Have you been watching HGTV lately? Body Spray Shower Systems are all the rage. You will see a complete shower system in just about every dream master bathroom "after" shot. Having a shower with multiple spray heads is great, and having a hand shower is useful, but nothing says luxury like body spray jets in a shower. Shower Systems with Body Sprays are a beautiful addition to a large walk in shower, and literally engulf you in warm water.
Whether you shower as a way to get energized for the morning, or as a way to wind down after a long day at work, a Shower System with Jets creates an amazing spa-like experience.
This article is LONG. We try to address everything you'll need to consider if you are planning a shower with jets on the walls. It features several videos, and LOTs of graphics showing the way the pipes are run inside the wall. You will learn about all the fixtures required, get some cool ideas for functionality you may not have known was available, and see a bunch of beautiful installation images that are sure to inspire. It's a good idea to read the article in order, as subsequent sections do reference previous content. However, feel free to jump around using the table of contents below.
As a design focused site, FaucetList.com has been selling complete shower systems with body sprays for many years now. In fact, we have more than 40 years of experience in the plumbing industry. Now that these awesome fixtures have become more mainstream, we have seen a huge increase in demand. We know what it takes to build and install a shower system with wall jets and make ordering the perfect complete shower system easy!
In this article, we will focus on Delta Shower Systems. We'll discuss shower systems with just a showerhead and body sprays, as well as a shower system with body sprays, a hand shower, and a showerhead (mounted on the ceiling or the wall). We'll explain a body spray pressure loop and the difference in installation between Delta shower faucets with 4 body spray jets and a Delta shower with 3 body spray jets.
Installing shower body sprays is a smart investment for those who want an enhanced showering experience. This article will teach you just about everything you'll need to know to design the perfect shower system with body sprays!
In this article, most of what you learn about shower systems with jets is specific to the Delta brand. It's important to realize that shower system plumbing fixtures, and the way they install, can vary a lot based on the brand. This is one very good reason to use a professional plumber, as they will likely have experience with all major brands. This article will be applicable in a general sense for most shower set-ups of any brand, but be aware that some of the information may not be applicable in all cases or for all shower fixtures.
Pro Tip: Hire a Plumber! Installing a shower system with body sprays is a job for a professional plumber. No amount of reading can prepare you the way real world job experience does. Every jobsite is a little different so we strongly recommend you hire a licensed plumber for your shower system installation. Many potential issues can arise during a shower system installation and without proper training and experience, you may not achieve optimal results. We have written this guide to provide a comprehensive look at what it will take to design and install a shower system with wall mounted body sprays in your master bathroom so you can determine if adding one to your plans will be right for you.
Shower Body Sprays are basically small, side-mounted showerheads that are attached at strategic points on the wall. Body sprays in the shower are most often found in multiples of 2, 3, or 4, and be installed on the same, or opposing walls. Regardless of where the spray heads are placed, body sprays are normally plumbed as a group (which this article will illustrate in greater detail later).
Typically, body jets spray more horizontally, as opposed to at an angle the way a normal showerhead would. Normally a complete shower system with body sprays will feature a regular wall showerhead, a group of body sprays, plus the required control fixtures. Sometimes a shower with body jets will also feature the addition of a hand shower sprayer for greater functionality. This addition will necessitate some differences in how the plumbing inside the wall needs to be planned (also discussed in greater detail later).
A shower body spray system requires several elements that must all work together to create this immersive shower experience. A normal shower faucet is designed to power solely a single showerhead. Multi-jet shower systems require the addition of a diverter fixture which provides a way to control which spray outlets are "on" at any given time. A body jet shower system requires additional pipes to be run inside the wall to deliver water to each of the shower's spray outlets. Depending on the number of body sprays you want, there are different recommended patterns used when running the pipes. We have many graphical representations later in this article to help illustrate these strategies.
With proper planning, a body spray shower system will not only be a pleasure to use, but it is a great investment in your home. In a world where having a stylish and functional master bathroom is a must, a multiple jet shower system is a great way to add value. Plus, they are super functional, look great, and will change the way you enjoy your shower forever!
When planning multi jet shower systems, there are several fixtures you will require. These are the fixtures the plumber will need to get the system operational. The components necessary to create a complete Delta shower system with wall jet body sprays are the rough-in mixing valve and trim kit, the diverter valve and trim kit, the wall mount showerhead, arm, and flange, plus the body sprays themselves. We will also discuss adding a hand shower or switching from a wall mount to a ceiling mount showerhead. This section will give you a general overview of the terms used throughout this article. Read on to learn more!
Before you can think about adding body sprayers for a shower you need mix the hot and cold water. Therefore you will need a shower control and mixing valve. In any standard home, you're going to have a hot water line and a cold water line. The hot water line runs from your hot water heater which is kept at a very hot temperature so it's ready on demand. In fact, the water in your hot water heater is too hot to use directly in most cases. For body spray shower systems you will want the water to be a comfortable warm temperature. Therefore, the hot water must be mixed with cold water to a suitable temperature. The mixing valve inside the wall is connected to the hot and cold water lines. The shower cartridge (part of the trim kit) helps to regulate the temperature of water mixed in the valve. Once it has been mixed to a nice warm temperature, the water runs up from the mixing valve into the diverter where it can be set out to the showerhead and body spray jets. For highest water flow, Delta recommends you use their Delta MultiChoice high flow (HF) universal rough-in valve as the base for all shower systems to ensure optimal pressure. Keep in mind, if you plan to add a tub spout, you cannot use the HF valve as the bottom port is permanently capped (read more below). In addition to the high-flow rough-in valve, the shower cartridge included with the trim kit also plays a role in the water pressure your shower head and body jets will put out. Especially for a shower faucet with body jets, you may want to consider a Delta thermostatic 17T series cartridge as it allows for the highest flow rate. To start building your shower with jet sprays you will need a mixing valve and trim kit.
For jet shower systems a diverter is an essential component. A diverter consists of a valve inside the wall, and the trim kit, which installs on the tile. The mixing valve, discussed above, mixes the hot and cold water to warm temperature, and the diverter valve and trim kit directs that warm water to the various spray outlet groups. For a body jets shower you will definitely need a diverter but you should take a minute to familiarize yourself with how they work. At the bottom of the diverter valve, there is an inlet port, where the warm water enters the diverter. Delta diverters have 3 outlet ports. If you plan to use a 3-setting diverter however, you will ONLY USE 2 OF 3 PORTS. The 3rd port will be plugged/capped. So that may sound a bit confusing but you have to understand what the 3-settings are. A Delta 3-setting diverter trim kit allows for 2 individual settings and 1 shared setting. So if you have a shower with wall jets and a showerhead, you should think of it as having 2 spray outlet groups. Spray outlet group 1 is the showerhead. That's easy. Spray outlet group 2 is the body sprays. The body sprays are plumbed with a pressure loop (explained in greater detail below) and function as a unit. Whether your shower system has 1, 2, 3, or 4 body sprays, it doesn't matter. In a typical installation, all the body spray jets would be plumbed from the same diverter port and function as a unit. So, with a 3-setting diverter, you would have spray setting 1, showerhead only. Spray setting 2 would be the group of body sprays only. Finally, spray setting 3 would be both showerhead and all body sprays at the same time. The diverter sends the warm water to the spray groups and lets you control which spray groups are on at any given time. This component is required for all multi jet showers.
Now that we have the basic components in place (mixing valve and trim plus diverter valve and trim) it's time to have some fun. When you want a shower head with body sprayers system you can actually choose any showerhead you want. Later we'll discuss ceiling showerheads, but for now let's assume you want a wall mount showerhead. A full body shower head mounted to the wall is the perfect thing go in a multi jet shower. The shower wall jets will spray you from the side but you'll still need a normal showerhead for rinsing your head. There are 3 components that make up the shower head spray outlet group. The shower flange, is a small round or square piece that covers the hole where the pipe comes out of the wall. The shower arm attaches to the pipe in the wall and helps project the showerhead out from the wall, making it more convenient to use. The showerhead itself is something everyone is probably familiar with, but it is the fixture from which the water actually sprays out when you are taking a shower. When you are building Delta shower systems with body sprays it's not actually mandatory that you use a Delta showerhead. In fact, any shower head can be used and generally speaking, this is one of the most cross compatible fixtures found in a shower. Most standard showerheads fit a 1/2" shower arm and that is true for most brands.
A shower head with body spray system would not be complete without the body sprays themselves! When working with a Delta body jets shower system you can have up to 4 body spray heads. In a Delta shower with jets they recommend you do not run more than 4 body sprays from a single diverter port as you could experience water pressure issues. Depending on how many body sprays you want, the layout will be different. Later in the article you will see some examples of shower body spray layouts for systems with 3 or 4 body sprays. The pressure loop in the wall will need to be adjusted based on the number of sprays you want. When considering the shower jet installation, you will learn that some body sprays have a rough-in valve and others do not. Some sprays connect directly to a stubbed-out pipe (similar to a shower head) while others have their own valve piece. Delta Hydrachoice body sprays do use a rough-in valve which helps lower the overall water usage while at the same time boosting the spray pressure. Keep reading more to learn about the difference between normal and Hydrachoice body sprays. Later in the article you will also see some body spray plumbing diagrams. After selecting the perfect Delta shower jets you'll be well on your way to the shower system of your dreams!
