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Plumber: Looking for the lowdown on a shower upgrade

Q: Dear Ed: I have a boring single showerhead and want to upgrade with a rain head and a hand shower. My plumbing and shower stall are in good shape so I don't want to turn this into a big project. Any easier upgrade ideas?

– Tony, Tennessee

A: I recently did an article on rain head showers. Since then many readers have asked about custom shower stalls.

One of my new favorite shower upgrade fixtures is called a shower column. Instead of having to install new plumbing behind the walls, in most cases a shower column is installed in the surrounding area to the shower wall with minimum alterations to the surround.

A shower column unit features finished vertical piping that is anchored to the inside wall. The piping rises up and over the user with a rain head shower head attached to the top fitting. An easy-to-reach diverter with a sliding hand shower is included in most kits.

Bottom line: Installing a shower column can take your showering experience to new heights.

Master Contractor/Plumber Ed Del Grande is known internationally as the author of the book "Ed Del Grande's House Call," the host of TV and Internet shows, and a LEED green associate. Visit eddelgrande.com or write eadelg@cs.com. Always consult local contractors and codes.

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