The shower faucet makes one of the critical parts of your shower, sink or tub. So, you must learn how to install a shower faucet. The faucet is made up of the handle, spout, shower head, and valve mechanism. The visible parts are the handle and the showerhead. The valve mechanism is found behind the wall. This implies that for convenience is more natural and best to install the faucet before covering the wall. The spout, the showerhead, and the handles are also known as trim.
It is important to understand the types of shower faucets available in the market before learning how to install a new shower faucet. Three major types exist, i.e.
- Single handle: this type has a tee connection to both hot and cold water supplies. The control of water temperature and flow is accomplished by one handle. This comes with instructions on how to install a single handle shower faucet
- Double handle: this type of shower faucet has one control for water temperature and one for water control.
- Three handles: this shower faucet is similar to the double-handled shower faucet but has an additional handle for the bathtub. This third handle is responsible for the control of the strength of the flow of water. Also, it determines where the water goes; the tub or the shower.
How to Install a Shower Faucet in New Construction
The first step is to ensure that you attach the valves to the framing to be able to route the pipes correctly; this done before the installation of the pipes. Install a two by six block into the framing of the enclosure. This will support the valve, the showerhead, and the spout. While installing the block ensure that it faces towards the shower.
The height of the valve should be convenient for both adults and children when operating the handle. The recommended height is about 40 inches. The valve installation instructions specify the distance from the block to the front of the wall. So you should account for the thickness of the wall covering including the backer board.
Secure the faucet valve to the blocking with screws, and ensure it is positioned in the correct orientation.
Now, connect the pipes supplying water to the water inlets. While doing this, you will need to follow the procedure as per the model of the valve. Some valves have a male threaded port while others have female ones, and still, others have slip connectors. When you connect the pipes with threaded fittings, wrap a plumbing tape around the head first. If you solder the pipes into a slip connection use lead-free solder and a propane torch.
Learning how to install a new single-handle shower faucet is easy. You will route a half-inch cold and hot water supply to the valve. Tie the two pipes into a three-quarter-inch main pipe. It should be as close to the water heater as possible. Mostly the valve has a female threaded pipe connection. In the connection, you will screw the threaded adapter and reinforce it with plumbing tape. Fit the pipes tightly and solder all the joints. It is essential to install a water hammer arrestor into each of the hot and cold water supplies near the valve. Such fitting prevents banging in the pipes whenever you turn on the faucet.
Every valve has a threaded outlet on top for the pipe that goes to the showerhead. When the faucet controls a tub spout also, it will have an additional outlet. Install a 1/2-inch pipe from the valve to the blocking for the showerhead. Terminate this pipe with a brass elbow that is threaded. This fitting has ears for screwing to the blocking. Secure the brass to the blocking using screws. This is how to install a shower faucet in new construction.
Similarly, install a pipe for the tub spout. To keep the debris out of the pipes, into each elbow you will screw a temporary nipple about six inches, as you finish the wall. Cover the walls, leaving a gap about half an inch around the valve handle and the nipples. Cover this space with the trim that comes with the faucets. This is how to install a tub shower faucet single handle. The trim has faceplates for the valve and for the shower arm, an escutcheon. Note that the tub spout doesn’t need the trim.
Loosen the nipple sand using plumbing tape wrap the shower arm and spout the nipple, then tighten them. Seal the trim and the tub spout using silicone caulk, a necessary step to keep moisture out of the wall.