Adding a hand shower requires only a minor change to the Delta shower systems with body sprays described above. You will need a 6-setting diverter trim kit instead of a 3-setting diverter trim kit to accommodate the extra spray group (the hand shower). The good news is that the in-wall valve used by the 6-setting diverter trim and 3-setting shower diverter trim is the same (in the case of Delta). Once you switch to the 6-setting diverter, you simply need to purchase a hand shower and drop elbow (explained more below).
Pro Tip: The hand shower can be added to either the right or left side of the controls. As you get further into this article and you start to see how the pipes are run inside the wall, you will better understand why. The short version is, you can choose to use the left or right diverter port for whichever spray group you want.
This brilliant master bathroom suite boasts many impressive fixtures, one being a stunning Delta Vero Collection shower system with Stainless Steel shower body jets. This shower system features a large rain shower head, Vero hand shower, and three HydraChoice body spray jets. The Delta HydraChoice sprays mount flush with the wall for a seamless modern look. Hydrachoice body sprays literally pop-out when you turn on the water! Delta's classical Stainless Steel finish is the perfect choice in complementing both the slate grey floor and shower tiles, but also the dazzling modern glass shower enclosure. Delta Vero's clean lines make this collection a superb choice for a minimalist design. This system's unique use of square trims and round spray heads gives the modern suite a little eclectic touch. The Delta shower jet diverter allows each user to use two of the three different water outputs together, giving each user a custom experience. A Vero shower system with body sprays truly is a functional and sophisticated choice for your modern master bathroom oasis!
A 6-setting shower diverter allows you the ability to turn on any individual spray group by itself or any 2 spray groups at the same time. See the diagram above which illustrated all 6 spray setting options. When you want a shower head with body jets and a hand shower, you need a way to control them all. As mentioned above, the diverter valve has 4 ports. One inlet port, and 3 outlet ports. When adding a hand shower to your shower system your plumber will use all 3 ports. Remember with a 3-setting diverter trim kit, 1 of the valve outlet ports is plugged/capped. In the case of a 6-setting diverter trim kit, all 3 valve outlet ports will be utilized. A pipe will be run from port 1 to wall mount showerhead, from port 2 to the hand shower drop elbow, and from port 3 to the body spray pressure loop. The 6-setting diverter trim gives you the power to select which spray outlet you want to be running. This fixture is important if you want a full shower jet system with hand shower as without it, you'd have no way to turn everything on!
A hand shower is one of the most useful fixtures you can add to your system with side shower jets. A hand shower spray also basically doubles as a second showerhead. If you purchase a hand shower with slidebar you can raise and lower the sprayer and use it however you want. In the rest of the world, it's rarer to find a shower withOUT a hand shower. We American's need to catch on! Adding a hand sprayer to showers with multiple jets is both stylish and functional. You might be wondering how the hand shower sprayer hose connects up to the pipes inside the wall. That is where the 90-degree drop wall elbow comes in. In the image, the drop elbow is the small square piece at the end of the hose. A 90-degree drop elbow accepts an input from a horizontal pipe coming out from the wall, and moves the water to a vertical output where you screw on the hand shower hose. This item is almost always sold separately as it is not required in all situations. After you switch to the 6-setting diverter mentioned above, simply order a hand shower and drop elbow and your multiple shower jets system will feature body sprays, a showerhead, and also a hand shower! Also noteworthy about the hand shower with slidebar featured in our example image to the right is that it actually has a grab bar instead of a normal slidebar. Many of our shower systems are tagged as bathroom safety shower systems and feature a hand shower grab bar in place of the usual non-weight-bearing slide bar. This hand shower with grab bar is a good example of one of Delta's many innovative shower fixtures!
Let's say you have a body spray shower system with handheld shower and instead of a wall mounted showerhead, your prefer a ceiling mounted showerhead. No problem! Assuming you also still want a handheld shower sprayer, you'll once again need a 6-setting diverter trim kit. Instead of the wall mounted shower arm and flange, you will switch to a straight ceiling mounted shower arm and flange. The pipe will be run inside the wall up to the ceiling. It's a good idea to choose a rain style showerhead for the ceiling as opposed to one with multiple settings as it might be hard to reach! But it will be an oh so luxurious experience!
Shower systems with body sprays, hand shower, and ceiling mount showerhead offer the ultimate luxury experience. A rain shower head with body jets offers a fully immersive shower experience. Switching to a ceiling mount shower head is actually easier than you might think, especially if your bathroom is under construction. Instead of running the pipe up to the point in the wall where a normal style showerhead would come out, the plumber runs the pipe up into the ceiling, then stubs it out the same way as normal. Instead of an angled shower arm like you would have with a wall mount showerhead, a ceiling mount showerhead requires a straight arm. In fact, the ceiling mount showerhead itself is the SAME as a wall mount showerhead. It's basically just the shape of the shower arm that is different, so you can order any showerhead you want. Typically, people choose a large single setting rain showerhead for the ceiling but you can use any style you like. You just need to make sure you have a straight ceiling mount shower arm. If you always wanted a large overhead rain shower with body jets and hand shower, you just need to take what you learned about shower systems above and order a ceiling mount appropriate shower head plus get a straight ceiling mount shower arm instead of a normal wall mount style shower arm. If you only want a ceiling mount shower faucet with body sprays and don't need a hand shower spray, just go back to a 3-setting diverter trim kit and leave the hand shower out. Simple! Once you get a feel for how the components go together, you'll see that there are many many possibilities.
A Delta jetted shower system can be a tricky thing to plan as there are just so many feature options. It can feel a bit overwhelming if you are unfamiliar with all the terms you'll come across when shopping for shower fixtures with body sprays. At FaucetList.com it's our goal to make ordering a custom shower system easy. We try to provide all the information necessary so you end up with the best full body shower system for you! Delta jetted shower systems can include a variety of innovative fixtures so it's worth getting familiar with some of the feature options available. This way you'll be able to select the best shower system for your requirements. We will discuss Delta Hydrachoice body sprays and how they compare to shower systems with regular body sprays. You will also learn about Delta thermostatic shower cartridges, decorative bathroom safety fixtures, shower controls with integrated diverters, Delta Hydrorain dual showerheads, Delta h2Okinetic, and shower systems with body sprays and tub spouts. Read on and watch the videos!
Delta Hydrachoice shower body sprays represent yet another clever Delta innovation. Standard Delta shower body sprayers attach to the pipe directly and sit on the surface of the shower wall. Delta Hydrachoice body sprays utilize a clever valve fixture that allows the sprayhead to push back in flush with the wall. When you turn the water on, the hydro power causes the spray head to pop-out of the wall futuristically. Make sure to watch the video below to see them in action! Shower faucets with jets are great no matter what, but Delta Hydrachoice body spray shower systems are also super cool. If you are looking for the best shower system with body jets make sure to check these out! Later in the article we will discuss the installation specifics, but this section will simply introduce the difference. For even more details on these great fixtures, take a look at our guide to Delta Hydrachoice Shower Systems.
As seen in the video, Delta Hydrachoice body sprays come out of the wall when in use. You can push them back in when you're done, making cleaning easy. Plus, your guests will be delighted to see your shower system come to life once the water starts to flow! A body spray shower faucet featuring Delta Hydrachoice is like none other. In addition to popping out when you turn on the water, the design of these shower jet sprays allows for 50-degrees of adjustability in any direction so they can be angled to suit any user. With these unique fixtures Delta has complete re-imagined shower faucets with body sprayers!
If you are shopping for shower faucets with body jets you will see that many body spray shower kits feature surface mount sprayers. These surface mount body sprays are not only easier to install, but they are also functional and look great. The main difference between a standard shower body spray kit and a Delta Hydrachoice body spray is almost all to do with style. Functionally they are basically the same. It's important that a shower faucet with body sprays offer the ability to angle the sprayheads. Similar to the Hydrachoice Body Jets, Delta's surface mount body sprays can be angled, however unlike the Hydrachoice sprays, they can only be angled 30-degrees up or down. This still offers a good amount of flexibility for users of different heights. One other small difference between Hydrachoice shower body spray kits and surface mount jets is the ease of cleaning. Because Hydrachoice body sprays retract into the wall, it's easier to wipe down the shower. A surface mount body spray requires you to wipe around the sprayhead. It's not a big difference but it is something to consider. If you are shopping for shower heads with body jets it's all about the experience during use and in that case, any body spray you choose is sure to offer a luxurious experience!
Delta's Thermostatic shower cartridge is a part you will find included with the mixing valve trim kit. When shopping for shower faucets with body sprays you should give some thought to this small but important fixture. The first reason is that Delta 17T series cartridges provide the highest possible flow rate. When you have a custom system and a shower head with body sprays all running at the same time, water pressure starts to be a concern. Often we are asked the difference between a Delta 17 series and 17T series shower fixture. The primary difference has to do with the way the water temperature is regulated. When a shower is pressure and temperature balanced, the temperature is regulated by adjusting the water flow. In a Thermostatic shower however, the water temperature is regulated by a thermosensitive element found in the cartridge. This allows the water to maintain its maximum flow rate even while other faucets in the home are being used. You get more accurate temperature and a more constant water pressure. A thermostatic 17T custom shower system with body sprays will provide the very best experience.
