Installing a shower head on a wall is a relatively easy DIY project that can update the look of your bathroom. With some essential tools and materials, you can have a new showerhead installed in about an hour.
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What You Need to install a shower head on the wall
Before starting this project, make sure you have all the necessary supplies:
- New shower head
- Teflon tape
- Adjustable wrench
- Rag or towel
- Screwdriver (flathead and Phillips)
- Pipe wrench (if removing old showerhead)
- Ladder (if installed high on the wall)
You’ll also want to turn off the water supply to the shower at the main shut-off valve before beginning. This will prevent water from spraying out when you remove the old shower head.
Preparing the Pipe to Installing a shower head on a wall
Start by removing the old shower head. Use a pipe or adjustable wrench to loosen and unscrew the connector nut holding the shower head onto the line. You may need to spray the connection with WD-40 or another lubricant if it’s stuck.
Once removed, inspect the shower pipe for any cracks or damage. Replace any faulty pipes before installing the new head.
Use sandpaper or steel wool to smooth any rough edges around the pipe end. This will allow the new connection to seal correctly.
Clean the pipe threads with a rag to remove any old plumber’s tape, sediment, or corrosion. Apply several wraps of new Teflon tape around the lines in a clockwise direction. This will create a watertight seal when you screw on the new showerhead.
install a shower head on the wall
First, slide the shower head nut and washer onto the pipe, threading the tape end through it.
Use a screwdriver to loosen the set screw on the new shower head’s ball joint. This will allow you to angle the head during installation.
Now you can screw the shower head onto the prepared pipe by hand. Tighten it well using an adjustable wrench. Go at least 1-2 full turns past hand tight.
Position and angle the shower head as desired and tighten the set screw to hold it in place.
Turn the main water supply back on and check for leaks! If the connection drops, unscrew the head and add more Teflon tape before re-installing.
Tips for Installation
- Use pipe joint compound instead of tape for brass or copper pipes.
- Wrap tape clockwise only, going 3-4 times around the threads.
- Add a second wrench when tightening to hold the line steady.
- Soak rusted connections with penetrating oil before trying to unscrew them.
- Don’t over-tighten joints; they only need to be snug, not torqued down.
Adding a Shower Arm
If you don’t have an existing shower pipe and need to add a new shower arm:
- Purchase a 1/2-inch threaded shower arm that fits your plumbing.
- Shut off the water supply and drain pipes.
- Measure the desired height and mark the wall.
- Drill a 1/2 hole through the wall tile and substrate.
- Screw the shower arm into the elbow joint or pipe fitting behind the wall. Use Teflon tape.
- Connect the new shower head to the peninsula.
- Turn on the water and check for leaks.
Shower Head Styles
There are many styles of best shower heads to give your bathroom a facelift:
- Fixed shower heads: simple and sleek, these remain stationary. Great water pressure.
- Handheld shower heads: a Flexible hose allows you to detach and move the head.
- Rainfall shower heads are Invigorating and drenching; these broad heads simulate rain.
- Body spray jets: individual jets on walls for massaging the body.
- Combo shower heads – Enjoy both fixed and handheld options in one. Popular choice!
Pick a shower head that matches your bathroom decor and provides the spray features you want.
- Turn off the main water supply before removing the old shower head.
- Clean and prepare the pipe end before installing the new head.
- Use Teflon tape to seal threads.
- Tighten the shower head well with a wrench, but do just what is necessary.
- Adjust the angle of the head and tighten the set screw.
- Check for leaks after turning the water back on.
- Add decorative or functional shower arms and heads.
Replacing a basic showerhead is an easy update. Follow these steps for a successful installation. Enjoy your new shower’s look and feel!