How High Should A Bathtub Faucet Be?

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The bathtub is the place where you can relax after a long day. But to get the most out of your tub, the plumbing needs to be in the correct spot. How high should the faucet be in the bathtub? We’ve researched this question and have come up with the best answer possible.

If the faucet and spout are combined, the faucet should be positioned so that the bottom of the spout is at least two inches above the rim of the tub. If the faucet and spout are separate, like in a combination tub and shower, the faucet should be placed somewhere between twelve and eighteen inches above the tub’s rim. 

There are several factors to consider when deciding how high to put the bathtub faucet, so we’ve written this article to help you determine what works best for your situation. Please keep reading for an explanation of faucet placement and answers to other commonly asked questions. 

Modern bathroom with large bathtub and a faucet, How High Should A Bathtub Faucet Be?

Where do you mount a tub faucet?

retro watertap on Bathtub in front of window closeup

The tub faucet location should be based on the type of faucet and the type of bathtub. Here are some things to consider.

Height

If your faucet is attached to the bathtub spout (like the one pictured below), it should be placed, so the bottom of the spout is about two inches above the rim of the tub.

This gap is to prevent accidental backflow. Accidental backflow is when water is pushed back into the spout, allowing potentially contaminated water to go back into the water source. If there isn’t enough of a gap and the tub overflows, accidental backflow can occur.

Click here to view this faucet on Amazon.

In a combination tub and shower, the faucet handle should be placed somewhere between twelve and eighteen inches above the rim of the bathtub. This is low enough for the bather to reach the faucet while sitting in the tub but high enough for a person in the shower to reach the faucet without having to bend down.

Click here to view this faucet on Amazon.

Want a review of the different kinds of bathtub faucets? Read this article next: 12 Types Of Bathtub Faucets [And Faucet Handles]

Location

Now that you’ve got the correct height let’s discuss the position of the faucet around the tub. This depends on the type of bathtub you have.

Enclosed tub

For tubs that are surrounded by walls, the faucet should be centered on one of the ends. Make sure the spout and controls are aligned with each other. This is primarily for cosmetic purposes.

Free-standing tub

If you have a free-standing tub, like the one pictured below, the first thing to ensure is that the faucet spout reaches into the tub. You’ll want to be sure that the water will land in the bathtub and not on the floor when coming out of the spout.

Click here to view this faucet on Amazon.

After that’s taken care of, you should also pay attention to the accessibility of the faucet. Put the controls somewhere that you can reach them when you’re inside and outside the tub. You want to be able to turn the faucet on without getting in the tub. 

If your free-standing tub is a slipper tub with one end higher than the other, as seen below, you should put the faucet on the low end. That will make the tub more comfortable. If the slipper tub has a lower middle than either end, try to put the faucet in the middle of the tub on the side closest to the wall.

Click here to view this tub on Amazon.

Click here to view this tub on Amazon.

Can you add a shower head to a bathtub?

Plumber Installing New Showerhead

You can add a shower head to a bathtub if you want! There are many methods to consider; one is simple, and the other is more difficult.

Use a diverter

The simplest method is to purchase a diverter piece. This product attaches to the bathtub spout. Then, you attach a hose and showerhead to the diverter. When you turn the water on, it’s forced up through the hose and out through the showerhead.

Most diverters are attached to a spout, so you’ll need to replace the existing spout with the diverted one. If you go with this option, you’ll need to purchase an additional hose and showerhead. Then, you’ll need to attach the bracket to hold the showerhead onto the wall.

Here are a couple of product examples to consider.

Click here to view this diverter on Amazon.

Click here to view this showerhead on Amazon.

Don’t want to buy multiple pieces? Then look for a combination diverter and showerhead like this one.

Click here to view this showerhead on Amazon.

Hire a plumber

If you don’t like the idea of using a diverter, you’ll need to re-route the plumbing to include a showerhead. This can be a complicated process, so you should contact a professional plumber. Keep in mind that this will also require breaking into the wall of the tub area and perhaps the area on the other side of the wall.

Want to put up the showerhead yourself? This article can help: How to Install or Replace a Shower Head in a Bathtub?

Can I use a sink faucet for a tub?

You cannot use a sink faucet for a bathtub. Though the two types might seem interchangeable, they operate differently. The most important difference is that a sink faucet attaches to a 3/8 inch pipe, while a bathtub faucet connects to a 1/2 inch water supply.

The bigger pipe on a bathtub faucet means more water can flow at a time. Thus, your bathtub can fill more quickly than if it had a sink faucet. Otherwise, the water would get cold before the bathtub is full!

What height should shower controls be?

If your shower isn’t combined with a bathtub, you can put the controls higher, between 38 and 48 inches off the floor. This puts them at a comfortable height for the average adult. Get a helper to hold the controls at an estimated height, then see if that’s comfortable before installing them.

In Closing

Bubble bath with candles, towels and a bathtub faucet

You should determine the height of the bathtub faucet by the type of faucet. If the faucet is attached to the spout, make sure the bottom of the spout is two inches above the rim of the tub. On the other hand, a faucet control separate from the spout should be between twelve and eighteen inches above the rim of the tub.

We hope this article has helped you decide how to set up your bathtub’s plumbing. Now, enjoy your relaxing bathing experience!

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