One really nice addition to a Delta shower system with jets and hand shower is a grab bar. Not just any grab bar however. Delta makes a really nice fixture that replaces a normal hand shower grab bar with an ADA grab bar. You get the added safety provided by the grab bar, but the style of your delta shower faucet with jets is not compromised. At FaucetList.com we have many pre-built custom shower systems that feature a bathroom safety grab bar. Take a look at the video below to learn more about this practical and stylish fixture.
A Body Jet Shower Head System basically only refers to the spray outlets and the function. But what about the fun stuff like the style and finish? We have shower heads and body sprays available in many great designs. From modern to traditional, and everywhere in between, Delta has a design sure to suit your tastes. If you are still in the browsing / learning phase, you might want to take a look through some of our style guides. These will help get you inspired and show you the full range of products Delta has to offer. If you order a Delta shower faucet with body sprays, why not also get the matching faucets and accessories? For a complete suite of products, make sure to take a look at all Delta collections found on our Delta Manufacturer page.
When you have shower heads and body jets plus all the controls to figure out, it's a good idea to literally draw out the shower plan on paper. With a body spray jets shower you really have to be thoughtful with your layout. Body spray shower heads spray horizontally which means they can't just go anywhere or you may end up spraying the entire room! It's first and foremost important to consider where the walls of your shower will be located and where the shower door will be located. A little later in this article you will see graphics that show how the pipes must actually be run inside the wall to supply the body sprays with water. Delta body spray systems require your plumber to create a pressure loop when installing the body sprays to ensure they all have the same flow rate. If you know there is going to be a glass wall on one side of your shower for example, you won't be able to install body sprays there as they need to be connected to the diverter via pipes inside the wall. You will want to determine the placement of the shower head and body sprays based on the users height. No one wants a body spray aimed right at their face!
Measuring things out can really help make your drawing more accurately portray the space. Shower fixtures with body sprayers have many components, all of which must be thoughtfully considered when deciding on placement. Delta has some good general guidelines but remember, this is a CUSTOM shower system. Your Delta shower system with body jets can be installed in whatever way best suits your requirements, so use our suggestions as general guidelines, not set-in-stone rules. Your installer can help you make adjustments to accommodate your individual use case.
The ideal placement of a hand shower is one that will allow you to use it as a second showerhead. Where exactly the pipe exits the wall is not as important as where the hand shower bracket itself will be mounted. We recommend a hand shower with slide bar as it gives you greater flexibility with regards to placement. You'll want to install your hand shower such that when the sprayer is at the highest position on the slidebar, there is 72"-84" from floor to spray head itself, putting it at roughly the same height as a standard showerhead.
The diverter valve and trim kit is an important part of a shower kit with body jets and should be placed within easy reach of all users. The diverter gives you full control over your shower with multiple body sprays. Normally it is installed 10-15" directly above the mixing valve, within easy reach of an average adult. However, the diverter can really go anywhere. It does not even have to be installed on the same wall as the shower mixing valve so you might want to play around with the design to figure out where it would be most convenient for the user.
To turn on the water to your shower heads and body sprayers you will need a shower mixing valve and control. A shower wall jet system relies on warm water from the mixing valve and uses the above-mentioned diverter to direct this water to the various spray outlets. Regardless of where your body spray locations are in the shower, they will need warm water! Install the mixing valve control at roughly waste height, or around 36" from the floor. You should also consider placing the shower mixing valve control near the entrance of your shower, rather than all the way in. In a walk-in shower with body sprays, you may not want to have to go all the way into the shower before the water has had time to warm up. By placing the on/off control near the entrance, you can safely turn everything on, wait for the water to warm up, and then jump right in!
The lowest-level body spray is usually placed at thigh or knee height. When planning shower designs with body sprays, where to place the lowest body spray is an interesting question. If you have a shower bench, it might be great to put it such that it will hit your mid-back while seated. But you won't always be seated! A body spray placed to hit your legs can be a great way to recuperate after a tiring work out.
The mid-level body spray is usually set at waist or hip level. The middle body spray shower layout is similar to the top-level body spray in that what is a good placement for one user, might not be the best for another. Delta shower faucets with body sprays typically feature a way to angle and direct the body sprayheads themselves. This is a useful feature to have when considering the middle body spray position. The ability to angle the spray jet will provide a nice experience for all users.
The top-level body spray is typically set at shoulder height or upper back height. It's best to position it so it will not hit you in the face or back of head. Arguably this is the spray you should think the most about. When installing body sprays in your shower you need to account for all the user's heights. The uppermost body spray may be perfectly shoulder level for one person but spray directly in the face of another. Keep this in mind when deciding where to put your body sprays on the wall.
What you are really planning is actually where the hole in the wall for the pipe that connects to the shower arm will be located. Typical showerheads are installed at least 84" above the ground. Make sure to account for the bend of your shower arm and adjust placement of your showerhead accordingly. You want to make sure the showerhead head will be above the head of the tallest user, but not so high that the less tall users will be unable reach it to adjust the spray angle. A large rain shower head with body jets makes for a great pairing! Get the full benefit of a rain shower with jets by planning out your showerhead placement thoughtfully. This will help ensure maximum water pressure and enjoyment!
Pro Tip: These placement recommendations are meant to be used as suggestions only. Placement of fixtures may be subject to plumbing code in your area so we recommend working with a licensed plumber familiar with local ordinances.
When planning your shower system, don't forget to consider the needs of all users. Body spray height should be adjusted based on how tall everyone is. If you plan to have a bench for seated bathers, make sure the body spray placement works well for that. Having one body spray aimed at the lower back of a seated bather can be nice! Aiming a body spray below the bench at lower legs can also be a good way to increase circulation and relieve tension. If you have children or users with large height differentials, make sure to place the body sprays thoughtfully. You might even want to consider adding a separate volume control for the top body spray so that you can turn it on and off without having to turn on all the rest of the sprays at the same time (read on to learn more about how body spray plumbing and pressure loops function).
Your goal should be to have the body sprays fully encompass you with water. Positioning the sprays on multiple walls can help accomplish this although it is not required. Later you will see installation instructions that show how to configure a 4 spray jet shower system with 2 body sprays on 1 wall and 2 additional sprays on a different wall. This involves 2 separate pressure loops and can be a great layout strategy.
Optimal body spray placement should cover your entire body with water regardless of the direction you are facing. One good strategy is to install the body sprays on the wall opposite the showerhead. Remember to keep them facing away from the shower door! Aiming body sprays at the shower door may cause leaks. This might be obvious but just be cognizant that horizontally mounted body sprays shoot the water out at a different angle than a normal showerhead. If you have an open area facing the spray jets, they will fill it with water. This is definitely something to add to the shower body jets pros and cons list!
Typically, if you have a Delta full body shower system with 3 body sprays heads, they will be installed in a vertical line (with pressure loop). Anytime you have more than 2 Body spray jets for shower running off a single diverter port, the installation will require a pressure loop (more on this later). A pressure balancing loop ensures that all of the body sprays have equal flow, pressure, and temperature.
The fixtures themselves are certainly important when it comes to a shower system with body sprays. This article primarily focuses on how to install and plan the layout for your shower fixtures and body sprays, but a custom shower means more than just the spray outlets and plumbing controls. There are several other aspects that need to be taken into consideration to make sure you get the best experience possible from your shower system with body jets. When planning your shower, make sure to also consider your water heater and pressure, the placement of the shower drain, and whether or not you'll want a shower bench (and how that might affect body spray placement). Also, take a look below at some of Delta's suggestions for getting the best results from your shower system with body sprays.
If you go to all the trouble and expense of installing a custom shower system with body sprays, the last thing you want is a weak, cold shower. Hot water supply and water pressure are 2 critical elements to making sure your custom rain shower body spray combo system will be great.
A shower system with body sprays uses more water than a normal shower faucet. This means it also uses more hot water than a normal shower faucet. It's a good idea to plan for the increased hot water demand a shower system with wall jets will place on your water heater. Your shower mixing valve has both a hot and cold input. To make warm water, you typically use a mix of about 70% hot and 30% cold water. So if you add up the gallons per minute (GPM) used by all the spray outlets of your shower and multiply by 0.7 you'll get an estimate as to the amount of hot water your custom shower system will need per minute. Make sure to consider that your master shower may not be the only fixture in your home putting demands on the water heater at the same time. If you want to avoid your shower getting lukewarm towards the end, make sure you have a large enough hot water heater. It may also be worth discussing the installation of a tankless hot water heater with your plumber. Tankless water heaters allow for an endless supply of hot water and are a good option for shower head body spray systems with hand shower. Please Note, Delta specifically states in their FAQs that a tankless water heater may cause pressure issues when using a pressure balanced valve. This can be mitigated by making sure you have a shower system with thermostatic shower cartridge, but make sure to talk to your plumber to determine what is best for your job as it may be you will also need some sort of pressure booster for best results.
