If you rather like the sensation of raindrops falling softly over you, then you don't have to wait for Mother Nature. Instead, install a rainfall shower head to reproduce the similar soothing feeling.
"They're more popular now than they have ever been," says Eric Bailey, who is in charge of the plumbing department at Central Distributing in Fresno, Calif.
Many custom and model homes now feature the shower heads, spurring increased interest, he says.
"It's just a different way of taking a shower," says Bailey, who had one installed in his home six months ago. People "are looking at their bathroom as a retreat. ... You can just stand there and let water trickle over you."
Rainfall shower heads typically are wider in diameter -- between 6 and 24 inches, he says. Standard shower heads are usually 2 to 4 inches in diameter.
Although you can tilt or swivel the shower head, its spray pattern and force are not adjustable. "You just get the water that comes out of it," he says.
Some rainfall shower heads can be installed during construction or a renovation project, and they can hang down from ceilings.
"A lot of new-construction homes are having these put in," Bailey says. "They're having them plumbed in, usually right in the middle of the shower."
A simpler way is to swap out your current shower head for a rainfall one. Typically, just unscrew your old one and screw in the new one. Plumber's tape also might be needed to prevent any leaks.
The new shower heads should come with step-by-step installation directions for more information.
"Anybody can do it," says Dennis Freundt, store manager at Bed, Bath & Beyond in Fresno, Calif.
These easy-to-install rainfall shower heads can be found at a number of department stores, hardware stores and specialty plumbing stores.
Target has a 6-inch rainfall shower head for $19.99. Bed, Bath & Beyond has two: an 8-inch rainfall shower head with a 10-inch arm extension for $39.99, and a 7-inch rainfall shower head with a hand-held wand for $59.99.
The cost of rainfall shower heads start at $60 to $70 for 6-inch ones at Central Distributing. If you're worried that the soft spray might leave you standing longer in the shower to get rid of any soap or shampoo, Bailey says he hasn't found that to be a problem.
"I haven't noticed a longer time period [in the shower] to get the soap out of my hair," he says.
"What I like is, because it's a larger diameter, you're covering more of your head and, it seems to me, taking less time."Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times