you can set the heads up so that they’re all controlled by the same lever. Or they can all have individual levers, allowing you to operate each shower head singularly. You can go with a rain head, double single shower heads on each side, and jets appropriately positioned for targeting problem areas, like the back.

Shower Enclosure

It’s crucial to use waterproof material on the walls around the shower pan when installing a shower enclosure. Most enclosures are 72” to 78” in height from the floor, but you can also build up the walls to 96” tall. 

When choosing the height of your walls, it should be 3” above the rough-in – the measurement where the shower arm comes out of the wall. But the enclosure should not go as high as the ceiling unless there’s enough airflow to prevent mold and mildew growth.

Shower Fixtures

Another crucial component of your shower design is the placement of your fixtures – valves and bathtub faucet. Whether you have a bathtub or shower will affect the positioning of your fixtures. 

The valves should be comfortable – 48” is standard for shower stalls, but bathtubs should have the fixtures placed lower – 28” or higher.

Business Establishments

Business establishments need to have a showerhead height that can accommodate all guests. The standard shower height of 80” is not always the appropriate choice, as there may be taller than average customers.

If you can’t install a shower head that’s higher than 80”, then it might be a better idea to install a combination shower with a handheld attachment or sliding bar shower head.

Accommodating Everyone

If you’re looking for a great way to set up a shower that can accommodate everyone, you’ll need a combination shower head. These showerheads operate with the same valves, with a small lever that allows you to change between the two heads – or both run at the same time (possibly compromising your water pressure).

Combo shower heads give you a fixed shower fixture – typically a rain head – and an adjustable handheld showerhead. If kids and adults share your bathroom, there’s a shower solution for all heights and sizes using a combination head. Combo showerheads should mount at the height of 78”. 

Reasons For Not Using The Standard Height

The standard height for a showerhead might not be suitable if a member of your household is above average size. However, a standard 80” shower head is ideal for anyone under 6’5. 

But if the house members are shorter – less than 6’ – you’d do better with a lower head of 75” or 5’ 7” – 71” or 5’ – 63”. 

Can Shower Head Heights Be Adjusted?

If your shower head isn’t at a comfortable angle, there are ways that you can adjust it.

Adjustable Shower Arm

An adjustable shower arm is the cheapest and easiest way to make the shower height higher. This attachment goes onto the current shower arm and works as an extension that attaches to the showerhead.

This option is the perfect solution for homeowners on a tight budget and looking for a simple increase in showerhead height. And it’s simple to install, not requiring any professional installation.  

S-style Shower Arm

S-style shower arms are great for extending the height of your shower head. And they’re durable enough to withstand frequent wear and tear. However, it can be challenging to remove the existing shower arm to install this arm extender.

The fixed nature of this type of shower arm also limits the flexibility of the showerhead, often making the water spray the wall. So if you want a shower arm extender to adjust to different heights, this option wouldn’t be the best choice.

Swivel Ball Adapter

A swivel ball adapter allows you to lower the showerhead height, making it an excellent tool to add to an S-style shower arm. 

This adapter mounts between the showerhead and the shower arm pipe. And because of the swivel ball design, the adapter allows you to move the head to different angles.

Shower Head Height FAQ

What Do I Do If My Shower Head Is Too High?

The easiest way to fix a showerhead that’s too high is to install an extendable shower arm. 

Where Should A Shower Head Be Placed?

It would be best if you positioned the showerhead to shoot the water on the body rather than the hair or face.

What Is The Rough In Height For A Shower Valve?

The rough-in height for a shower valve is typically 72” to 78” from the floor.

Conclusion

The ideal shower height can vary by household and is mainly dependent on the members of the house. If everyone is of average size – 6’5 or shorter – you can use a standard shower head height of 80”. But shower heads can also go as low as 72” or as high as 96”. The type of shower head and the length of the shower arm can also affect the placement of the showerhead.