Installing a Tub Faucet
Learn how to run copper pipe for a tub/shower faucet install with a single-handle control.
When replacing a tub, you may be able to reuse the old faucet and perhaps just replace the visible parts: the handles, escutcheon, spout, and shower arm and head. But if you are installing a tub in a new location, or if your walls are opened up, you may choose to install a whole new shower faucet assembly. Here we show the most common type, with a single-handle control. The spout will have a lift-up diverter to direct water to the showerhead or down through the spout.
What’s the Right Height?
Position the faucet where it is most convenient for your family. If someone likes to fiddle with the faucet handle with his or her foot while lying down in a bath, place it pretty low. If showers are far more common than baths, place it higher, so you don’t have to bend over to adjust the temperature. The spout should be about 6 in. above the top of the tub.
Ideally, a showerhead should be 4 in. to 6 in. higher than the tallest person who will use it. A showerhead’s fitting is commonly placed 7 ft. above the floor; the tub’s floor is a few inches above the room’s floor, and the showerhead itself will end up a few inches lower than the fitting, depending on the shower arm you choose.
|TIP: Consult the manufacturer’s literature to install the 2x support at the correct depth in the wall so the faucet’s escutcheon and handle can be neatly attached after the wall is finished. Take into account the total wall thickness, including the backerboard plus the tiles or the panels you will install. Also plan carefully so the faucet, spout, and showerhead will be centered on the tub’s width.|
|TIP: After securing the shower outlet and arm, check your installation for leaks. Restore water pressure and turn on the faucet. If a joint leaks, shut off and drain the water, dry out the pipes, and repeat the sweating process.|
Excerpted from Plumbing (The Taunton Press, 2016) by Steve Cory.