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by Justin Ball


How To Tell When Shower Head Parts Are Metal Or Plastic, Without Touching It!


We all love shopping from the comfort of our laptop or smartphone, but sometimes there just isn't enough information to give us that "touch and feel "in-store experience. And it couldn't be any more apparent than when assessing a Product's Materials, especially Shower Heads. The vast majority of questions around Shower Heads, is whether the Product is made from Plastic or Metal - which is seldom specified.

That's why we've made it a goal at The Shower Head Store to test each product, and document the material composition of each part on the Product Pages. So, what I'd like to do is equip you with information that will make you a pro at pinpointing Metal or Plastic parts, without ever having to feel or touch the products. That's how you'll find the most durable Shower Head for you!

Want to see the difference between metal and plastic durability, before we dive in? Check out this AWESOME video below.


Read on and discover the 5 Most Integral Parts and how to spot Metal or Plastic

In a rush and want a quick recap? Check of our All Metal Shower Heads at The Shower Head Store and rest assured that you're getting 100% Metal Components.

1. Threaded Connection Material

Whether the Product Page specifies it or not, this is certainly the easiest part to spot a Metal or Plastic Fitting. This part is what connects your Shower Head or Shower Holder to your Shower Arm. As a Plumber, this is a part that I simply cannot compromise on. That's because the Threaded Connections get the most wear, and have the highest likelihood of Cross Threading During Installation.

By choosing a Shower Head or Shower Holder that has Metal (Brass) Threads, you'll ensure that you're going to avoid Installation woes and have a longer lasting, leak-free Shower Head.


Plastic Threaded Connection Example

Moen Vitalize Rain Shower Head With Plastic Threads


Take a close look at the Shower Thread Connection. Can you see how there are many ridges on it? That's because it is made from Plastic, and is designed for Hand Tightening Only. Any time you see multiple ridges, or the threads in a different color than the body of the Shower Head, you can be sure it's made of Plastic.


Metal Threaded Connection Example


Speakman Fixed Shower Head with Brass Threads


This Speakman Shower Head on the other hand does not have those ridges. Instead it has a smooth surface with a deep indent on each side of the Shower Thread Connections. These types of fittings are designed for tightening with an Adjustable Wrench, which would only ever be recommended if the Material was durable enough to withstand such torque - that material being Metal.

If you still have any uncertainties, check the Shower Head Specifications section on our Product Pages and you'll see Threaded "Connection Material" stated like so:

Threaded Connection Identifier on Product Page

2. Shower Hose

Whether you're buying a Hand Held Shower Head Package or just a Replacement Shower Hose, it's important that you find one with a Metal Shower Hose. Metal, or Stainless, Shower Hoses are much more flexible than Plastic options and they will last much longer.


Plastic Shower Hose Examples


Waterpik Hand Held Shower Head with Plastic HoseDelta In2ition Shower Head with Plastic Hose


Let's start with the Hand Held Shower Head on the left. You can see from the image that the Chrome Shower Head has a Hose with black and chrome stripes. This striping is a dead giveaway that the Shower Hose is made from Plastic. Metal Hoses are going to be a solid color, as painting a Shower Hose is really not feasible - especially with 2 colors.

 This Shower Hose on the right, however, is a little bit trickier to pinpoint. What gives it's "Plastic-ness" away is (A) the very clean reflection and (B) the tiny but still present striping. Both of these hoses are trying to imitate the coiled look of a Metal Shower Hose, but it's either way to over-emphasized, or too flat in texture. 


Metal Shower Hose Example


HammerHead Hand Held Shower Head with Metal Hose


This is a clear cut, Metal hose featured in the HammerHead Shower Hand Held Shower Head Set. The first identifier that it's a Metal Hose is its consistent Chrome Color in the indentations. These indentations help for the Shower Hose to coil up or stretch out, and will not be discolored or colored if it's part of a Metal Hose.

Also, you'll see the small Threaded Nut. When you see this Hexagonal Nut on the Shower Hose, it's typically always part of a Metal Hose. However, that's not to say that a Metal Hose has to have this to be identified as a Metal Hose, but it's just another reassurance.

