Tub and Shower Faucets

Tub and shower faucets are an easy way to add a stylish accent to your bathroom

Tub and Shower Faucets

The two main factors to consider when adding a tub or shower faucet are the configuration of your previous faucet and your own personal style.

Tub Faucet Installation Techniques

There are three main tub faucet installation techniques:

  • Wall Mount/Tub Mount. Faucets are installed through pre-drilled holes through the tub wall or on the bathroom wall over tubs. Pipes are concealed and the spouts and handles are exposed.
  • Freestanding. Faucets are used with tubs without pre-drilled holes. The pipes come up out of the floor and are exposed and secured to the tub or wall for support.
  • Deck-Mount. Faucets installed through pre-drilled holes in the tub rim (called the deck) or may be installed on the tile surface on a drop-in tub. The pipes are concealed and the spouts and handles are exposed.

Additional Tub Faucet Considerations

  • May have one, two or three handles
  • Has a handle as a diverter instead of a diverter located on the tub spout
  • Not interchangeable with sink faucets

Shower Faucet Considerations

  • Usually wall-mounted, but can be tub-mounted in tub/shower combos
  • May have one or two handles with a third handle that serves as diverter for the shower
  • Tub and shower faucet can be replaced with a shower-only faucet by covering the unused hole with a spout hole cover
  • Some single-handle models offer more precise control of volume and temperature of water

Material and Finish

  • Chrome. Polished, brushed or matte finish. Durable, economical and easy to clean. Resists oxidation but does show water marks.
  • Nickel. Brushed or satin look. Durable and easy to clean. Units with titanium finish better resists scratching and tarnish.
  • Mixed Colors and Metallic Tones. Can be easily matched to existing color scheme.
  • Brass. May have a high gloss, satin or antique finish. Resists damage and wear.
  • Bronze. Complements neutral color palettes. May have a polished, brushed or darker oil-rubbed look with highlights. Resists scratches, tarnishing and corrosion.


  • Diverters. Shifts the flow of water from the spout to the showerhead. Commonly located on the spout and pulled upward when water is flowing to activate the showerhead.
  • Hand Showers. Makes rinsing off and tub cleaning easier. May require an additional hole in the tub for installation.
  • Anti-Scald Valves. Protects from sudden bursts of scalding hot or freezing cold water when a toilet is flushed or the dishwasher starts.
  • Pressure-Balancing Valves. Maintains preset water temperature when hot or cold water pressure suddenly drops.
  • Thermostatic Valves. Monitors temperature and adjusts the flow of hot and cold water to maintain a preset temperature.