Are Shower Heads Interchangeable? (Quick Answer!)

Showerheads are designed to improve the flow of water and give you a pleasant showering experience. However, they clog and rust after sometime especially in areas with hard water. If you are planning to replace your old and corroded shower head, there are different types to choose. But, are shower heads interchangeable?

Shower heads in the US and Canada can be interchanged because they are manufactured at a standard size of ½-inch NPT. Therefore, different types of shower heads are compatible with the shower arm apart from imported, unconventional designs or shower arms used in very old houses.

A good shower is refreshing as you start the day and relaxing in the evening after a long day. However, to enjoy your showers, the shower head must be in good condition.

To choose the right shower head for your new bathroom or for replacement, it is essential to understand the different types of shower heads and how they function. The good news is, you can easily change the shower head without dismantling the whole shower plumbing system because they are interchangeable.

If you have been looking forward to purchase a new shower head, come with us to the next section as we discuss the various types of shower heads to choose from.

are shower heads interchangeable

Types Of Shower Head Mounts

Before discussing the different types of shower heads on the market, it is essential to point out that they are mounted differently in the bathrooms.

Currently, shower heads are mounted in three major styles, wall mount, ceiling mount, and bar mount, as discussed below.

1. Wall Mount Shower Heads

As the name suggests, wall mount shower heads are mounted on the bathroom wall above the shower faucet.

They are very popular, and almost every house has had a wall mount shower at some point. However, they are height sensitive because they are permanently fixed on the wall at average height. Therefore, if you are taller than the shower, you cannot enjoy your shower time.

2. Ceiling Mount Shower heads

These types of shower heads are mounted on the ceiling of the bathroom. It is not common and requires special plumbing skills meaning that they are more expensive to install.

However, they are more versatile and solve the height issue with the wall mount shower heads.

Note that, you cannot install a ceiling shower head on a regular bathroom unless it was originally designed for a ceiling shower head. If you must have the ceiling mount on your regular bathroom, it will require you to renovate the whole bathroom.

Ceiling Mount Shower heads

3. Bar Mount Shower Heads

Bar mount shower head features the characteristics of both wall and ceiling mount types.  It attaches to the wall using a bar, but the shower head is higher than a wall mount because of the bar.

Therefore, if you want extra height and cannot have the ceiling mount, the bar mount is your solution.

8 Types Of Shower Heads On The Market

The main types of shower heads in the market include, single spray, adjustable, handheld, LED, dual, filtration, rain, and RV. They provide different spray patterns, aesthetics, and water pressure and come in different sizes.

Come with us to the next section as we look into how each shower head functions, plus its pros and cons.

1. Single Spray Shower Heads

Single spray shower heads are wall mounts and the most common type of shower heads on the market. As the name suggests, they offer a single spray pattern that cannot be adjusted.

If you are out for a shower head that will give a wonderful shower experience on a budget, this is the type to go for. Also, they are a perfect fit for both small and medium-sized bathrooms.


  • Easy to use because there are no adjustments to make
  • Affordable
  • Easy to install


  • Offers one spray pattern only

2. Adjustable Shower Heads

Adjustable shower heads are designed to offer multiple spray patterns. The majority of them offer you up to three spray patterns to choose from.

This type of shower head is perfect for shared bathrooms because everyone has a preferred water spray pattern. They are easy to install and use, but the price varies with the brand and the number of spray patterns available.


  • Offer multiple spray patterns
  • Affordable
  • Variety to choose from


  • Clog easily with hard water

3. Rain/Waterfall Shower Head

Rain shower heads can be both walls or bar mount types of shower heads. They are designed with a large diameter and elegant designs that pour water down just like rain. With this type of shower head, every part of your body is exposed to water without having to move around.


  • Elegant designs
  • Relaxing shower experience
  • Multiple mount types for different bathroom sizes


  • Difficult to install
  • Single spray pattern
  • Uses a lot of water
rain shower head

4. Handheld Shower Heads

Handheld shower heads are attached to the pipe supplying water in your bathroom using a hose, allowing you to take them from their mount and move them in different directions.

With this type of shower head, you can pour water into different parts of your body without moving an inch. Also, they are perfect for bathing kids, the elderly, and pets.