Delta recommends you only install a shower system if you have 80 PSI coming into your home although 60 PSI should still be sufficient in most cases. If you have less than 80 PSI, it could be worth considering adding a pressure booster to make sure the experience is what it should be. Especially when it comes to shower systems with body spray jets, you really want to make sure the water pressure is good or else a lot of the massaging benefits are lost. When planning your shower system, it's important to calculate the total water demands of each spray outlet and make sure the pressure put out by your valve will be enough. This literally means you find out the maximum flow rate of your showerhead, body sprays, hand shower, etc. and calculate the theoretical maximum water demands. Then, you make sure the valve and shower cartridge you install will put out enough water to accommodate these demands. Our pre-built shower systems have all been optimized with water pressure in mind, but if you are building your own, make sure to take water pressure into consideration! See the helpful image below which illustrates the flow rates at different PSI for various Delta shower rough-in valves and shower cartridge combinations.
Systems with body spray shower jets use a lot of water. With the shower jets and heads running at the same time, you'll be using 2 to 4 times more water than a standard shower. This means you'll have 2 to 4 times the amount of water to get rid of. Even the best shower systems with body sprays are worthless if they cause a flood in your bathroom, so don't let that happen! Make sure to tell your installer you plan to have a custom shower system with body sprays. When your installer is framing your shower, they need to make sure there will be adequate drainage. A shower system either demands a special larger drain (with corresponding hole in the ground) or space for 2 standard drains. Remember the above tip and don't put the drain directly under a rain showerhead. Best to have a large drain at one end of the shower with the floor sloping slightly downwards toward the drain. It's a good idea to have the drain opposite the shower door to help prevent water from leaking out. Often the drain plan must be customized to suit the job specifics so this is not a universal one-size-fits-all kind of product. Talk to your plumber and they will help make sure you get the proper shower drain set-up for use with your custom shower body sprays system.
What's better than a custom shower with luxury showerheads body sprays and a hand shower? How about enjoying it while sitting down! Shower kits with body jets are great for relaxing in a shower. If you do plan to add a shower bench to your design, make sure to think about how best to enjoy your body sprays while seated. Aiming a body spray or two at your lower back or calves while seated can be both relaxing and invigorating. Consider placing the diverter and mixing valve controls near to the bench so you can reach them while seated. A hand shower is also a wonderful addition when you have a shower bench. Life can be hard! So grab a seat in your relaxing spa style shower system and wash away the worries of the day. A Delta custom shower system with body sprays gives you the at home luxury you deserve!
Water pressure is VERY important if you want a good experience with a Delta full body jetted shower. Delta body spray showers require a lot more water than a standard shower faucet. Delta explicitly states that if the water pressure in your home is under 45 PSI, you should not install a shower system without adding some kind of pressure booster. 80 PSI is recommended for the optimal experience. Shower systems should not be installed on a well as the water pressure delivered by a well system is not adequate for meeting the demands of a custom shower system with body sprays. We do not want you to be unhappy with the outcome so please take these warnings seriously!
Additional helpful information can be found by reading through Delta's frequently asked questions about showers.
It is against the law to remove a flow restrictor from any shower head or shower spray device. Delta strongly recommends you do not remove the flow restrictors in any fixture used as part of your body spray shower system. Removing the flow restrictor may upset the balance of the water flow, negatively impact the system performance, and invalidate the Delta lifetime warranty.
Make sure to follow all local plumbing codes. Shower systems use a lot of water and this water usage may go over the maximum allowed in your city, county, or state. Make sure to use an experienced installer and check all local codes regarding water usage before installing a shower system with body sprays.
If you plan a shower system with multiple mixing valves, do not Tee off from the 1/2" water supplies to supply water to the second valve. More on this later in our section about Custom Shower Systems with 4 Spray Outlet Groups. Each valve should be connected to the main hot and cold water supply directly. Also note, if you add multiple elbows to direct the water flow, this may decrease the water pressure. Try to avoid introducing extra unnecessary bends into the piping.
Not only does Delta make some of the best fixtures for custom shower systems with body sprays, they also are a wealth of product knowledge. Delta knows the ins and outs of their fixtures better than anyone. Their customer service reps are highly trained, and even with our 40+ years of experience in plumbing, at FaucetList.com we STILL call Delta every now and then to ask how something works. If you are installing a Delta shower system, a chat with an experienced Delta rep can be super helpful. Furthermore, Delta customer service is available 6 days a week to help you troubleshoot any problem that may arise. Delta products are backed by a lifetime manufacturer's warranty so if anything ever goes wrong and you need a replacement part, look to Delta. They provide stellar service and we are super confident recommending Delta due to the many many positive interactions we have had with them.
We will start by explaining a shower and body spray systems installation. In this custom Delta shower system, there is a standard wall mount showerhead, 3 body sprays (all plumbed on the same wall), a mixing valve, and a diverter valve. It's worth noting again that the information below is specific to Delta. Some of it may be applicable to other brands, but not all information is going to be universal. A Bit further down we will talk about how the plumbing needs to be modified if you want to add a 4th body spray, so make sure to keep reading!
Starting with the simplest example of a shower head and body spray kit is a good place to begin. Once you understand the rough plumbing for the system shown above, you will be able to create more complex custom showers. A shower unit with 3 body jets and shower head only is the easiest to understand initially. Later we will discuss adding a 4th body spray and a hand shower. Further down we will also discuss the option of adding a tub spout. It's important to really understand how a Delta Diverter is designed to function if you want to get this right. An experienced plumber will save you from countless potential pitfalls so we always recommend using a professional installer for best results.
Running the hot and cold water lines is the same for a shower with jets and shower head as it is for a normal Delta shower faucet. All Delta universal shower valves work with 1/2" pipe and support 3 connection types: IPS, PEX, and UNIVERSAL. This means you can run your water lines basically any way you want. You might want to consider adding stops to your hot and cold water lines if code in your area requires it. Your hot and cold water lines can come up from the floor (as shown in the picture above) however you can just as easily have them come in through the walls or even the ceiling. This is something a professional plumber will be very experienced with as all shower faucets need water.
Much like the hot and cold water lines, Delta multi jet shower kits begin with a universal mixing valve. Jet spray shower systems start with the exact same mixing valve as any standard shower faucet. Typically it's best practice to install Delta's R10000-UNWSHF universal high-flow rough-in valve when building a custom shower system as it offers a slightly higher water output. However, the installation is the same as any normal R10000 series Delta shower mixing valve. Also, with Delta fixtures, it is actually the shower cartridge that has the most impact on the water flow. You can learn more in our Delta 17 vs 17T Cartridges Series Shower Cartridge Article.
One of the main advantages of the R10000-UNWSHF valve is it comes with the bottom (tub spout) port already pre-plugged. As it is designed for shower only installation (no tub spout), you do not need the bottom port. In a normal R10000 series mixing valve it would take an extra step to solder the bottom port closed for shower only installation. Later you will read about adding a tub spout which requires you to use a valve with an open bottom outlet port.
The basic overview for installation of the shower system mixing valve is you first connect it to the hot and cold water lines (method varies based on whether you have PEX, Copper, or Iron Pipe), and then run a pipe from the outlet port at the top of the mixing valve to inlet port at the bottom of the diverter valve. For greater detail, see Delta's installation instructions for How to Install an R10000 Series Universal Valve.
For the Delta shower head with body jets system illustrated above, you will need a 3-setting diverter trim kit. The Delta diverter valve accommodates both their 3-setting diverter trim kit and also their 6-setting diverter trim kit. The diverter valve has 4 ports. 1 inlet port and 3 outlet ports. With a 3-setting diverter trim kit, you only actually use 2 of the outlet ports. That may seem confusing! It's not really however once you understand a bit more. The 3-setting diverter trim has 2 individual and 1 shared setting. Outlet port 1 is directed up to the shower head. Outlet port 2 is directed to the body spray pressure loop. Outlet port 3, is capped or plugged, as it is will not be used in this type of shower system. Once finished, you will be able to turn on the showerhead only (setting 1), the body sprays (as a group) only (setting 2), or the body sprays and showerhead all at the same time (setting 3).
The diverter valve is connected by a pipe to the mixing valve. It accepts the input of warm water from the mixing valve and turns around and sends it out to the spray outlet groups. When installing a Delta shower jet system with 3 body sprays, you use one diverter outlet port to run a pipe to your body spray pressure loop (explained in the next section). The other outlet is run up to the shower head. The final outlet will be capped or plugged as it is not used for this configuration of shower set with body jets and showerhead only. Take a look at the full Delta R11000 Diverter Valve Installation Instructions.
The top outlet port on the diverter valve is typically used for running a pipe up to the showerhead. Whether you have a wall mount showerhead system or a ceiling mount showerhead system, you will need to run the pipe inside the wall to where you want that showerhead to be. Using our placement suggestions from before, run the pipe to a suitable position and "stub it out." Stubbing out a pipe is simple. It basically just means installing the pipe where you want it, and then putting protective plugs or caps on the end to keep debris out. When you are done running the pipe you should make sure to flush the lines and test the water flow. Once you know everything is good, you can safely cover the stub out. Stub outs are basically the end result of the behind the wall rough plumbing phase of the job. As you won't actually install the shower arm and head until the shower is tiled, you need the stub out to make sure the line doesn't get clogged in the interim. This is a small but very important step necessary in every shower system installation.
