Trade out that drippy shower arm and basic showerhead for a better-looking shower and a more personalized experience. You need only a few minutes to replace a showerhead!


Admit it. You’re tired of the crusty old showerhead that’s been in your bath longer than you can remember. You even sometimes catch yourself dreaming about those swanky fixtures with fancy settings. Are they really better?

The answer is yes. New showerheads provide more options for control—multiple spray styles, pivoting angles, temperature settings—and they’re more efficient, using less water with equal cleaning success. Learn how to replace a showerhead so you can achieve a spa-worthy bathing experience in the comfort of your home.

white tile walk-in shower with glass door
Credit: Anthony Masterson

How to Replace a Showerhead

Supplies Needed

  • Pliers
  • Wrench
  • Clean soft cloth
  • Plumber’s tape
  • Shower arm
  • Flange (often comes with shower arm)
  • Showerhead

Step-by Step Directions

Whether you’re simply switching showerheads or getting a new shower arm, too, these five steps will make it a smooth transition.

removing existing shower head with wrenches
Credit: Jacob Fox

Step 1: Loosen Up

Turn off the water supply to the shower. If you’re keeping the shower arm, wrap a cloth or plumber’s tape around both ends of the arm to protect it from scratches. Grip the shower arm with pliers while using a wrench to turn the nut counterclockwise.

using wrench on showerhead pipe white tiled wall

Step 2: Out With the Old

Unscrew the showerhead. Remove the screw holding the flange in place, then remove the flange. Unscrew the shower arm using pliers at the base.

If the showerhead is stuck, soak the cloth in white vinegar, wrap it around the nut on the showerhead, and let it sit for a few minutes to loosen mineral deposits.

wrapping white tape around shower head pipe

Step 3: Prepare the Arm

Wipe around the hole in the wall to remove grime. Tightly wrap five layers of plumber’s tape clockwise around the end of the shower arm that goes into the wall. It’s important to wrap the tape in the opposite direction of how the arm will twist into place.

sealant tape over shower head pipe

Step 4: Secure Connection

Attach the end of shower arm into the pipe in the wall, turning clockwise. (Because you wrapped the tape clockwise in Step 3 as well, it’s now turning counterclockwise, making a tight bond.) Replace the flange. Wrap three layers of tape around the exposed end of the shower arm.

woman attaching chrome rainfall shower head

Step 5: Finish the Job

Screw the showerhead into place by hand. Protect the showerhead joint with a cloth or tape and then tighten with a wrench, turning clockwise, to prevent leaks and water-pressure issues.

Bonus: Expand the Upgrade

A right-angle shower arm protrudes farther from the wall and then angles straight down. Pair this extended shower arm with the wide circumference of a rain-style showerhead (often installed as a ceiling-mount model) for a more luxurious shower experience.


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