Bathtub and Shower Faucet Buying Guide

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

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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 Mounting Options

  • There are three main tub faucet installation options: freestanding, wall mount, or tub mount.

  • 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. 
  • (Pictured: freestanding Roman tub faucet)
Wall Mount Bathtub Faucet
  • Wall Mount
  • 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)
  • Tub Deck Mount 
  • 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)
  • Tub Wall Mount
  • Faucets are installed through the tub wall. Pipes are concealed and the spouts and handles are exposed. 
  • (Pictured: Claw foot tub wall mount faucet)

Additional Tub Faucet Considerations

• These are available in multiple configurations for a one handle tub, two handle tub or three handle tub.
• Some 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

When shopping for shower faucets, choose a solo shower head or a combination that offers both shower and bathtub faucets.

  • Shower Faucets
  • Available in various styles and finishes to complement standalone showers.

Additional Shower Faucet Considerations

• 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.


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.