Can you Change the Shower Head in your Apartment? [+How to Guide]

Apartment living can be tough, especially if you have an older unit. One easy upgrade you can do yourself is to change the shower head in your apartment’s shower.

You may be asking: Am I allowed to change my apartment’s shower head?

Generally, yes. It’s a simple installation we will show you how to do all on your own below.

Why you should change the shower head in your apartment

  1. Low water pressure is the most common reason to change a shower head. Swapping your old shower head for a high-pressure shower head can help increase your water pressure without having to change anything else in the plumbing system. It’s not as big of a deal as not having hot water in your apartment, but it’s still worth addressing I’d say.
  2. Saving water is another reason you may want to swap out your apartment’s shower head. Pay attention to the water flow rate when looking at replacement shower heads so you can be sure to save water and money in the long run.
  3. Health reasons are another valid concern. If your landlord still has an ancient-looking shower head, there could be bacteria built up inside it over the years. Changing it can help eliminate bacteria in the water.

There are other reasons but those would be more of a landlord concern, such as a leaky shower head. That should be brought to the attention to the landlord if something is functionally wrong, or if you are concerned about the age and possible bacteria built up inside. Mention it to the landlord and you may just wind up getting a free new shower head that he or she installs for you.

Installing it yourself is actually super easy though! Rachel and I installed one in our first apartment and it was a breeze. We had just bought our first apartment to rent and noticed despite the new plumbing, the shower on the 3rd floor had pretty low water pressure. That’s when somebody told us about high-pressure shower heads.

Remember when you were a kid and would put your thumb over a water hose and all of a sudden the pressure was far greater? That’s basically the same idea as these little aftermarket shower heads.

can you change shower head in apartment

How to change the shower head in your apartment

Changing your apartment’s shower head is actually quite easy. You may want to mention it to your landlord and ask if it’s ok, but as a former landlord, I honestly wouldn’t care if somebody changed it out. It’s a pretty easy install so if somebody is confident in their ability to change it out I would trust them.

If you do have a valid concern for changing the shower head in your apartment, you can try mentioning it to your landlord to see if they would pay for it. You can get a really good one for less than $50, but free is so much better 😀

The best news is that shower heads are universal, so you shouldn’t have to worry about various sizes and getting the right kind for your shower. Here’s a video from Home Depot showing you the best way to do it.

How to change the shower head in your apartment

Total Time: 10 minutes

1. Prep the area

Place a towel over the shower drain and/or plug it up so that parts cannot fall down.

2. Loosen the old shower head

This can go smooth if it easily screws off, but you may need to use a grease spray like wd-40 or PB Blaster into the threads to loosen the connection. Wait a few minutes for it to fully penetrate the thread area.

3. Unscrew shower head

To be safe, wrap a towel around the shower arm and hold it in place with a wrench or pliers. With your other hand, use an adjustable wrench to turn the nut on the shower head counter-clockwise. Once it’s loose you can just use your hands to unscrew the old shower head from the arm.

4. Clean the threads

Clean the threads on the shower arm using something with hard bristles and then wiping with a clean cloth. If the new shower head mentions it, wrap the arm’s threads in Teflon tape clockwise. Only place this on the threads, any higher and you will be able to see it once installed.

5. Screw on your new shower head

Gently screw your new shower head onto the arm. You just need to hand tighten it until it fits snugly.

6. Turn on the water

Go ahead and run your shower to make sure there aren’t any leaks. If there are, you may need to tighten the head a bit more.

Check the video out just to make sure you are following the steps properly, even though it’s pretty easy, you definitely don’t want to skip any steps.

We’ve covered the gist of it all but here are a few other questions we’ve heard:


Can I just change my apartment’s shower head?

Yes, if you feel comfortable in your ability to change it, go for it! Like we mentioned earlier you may want to run it by your landlord just to be sure.

How do you remove a showerhead from an apartment?

Just unscrew the shower head from the shower arm. For a more detailed explanation, check out the video above to be sure you’re removing it correctly.

What do I need to know before changing my shower head in my apartment?

You’ll need the new shower head. To be safe, you may want a couple small towels and a couple adjustable wrenches in case your old shower head is too tight to manually unscrew. Also you may need a wrench to tighten the new shower head if it is leaking after being hand tightened.

What’s the best shower head for my apartment?

In my opinion, just search online for a well-reviewed high-pressure shower head. High pressure is the way to go!

About Chad & Rachel

Rachel and Chad have over 17 years of experience as both renters and landlords. They were tenants in 7 different apartments before becoming landlords of 9 apartments in Chicago. Renting apartments from landlords and being landlords themselves have helped them gain the knowledge that they want to share with renters. Whether you are at the beginning of your rental journey or in the middle of your lease and dealing with complex apartment issues, we are happy to help where we can. Read more about Rachel and Chad, or send a message using this contact form.

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