At this point you are ready to move on to creating the body spray pressure loop.
When considering how to plumb body sprays, it's not necessarily going to be exactly the same process every time. However, you can be sure of one thing: A pressure loop will be involved. Delta body spray shower systems sometimes have surface mount body sprays and other times utilize body sprays with some type of rough-in valve. To make things simple, we will discuss Delta surface mount body sprays and Delta Hydrachoice body spray systems separately. Regardless of which type of body sprays you are installing in your shower, for the best experience you need a pressure loop.
A pressure loop is literally a ring of piping with various fittings designed to keep the water from the diverter flowing at a constant rate to each body spray. This ensures each spray outlet will flow at a constant rate and at a constant temperature. The pressure loop takes the warm water from the diverter valve and splits it up, delivering it to each body spray. This provides the very best shower and body spray experience.
Pro Tip: Expert installers know about the necessity of a pressure loop and it is one of the reasons we think a pro is always worth it. If you have a less experienced person install your shower system and they forego the pressure loop, you may not find out until everything is tiled up and no changes can be made. At this point there is very little that can be done to fix your body spray pressure. Don't let this happen to you!
Some plumbers will ignore this recommendation, viewing a pressure loop as necessary only when there's a large distance between sprays. A common attitude is unless the shower system body spray heads are widely separated, a balancing loop is strictly cosmetic and serves no purpose. We disagree with this statement. Installing a pressure balancing loop will guarantee performance. A loop will ensure that each outlet delivers water at the same spray volume and temperature. It's true that additional time and materials may be required to create the pressure loop, but heed this quote from a well-regarded plumbing forum Terrylove.com.
"I suggest installing a pressure balance loop! From personal experience you can have one body spray with more water than another. The extra pipe and fittings are a lot cheaper than opening walls or tile to fix a unsatisfactory body spray system." - George the Plumber
The reason for running your full body shower jets on a loop has do with the concept of "flow optimization." Although your full body spray shower is a much simpler version, engineers use the same principles behind a pressure loop to optimize industrial HVAC and other factory processes. And if you're thinking, "This walk-in shower with jets guide is pretty complicated," well maybe so, but not nearly as complicated as the image to the left!
Borrowed from Ecosimpro.com: "The purpose of this user case is to study the pressure balancing and the flow distribution of an Essential Service Water System of a Nuclear Power Plant. The following figure shows the schematics diagram of the model."
So, when it's really important, like nuclear power plant important, they use a pressure loop. I know your rain shower head with body spray system having slightly different spray head pressure is not the end of the world. However, if you really want the best experience, why not follow the best engineering principles?
While preparing this guide to custom shower systems with body sprays we spent many hours doing the research. We found that all major manufacturers of shower system fixtures recommend the installation of body sprays with a pressure loop for best results. In Custom Shower System Guides produced by Delta, Brizo, Kohler, Danze, Moen, and other brands we see Pressure Loops recommended. These companies all have a vested interest in you having the best experience with their products. Make sure not to ignore this important step.
Now it could be that in some situations the flow rate is adequate, and there is no obvious benefit offered by a pressure loop. Even Delta has conflicting things to say regarding the necessity for pressure loops for shower systems with 3 or less body sprays that are installed "close" together. In some guides they say pressure loops for shower systems with 3 or less body sprays are optional, whereas in others they say they are required. At least they are very consistent that for shower system with 4 or more body sprays, it's an absolute requirement to use a pressure loop. This kind of information may be the source of some of the confusion found among installers.
Let us settle this argument. At FaucetList.com we have sold 1000s of custom shower systems with body sprays. We have heard all the good, bad, and everything in between from our customers. 95% of the time when we hear from a customer with body spray pressure issues, we find out they don't have a pressure loop. Or their installer has introduced some kind of fitting (like PEXB) that is restricting the flow. Unfortunately, once the wall is closed up there is not much that can be done (cheaply) to fix the issue. Although a pressure loop may seem like extra work and overkill, we think you'll be happiest with the results if you use one. We recommend using balance loops to help ensure that each body spray gets an equal amount of pressure. Without the balance loop, some sprays may have better flow than others. Don't forget to test the pressure before closing up the wall!
Pro Tip: At this time, we do not currently have any pre-built shower systems with 4 body sprays. This is because adding a 4th body spray to one of our existing shower systems with body sprays is easy. All you need to do is order the shower system package, plus one additional body spray. The plumbing will work as described below. No other modifications to the pre-built shower systems are necessary if you plan to plumb the 4 body sprays on a single pressure loop. If you are having trouble finding the listing for the body spray on its own, just contact us! Send us the title or a link to the shower system you are considering and ask us how to purchase a 4th body spray. We'll happily assist!
Some people think the best shower systems with body jets have not 3 but 4 body sprays. Typically it is not a problem to simply add a 4th body spray jet. Often a body shower jets system will have 2 body sprays on 1 wall, and 2 more body sprays on another wall. This, along with a full body spray shower head really engulfs you in water!
Jetted shower systems with 4 body sprays are not all that different from 3 body spray shower systems in basic principle. You still need your mixing valve and still need your diverter, but instead of creating a pressure loop for 3 body sprays, you will create 2 pressure loops, each with a group of 2 body sprays.
In the example installation image below, although there are 2 separate body spray pressure loops, all the body sprays will still function as a group as they are all powered by water coming from 1 diverter port. When you turn on the body sprays, all 4 will either be on or off at the same time. If you want independent control over a particular body spray or set of body sprays, you would need to assign each group its own diverter outlet port. Ultimately because the diverter only has a maximum of 3 outlet ports, most people plumb their body sprays as a group.
If you want all 4 body sprays to be installed in a line or on the same wall, no problem. It is definitely possible to create a single pressure loop for all 4 body sprays if you want to install them in a line. Just follow the same guidelines as seen in the 3 body spray shower system shown above but add an additional "level" to the loop structure for the 4th spray.
Pro-Tip: Delta does not recommend going above 4 body sprays as you may start to experience water pressure issues.
There is nothing more eye catching and appealing in a master bathroom than a large glass enclosed shower system! This luxurious suite features an Delta Ashlyn shower with jets and shower head. With two pivoting Hydrachoice body sprays on either side of the shower controls. this walk-in shower with jets provides a wide water spray output for a whole-body experience. These shower body jets mount flush into the wall and pop out once activated by water pressure. They are simply pushed back into the wall once the shower is complete. The Ashlyn thermostatic shower control allows each user to set a precise water temperature, while the separate Ashlyn diverter controls which spray outputs are run. Delta's exclusive Venetian Bronze finish seamlessly complements the bronzey brown floor tiles, while also standing out as the center piece against the off-white and pale green shower enclosure tiles. You simply cannot go wrong when choosing a delta shower with multiple body sprays!
In this section we will talk about adding a hand shower to your shower jets body sprays system. If you change your body spray shower diverter from a 3-setting to a 6-setting trim kit, and do not plug the 3rd outlet port of the diverter valve, you will be able add a Hand Shower Sprayer to your system. What you will end up with is a shower with 3 spray outlet groups: 1) A normal showerhead 2) Body sprays (plumbed as a group in a pressure loop) and 3) a Handheld Shower Sprayer. The 6-setting diverter will allow you to turn on any individual spray outlet group by itself, or run any 2 spray outlet groups together at the same time.
Hand showers are great for rinsing the shower after cleaning, showering when you don’t want to wash your hair, washing family pets or small children, and for directing the water to exactly where you need it. They can be mounted to the wall on a holder or a slide bar. The slide bar is a convenient way to change the height of the sprayer while keeping your hands free. When planning out your delta shower system with body sprayers and hand shower, you will need to decide where to run the pipe inside the wall, and stub it out for the hand shower drop elbow connection to supply water to the hand shower.
Due to the flexibility of a Delta shower system, you can change the positioning of the hand shower and the body sprays without much difficulty. Although our graphic shows the body sprays on the left and hand shower on the right, you can easily swap these spray groups and place them where it makes most sense for you. Delta shower systems with body jets benefit greatly from the addition of a hand shower. A hand shower sprayer is a versatile fixture that can easily double as a second showerhead when held in its bracket, but provides all the added benefits offered by also being detachable.
Pro Tip: Remember the 2 main adjustments necessary to add a hand shower to a shower system with body sprays. First, leave the 3rd outlet port on the diverter valve open (as opposed to plugging it). From that outlet port, simply run a pipe to where you want the hand shower sprayer to be and create a wall elbow stub out. Second, switch to a 6-setting shower diverter trim kit so you will be able to control all the spray groups.
