What Size PEX for Shower Installation?

Before you decide to install a PEX shower, you must know its size. It will allow you to determine the type of shower used and the home’s design.

Generally, ½ and ¾ of an inch PEX pipe are popular in bathrooms. There are varying sizes used in these areas, and it’s essential to determine which one fits your needs the best. 

You should always prioritize other factors such as the pipes’ elevation, pressure, and length.

This post will instruct you on things you need to know about installing PEX pipes and more!

What Size Is PEX for Shower Ideal?

Due to the increasing popularity of PEX in water pipelines, it is now possible to install it for your shower. However, it is critical to choose the right size for your project.

There are no simple rules when it comes to designing a manifold system. However, you need to factor in a few things to make it work properly. These are the PEX diameter, the manifold system, and the water pressure requirement.

Before you decide to use PEX for your shower system, it is essential to consider the nominal size. This metric measure shows you if the product works properly with the fitting.

You can get PEX tubing in various sizes, ranging from 25 to 1000 feet. However, it is essential to note that its inner diameter is the most crucial factor you need to consider when choosing the right size.

PEX comes in varying sizes for showers, ranging from a flat ½ inch to a right-up to a 1-inch. It means that you will get the actual size for your shower. Even though the inner diameter of ¾ inches is popular with showers, you can install ½-inch and ¾-inch PEXs in your bathroom.

For residential use, a ¾-inch to ½-inch PEX diameter is ideal. This type of tube can allow you to provide adequate water flow without any issues.

How Do You Size the PEX You Need for Home Plumbing?

Although it’s a helpful rule of thumb to size out PEX, you can use other methods. Due to its various properties, such as its flexibility and durability, it’s becoming more common to use PEX.

PEX Diameter

When buying PEX, the most important thing to look for is the nominal size. A construction standard indicates that you can use pipes with fittings that are the same size.

PEX tubing is very versatile, and you can utilize it in residential and non-residential buildings. Its rolls are as small as 50 feet, and its diameters range from a quarter-inch to a full inch.

For optimal water flow, it is essential to replace the old water lines with new ones that are the same size. Doing so will let you enjoy a more consistent and reliable water flow.

Water Pressure Requirement

Before you start thinking about your water pressure, you must consider the various factors that affect its usage. One of these is the type of plumbing system that you use. For instance, if you want to reduce the water flow rate, you should install a PEX system.

To reduce your shower’s water consumption and flow rate, you might consider installing a broader PEX pipeline. For instance, you might install a ½-inch pipe for a ¾-inch shower.

Even though you might think that you need to go with the same diameter for your shower fixtures, you can still choose the ¾-inch version. It allows you to get the entire flow and pressure of water. It’s a game-changing decision that most people will make.

Also, since a narrower PEX pipe will allow you to take in more water during your shower, it’s essential to consider the advantages of installing a thinner tube. However, this method isn’t practical for most showers.

If you’re not worried about waiting for the next couple of minutes under the shower, you might want to install a smaller PEX pipe.

Manifold System

You can use PEX with various residential manifold systems, such as those used for your shower. You can also find red and blue valves on the sides of the system, which suggests that you might want to use a narrower supply pipeline. Follow the rule below to determine if you’re using a broader or narrower pipe.

Most whole-house systems, such as the shower fixture, use ¾-inch valves. You can easily choose the correct PEX diameter by making a ¾-inch hole in the surface. However, choose a narrower PEX to decrease the water flow rate.

Pressure Drop

One of the essential aspects you should weigh when choosing a PEX pipeline for your home’s shower is the distance from the house’s manifold system. It ensures that the pipeline delivers the proper water pressure.

Before buying a new shower head, you must determine the distance from the shower fixture to the manifold system. You should also choose the size that will not cause the water pressure to drop.

Frequently Asked Question

Is ½ Inch PEX Pipe Big Enough for a Shower?

Yes, ½ of an inch is big enough for a shower. If you plan to use PEX, make sure to use the correct size. For instance, if you are planning on using a shower tie that’s ¾ inches long, then a ½-inch PEX is fine.

However, if you plan to use a dual shower system, then a ¾-inch PEX must ensure that the pipe can withstand the pressure.

It’s also essential to ensure that the water wiping is up to standards for replacing or building a new bathroom. Doing so will allow you to enjoy water flow benefits while keeping the room’s design up to code.

Why Is PEX So Popular?

Most homeowners have opted for a copper-based water pipeline to supply their water needs, such as showers, faucets, and toilets. Because of its rust resistance, people usually choose copper pipelines for their water supply. However, this type of pipe is not cheap, so it might not be the best choice for everyone.

Due to the introduction of PEX, homeowners can now enjoy the benefits of copper without having to disburse a lot of money on it. It’s also incredibly flexible, making it ideal for any project.

Aside from being incredibly flexible, PEX also provides a better alternative to traditional copper pipelines when it comes to preventing damages and leaks. You can also use it with a manifold system for your shower. Before you start using PEX, you must know the ideal size for your project.

Why Does Size Matter in Plumbing?

When choosing the right size for your plumbing, it’s important to remember that it affects your water pressure.

The size of your PEX pipe also affects the flow rate of your water. For instance, if you have a 1-inch line, your water will flow at 9 gallons per minute. If you have a ¼-inch pipe, your water will flow at 16 gallons per minute.

The size of your pipe also affects the size of your appliances. If you choose a smaller tube, it could cause issues with your equipment.


Before buying a PEX pipeline for your shower, you must have a clear idea of its size. You can use various types of PEXs for shower fixtures, such as ½-inch and ¾-inch sizes. You can easily install the pipeline and enjoy your bathing time with the correct size. The advantage of PEX is its flexibility and affordability.

When temperature changes cause PEX pipes to expand and contract, they can cause them to move back and forth. Even small movements can lead to holes in the pipes caused by dirt or abrasive materials.

You can protect your pipes with abrasion clips, cover them with cheap pipe insulation, or even enclose them with a larger tube.

For instance, lines made of concrete are acceptable if they are running through wood studs and joists. Also, pipes running straight through the wood are okay if they go through areas where they bend.