Pros and Cons of Handheld Showerheads

When it’s time to replace or upgrade the showerheads on your property, you have many choices to consider. You’ll want to weigh all the options, including gallons per minute, spray settings, finish, and the handheld feature. You’ll also want to think about who will be using the showers – especially if your property serves families, pet owners, or the elderly. Take a closer look at the pros and cons of installing handheld showerheads.


Handicap Shower

The flexibility of a handheld showerhead makes it a great choice for any bathroom.

ADA Compliance 
Installing an ADA-approved showerhead keeps your ADA bathroom in full compliance. ADA guidelines call for a handheld showerhead with hose that is at least 59 inches long and can also be used as a fixed-position showerhead.

Helps Mobility Issues 
Handheld shower heads are great for people who have mobility issues due to arthritis or injury. They are the best choice for senior living facilities. The long hose allows for seated showers and assisted showers involving caregivers.

Cleaner Showers
The flexibility of a long shower hose makes for better and easier cleaning. You can aim water directly at grout, tiles, and trouble areas that fixed shower streams are unlikely to reach.

Dog and Family Friendly
If your apartment or hotel markets to dog owners and/or families, you may want to install handheld showers. The high-pressure, concentrated streams allow parents to easily rinse shampoo and suds from kids or dogs without straining their backs or making a mess. The downside of this is the risk of hair clogs — be sure to also provide a drain cleaning tool to help keep hair out of the pipes.

Saves Water 
Handheld showerheads allow you to efficiently direct water right where it’s needed, which conserves water. To save even more water, choose low-flow models that are WaterSense® certified.



Handheld ShowerheadLimited Durability
Fixed showerheads are typically stronger and will last longer than handheld showerheads. The regular pulling, twisting, and movement of the handheld hose means more chances for wear and tear, leaks, and damage.

Accidental Splashing
Showering with one hand can be awkward. The bather could easily drop the showerhead or accidentally flip it upside down, causing water to splash on the ceiling, the walls, or areas outside the shower stall/tub. If the area is not cleaned up and dried properly, you may have a slipping hazard and water damage to walls and flooring.

Smaller Size
Handheld showerheads typically have a smaller circumference than fixed showerheads. The smaller size makes it easier to hold and concentrates the water stream. If you are looking for a rain-type shower experience, handheld is not the best choice.

For more information on choosing showerheads, see our Showerhead Buying Guide.

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