The Delta Ara Collection shower with body sprays is the perfect choice for a modern master bathroom shower design. In this particular shower stall, the square shape of the body spray and diverter trims mimic the large rectangular tiles throughout the shower. A multiple jet shower system creates a relaxing home spa experience each time the sprays are engaged. Delta HydraChoice body sprays install flush into the wall, extend automatically with water pressure, and are easily pushed back into place when showering is complete. These unique shower components also offer multiple spray types with a simple change of the spray head. This master shower design also offers a balanced water output with the addition of a hand shower on the opposite side of the spray jets. This added functionality truly offers the most customizable shower experience every time! Delta's Stainless Steel finish is a classic choice for both modern and contemporary shower fixtures as it is timeless enough to last through multiple bathroom updates. Stainless Steel is also the ideal choice for homes with harder water as it is naturally spot resistant and easy to keep clean. This shower truly is the epitome of functionality and style.
The plumbing starts to get a little more complicated looking, but it's really not too bad. Instead of a single pressure loop, like the one shown with the 3 body spray jet shower system, in a shower system with 4 body sprays you will have 2 pressure loops, with 2 sprays each. All 4 sprays run off a single diverter port and function as a group.
The water flows from the same diverter outlet port and then the pipe is split, sending half the water to pressure loop 1 and half the water to pressure loop 2. The pressure balancing loops ensure that all 4 body sprays will flow at a consistent temperature and pressure. The body sprays will function as a unit and will either all be on or all be off at the same time. The other 2 spray outlet groups are the showerhead and the hand shower. Take a look at the graphics below which help illustrate the way you should run the pipes. Remember, these are CUSTOM shower systems and you can make changes that better suit your space. Understanding the way the fixtures all work together is the key. Once you see how everything connects, you can be creative with placement etc.
After successfully running the plumbing inside the wall, it's time to waterproof and tile. In this sense, a shower with body sprays system is no different than any other shower. As the focus of this article is on the design and installation of Delta shower jet systems and the fixtures required, we will not get into waterproofing and tile work. We will however touch on a few installation tips for the various trim kits and fixtures themselves which attach after you have tiled everything in.
Pro Tip: Regarding tiling, make sure you measure all trim kit escutcheon plates before you cut your tile. You want to make sure you have access to the valve through the tile, but you do not want the hole to be so big that the trim plate will not be able to cover it!
When installing your Delta shower system valve trim kits make sure to follow the specific instructions included in the box. Delta trim kits include the cartridge, and depending on what style of cartridge you get, the installation procedure will be slightly different. The trim kit connects to the valve by means of the cartridge, which acts as a bridge between the valve and trim kit. In a mixing valve trim kit, the cartridge is what actually helps regulate the water temperature and pressure. In the diverter trim kit, the cartridge is what allows you to choose your setting and diverts the water to the various spray outlets.
Pro Tip: Make sure you have flushed the water lines before installing the cartridges and trim kits! Inexperienced installers often skip this step, which can introduce debris into the cartridge. This can impede water flow and cause the cartridge, and entire shower system to malfunction. Make sure to flush and test all lines before installing the trim kits for best results.
Inside Delta shower faucets there is a small plastic gear-like part that installs underneath the mixing valve handle. This small part physically restricts you from rotating the handle beyond a certain point, protecting you from scalding hot water temperatures. When your plumber installs your shower trim kit, the rotational limit stop is set in place so that the water will be suitably hot. Failure to properly test the water temperature at this stage, could leave you with shower water that is either too hot or too cold. If this is the case, the rotational limit stop must be adjusted. If your shower is lukewarm, this is likely the culprit and luckily the rotational limit stop is quite easy to adjust. Take a look at the video below detailing just how easy it is. Note, most hot water heaters are set at around 120-degrees F. If you have tried adjusting the rotational limit stop and still find the water to be too cold, you may need to check there.
In our example shower system with body sprayers, you have seen an installation with a wall mount shower head. In a multi jet shower you have the body sprays that spray you horizontally but it's always good to have a regular showerhead as well. Remember too that it is also very possible to simply run the pipe up into the ceiling and install a ceiling mounted showerhead. Regardless, the installation process at this point, once everything is all tiled up, is quite straight forward. In the "open wall" stage of the shower system installation, there will be the stub out for the showerhead already in place. To install the showerhead, you wrap plumbers tape around the shower arm and screw it into the 1/2" female elbow you stubbed out earlier. Next, slide the shower flange over the arm to cover the hole in the wall. Turn on the water and check for leaks. If everything is good, use some silicon caulk to seal the flange to the wall. Finally, wrap some plumbers tape around the end of the arm and screw on the showerhead!
Depending on whether you have Delta surface mount body sprays or Delta Hydrachoice body sprays, the process of installing the finished fixture on your tile will be slightly different. Note, Delta does make one other style of body spray valve however it is much less common so for the purpose of this guide we will not address it. Always make sure to use a professional plumber and consult the specific installation instructions included with items physically in your possession. The information provided below is from Delta installation instructions as of February, 2020. Delta may make changes to their products or installation procedure in the future so please treat this as an installation guideline only and make sure to follow the paper instructions included with the fixtures during the actual installation.
For a Shower System with Showerhead, Body Sprays, and a Hand Shower, the installation of the trim kit components is the same as everything explained above, but you have the addition of a hand shower to install too. Installing the drop elbow and hand shower to go with your Delta shower system with jets is fairly straight forward. However, it does involve drilling the tile to mount the hand shower slide bar so this is another job for a professional.
In the rough plumbing stage a stub out was prepared for the drop elbow. A drop elbow or wall elbow is how the hand shower hose connects to the pipes inside the wall. If you recall, when you have a complete Delta shower system with body sprays, showerhead, and hand shower, all 3 diverter ports are utilized. One outlet port is for the shower head, one outlet port is for the body spray pressure loop, and the final outlet port is for the diverter. The pipe runs from the diverter valve to the drop elbow where water is fed to the hand shower sprayer via the hose.
Installing the drop elbow is quite simple. Install a 1/2" iron pipe nipple into the stub out so that the nipple extends past the finished wall no less than 1/4". Use Delta's installation tool for additional leverage and screw the supply elbow on to the nipple. Make sure the drop elbow is facing the downward position when you are finished.
Make sure to check all measurements before drilling! We recommend that the hand shower mounted bracket be placed so you can use the hand shower spray as a second shower head. Pencil mark exactly where you want your slide bar to go before you drill the tile. Make sure to use a drill bit designed for tile or you could damage your finished shower. Drill smaller holes first and then slowly enlarge as needed. Once the anchors are in place, you can attach your slide bar. If you happen to have a bathroom safety shower system with hand shower grab bar, make sure to follow instructions carefully. To support weight, the grab bar must be installed into wooden studs so additional planning may be necessary if you have this style of fixture.
This is probably the easiest step. Basically, you just screw one end of the hose into the drop elbow outlet port and the other end into the hand shower sprayer base. To avoid damaging the finish on your hose and hand shower, make sure to wrap with cloth or tape and only use a smooth jawed wrench. Do not overtighten. Once connected, you can place the hand shower sprayer into the mounting bracket on the slide bar and you're good to go!
Pro-Tip: There are 3 main rules for adding a tub spout. First, change the rough-in valve to a style with open port at the bottom. Second, do not plumb the tub spout off a diverter port. Third, you need a tub spout with a pull-up diverter.
A Shower system with body sprays and tub spout uses a different mixing valve than shower systems without tub spouts. If you recall from earlier, Delta shower systems typically include their High Flow Multichoice Universal Rough-in Valve (R10000-UNWSHF). This valve is great for a shower system without a tub spout, however it is problematic if you want to add a tub spout because the bottom port of the R10000-UNWSHF valve is permanently capped. Instead, switch to a Delta R10000-UNWS valve (without the HF in the part number). This style of valve has an open port at the bottom which can be used to connect the tub spout.
You might think you can install a tub spout off one of the diverter ports, however that is highly discouraged by Delta. The diverter actually limits the water flow making running a tub spout off a diverter port a bad idea. This limitation is small, and not enough to be noticeable when it comes to running a showerhead, even one that flows at 2.5 GPM. However, a tub spout will typically have a flow rate of around 10-20 GPM. If you run a tub spout off a diverter port, the water flow rate will be reduced and the time it will take to fill your tub will be much longer. This is not really a debate, Delta has flat out said not to do this, so we recommend you follow this suggestion for best results.
DO: Connect a tub spout with diverter to the rough-in valve. Then plumb the shower system as normal.
DON'T: Connect the tub spout to an open shower diverter port. Delta highly discourages this.
With a properly configured shower system with tub spout, the water will initially flow from the tub spout when you rotate the mixing valve handle to turn on your tub shower system. When you pull up on the tub spout diverter, the shower sprays will be activated. You will then be able to use the shower system diverter to select which shower spray outlet(s) you want to be running. Follow our suggestions and you'll end up with a custom shower system with tub spout that will work great!
Make sure to take a look at some of our pre-built shower systems with tub spout
If you want a Delta shower system with 4 spray outlet groups, such as 2 showerheads, a hand shower, plus a set of body sprays (plumbed on a pressure loop), you will need more than one mixing valve and diverter. The best way to think of this is that although all the fixtures are going in the same shower, from a plumbing standpoint, you will have 2 completely separate shower systems.
