How to Replace a Showerhead for a Spa-Worthy Bathroom

Trade out that drippy shower arm and basic showerhead for a prettier, more personalized experience in just a few minutes.

Admit it. You're tired of the crusty old showerhead in your bath that's been there 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.

Newer-model showerheads provide more options for control, including multiple spray styles, pivoting angles, and temperature settings. They're also 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.

blue white bathroom shower
Emily Followill

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

These five steps will make it a smooth transition, whether you're simply switching showerheads or getting a new shower arm.

removing existing shower head with wrenches
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. Next, grip the shower arm with pliers while using a wrench to turn the nut counterclockwise.

using wrench on showerhead pipe white tiled wall
Jacob Fox

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
Jacob Fox

Step 3: Prepare the Arm

Wipe around the hole in the wall to remove grime. Next, tightly wrap five layers of plumber's tape clockwise around the end of the shower arm that goes into the wall. It's essential to wrap the tape in the opposite direction of how the arm will twist into place.

sealant tape over shower head pipe
Jacob Fox

Step 4: Secure Connection

Attach the end of the shower arm to 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
Jacob Fox

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 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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