How to install: Shower Head

When you’re ready for a new shower head, you’ll be happy to know this is an easy DIY project, even for first-timers. You’ll be able to have your shower head up and flowing in an hour.

If you are remodeling your bathroom and planning to put your shower in a new location that requires plumbing to be moved, you will need a licensed plumber. This will ensure a safe installation and will avoid future problems.

There are many shower heads to choose from: wall-mounted, hand-held, combination, or large rain shower heads, all in a variety of styles, finishes, water flow, and massage options. You can also find many low-flow or eco shower heads to help you conserve water and reduce your water bills without sacrificing an enjoyable shower experience.

Follow the instructions supplied with your shower head. The tools and materials you need will vary depending on the type of shower head you are installing.

What you need to start:

  • Hand shower unit (bracket cover, wall mount and gasket should be included in your purchase)
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Adjustable pliers
  • Thread seal tape
  • Drill and ¼” bit
  • Rubber mallet
  • Screwdriver
  • Screws and anchors
  • Leveling tool
  • Pencil
  • Shower arm diverter (if installing a hand shower onto the shower arm)

If you need to replace the pipe your shower head is fastened to, you will need a wrench. Turn the pipe with the wrench counter clockwise to remove it. Clean it thoroughly and remove any old tape before adding new tape. Always check it for leaks before putting your new showerhead on the new pipe.

Installing a new hand-held shower head

Step 1: Remove the existing shower head. You don’t need to turn off your water but you do need to turn off your shower. Hold the shower arm with one hand, and turn the shower head counter clockwise with your other hand to remove it. You may need to use a wrench or pliers.

Step 2: Remove dirt and old tape. Remove the old tape and wipe the pipe with a clean rag to make sure there is no debris left before adding the new tape.

Step 3: Wrap new tape on the new shower arm. Wrap the tape snugly around the threads on the new shower arm two or three times around in a clockwise direction to cover the threads completely. The tape will prevent water leaks.

Step 4: Install shower head. Hold the shower arm with one hand and use your other hand to fasten the bracket onto it, rotating in a clockwise direction.

Step 5: Attach the hose. You may need to insert a washer into the end of the hose that attaches to the bracket. Then thread the hose onto the bracket. Insert the second washer into the other end of the hose. Thread it onto the hand-held shower head. Position the hand-held shower head into the bracket.

Standard wall mount shower head

Follow Steps 1 to 4 above to install a wall mount shower head. Simply screw the shower head onto the shower arm.

Combination rain shower and hand-held shower

Follow Steps 1 to 3 above. Then see Step 4a instructions.

Step 4a: Install Rain Showerhead

  • Loosen the nut on the rain shower head to allow the shower ball to rotate.
  • Attach the rain shower head by threading the shower ball to the shower arm.
  • Wrap the wrench with a soft cloth or electrical tape before tightening your showerhead to prevent scratches. Take care not to over-tighten it.
  • Hand tighten the nut on the rain shower until it won’t turn anymore to make sure it is secure.
  • Attach one of the washers and the hose to the rain shower.
  • Attach the second washer and the other end of the hose to the hand shower.
  • Place the hand shower in the bracket on the rain shower.

How to operate a combination rain shower and hand-held shower: Move the diverter knob on the shower bracket to choose the shower mode you want: a rain shower, a hand-held shower or both at the same time. Check for leaks.

Now that you’ve finished, test your work! Check for leaks and tighten your shower head if needed.

Keep your shower head flowing well by cleaning it regularly with vinegar to prevent and remove calcium build-up.