Buying Guide

Best Bathtub and Shower Faucets

Tub Faucet Types
A tub faucet with a dark finish on a white porcelain tub.

There are four main tub faucet installation options: freestanding, wall mount, tub deck mount or tub mount.

  • Freestanding: 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.
  • Wall mount: Installed through pre-drilled holes on the bathroom wall over tubs. The pipes are concealed and the spouts and handles are exposed.
  • Tub deck mount: Installed through pre-drilled holes in the tub rim (called the deck) or may be installed on the surrounding tile surface on a drop-in tub. The pipes are concealed and the spouts and handles are exposed.
  • Tub wall mount: Installed through the tub wall. Pipes are concealed and the spouts and handles are exposed.

Additional Tub Faucet Considerations
A three handled tub faucet with a dark finish.
  • Tub faucets are available in multiple configurations for a one handle tub, two handle tub or three handle tub.
  • Some faucets feature a handle as a diverter instead of a diverter located on the tub spout.
  • Tub faucets are not interchangeable with sink faucets.
Shower Faucet Types
A shower faucet in a chrome finish in a bathroom.

Shower faucets come in a solo shower head or a combination option that offers both shower and bathtub faucets.

  • Bathtub and shower faucet combos: Features an all-in-one configuration that takes the guesswork out of separately choosing and installing each component.
  • Solo shower faucets: Features a showerhead and handle only without tub handles. Available in various styles and finishes to complement standalone showers.

Additional Shower Faucet Considerations
A  wall-mounted shower head and faucet.
  • Shower faucets are usually wall-mounted but can be tub-mounted in tub/shower combos.
  • Shower faucets 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. This works best in situations where the spout emerges from the tile wall.
  • Some single-handle models offer more precise control of volume and temperature of water.
Material and Finish
Wall mounted shower faucets in different finishes.
  • 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 resist 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.
A wall mounted shower head with a chrome finish.
  • 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.
  • Handheld 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.

Shop The Home Depot for the latest in bathtub and shower faucets and everything you need to update your bathroom and home.