How To Add A Rainfall Shower Head to an Existing Shower in Under 1 Hour for Less Than $100

Are you a novice Do-It-Yourselfer wanting to change out your tired old shower head you have now for a new soothing rainfall shower head, but you don’t quite know how much time or money it will take to install?

…Never fear, I’m here to help!

After reading this post, you will be able to take on your DIY project with confidence, and install that overhead shower head for as little money as possible – or whatever fits your budget – and in as little time as possible!

An overhead shower head will really bring new life to your existing shower, and give it that spa-like feel that makes your shower enjoyable and relaxing.

Choosing The Right Overhead Shower Head For Your Shower

First, you’ll want to find the best rainfall shower head that fits your taste, style, and budget.

That can be a daunting task, with hundreds of them to choose from on Amazon alone. I’ve taken a lot of the work out of the choosing process for you, by creating thorough reviews of the top selling, top rated rain shower heads available on Amazon, and sifted through countless reviews and product features to come up with my top picks.

Check out these posts here on TileShowerDIY to see our reviews of the best rainfall shower heads available on the market:

How To Install A Wall Mounted Rain Shower Head

Installing a rainfall shower head in place of an existing shower head that is attached to the shower arm protruding from the shower wall isn’t very difficult at all:

  1. Unthread the existing shower head from shower arm. Use a pair of water pump pliers to loosen if you can’t by hand.
  2. Remove any teflon thread tape from the shower arm, and replace with new thread tape applying it in a clockwise direction, 4-5 times around.
  3. Thread on the new rainfall shower head. Hand tighten, then use the water pump pliers to finish tightening, with some duct tape applied to the teeth of the pliers so they don’t dig in and mar the surface of the new rain shower head.

How To Install A Ceiling Mounted Rain Shower Head

Installing an overhead shower head coming out of the ceiling can be quite a bit more work, depending on if you have access behind the wall of the mixing valve, and above the ceiling of the shower.

If you have access behind the wall of your shower where the mixing valve is, and the space above the ceiling of your shower is attic space, you could install the new shower head quite easily.

Watch the video below, where a YouTube’r shares how he was able to add an overhead shower head to his existing shower setup for less than $100 in materials and in less than 1 hour:

However, if you do NOT have access to either the space above the ceiling or behind the shower wall, your DIY project has just been ratcheted up a few notches on the difficulty scale…and will most definitely take far longer than 1 hour to install.

Either hire a plumber and contractor, or if you want to tackle it as a DIY project, here are some basics steps to complete the task of adding an overhead shower head to your shower:

  1. Remove drywall from the ceiling and tile/shower surface and backer from the wall where the shower mixer valve is.
  2. Determine if you will tie into the existing pipe going to the tub spout, pipe going to the wall mounted shower valve, or if you want control of turning the overhead rain shower head on individually…if the latter is the case, you’ll need a diverter valve installed in line between the mixer valve and wall shower head, to connect your overhead shower head supply line to.
  3. Install a pipe from wherever you’re choosing to connect near the mixing valve, and run it up through the wall plate above and into the ceiling space, over to the center of the shower or wherever you want the shower head placed. PEX is the easiest piping for the DIYer to use since it’s flexible and easy to cut, along with Sharkbite compression fittings that simply push onto the pipe. Copper pipe can also be used, if you desire, and Sharkbite fittings work with them as well.
  4. Use a Brass Drop Ear Elbow at the point above the shower where you want the shower head, attaching it to the end of the pipe and mounting to a ceiling joist or 2×4 cross piece with screws through the holes in the ears.
  5. After all connections are made, run water to check for leaks, before covering up the wall and ceiling.
  6. Install drywall to ceiling where it was previously removed. Tape and apply joint compound. After a couple of coats, it will need sanded smooth and then painted.
  7. Install new backer to the wall and re-apply surface you want, whether that is tile or some other material.
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