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Tub & Shower Faucets Buying Guide

Tub and shower faucets come in different configurations than sink faucets do. In this helpful buying guide, we'll show you how to determine what type of tub and shower faucet works best for your needs and personal style, whether you're looking to replace your existing faucets or remodel your entire bathroom.

Types of Tub and Shower Faucets

Types of Tub and Shower Faucets

The type of tub and shower faucet you choose depends on the tub you've chosen. Consider which of these faucet types fits best with your usage needs and style preferences.

Wall-Mount or Tub-Mount Faucets

The most commonly used tub and shower faucets are mounted through pre-drilled holes in the tub wall or on the wall above the tub. Spouts and handles are visible, and although they come in both one- and two-handle styles, a one-handle design makes it slightly easier to adjust water temperature and volume. Some models include hand-shower attachments that are convenient for rinsing and tub cleaning; they might require another pre-drilled hole. Wall- and tub-mount installations are eminently practical when the shower is part of the tub.

Deck-Mount Faucets

Installed through pre-drilled holes in the tub rim or on the deck of a drop-in tub surround, deck-mount faucets also have visible spouts and handles, with pipes hidden within the tub deck. Deck-mount faucets are often called tub fillers or Roman faucets; they are designed to accommodate the higher water volume that is supplied to tubs and showers and have a longer and wider spout to help water flow into a tub quickly.

Freestanding Faucets

Freestanding faucets are used with vintage-style or other freestanding tubs that have no pre-drilled holes. They can be installed on any side of the tub, and the pipes are visible, coming up out of the floor and fastened to the wall or tub for stability.

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

Your tub and shower faucet should look beautiful and fit with the style of your other bathroom faucets and fixtures. But the real test is how well it performs over time. And that's all about its inner workings. So keep these tips in mind during the purchase process.


Where a tub and shower are combined, a diverter switches water flow from spout to showerhead. A diverter is often located on the spout; you pull up on it to send water to the showerhead. Occasionally it takes the form of a button on the valve or a third faucet handle. Because we shower more often than we soak in the tub, a diverter is used frequently so needs to stand up to wear.


The valves in your tub and shower faucet not only add to the faucet's longevity and performance, they can also make your bathing experience more comfortable. Anti-scald valves, for example, are specially constructed to protect you from unexpected bursts of hot or cold water when other water-using appliances are put into use. Pressure-balancing valves are similar, keeping your water temperature stable when water pressure drops suddenly. And thermostatic valves adjust the flow of hot and cold water to maintain a programmed temperature. For best overall performance and long life, choose the best ball, cartridge, or ceramic-disk valves that your budget will allow.

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