Question about height of shower head.

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by VinnyinNJ, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. VinnyinNJ

    VinnyinNJ New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    NJ
    I am remodeling the bathroom and will be using a hand held shower as the shower head. Eventually when the shower is finished there will be a shower door installed.

    Is there an "official" height that a shower head should be at? I am not installing a shower bar (not sure what they're called) for the handheld but will be using the Grohe swiveling holder. It seems to me that 75" from the floor is the height but don't want to have it in the wrong place.

    Thanks!

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2010
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,801
    Location:
    New England
    The right height would be different depending on who's using the shower...a child would likely like it lower than a basketball player. That's where the bar is handy, you can adjust to the individual's desires. You don't want the base too high so someone can't remove it to use as a handheld. this may be impossible if the shower is going to be used by both children and adults. Then, there are petite adults and skyscrapers...what I'm saying is it is preference. With those handhelds, the actual shower is higher than the base bracket holding it in place, so you need to ensure you have enough overall total height available in the room, too. It can stick up 6-8" or so from the swivel. I prefer not to have to duck to get my head under the shower. So take reach and user height into account, and put it where you want. Somebody else will maybe give you a 'standard', but like in clothing, one size doesn't fit all (or at least very well!). Put it where you want - it's your house.
  3. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,140
    Location:
    South*East
    The standard height is 6' 6"

    John
  4. VinnyinNJ

    VinnyinNJ New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    NJ
    Thanks!

    I wasn't sure if there is a height that is standard. This shower is in our master bath and will be used by adults only, at least while we are here. The next project will be our main bathroom and will get the shower bar for the handheld for the next owner's children or if we still live here our grandchildren. With teenagers I hope that won't be for a very long time -LOL!

    I agree with you with ducking for the shower. I guess I will put longer blocking in the wall and wait to see how high the shower door goes before installing the actual shower.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,230
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    height

    Put it higher than the tallest user. Normally I put the pipe from the wall at 6'3" from the shower floor. That puts the head above most users, and taller ones just have to bend their heads slightly to wash their hair.
  6. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    Messages:
    3,781
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Shower head heights

    6'6" is a number lots of people use. True.

    But there is way more than pulling out a tape or telling your plumber to set it at 6'6" of the floor. You mentioned a Grohe hand held? This means a cord. Most likely 60" unless you order an extra long one.

    Does your hand held come with the bar and a soap holder. How does the cord lay when held at both ends side by side. Most want to sit about 8- 10" apart to make a natural bend.

    What size tile are you using? How do you want the mixing valve, divertors and bar to line up.

    Look closely at magazine pictures and you will find only about 1/2 of publish photos there has ever been any thought to this. The other 1/2 sparkle. It's not a dramatic point but a fine detail.

    Pick your tile, pick your grout spacing. Measure everything from the finished ceiling elevation down and you will get a top notch lay out with just a couple of hours of math and artwork.

    Grout seams lining up on fixtures and handles is no accident. Tile guys starting off of the plumbers layout is no accident (it's easier).

    Don't make your plumber the bathroom designer. Be ready for him. Center marks and elevations should be planned and marked.

    A great contractor will take this on himself or have the information all ready from the design team.
  7. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,140
    Location:
    South*East
    Way over board for a simple job. At the roughing stage of a job most have yet to pick out the tile let alone the grout spacing.

    John
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2009
  8. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    Messages:
    3,781
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Way over board

    I don't think so. Many clients spend thousands of dollars on fixtures, thousands more on tile, thousands more on tile setting, a couple grand to the plumber.

    Why can't the fixtures line up. It's not that hard.

    Raise the bar.
  9. VinnyinNJ

    VinnyinNJ New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    NJ
    Thanks! I plan on asking the plumber but I come to these types of forums to get ideas and info so that I can gain knowledge from people with different experiences. I am the contractor (homeowner) with very little experience as you can tell with the plumber doing all the rough in and laying the 36 x 36 shower base.

    The tiles are 8 x 12 with 1/8" spacing. The handheld has no bar, I am using the 59" hose, the Grohe swiveling handheld holder and I am using a Moen mixing valve/trim, no other valves. No soap holder, will be building a niche in the shower.

    I am using the existing studs, the old shower faucet which is 2 handles - hot and cold - is not quite center but there is a stud which is almost in the center that the original plumber/builder notched when the house was built 40 years ago. Since we are talking about a small shower I would like the shower drain, center of the valve and actual shower head (not the holder) to be as close to in-line with each other. If I did the measuring correctly, the mixing valve should be able to fit in the notched area to achieve the center on the mixing valve with the output for the shower being able to clear the stud.

    My plan was to offset the 90º "L" where the water comes out on the same wall as the shower plumbing toward the back wall and somewhere between the shower head and mixing valve, not sure about the geometry of just where yet. I'm not sure if there is a formula for this but don't know if being a equal height with the shower head or holder is the way to go, split it into 1/2 way or use the odd number rule that seems to be the designer rule. We did a dry "fit" yesterday and it seems that the hose will be looping in front of the shower controller which may be unavoidable in a small shower.

