Lifestyle: In a shower area used by children or even older adults, a simple showerhead installed 78-inches high at a 45-degree angle with an “easy-to-use” faucet may be appropriate. When a Spa-Like Shower System is desired, several issues must be reviewed:
Are water pipes large enough to deliver the amount of water required to operate the system? Older homes have ½-inch valve that may provide up to 10- gallons of water per minute (gpm). Faucets will need 2.5 gpm and can handle a typical showerhead with a handheld; spa systems with body sprays, showerhead, and a handheld may require up to 15 gpm and ¾-inch valves. A ½-inch pipe with a ¾-inch valve will only produce the amount of water the pipe delivers.
• Is the water delivery system — well or municipal — able to produce the amount of water needed for the system?
• How large is the water heater? Can it supply enough hot water?
Shower Size: A single stall or two-person unit or an open room — the size will determine what can and what cannot be used safely.
New construction or Renovation: If fitting the new faucet and shower to an existing tiled wall, the number of holes will determine what should be purchased. If a total renovation or a new room is under construction, the options offered will be wider.
Building Codes: Check with the municipality to determine if a licensed plumber must be hired to perform the installation. Also, if new pipes are included, a municipal inspection may be required.
Budget: The cost of the showerheads and the faucets are one factor; in a custom shower, the amount of water and operation of the hot water heater will increase the cost of using the Spa unit. The inclusion of a plumber will add into the budget.