A complete guide to install bathtub and shower faucet

Installing a bathtub or shower faucet is not as easy as installing the faucet on a sink. The significant working parts of the bathtub and shower faucet go behind the wall. The only parts you see are the handles, shower head, and spout. Thus, the best time to get going with your installation work is before the wall gets covered.

As such, if you want to replace a pre-existing shower/tub faucet, it might get a bit tedious. However, if your builder was conscientious enough, you might be lucky to access the hidden parts using an access door. If not, you must cut through that wall. Nevertheless, so long as you are comfortable with accurately drilling, working with copper wire, and measuring, you can get this project done quickly and easily.

Are you looking forward to properly install a bathtub or shower faucet while ensuring right water temperature and pressure? We have done all the work for you and broken down the installation process into easy-to-follow guidelines for optimal ease. Expect this process to consume about half of your day. So, without further ado, let us get started.

What You Will Need to Get Started

To get your installation process easy, you will have to equip yourself with the necessary tools and materials. Some of the tools required include a drill, flame guard, pipe wrench, strap wrench, pencil, and propane torch. As for materials, you need to have the shower of tub faucet you are installing, hammer arresters, solder, galvanized nipple, copper fittings and pipe, drop-ear elbows, threaded pipe tape, screws, and 2 by 6-inch braces.

bathtub and shower faucet

Step-By-Step Guide for Installation

Step 1; Determine the Faucet Positioning

Many faucets have a plastic cover, which protects the faucets. This cover acts as the guide for the depth to which the faucet should be set. To determine where you will put the braces, factor the finished wall total thickness. In most cases, it is a sum of ¼-inch thick tiles and ½-inch-thick backerboard.

Perhaps you want to install other faucet setups, for instance, the three-handle faucet, you might need to place supply pipes farther apart compared to the single-handle faucet. The adapter threads should be screwed in with the spout, shower arm, or supplies. Faucets with in-built shutoffs feature a large cover plate, making it easy to reach its shutoff valves.

Step 2; Anchoring and Bracing

Determine the height to which you wish to position the spout, showerhead, and faucet handles. For maximum comfort, locate the faucet around 28 inches above the floor level of the bathtub, and 48 inches for the shower. Install the 2 by 6-inch brace on the bathtub and shower faucet. Instead of nails, use screws to anchor these braces to make the faucet easily adjustable.

Step 3; Assembling the Pipes

Make sure you have all your pipes ready (3/4-inch wide. Install them up to the height of your faucet. Use the elbows and reducer couplings to install the shorter ½-inch pipes to the faucet’s threaded adapters. Also, add the hammer arresters. Plumber the faucet following the manufacturer’s directives.

Step 4; Sweat the Connection

When you are certain that everything is installed correctly, sweat the fittings. You can begin by the faucet, then move to the shower arm, and spout. Run the ½-inch pipe to the spout up the shower arm, and then connect the drop-ear elbow at both points.

Step 5; Tighten and Install

Unscrew the non-permanent nipple from the elbow shower head. Place the shower arm, screw, then tighten it with the strap wrench. Screw the shower head and finger-tighten it. Once the wallcovering is in place, remove the threaded nipple from the spout elbow. Screw in one that fits correctly for your spout, and use a pipe wrench to tighten. Lastly, screw the spout and shower arm, using your hand to tighten.

Key Takeaways

Before covering the wall, it is crucial to cap the nipples on the spout elbows and shower head, then turn on the water to test the connection. Leakage can cause extensive damage to the framing. Besides, repairing the wall can be quite costly. In addition, if there was not an access wall, you can create one. It comes in handy in case you need to make some repairs in the future. Try to put this wall somewhere inconspicuous, for example, a closet wall adjoining the bathroom wall.

To sum up, there is all you need to know when installing a bathtub and shower faucet. Follow this guide to the latter for a smooth experience. However, if you feel you are not up to the task, you can call in a plumbing expert to help.


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