If you still have any uncertainties, check the Shower Head Specifications section on our Product Pages and you'll see the Shower "Hose Material" stated like so:

Metal Shower Hose Identifier 


3. Shower Holder Bracket

Honestly, those first two Shower Head Parts are easy to tell the difference between Plastic and Metal. Shower Holder Brackets...not so much. While we can determine if the Threaded Connection Material on the Shower Holder is Metal, the remaining Hook and Body presents a much more difficult assessment to identify Plastic from Metal.


Plastic Shower Holder Bracket Example


Plastic Shower Holder Bracket for Hand Held Shower Heads


You'll see that I've pointed out 3 target areas to identify. The first one, we already covered. You can tell that the Threaded Connection is Plastic, as it has hand-tightening ridges. That information can basically bring you to the determination that the rest of the part is made of Plastic. I mean, a company wouldn't make a Solid Metal Shower Holder, just to negate it's benefits by making the all important Threaded Connection out of Plastic.

The second part is the Pivot Ball Tightening Ring, which helps to increase or decrease the tension in the Pivot Ball. If this part is metal, it is usually smooth all the way around or has some defined indents to apply an adjustable wrench. All the parts that have these intermittent ridges are made from plastic.

The third identifier is spotting any lines of division in the Shower Holder Bracket. When a product is made from Plastic, it goes through a Plastic Injection Molding, usually in two parts. Once those parts are made, they are attached together, leaving a bump where the parts were attached. A Metal Shower Holder Bracket will have a clean, smooth and polished look.


Metal Shower Holder Bracket Example

HH Metal Shower Holder Bracket for Hand Held Shower Heads


Honestly, after thinking about it, it's pretty easy to determine if a Shower Holder is Plastic or Metal. That's because 99.9% of Shower Holders on the market are made from Plastic. There are probably less than 10 Shower Holders made of Metal available on the market. So if it's not clearly called-out in the Product Title, it's probably Plastic.

This is HammerHead Showers Solid Brass Hand Held Shower Holder Bracket. It is made from 100% Solid Brass, and is worth its weight in Brass. You'll find that this part is sure to outlast the competition.

In case you had interest in an External Diverter to attach multiple Shower Heads, check out this quality Shower Holder with Diverter by Delta Faucets.

If you still have any uncertainties, check the Shower Head Specifications section on our Product Pages and you'll see the "Shower Holder Material" stated like so: 

Metal Shower Holder Bracket Indicator

4. Shower Head

And then comes the all important...Shower Head! Whether you are looking for a Fixed, Hand Held or Rain Shower Head, there really isn't any visible indicator to determine if the body of the Shower Head is made from Metal or Plastic.

You'll find that there are a good variety of Rain and Fixed Shower Heads made from Metal, but not really Hand Held Shower Heads, except for HammHead Showers All Metal Hand Held Shower Head Set. Since there really isn't a clear indicator, I'm going to let you in on my favorite All Metal Shower Heads in each category I mentioned above.

All Metal Fixed Shower Head by HammerHead Showers

All Metal Rain Shower Head by HammerHead Showers

All Metal Hand Held Shower Head by HammerHead Showers



And of course, since we test all of the products at The Shower Head Store, we list what the Shower Head is made of in the "Shower Head Material" section here:


Metal Shower Head Material Indicator


There you have it! You can now consider yourself an expert of identifying whether an individual part or the entire Shower Head is made from Plastic or Metal. That means you'll be sure to buy the Shower Head that best meets your strict criteria!




Justin Ball
Justin Ball

Hey there! I'm Justin Ball, founder of The Shower Head Store and HammerHead Showers®, the leader in All Metal Shower Heads and Accessories.

Before starting our own business, I worked for Moen Inc, so I know a thing or two about plumbing fixtures. When I'm not developing our products, I'm writing articles and filming videos so you have the best product experience, no matter which brand you buy. Thanks for your support!

Cheers! Justin Ball

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