Are Showerheads Universal? Here Is What I Learned!

Looking to get a new showerhead set for your home? If so, it’s important to remember that the standard size of showerheads is not the same worldwide. 

In this article, we take a close look at different showerheads and how their size varies from model to model and place to place, so you can make an informed purchase.

Are All Showerheads the Same Size?

The universal thread size of showerheads in the United States and Canada is ½ inch NPT, which stands for National Pipe Thread. Therefore, most locally sold showerheads are compatible with any shower arm attached to the wall or the ceiling. 
However, BSP, which stands for British Standard Pipe, is the more commonly used pipe thread standard in other countries except for the United States and Canada. ½ inch BSP is a typical showerhead thread size used in New Zealand, Australia, Asia, Europe, and South Africa.

How Do I Know What Size My Showerhead Is?

As mentioned earlier, the size of most of the showerheads in the US is ½ inch NPT, so you can easily purchase any locally sold showerhead without having to worry about the size. 

When you purchase a showerhead online from a different country, it is vital to keep the exception of the standard thread size — British Standard Pipe (BSP) in mind and compare and check the specifications accordingly. 

If unlisted, it’s worth contacting the seller or looking for a similar locally available model.

What Are The Different Types Of Showerheads?

There are many different types of showerheads available, each unique in its way. Here are some of our favorite picks: 

Wall-mounted Showerheads

Wall-mounted showerheads are the quintessential, economic, and most commonly used showerheads across the globe. The size of a standard wall-mounted showerhead is approximately 5 inches – they can come with multi-function options that let you change the pattern and pressure of the water spray, are easy to maintain, and extremely cost-effective.

The only drawback to these showerheads is that you cannot adjust their heights because they are fixed on your bathroom walls. 

Handheld Showerheads

Handheld showerheads are the right option for providing flexibility and comfort in usage. They come with a plastic or a metal hose and multiple spray settings — an ideal choice for families that include children and pets.

Handheld showers come with a wall attachment so they can double as a wall-mounted showerhead. They are more durable and a sturdy alternative to traditional showerheads. 

Low and High-Pressure Showerheads

Low and high-pressure showerheads help regulate the pressure of the water that gushes out of the showerhead, allowing you to control various aspects of the stream.

A showerhead with low-pressure water cuts back on your total water bill allows for more efficient electricity use with your water heater. However, it may result in weaker streams of water, and you may experience a delay when adjusting water temperatures.

A high-pressure showerhead disperses a powerful stream of water – this can allow for a variety of spray patterns such as pulsing water massages, a fine mist, or a powerful jet of water. While they offer an instant response for your temperature knobs, you may see higher water and electricity bills with these showerheads.

Rain Showerheads

Rain showerheads are mostly preferred for their relaxing and comforting qualities, but there is much more to them. 

They are easy to install and are mounted on the ceiling of a washroom. They are mostly made of plastic or metal, are circular or rectangular, and the shower arm length varies from 6 inches to 15 inches. 

The gentle and calm stream of water distributed from these showerheads bears a resemblance to natural rainfall. To give a luxurious and contemporary finish to your washrooms, we think a rain showerhead would be the perfect pick. 

Shower Panels

Shower panels promise the ultimate showering experience with their ergonomic and modern design. They are equipped with multiple features such as temperature and pressure control, LED screens, massage jets, a fixed showerhead, and a handheld shower — all in one. 

Compared to other showerheads, and considering their unique design and functions, they are expensive. However, they are easy to clean, do not require high maintenance, and are the modern equivalent of old, traditional tiles. 

Ceiling Showerheads

Ceiling showerheads provide a drenching experience and are mounted just above your head. These showerheads can be suspended via pendants and need proper plumbing for installation. The water flows evenly and therefore is best suited for a quick shower

Ceiling showerheads eliminate the hassle and risk of drenching the bathroom with water. You can peacefully stand under it and take a shower. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Are Showerheads Universal in the US/UK/CA?

As explained above, the standard thread size of a showerhead is ½ inch or 12.7 millimeters NPT in the United States of America and Canada, and The standard thread size of a showerhead is ½ inch or 12.7 millimeters BPT in the United Kingdom. 

Can I Mix and Match Shower Parts?

It is fine to mix, match and coordinate different shower parts as long as they are of the same finish and style. Most showerheads have the same connection so that they can be interchanged easily. All the commonly-used shower valves are also universal and easily interchangeable. 

Similarly, you can mix the metal finishes and shower hardware. You do not have to stick to a particular design. As long as the final result looks cohesive, there are no restrictions. 

Before you mix and match the parts, it is essential to know your shower plumbing parts and the functions of each element. 

There are six main shower components, which are: 

Shower Valve

  • A shower valve controls the flow of water that comes out of the showerhead. 
  • The temperature of the water can be regulated by adjusting the valve. 


  • It is connected to the water pipes with the help of steel hoses. 
  • It is through the showerhead that the water is sprayed over the person taking a shower. 
  • It is one of the main components of a shower set that is visible and can be easily replaced in case of breakage. 

Shower Cartridge

  • It helps in controlling the temperature and volume of the water. 
  • The cartridge moves back and forth to open the hot and cold-water inlets whenever the shower handle is pulled or slid. 
  • The main purpose of a shower cartridge is to regulate the stream of water that comes out from the showerhead. 

Shower Pan

  • A shower pan is present below the shower base, which we stand on while taking a shower. 
  • It helps to collect the water and move it down the drain. 

Shower Strainer

  • A shower strainer catches all the wastage and debris from going down the drain and prevents clogging. 
  • It is made out of steel or aluminum and is an essential component of the shower system. 

Water Pipes

  • There are two water pipes present — a hot water pipe and a cold-water pipe. 
  • Each pipe ensures the proper supply of water with the ideal temperature. 
  • With the help of the pipes, water is transported to the showerhead. 

Is a Handheld Shower Head Universal?

The universal size of a showerhead is ½ inches NPT if bought from the United States or Canada. The hose attached to the handheld showerhead is mostly 60 inches long but can be purchased according to your personal preference. 

Are Fixed Shower Heads Universal?

A wall-mounted showerhead should be fixed according to the height of the user. There are no fixed regulations when it comes to installing the showerheads at a particular height, and it can depend on the size and design of the washroom. However, anywhere between 38 to 48 inches in from the washroom floor is considered the ideal height to get the shower fixed. 

Are Rain Shower Heads Universal?

Size is a significant factor to consider when purchasing a rain showerhead. A rain showerhead can vary anywhere from 6 inches to 12 inches or more. The larger the rain showerhead size, the larger the area will be covered by the dispersed water. 

Since they are mounted on the ceiling, a considerable amount of space must be left between the showerhead and the user — a minimum of 3 inches at least.