In our example, you would have Shower System 1, with a showerhead and 3 body sprays, installed on one shower wall. Then you would have Shower System 2, with a showerhead and hand shower, installed on another wall in the shower. These 2 walls would ideally be close enough to allow you to operate both shower systems at the same time. For example, installing both shower systems where the 2 walls meet in a corner can work well. Another option might be to use too opposing walls that are close enough together to allow the sprayheads from both shower systems to reach you when you stand in between the walls (an example like this is shown in the video below)
With one of these configurations you would be able to turn on all 4 spray outlet groups at the same time. Shower System 1 would have the setting options: showerhead only, body sprays only, or both showerhead and body sprays at the same time. Shower System 2 would have the setting options: showerhead only, hand shower only, or both showerhead and hand shower at the same time. So you can see, if you activate all spray functions for both Shower Systems 1 and 2, all 4 spray outlet groups will be flowing at the same time!
BIG NOTE: This type of double shower system really demands an experienced plumber for best results. Make sure that each shower system is connected to the main hot and cold water lines independently. If instead you "T" off a single set of 1/2" hot and cold water supply lines, and then try to run 2 mixing valves from one split line, your results will be poor as you will be effectively cutting the available water pressure in half. Instead, plumb each shower system off separate hot and cold water lines, each of which connects to the main water supply. Do not ignore this advice!!
Who says it is only acceptable to install only one shower system in a large shower stall? In this stunning design we see not one but two captivating Delta Addison body spray shower systems. The most eye-catching function of this dual setup is probably the multiple Delta shower jet systems. Not only are there four surface mount body sprays installed with a large wall mount rain shower head, but this system also features two large massaging surface mount jet sprays on the opposite wall for added functionality! These separate body jets are mounted above a built-in bench, providing a relaxing home spa retreat space within the shower. Delta's surface mount body spray jets adjust 30 degrees up or down for a more customized water spray. They also feature Delta's Touch-Clean soft rubber nubbins that are easily cleaned with the swipe of a finger. The exclusive Delta Champagne Bronze finish complements the iridescent tile accent stripe, while also giving the shower stall an enhanced luxury feel. This shower system utilizes a 3-setting diverter and also a 6-setting diverter, along with 2 mixing valve controls to power all spray outlets. This is a good example of what you can do in a Delta custom shower when you fully understand how the components work.
We have compiled some of the most common questions we are asked about shower systems with body sprays. In this section we do our best to address specific questions and provide quick answers. You can always Contact Us if you have any other questions or need further help.
It depends on which specific body sprays you have as not all Delta body sprays are the same. The Delta Surface Mount Body Sprays (Delta Model 50102) have a total adjustment of 30 degrees up and down/vertically. Delta Hydrachoice Body Sprays can be adjusted 50 degrees in any direction once they have come out of the wall.
Delta Hydrachoice body sprays do NOT retract automatically. You need to push them back into place. This is because they are hydro-powered, so when you turn the water on, the hydro-power allows them to automatically come out from the wall. But when you turn the water off, you will no longer have any power and must push the spray heads back into the wall.
Delta Hydrachoice Body Sprays have several different sprayhead options, each of which produces a different water spray pattern. Take a look at the image below to see how the spray patterns differ for the Hydrachoice invigorating, massaging, full body spray, and soothing options.
The soothing head provides a gentle wave pattern of water, the massaging head sends out waves water that converge in a hydro massage, the invigorating head uses more forceful streams of water, and touch clean full spray pattern similar to a standard shower head spray with directed lines of water.
Body Sprays can be mounted anywhere in your shower system, however they must be plumbed in a pressure loop so the water spray temperature and pressure will be well balanced. You also should consider placing them such that they will not spray toward the shower door so that all the water remains in your shower!
While theoretically it may be possible to install body sprays in the ceiling (depending on the specifics of your job), for most ceiling mount installations, it's a better idea to simply use a normal rain showerhead with a ceiling mount shower arm.
This greatly depends on your water pressure. You definitely would want to consider your body spray positioning so they will not be aimed at the shower door or any other opening where they could spray out into the room. At 60 PSI, Delta estimates the body spray will spray water around 3 feet before it starts dropping off. As discussed before, we recommend 80 PSI for your shower system with body sprays, so it would likely be closer to 4 feet at that pressure.
First off, it's best to think about body spray height as relative to how tall the users actually are. If you plan to have a bench for seated bathers, make sure to take that into consideration as well. Typically, the lowest level body spray is placed at knee or thigh height. The mid-level body spray will be placed at waist or hip level. The top-most body spray is usually placed at shoulder or upper-back height. If there are going to be users with great height differentials, be thoughtful with your body spray placement and take everyone into consideration.
All standard showers consist of a mixing valve, a mixing valve control handle, a showerhead, arm, and flange. If you have a shower system with body sprays, an extra showerhead, a hand shower, or any other extra spray outlet you will need a few more parts. Namely, you will need a diverter so you can actually send water to all the spray outlets and control them independently. This article has gone in depth on all the fixtures required.
If you were to filter all Shower Systems on FaucetList.com that contain body sprays, the least expensive at the time of writing (February 2020) is around $800 where as the most expensive is around $2600. The reason this varies so much based on other factors such as brand, finish, style, types of other spray outlets, shower cartridge, number of body sprays etc. The body sprays themselves are really just not the most expensive part of a shower system. Remember that the cost of a shower system is more than just the cost of the fixtures. You have to consider the labor required for installation as well. The good news is that a shower system can be a great way to add value to your home should you ever choose to sell, plus they are very enjoyable to use on a daily basis. Having an amazing shower is totally a splurge-worthy section of your home renovation, as it's something you will get tons of use out of!
Short answer: no. Longer answer: maybe. Again, it depends on how you run your plumbing and what sorts of controls your plumber builds in. It would theoretically be possible to run all body sprays off their own individual mixing valve which could give you control over the water pressure, and therefore the flow rate of the body sprays. However, that's probably not something most people will do as it introduces plumbing complications and cost. You can also adjust the body spray flow rate by simply looking at, and comparing different fixtures. For example, most of Delta's surface mount body sprays flow at 1.75 GPM each, whereas Delta Hydrachoice Body Sprays flow at 1 GPM each.
Prevention is your first line of defense against water spots on your shower system fixtures. Gently blot any water from the fixtures surface after each use. Allowing water to evaporate on the surface of your shower fixtures can lead to a buildup of mineral deposits. To remove soft water spots, use warm water and a soft, damp cloth and wipe them away. If you have hard water spots, you can try a solution of 50/50 white vinegar and water. Check out all of Delta's Faucet Cleaning Tips.
Because our office is located in California, we are quite familiar with the water usage rules here in the state of CA. California has some of the strictest water usage legislation in the country. Due to the drought in recent years, California legislation has become even stricter. Currently, the California Energy Commission (CEC) maintains a list of approved showerheads allowed for sale in CA. Under title 20 regulations, shower heads must flow at 1.8 gallons per minute (GPM) or less. Furthermore, California code has language regarding shared function showers that basically prevents the installation of shared function shower systems with body sprays.
California demands that the total flow rate of all running spray outlets to not exceed 1.8gpm at any given time. This is particularly problematic for shower systems with body sprays. Even though Delta Hydrachoice body sprays flow at just 1gpm and are technically allowed, if you were to have more than 1 running at the same time, you would be in violation of the 1.8 GPM maximum rule, and would likely not pass inspection.
In addition, you would not be able to run a showerhead and a body spray together at the same time as you would almost certainly exceed the 1.8gpm maximum with both flowing together. These rules virtually eliminate all benefits of a shower system with body sprays. If you can't run multiple body sprays at the same time, and also can't run even a single body spray at the same time as a showerhead, then the possible spray outlet combinations are just not very appealing. As unfortunate as it may be, if you plan to install a shower system with multiple body sprays in California in 2020, you will likely not be code compliant.
If you would still like a shower system and live in California, we recommend you give up the idea of having body sprays and perhaps instead go with a non-shared diverter shower system with showerhead and hand spray only as outlined in our Hand Shower and Showerhead System Article.
It is sometimes difficult to create a luxury home spa without adding too many modern elements in a traditional and rustic home design. The Delta Cassidy Collection is the ideal choice in achieving the perfect stylish and functional retreat in your classically designed master bathroom! A Cassidy dual jet spa shower system with showerhead and hand shower is not only sophisticated, but the exclusive Venetian Bronze finish gives this unique shower system an antiqued farmhouse feel. The Cassidy h2Okinetic shower head boasts one of the most luxurious shower experiences, while the additional body sprays and hand shower mounted on a slide bar allows each user to completely customize their shower preferences each time. As with the previously highlighted shower systems, these Delta HydraChoice body jets adjust 50 degrees in all directions once activated, allowing for even greater functionality!
Large white subway tiles are often used in contemporary and farmhouse style master bathrooms. This Delta Stryke Collection gold shower with spray jets and hand shower is the perfect choice for a transitional style with added luxury! The exclusive Champagne Bronze finish is not only sophisticated and high-end, but it is also incredibly durable and easy to clean. In keeping with the easy durability, Delta's flush mount body sprays include rubber TouchClean nubbins that conveniently wipe clean with a single finger. It doesn't get much easier than that! This stunning Stryke shower system also includes an integrated diverter control, allowing for complete shower control in one easy to use control. The addition of a Stryke hand shower balances the extra water output functions for a complete and relaxing shower experience. This system is not only brilliant, but also highly functional and unique!