  • Perfect for seated showering
  • Allows for easy rinse off
  • Come with multiple settings
  • Helps when bathing pets and children


  • Difficult to install
  • Has many connections hence prone to leakages      

5. Dual Shower Heads

Dual shower heads have a fixed head and a handheld head. Therefore, they offer you the functions of both fixed and handheld shower heads.

If you cannot decide on which type of shower head to take home, you have the advantage of enjoying the two. For instance, you can purchase a dual with a rain shower head and an attached handheld.

The only downside with these dual shower heads is that they take up more space and are pricier.


  • Offers versatility
  • A good choice for people with mobility issues
  • Offers multiple spraying options


  • Takes up a lot of space
  • Expensive

6. Filtered Shower Head

Filtered shower heads feature a built-in filter that filters hard water. Hard water deposits block shower heads and ruin bathroom walls and tile because they are hard to clean.

Filtered shower heads were manufactured to deal with these adverse effects of hard water. What’s more, filtered water is good for your skin.


  • Versatile and available in different types
  • Filters hard water and chemicals
  • Filtered water is good for your skin


  • Requires regular filter change
  • Expensive to purchase and maintain
Filtered Shower Head

7. RV Shower Heads

RV shower heads are meant to be used in areas with a limited water supply. Since they are built to deal with water shortages, they pour water in low pressure. Also, they do not clog from the minerals found in hard water. What’s more, they are small in size hence suitable for small bathroom spaces.

However, with low water pressure, you will not have a lot of water reaching your body at the same time.


  • Water-efficient
  • They do not clog
  • Suitable for low water pressure
  • Small and elegant designs


  • Have small spray cones
  • It might not fit in standard plumbing

8. LED Shower Heads

As the name suggests, LED shower heads feature LED lights, which work in various ways. Some fade from one color to another in a pattern, while for others, the colors change with water temperature changes.

The LED lights do not require batteries because they are powered by the water pressure.

LED shower heads are an excellent way to entice your kids to get in the shower. Also, they are perfect for bathrooms with low lighting.


  • Features multiple spray patterns
  • Improves the ambiance of the bathroom
  • Perfect for low light bathrooms
  • Do not require batteries; hence no extra cost


  • Costly

Factors To Consider When Buying A Shower Head

There is no good or bad shower head. The best one for you depends on your needs, preferences, budget, and size of the bathroom, as discussed below:

1. Budget

The amount you are willing to spend determines the type of shower head you will take home. For small budgets, lean toward single spray or rain shower heads. On the other hand, if money is not a problem, you can get the luxurious ceiling mount or dual shower heads.

2. Bathroom Size

Shower heads come in different sizes, and therefore it is crucial to consider the amount of space you have before purchase. For example, ceiling mount shower heads require more space compared to handheld shower heads.

3. Family

The size and members of your family is another essential consideration. For example, if you have kids and pets, it is best to invest in a handheld or dual shower head to help with bathing time.

4. Style

Does the shower head match the style of your bathroom or with the other fixtures in the bathroom? Be sure that your choice matches the bathroom.

What Is The Best Type Of Shower Head

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Is The Best Type Of Shower Head?

The best type of shower head for you depends on your needs and preferences. It will help if you get a multi-purpose shower head, especially if it is a shared bathroom, so that everyone can get the preferred shower settings.

2. Do All Shower Heads Fit All Hoses?

The plumbing guidelines in the US and Canada require that all shower heads feature a universal thread size of ½-inch NPT. As long as the shower head you purchase is ½-inch NPT, it should fit in shower hoses in different bathrooms.

3. Can You Replace The Shower Head?

Replacing a shower head is an easy task but requires average DIY skills. You can decide to change the shower head because it is damaged or when you want to upgrade and get a more water and energy-saving appliance.

4. Are Shower Heads Universal?

Shower heads in the US and Canada are manufactured following a universal thread size of ½-inch NPT. Therefore, if you are traveling within these two areas, you can travel with your shower head, and it will fit in the shower arm of your new house.

However, the case is different for shower heads bought from different countries or those found in very old houses.

Conclusion, So, Are Shower Heads Interchangeable?

Shower heads play a significant role in the type of shower you will get and the final look of your bathroom. With the many types of shower heads on the market, homeowners are always wondering if they are interchangeable.

By now, I believe that your question, ”are shower heads interchangeable?” Is well answered. Different shower heads will fit in the same shower arm because they are manufactured with a universal thread size.

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