Bathtub and Shower Faucet Buying Guide
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.
There are three main tub faucet installation options: freestanding, wall mount, or tub mount.
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.
(Pictured: freestanding Roman tub faucet)
Faucets are installed through pre-drilled holes on the bathroom wall over tubs. Pipes are concealed and the spouts and handles are exposed.
(Pictured: wall-mount faucet)
Faucets are 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.
(Pictured: Roman tub deck mount faucet)
Faucets are installed through the tub wall. Pipes are concealed and the spouts and handles are exposed.
(Pictured: Claw foot tub wall mount faucet)
When shopping for shower faucets, choose a solo shower head or a combination that offers both shower and bathtub faucets.
All-in-one configuration takes the guesswork out of separately choosing and installing each component.
Available in various styles and finishes to complement standalone showers.
- These are usually wall-mounted, but can be tub-mounted in tub/shower combos.
- They are also available in multiple configurations for a one handle shower or two handle shower with a third handle that serves as diverter for the shower.
- Tub and shower faucets 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.
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.