Nothing suits a modern master bathroom suite than a Delta Trinsic shower system with body sprays! The round spray heads complement Trinsic's signature round diverter trim, shower head, and hand shower, while the square outer trim shape allow the Delta HydraChoice flush mount body jets to stand out as center piece fixtures in this custom shower system. These particular body sprays include Delta's massaging spray heads, and a 50-degree rotation, providing a custom and relaxing full body shower experience. Delta's exclusive Matte Black finish is the perfect choice in complementing the modern herringbone style grey marble shower tiles. Matte Black is also one of Delta's most durable and easily cleaned finishes, making this shower system with water jets both stylishly functional and long lasting!
Delta's Polished Nickel finish is the perfect choice for an elegant shower system that includes a Cassidy rainfall shower with jets and a hand spray. The Delta Cassidy Collection boasts soft curving lines that mimic the softness of the female silhouette, and these stunning fixtures also include a classic style that pairs well in both a traditional and luxurious bathroom design! This master bathroom suite showcases uniquely placed Cassidy shower jets, allowing for a full body spray once the jets are engaged. Including a hand shower installed on a slide bar is an easy way to customize the showering experience for each user. As you can see here, Delta's exclusive Brilliance Polished Nickel finish sparkles as the light shines on each curve, giving an expensive feel without compromising functionality and endurance. Cassidy's rounded Hydrachoice body sprays offer pivoting spray heads that use hydro-power to pop out of the wall automatically!
There are 3 major players in the plumbing fixture world. There are many many other smaller brands but in terms of size, Delta, Moen, and Kohler are the largest and most well-known. All three companies have been around a long time and all 3 make good quality products. Cost, style, and installation specifics may be different, but the quality is very comparable. All 3 major companies offer lifetime warranties on most of their products and have replacement parts easily available.
We are partial to Delta because we feel that from a technical standpoint, their valves are the easiest and most intuitive to install. Delta mixing valves are universal, and Delta has put a great deal of thought into designing the way their shower systems work. They make installation about as simple and easy as it can get.
For some context, on what we mean by "simple" take a look at the video below. You will see the installation of a Moen Shower System with hand shower sprayer. Most of the video is actually more or less applicable to Delta. However, if you watch the part that shows how the diverter valve is installed in this video, you will see that Delta makes their diverter installation WAY easier than Moen.
At around the 10:50 minute mark in the video, the plumber shows how the Moen transfer valve (their equivalent of a diverter) must be positioned further back in the wall than the mixing valve. He accomplishes this with a set of pipes and elbows. Later, around the 14:00 minute mark, he goes on to show how without a port at the top (like the one Delta diverter valves have!) he again needs to use a set of elbows to redirect the pipe straight up to the showerhead. This is very complicated compared to Delta! Also, remember our warning from before. Introducing elbows and bends in the pipe can lower water output so it's not exclusively a problem with installation complexity. Good flow rate and water pressure are fundamental for the function of a shower system.
Note how in this video, you see the way a true professional knows to consider things like making sure the trim kits will be level with the tile on the finished wall. This requires the diverter to be set back at a much earlier stage in the installation. This type of knowledge is gained over years of real experience and it's why we recommend you use a professional for optimal results. We have no affiliation with this installer but he seems to really know his stuff!
When comparing a Delta shower system with jets to a Kohler multi head shower system, it is important to note the cost difference. From a quality standpoint, a Delta shower system will be every bit as good as a Kohler shower system but will be a fraction of the cost. If you plan to deck out your entire bathroom with matching fixtures like tub fillers, faucets, accessories, etc. Kohler will run up the bill quick. Delta has many great collections all with lifetime warranties and replacement parts availability so we feel they are a smarter choice!
Furthermore, Kohler makes all kinds of other products like generators, toilets, and tubs so their focus is in many different areas. Delta is laser focused on Shower Systems. Delta showers in particular, are at the cutting edge of both style and functionality. Earlier in this article you read a lot about the innovative products and features Delta has introduced in recent years. All of these products have further cemented their lead in the Shower System game. Since we do this for a living, I can't tell you how common it is these days to notice a Delta shower system featured on HGTV. Long story short, Kohler is fine but Delta is GREAT!
If you were to learn one thing from this article, it would be to have a good deal of skepticism when dealing with a non-major brand, especially when it comes to shower fixtures. While the cost of a no-name brand shower system could be appealing up front, please consider the total cost of ownership. If you purchase a no-name import, you may find the warranty to be sorely lacking, and replacement parts to be difficult, or impossible to come by.
With a sink faucet, it's not such a big deal if something goes wrong. If you buy a cheap faucet and it breaks, oh well, it's easy to change. Showers, especially those with Body Jets are a very different situation. First off, if a shower has a problem, it can flood your home, causing tens of thousands in damage. The leak could be hidden inside the wall so you wouldn't even know about it. And speaking of walls, if you do need to fix your shower, it could involve ripping open the wall and tile to change out the valve if you are unable to get parts needed to fix an issue. So please please do yourself a favor. We like Delta fixtures best but we highly recommend you stick to a major brand for anything shower related. We've seen enough problems over our 40+ years in the plumbing industry to tell you that if the price looks too good to be true...
The Stryke Collection is one of Delta's most versatile collections for the bathroom. With fixtures to suit both your modern and contemporary master bathroom design, this transitional collection offers an array of sophisticated shower options including this Stryke shower system with body jets. Stryke shower fixtures feature Delta's H2O Kinetic technology which uses a unique wave water pattern that gives the feeling of more water without actually using more water. This shower with jets and shower head also includes a Stryke hand shower for an additional water output function. Stryke's integrated shower control allows each user to set the water temperature, pressure, and water output function with one sleek and convenient shower control. The high contrast of the easy to clean Matte Black fixtures and bold turquoise shower tiles make this luxurious shower stall an eclectic oasis! The additional two flush mount body spray jets pop out of the wall when the water is activated, and allow for a 50-degree pivot of the soothing spray heads. With a highly transitional yet elegant style, and multiple water spray outlets, this Stryke shower and body spray system is the ideal choice for home luxury!
The Delta Dryden Collection is one of Delta's most unique collections. The Art Deco design is well suited for both a modern or contemporary master bathroom style. This one-of-a-kind shower stall features a Delta Dryden complete shower system with body sprays and a hand shower. The bronze body spray shower jets are surface mounted, and can be aimed 30 degrees up or down, providing a customized shower experience for each user. With multiple water spray outputs, the Dryden 6-setting diverter allows two water sprays to run at the same time. The exclusive Venetian Bronze finish seamlessly complements the eclectic tile and wallpaper of this master bathroom suite with a slight antique touch. In keeping with Delta's reliable durability and simplicity, this Dryden shower head with body sprays is incredibly spot resistant and easy to keep clean with a simple wipe with a soft cloth. You cannot go wrong with choosing a system like this!
In a contemporary master bathroom suite, the shower fixtures are often the center piece. A Delta HydraChoice shower system with Showerhead and Hand Shower is the perfect choice for a striking addition to this already stunning tiled shower stall. The Delta Pivotal Collection highlights the bold angles and clean lines of architecture throughout the world, making it the ideal collection for nearly any home design! This system features multiple water spray outlets controlled by a Delta diverter and thermostatic control, allowing each user to choose both the specific water sprays and temperature for a precise shower experience every time. HydraChoice spray heads offer a 50-degree pivot in all directions, and multiple spray options with a simple swap of the round spray head. Choosing a hand shower mounted on a slide bar offers additional functionality and customization. This massaging body shower system also features Delta's exclusive Polished Nickel finish, giving the contemporary shower stall enhanced luxury and shine. Blending form and function, a Pivotal shower system with sprays is an excellent choice for an impeccable master bathroom suite!
A Delta Shower System with Body Sprays is sure to be a stunning addition to any master bath. Shower Systems are an investment in your home. Not only can an amazing walk-in master shower increase the value of your home, but it is truly a pleasurable experience that you get to enjoy on a daily basis! Delta shower systems are high quality and look great, but they take a skilled and knowledgeable installer to get the best results. This article is written to be as thorough as possible, but there are still variables we were not able to cover. This is not a simple DIY job and a professional installer is the best way to ensure you end up with an amazing shower!
We wrote this article not to be a shower system installation guide (although there is a lot of information about installation), but more to be a design guide to help you plan an amazing custom master shower system! Your installer may be the one to physically put it all together, but with a bit of product knowledge, you can plan everything out! At FaucetList.com we have more than 40 years of experience in the plumbing industry and we have spent many hours creating this extensive resource. Hopefully after reading this article (if you made it this far!) you will have all the knowledge you need to purchase the fixtures necessary to design the custom body spray shower system of your dreams. It's called a custom shower system for a reason. These fixtures can be installed in nearly endless ways and combinations. Once you understand the basics, you can make your shower unique and the envy of even an HGTV designer!
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Not sure where to get started? Take a look at our Delta Shower Systems Category Page where you can start shopping. View more information about Delta Faucets, or take a look at our Finish and Style guides below!
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