How to Install a Handheld Shower with Slide Bar?

(Last Updated On: November 17, 2018 )

Are you in the quest to better your shower experience? Well! Fret not! With simple modifications in the bathroom, it is possible to add fun and versatility to your bathroom. One of the modifications that are easily possible is replacing standard and fixed-head shower-head with a completely adjustable shower with slide bar. This new type of shower is cleverly designed and usually comes with a 24- inch vertical bar which will mount on the tub bar. The handheld sprayer will be there which connects to the water supply pipe through steel hose. The sprayer will get a clip on to the adjustable slide-lock fitting. This can take any position along the bar meaning you can customize its position to suit your own comfort!

The main reason behind the popularity of the slide bar showerheads is that it easily gets adjusted for people of any height. Along with this, there are few more reasons for its popularity. The handheld sprayer can be used even to wash kids hair, rinse the tub walls, shampoo pets since it can be lifted from the slide bar and utilized in difficult angles.

With all these benefits, they are available in a wide price range. Slide bar shower heads available from $200- $800. The price may vary based on features, finishing, and manufacturer/brand. If you're shopping online these are available for a cheaper price as well.


Let’s look into the steps needed to install the handheld shower with slide bar.

  • 1
    When installing a handheld shower with slide bar, the first step is to remove the existing showerhead.
  • 2
    Take a pipe wrench. Lock this to the pipe which is extended from the shower wall.
  • 3
    Now the wrench should be positioned very close to the wall and do not keep it near showerhead.
  • 4
    To loosen the pipe, start rotating the wrench in a counterclockwise direction very carefully to make sure you don't damage anything.
  • 5
    Once the pipe is loose, just remove wrench. Now using yours hands unwind the pipe the rest of the way.
  • 6
    Now take a brass nipple which is half inch diameter and half an inch long. This should be purchased separately. Take Teflon tape and wrap this around both the ends of the brass nipple.
  • 7
    To the pipe stub out in the wall, thread the nipple. It's important to ensure that you don't cross the threads as that can cause leakage.
  • 8
    Using a pipe wrench, tighten the nipple. Make sure the nipple is protruding almost 9/16 inch from the shower wall.
  • 9
    Now take the wall supply elbow which is part of new showerhead and thread onto the nipple. Now using a thick cloth cover the elbow.
  • 10
    Take a pipe wrench and use this to tighten the elbow into the nipple. Here the cloth helps in preventing the scratches that could happen by wrench on the wall supply elbow.
  • 11
    Now the best part, mounting the slide bar. Here mount the piece which allows the new handheld shower to adjust up and down. Mounting bracket must be pushed into both the end of the slide bar.
  • 12
    Now against the shower wall, hold the slide bar. Here bottom end should be held at least 52 inches above tub floor, depending on your height.
  • 13
    Use a level and check slide bar for plumbing. Now mark the position for screw holes. This must be right for lower and upper mounting brackets.

In case the tub walls are made of tiles, then one must use a hammer along with a nail. This is used to mark the screw hole. Now drill once you've done that, next you need to drill the holes. In case the shower walls are made of acrylic, fiberglass, or solid surface material, then bore the holes using a twist drill bit.

If it is possible to hit the wall stud, then use stainless steel screws to attach the slide bar. In case if the holes are between studs, then you are lucky. Just use half inch diameter bit and enlarge screw holes.

Now insert hollow wall anchor like Toggler SnapToggle to every screw hole. Snap the end caps and conceal screw heads. Make sure you mount the brackets at bottom and top of the slide bar. Now finish the installation by attaching handheld, flexible shower hose to water supply elbow. Now put the showerhead into the adjustable slide lock mechanism.

Benefits of the handheld shower with slide bar:

When we use a handheld shower with slide bar, it makes easier

  • 1
    To complete bathing tasks just from the seated position
  • 2
    If one is bathing, it becomes much easier for the caregiver to assist them (great for elderly or disabled)
  • 3
    This can really help parents when they bathe children
  • 4
    It becomes burden free for pet owners when they bathe pets
  • 5
    After using the shower, this will help to rinse down the tub

Even though we feel that a handheld shower is a simple product, to our surprise it is available in different options, styles, and types. Among the different types, the available key difference we can make out is one in the design of the attachment like sink faucet, bathtub spout, shower arm, or diverted valve. Other key differences will be in parts included in the unit.

Since there is a wide range of options it is very important to choose the right type when it comes to the handheld shower. One must look into the features with more attention so that the chosen handheld shower will meet their needs.

Some handheld showers come with a design in which they operate by standard shower controls. These are usually present on the front of the wall. This is one common model. But there are handheld showers available which come with an on-off switch. This switch will be on shower head itself. This will be really convenient. So, when choosing it is important to look at the features beforehand so that you make sure you decide on the right product.

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