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Tips For Choosing The Right Rain Shower Head Size

Selecting the right size can be challenging when deciding on a rain shower head. Too big, and it may not fit in the shower stall; too small, and the coverage will be limited.

We’ll share tips to find the perfect rain shower head size for you and your bathroom.

What’s a Rain Shower Head?

Rain shower heads are a type of shower head that is specifically designed to mimic the feeling of natural rainfall while showering. Rain shower heads are much larger than a standard fixed shower head and often have a diameter of 8″ or more. In addition, the shape will be square or round and often only has one spray setting. Lastly, they are typically mounted on the ceiling or wall.

8″, 10″, 12″, and 16″+ Diameters

According to the Anthropometric Reference Data for Children and Adults in the United States between 1988 and 1994, the average shoulder width for women was 14.4″ whereas men had an average shoulder width of 16.1″. When considering this, you will better understand the expected coverage that a rain shower head will provide.

Here’s a table that summarizes the key differences between the various rain shower head sizes:

Rain Shower Head DiameterProsCons
8″Increased water pressure. Compatible with small shower stalls. Ceiling and shower arm mount types.Doesn’t cover the full body. It can be frustrating to use. Rarely includes a separate handheld shower wand.
10″50%+ more surface area. Good balance between coverage and pressure. Most popular option. Ceiling and shower arm mount types. Works in most shower stalls.Still doesn’t cover the full body. Likely doesn’t include a separate handheld shower wand.
12″Almost complete body coverage.Lacks adequate pressure. Requires large walk-in shower stall.
16″+Full body coverage provides a luxurious experience. Good for couples.Needs a separate handheld shower head for adequate bathing. Low pressure. Professional installation recommended.

Consider the following:

  • 8″ diameter shower head (64 square inches): The 8″ breadth will only be enough to cover approximately half of the body. Despite not providing full coverage from shoulder to shoulder, an 8″ diameter will have greater water pressure as there is less surface area to cover. This is good for those who prefer a more powerful shower rather than full coverage.
  • 10″ diameter shower head (100 square inches): This nearly covers the entire body while still having adequate pressure. Most folks will find this a good balance between coverage and pressure. Additionally, the size isn’t too large and will accommodate most bathroom shower stalls.
  • 12″ diameter shower head (144 square inches): The larger size of this shower head will provide just about full coverage. However, the nearly 50% more surface area compared to the 10″ diameter results in significantly less water pressure. Be sure the shower head has a flow rate of 2.5 GPM to account for the increased surface area.
  • Over 16″ in diameter: For a luxurious experience, a shower head that covers the entire body is ideal. Oversized shower heads must be ceiling mounted and often requires a walk-in shower. Furthermore, pressure will be the lowest on this shower head size. A separate hand shower is recommended for thoroughly cleaning and rinsing off.

Don’t Forget the Placement

As we recently discussed, a rain shower head should be placed approximately 80 to 84″ above the floor and 15 to 24″ from the wall. Consider this placement in relation to the size of the shower head when making your decision.

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Frank Harmenstein

From humble beginnings as a plumber and handyman, Frank Harmenstein has emerged as a leading authority on shower heads, a title he has earned through years of dedication and hard work. With over two decades of experience in the plumbing industry, Frank has developed an unrivalled expertise in the installation, maintenance, and repair of shower systems. His passion for shower heads has led him to write extensively on the subject, sharing his knowledge and insights with readers around the world.

Born and raised in a small town, Frank's interest in plumbing was sparked at an early age by his father, who was a respected plumber in their community. Inspired by his father's dedication to his craft, Frank pursued an apprenticeship in plumbing and soon discovered his niche in the world of shower heads. He quickly gained a reputation as a skilled handyman who could fix any shower-related issue and provide expert advice on selecting the perfect shower head for any bathroom.

After years of honing his skills and knowledge, Frank decided to share his passion for shower heads with a wider audience by becoming an author.