Tub Faucet Buying Guide For a Master Suite Remodel
Often, it’s the smallest details that can make a home renovation go from good, to great. When it comes to your master bath, the choice of your tub faucet can add an interesting focal point that can enhance the aesthetic beauty of your space.
Tub faucets come in several different styles that offer different features and add-ons. Choosing the right tub faucet for your project can be challenging. Tub faucets offer different water flow rates, installation types and features like hand showers and thermostatic controls. They are also available in a number of finishes. When planning your bathroom, your designer can help you to choose the perfect tub faucet to match your other fixtures and finishes.
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Five Popular Types of Tub Faucets
While tub faucets offer a variety of styles and finishes, there are five basic mountings available. Often, your choice will be determined by the style of the tub you choose. If you’re unsure which type of mounting you need, consult with your interior designer or contractor.
The Freestanding Tub Faucet
Freestanding faucets are also referred to as floor mounted. This type is anchored to the floor and rises over the rim of the bathtub. Access to the water source is located below the finished floor and typically there are shut off valves a few inches above the floor. If your tub sits on a concrete slab, speak with your contractor to determine if a floor mount is possible, or is cost-prohibitive. Freestanding tub faucets do not attach to the tub, making placement flexible.
Freestanding faucets come in a variety of finishes including chrome, brushed nickel, polished brass, polished nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, and even brushed or polished stainless steel.
This style is mounted to the upper rim of the tub. Two holes are required for installation and the distance between the two can vary by manufacturer and tub style. You’ll need to have a “center measurement” in order to choose the correct tub faucet.
Deck-mounted faucets require water lines to connect them to the water supply. Rigid supply tubes are most common and like the freestanding faucet, connect below the finished floor. It the tub is on a slab and no underfloor access is available, deck mounts can be plumbed through the bathroom wall.
Wall-mounted faucets are exactly that, mounted to the wall next to the tub. Because the tub needs no faucet holes because this type of faucet doesn’t connect to the tub in any way. The plumbing is run through the wall so it is a good option for slab construction. This also makes it an economical option since additional plumbing is typically not necessary.
Tub Wall Mount
This type of mount requires holes on the tub wall that are typically closer than deck mounted faucets. The standard center-to-center measurement for a tub wall mount is 3 3/8.” Although this is a standard measurement, you still need to measure the distance between faucet holes to be certain, especially on older tubs. Faucet holes can vary from about 3 1/2” to 8 3/4” on center. Choose a faucet with a small downward spout, or a high gooseneck for a more elegant look.
Like deck mounts, tub wall mounts source their water from below the finished floor. This means access will be necessary to use rigid water lines. If the water comes from behind the wall, flexible lines may be used.
Typically this type is paired with a drop-in tub or jacuzzi tub. Roman faucets are designed to be mounted to a platform or tub surround. This type needs three or more holes one for each handle and one for the spout. Most Roman faucets cannot be mounted to the tub so you will need a platform or surround if using this style with a stand-alone tub.
Installation is similar to sink faucet installation. Flexible hoses connect each faucet handle to the spout and are also used to connect to the water source. Because these faucets are installed in an enclosed surround, the plumbing is not visible.
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Extra Features and Add-Ons
Some tub faucets are available with added features. They add functionality and can be aesthetically interesting additions. Add-ons include:
Most faucets designed for a freestanding tub will offer a hand shower connected to a 4 or 5-foot hose. This serves as an alternative to a traditional overhead shower and makes cleaning the kids, pets, and the tub easier.
Shower Conversion Kits
If you need more than a hand shower, conversion kits are available that can transform the handheld shower into an overhead. To install, the hand faucet is removed and a riser pipe with the showerhead. Some shower conversion kits allow you to use both the handheld shower and an overhead by using a two-way diverter.
Thermostatic Temperature Control
Many newer tub faucets now feature a thermostatic mixing valve as opposed to individual hot and cold. A thermostatic valve works as an HVAC thermostat, you can set a temperature and the water exits the spout at temperature.
Choosing the perfect tub faucet for your master bathroom renovation starts with understanding your options. At Joseph & Berry, our design team can explain the choices available, and help you to pick the perfect look to match your style, with the functionality you need. If you’re considering a master bathroom renovation, give us a call at (800)-371-8970 or submit the contact form and let us help you create the spa-like master retreat of your dreams!