What to Know Before Buying a Rain Shower

  • May 23, 2023

Spa day, every day? Installing an indulgent rain shower will likely inch you closer to that possibility. But before you head out and get one, read our guide to make sure you know what to look out for.

We speak with experts from DuravitGrohe and Hansgrohe who share with us the buying considerations and water pressure levels to keep in mind. 

How does a rain shower differ from a conventional showerhead?

Rain showers, also known as overhead showers, usually have a bigger spray spectrum, therefore offering a wider coverage and a more indulgent experience. Duravit recommends them for folks who prefer stationary showering, as they tend to only be able to swivel at certain angles.

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Conventional showerheads on the other hand have a smaller spray spectrum, but they are more mobile as they can be handheld making them suited for households with younger kids or the elderly. Consider having both types in the bathroom to take advantage of both features.

Is it more water efficient?

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Our experts agree that rain showers typically require more water compared to conventional showerheads in order to provide a more luxurious shower experience. Rain showers typically have wider showerheads with more nozzles, which results in higher water usage.

Therefore, investing in high-quality rain showers that incorporate water-saving technologies is recommended to help conserve water.

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Grohe's rain showers are equipped with EcoJoy technology that uses an advanced flow regulator to reduce water consumption to 9.5 litres per minute without compromising shower enjoyment.

For Hansgrohe rain shower products, look out for ones that have an EcoSmart feature, where the maximum water flow is limited to 8 litres per minute in comparison to older models that has a flow rate of 15 litres per minute.

For Duravit, look out for overhead showers with the MinusFlow feature as these ones limit the flow rate to approximately 9 litres per minute.

What are some considerations to think about before getting a rain shower?

Installation type: Do you want your rain shower concealed or exposed? Exposed rain showers are installed directly on the bathroom wall, with all the components exposed. These are suitable for most homes and they will allow you to change out your existing shower system without major renovation work.

Duravit Shower System C1, an exposed type of rain shower.

Concealed rain showers will require you to plan ahead as the components and pipes are all hidden. They give you a cleaner and more elegant look in your bathroom though. Concealed types also come with ones that are ceiling-mounted or wall-mounted. The former can make a high-end visual statement but may require you to run new plumbing if your bathroom doesn’t originally come with a ceiling-mounted shower head.

Hansgrohe's Pulsify S Overhead Shower, a concealed wall rain showerhead.

Budget: Obviously, you should find one that fits in with your renovation budget. Typically, concealed systems tend to cost more than exposed types. In Singapore, prices range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars for luxury ones.

Size: Duravit recommends going for rain showers that are at least 200mm in diameter for the best shower experience. That said, the bigger the diameter, the higher the flow rate, the more luxurious the experience. Make sure your water pressure can support the higher flow rate before you splurge.

Grohe's Rainshower 310 Mono is 310mm in diameter.

Height and tube length: If you are going with an exposed rain shower, ensure that its tube length will fit into your bathroom after factoring in where the mixer will go. For concealed rain showers, Grohe advises installing it at least 15 - 30cm above the tallest person's head for optimal coverage and comfort.

Spray pattern: As with conventional showerheads, rain showers offer a variety of spray patterns. If you like the flexibility, get a rain shower that allows you to change spray patterns.

Hansgrohe’s Pulsify S for instance offers two spray patterns, PowderRain and Intense PowderRain. The former softly envelops you in micro-droplets, while the latter offers an invigorating spray of fine droplets (smaller shower holes) to help wake you up in the morning. 

Water pressure + flow rate: Check the manufacturer’s specifications on the recommended water pressure and flow rate for the rain shower to work effectively. Make sure that these match your home's water pressure and flow rate.

How do I check that the water pressure at my home is sufficient?

Water pressure varies depending on where you live, on what floor of a building you live in and can also vary throughout the day. It also changes depending on how many taps are running in your home at a time.

Image courtesy of The Spruce / Georgia Lloyd

Check your home’s water pressure using a water pressure gauge, which can be found at most hardware stores. Before checking, do switch off all other taps that are running. Compare the reading you get to the recommended pressure for your rain shower model.

The water pressure should be between 3 - 5 bars for optimal shower performance for Duravit products. For most of Grohe’s rain shower products, you will require a minimum water pressure of 1 bar. Hansgrohe’s rain shower products also vary and will require a minimum water pressure between 1 - 3 bars.

Can a rain shower be used with either an instant or storage water heater?

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Yes, rain showers can be used with either an instant or storage water heater. However, it's more important to ensure that the water heater's capacity and flow rate are compatible with the rain shower's requirements for optimal showering experience.

Duravit advocates for storage heaters, however, as they will better deliver a consistent hot water temperature and water pressure needed to maximise your rain shower enjoyment.

Could you share maintenance and cleaning tips?

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Make sure you regularly remove any mineral deposits or buildup from the nozzles. Limescale build-up in your rain shower head can reduce the water flow in your shower and even block the nozzles completely.

Showerhead nozzles with Grohe's SpeedClean technology are made of special silicone which allows you to easily remove limescale with your fingers or soft brush just by sweeping the nozzles with light pressure.

Similarly, Hansgrohe’s rain shower products also come with a QuickClean feature where you can quickly clean by simply wiping the silicone nozzles.

For Duravit’s rain shower products, simply rub the surface with a cloth soaked in cleaning solutions—this can be as simple as a descaling solution made with equal parts water and vinegar. Limescale deposits on the silicone inserts can also be easily rubbed off with your fingers.

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