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Bathroom Remodel - Moving Shower Head to Ceiling


jeffsinpdx's Avatar
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04-16-18, 08:08 PM   #1  
Bathroom Remodel - Moving Shower Head to Ceiling

Quick question. I've done a few bathroom remodels, but on this one, my wife was discussing maybe doing the option of moving the plumbing from the interior wall for a traditional shower, up into the ceiling joists and having it pour down from a ceiling mounted shower head.

My only concern is that you don't see many installations like this, and I'm just wondering if I should be taking external factors into consideration. It's a traditional setting in that it's the upper story on a 2-story home. It has standard ceiling joists with pink insulation in the 16" spaces. It has an attic that tapers down with the roof, and this shower would be close to an outer wall, so likely only about 2' of space above the joists to the roof, and the vents to the outside are nearby since it's close to the edge. I'm assuming freezing won't be a problem as pipes running through ceiling joists aren't that rare. But wondering if I'm missing anything since it is pretty non-traditional and not sure what I don't know. Thanks!

 
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04-16-18, 11:18 PM   #2  
I've only seen it once, and I think there's a reason that it's not very common. It makes it hard to stand away from the water when you might want to, like to soap up or shampoo. If you really want to try it, you could install a diverter and have two shower heads. I think the ceiling one would see very little use.

 
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04-17-18, 06:43 PM   #3  
Putting shower supply lines in an exterior wall and then running it up into the attic, is always risky. Best to flip the orientation of where the supply lines are on the opposite wall and then go up in to the attic crawl where you have room to wrap the pipe with foam and then cover with your pink insulation.

 
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04-17-18, 09:27 PM   #4  
Thanks Steve, that's a pretty good idea. Might be a nice touch as well.

 
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04-17-18, 09:30 PM   #5  
Thanks czizzi. And actually, it won't hit an exterior wall. The shower is facing another interior bedroom wall (IE - if standing in the shower looking at the supply lines, the exterior wall would be directly to your right. So I would only be going up through an interior wall and into the crawl space. So I think I'm good. Was more curious why I didn't see more installs like that. But maybe Steve's point makes sense. A diverter so you're not forced to get rained on at all times.

 
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04-18-18, 07:29 PM   #6  
Yes, go with a multi port diverter so that you can have a normal shower or handheld and also switch to the rain head when needed. The rough plumbing will need to be done with all drywall removed, both walls and ceiling so that your can run your pipe. Space will be tight, don't know how your solder skills are but they need to be fairly good to perform. I do not recommend shark bites and such in areas that will not be accessible after the build, I have seen these fittings fail.

 
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04-18-18, 09:37 PM   #7  
czizzi -- you've seen failed sharkbite fittings? Can you describe it a little more? Was it improper installation, an o-ring failure, or something else?

 
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Yesterday, 10:24 AM   #8  
After staying in a hotel room for a week with a swanky bathroom with a rain shower. It was awful. There was no pressure (like rain) so it was hard to get soap out of my hair, etc.

I would agree with the others and use a diverter valve for the option between the overhead rain head or a standard shower head.

Also presuming if you do this, the overhead pipe needs to be on the 'inside' side of all the insulation. You want to ensure your piping is on the warmer side, and not necessarily wrapped itself in insulation. Though if I did it, I would wrap it in foam pipe wrap to reduce the possibility of condensation.


Good luck... what's the worst that can happen?

 
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Yesterday, 02:41 PM   #9  
czizzi -- you've seen failed sharkbite fittings? Can you describe it a little more? Was it improper installation, an o-ring failure, or something else?
Was doing hotel renovations and had a plumber in to correct leaks in old copper, install new tub drains and set rough ins for showers. In the ceiling where he was repairing a leak that was to be sheet rock covered upon completion, I was surprised to see him use a sharkbite. I figured at the time that he knew what he was doing. The next day I came in and there was a puddle on the floor under his repair. Called him back and asked him to remove the sharkbite and solder the repair, which he did.

So, I would pre-solder a 90 degree elbow with extensions on both sides and thread it through the hole in your top plate and then solder a coupling to both wings to make your eventual connections to your supply and your drop ell stub out for your rain head.

 
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