Showering with a foreigner
We’ve moved into our new home with 2 showers, and I did the thing everybody on HGTV gets excited about. Each shower area has a rain shower and a hand shower – 4 shower heads in total.
I bought 3 shower heads in North America. I ordered the one below from Speakman.
Speakman is an American shower company that is better known for the classic “normal” showers that appear in the US locations of major hotels (Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, etc.) .
Here are the Grohe rain shower and hand shower we installed in the upstairs bathroom.
Yes, super cool. The Rain shower attaches directly to the wall up high, and looks very modern and industrial. The hand shower feels like you’re being washed with a liquid donut. And the pressure in all of them was…ok.
What about the 4th one? I was going to buy a super cool hand shower in the USA to match the Speakman rain shower, but then I looked carefully at the specs. All the Grohe and Speakman showers in North America, in fact all brands of showers in North America, are not allowed to exceed a water pressure of 2.5 gpm (gallons per minute). This is based on a long-time EPA regulation.
Because of lower water pressures from the mains in Europe, there are no such showerhead regulations across the pond. So I installed my Oras Sensiva from Finland (the kind you find in any decent Finnish hotel room) into the 4th shower slot. The result: shower ecstasy. The high North American mains pressure and piping, combined with an unrestricted European shower, results in probably 5 or 6 gpm.
I know it’s irresponsible, but creating a cross-continent brand and standards mutation has resulted in my family probably having the cleanest and invigorated skin in Toronto.
We didn’t go as far as Kramer though, with his elephant shower from Sweden.
I’ve recently rented a flat in beautiful Harrogate and I’m going through shower culture shock. I have loved my Grohe (NOT Hans Grohe) for several years now and still get a smile on my face when I happen onto a hotel that uses them. But not in the UK. I have a “Triton” shower unit. I say unit because it is a PBX sized box in my shower that controls the flow and temperature and has a hardwired shower head attached. I don’t loath it, but I actively dislike it. In Finland I have a nice Grohe mixer that does the same job, but is not electric and is about a fifth of the size. I’ll be using the apartment for 6 months and I get to commute home every other weekend, so I’ll get by.
Good luck with the culture shock.