    At this point I am the tallest person who will use this shower and I'm 6' tall. There will be a shower door installed, based on my internet research I am guessing it will be about 6' high and when that is added to the shower base curb I know it will be somewhere higher in relation to the shower floor.

    We are trying to think this project through but maybe we are over thinking it! :)
  10. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,753
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I'm with johnfrwhipple on this.

    If I'm roughing in, and the homeowner or contractor has no idea what is happening, then I rough at least 3" above the tile.

    If they know which tile they will be using, then we go by those measurements.

    That way you can place handles and spouts on the seams, it looks much better that way.

    But not thinking much will still get the job done, that would be a lot of construction.

    I enjoy making it look planed when I can though.

    Normally, the tile starts with the edge of the pan, and the bulnose lines up with the front edge of the pan.
    If you are using a hose, the you may be using the Grohe wall 90, and not the shower arm.
    With the 90, you may want to plumb it lower. It looks a bit nicer that way, but forces you to use the bar and hose.
    The advantage of having the 90 lower on the wall, in combination with the bar and hose, is allowing the hose and shower head to reach farther down.
    A little better for washing feet that way.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2009
  11. VinnyinNJ

    VinnyinNJ New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    NJ
    Thanks again!
  12. Ikat

    Ikat New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    New York
    How to design this for 13 X 20" tiles

    Sorry to jump on another thread, but the design issues really resonate.

    Because the tile dealer couldn't do math correctly, I ended up having to change the wall tiles I'm planning to use at the last minute. I'm going with 13" X 20", laid horizontally in a brickwork pattern that will cover the entire bathroom, floor to ceiling (because they don't make a bullnose).

    This is a small urban bathroom which, because of the rear-outlet toilet, will have a shower that is about 24" wide, plus a 4" shower curb.

    Due to high water pressure (100 - 120 lbs), the contractor is having me get separate valves - on another thread, I'm trying confirm if I need 2 or 3. I will also have a shower head and hand shower.

    Reading this makes me wonder
    1) I don't see any option BUT to install the valve trim somewhere other than seams between tiles. And where the trim will fall will depend upon which row of tiles it is in. Yes? No?

    2) Thanks for your comment about leaving enough room for the arc of the shower hose. I hadn't thought about that. I want the Hansgrohe Starck hand shower to be used when sitting - and I'd like to leave room for a grab bar on that wall in the future - but my heart is sinking quickly about where to put all this stuff.

    - Should I install the hand shower and wall outlet on the side wall? Far from ideal but it might be the only option.

    - Does it matter at what height I install the wall outlet, e.g., does it need to be at the same height as the valves or can it be lower?

    - If you have a diverter, thermostatic valve and a volume control, how are they normally arranged, i.e., which one goes at the top (the thermo is in the center, I know)?

    - Any other advice?

    I am 5'6" and am trying to do as much as I can to age in place so I want to design things to work for me when I'm 90.

    Sorry for running on this long - but I've got to re-design because Kohler told me today that I need that volume control - and this thread is incredibly relevant.

    Thanks!
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2009
  13. STyler

    STyler New Member

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Rock Hill, SC
    That's what the idiot that redid my masterbath told me to do. He placed it at 75" (at 6' 1", I'm not unusually tall) from the shower floor and I guess he forgot about the bend in the arm and the depth of the head itself. He told me to "just duck or squat a little when you want to wash your head". So much for paying for expertise/experience.

    He probably figured that was better than my wife having to stand on her tippy-toes in order to wash her hair. :rolleyes: Kohler/Sterling shows an elbow height of 80" min. for their shower enclosures - and even my 5' 0" wife could adjust a showerhead at that height. You don't have to do anything to get the water to go down, but it's very difficult to get it to go back up.
  14. Ikat

    Ikat New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    New York
    Thanks for that info!

    My shower renovation starts tomorrow and this is the kind of detail that is critical. I'm amending the specs so the contractor knows how what part I want measured.

    I've learned so much from this forum and another one that I can't begin to thank folks.
  15. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,230
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    tile

    quote; Tile guys starting off of the plumbers layout is no accident (it's easier).

    That will be the day! Tile installers work from a starting point based on the size of the tile, and could care LESS where the plumbing is in relation to anything they do. In fact, it appears that they TRY to make things harder for the plumbers. When they do NOT have to make a neat, tight hole, such as around the faucet stems, they will make the smallest opening possible which just fits around the stem, and then grout it solid. THen when the faucet has to be repaired the plumber has to break a larger opening, and hope that the tile does not crack. BUT, around the tub spout pipe, which needs to be fairly snug so the spout will cover it, it looks like they make the opening with a sledge hammer.
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