It’s a small update that can have a big impact—so you better make sure you have room.

Who doesn’t want a bathroom that feels more like a personal spa? Just picture it: plush robes, heated floors, a deep soaking tub, and a top-of-the-line shower complete with wall jets and rainfall shower head. Having a calming, rejuvenating retreat in your own home is a luxury many of us dream of saving up for. But if a full bathroom renovation isn’t in your budget, there are some smaller but still impactful updates you can do that’ll make your bathroom more enjoyable while also increasing the value of your home.

Installing a rainfall shower head is a relatively low-lift and low-cost update that can take you one step closer to that spa bathroom. But before you rush to buy a new shower head and hire a handyman to do the installation, there are a few things you need to consider about rain shower heads, most importantly the size.

First, compared to a standard shower head, the faces of rain shower heads are a good bit bigger in diameter. Rain shower heads are meant to fully cover your body in a stream of water that feels like rainfall, which requires the head to be anywhere from 6 to 12 inches wide. If you aren’t making any changes to your existing shower stall or bathtub, you’ll want to make sure that a new, wider shower head won’t spray onto your floors every time you turn it on.

There’s also a potential height issue for rain shower heads. Traditionally, rainfall shower heads are ceiling-mounted to allow you to fully embrace that rainfall effect. Rerouting pipes to enable this setup is a more involved project, but even if you’re up for it, you’ll want to make sure the ceiling in your shower stall is high enough. The tallest person using your shower should have at least a foot of clearance (accounting for at minimum a 3-inch shower arm and a head that’s a few inches tall so that the “rain” has some distance to actually fall).

With the rising popularity of rain shower heads, more brands now offer wall-mounted versions, which allows you to use the existing vertical pipe behind the wall of your shower and install a shower arm with a 90-degree angle on it so that the head can still be completely flat above your head. Adding the 90-degree turn in the arm also means your new shower head will be several inches lower than the previous one, so it’s important to make sure you have enough height to spare. Raising the placement of your wall-mounted head will be a little trickier, but less of a disruption to your bathroom than installing the ceiling-mounted version.

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