9 Quick Answers About Shower Faucets! (Helpful Tips)

Shower faucets are relatively easy to install, replace or fix, but there are definitely going to be some moments of uncertainty as you try to figure out how to work with or on them.

Despite having an instruction manual in hand, and knowing some plumbing basics, you can still be clueless as to how high a shower faucet should be and so much more.

So, in this article, you’d be given detailed answers to commonly asked questions about shower faucets.

Please note that you don’t have to have any plumbing experience to successfully carry out a shower faucet installation, replacement, or repair. 

Do I Need to Turn Off Water to Replace A Shower Faucet?

It’s really important that you turn off your water supply when replacing a shower faucet so that you don’t get drenched while working or make a huge mess in the bathroom.

You can do this by turning off the cut-off valve you have installed in your bathroom.

If you don’t have a supply or cut-off valve in your bathroom, you’re going to have to turn off the water supply to your whole house.

Can You Replace A Shower Faucet Without Replacing the Valve?

If your shower valve is in good condition, there’s no need to replace it when installing a new faucet. You’ll probably just have to get a faucet from the same manufacturer as your valve, to avoid any incidences.

Replacing your faucet would only be necessary,

  • When the existing valve is not suitable for the type of faucet you have available,
  • Or when all your attempts to fix or improve the water pressure of your shower are to no avail.

 You might also have to replace your shower valve if you experience sudden temperature surges while showering.

It’s worth noting that shower valves and shower faucets are two different instruments entirely, as new DIY’ers often confuse one for another. Shower valves are also known as shower cartridges.

A shower faucet consists of a showerhead, a tub spout, and all the visible controls or handles that enable you to make use of your shower, they can also be referred to as shower trims.

Shower valves, on the other hand, regulate the pressure and temperature of your shower and are often out of sight or not visible.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Shower Faucet?

It costs between $430-$640 to replace a shower faucet, this estimate includes both labor charges and the cost of materials.

How much you spend on replacing your shower faucet depends on quite a number of things, the design of the faucet, the state of your existing plumbing, how and where your faucet is to be mounted, and even your location.

If you wish to replace your faucet yourself then you’d spend at least $250 on the project.

In some cases, the plumbing work when replacing a shower faucet isn’t so straightforward, so it’s probably best you get a plumber involved if you run into any issues.

 What Size Pipe for A Shower Faucet?

Almost all shower and tub faucets operate with a standard water supply pipe size of a one-half inch diameter, regardless of whether it’s a hot-water or cold-water supply pipe.

In the case of PEX pipes, a popular plumbing pipe that’s super flexible and easy to install, there’s a slight difference in the pipe size requirements.

Unlike copper pipes, PEX has a small interior diameter which if not taken into consideration, can slow or lower the water pressure of your shower.

So, it’s important that you increase the size of this type of pipe by an inch or two when channeling it from a distant water source.

When the pipe gets closer to the shower you can use the standard pipe size of a one-half inch diameter.

For instance, if your shower is on the second floor and you’re working with PEX pipes, you’d have to install 3¼ of an inch of PEX pipes till you get closer to your shower, then reduce the pipe size to 1¼ inch before connecting the faucets.

As I hinted at previously, pipe size and water pressure are interdependent, so if the water pressure of your shower is quite low after installing your pipes, then the diameter of your pipe needs to be decreased.

Why Does My Shower Faucet Shock Me?

Electrical shocks when touching a shower faucet is a huge indicator that the electrical circuits behind the heating source of your shower are poorly installed.

To be more precise, your shower faucet is electrocuting or shocking you because the pipes channeling water from the heating system are not properly protected or isolated from the electrical circuits.

This could also happen if the shower fixtures in your home are not properly grounded.

What Size Hole for Shower Faucet?

There isn’t exactly a specific hole size for your shower faucets. Just make a hole according to the size of your faucets, but don’t make them so large that your faucets almost can’t cover them.

Most of the time, you’d find the dimension of the hole you should drill in the manufacturers’ manual that came with your shower faucet.

Use a hole saw or power drill hole saw to get the exact hole size specified in the manual, this tool comes with a different hole saw sizes, so they are perfect for installing your faucets.

How Long Do Shower Faucets Last?

You should expect your shower faucets to last between 12 to 20 years or more. The durability of these fixtures depends on their type, brand, and model.

Let’s take a look at some of the types of shower faucets we have and how long each of them lasts.

  • Fixed Showerhead

This type of shower head is also known as a mounted shower head. It is attached to the wall by a pipe and the angle at which it sprays can be adjusted slightly.

Fixed showerheads come in different materials and designs and have different spray patterns. They are super easy to install and can last a lot of time if maintained and cleaned properly.

In the absence of a proper cleaning and maintenance routine, you must replace your shower head every 6 to 8 months.

  • Overhead Shower

Ever felt like taking a shower in the rain? Well, this shower faucet gives you exactly that kind of shower experience.

As the name implies, this shower sprays water from overhead, it can either come exactly out of the ceiling or extend from the wall.

An overhead shower is just as durable as a fixed shower head.

  • Handheld Showerhead

This type of showerhead is perfect for pet owners or if you have kids. It comes with a holder that is fixed to the wall and has a hose for its base

It can function as both a fixed and handheld showerhead. Handheld showerheads can last for over ten years if regularly cleaned and maintained.

  • Tub Faucet

A lot of bathrooms have a combination of a tub and a shower which allows you to either take a bath or a shower.

This type of setup usually comes with a diverter, some diverters have thermostatic controls while others do not.

The controls that supply the tub with water are known as the tub faucet, they come in different sizes and designs and can last for up to 15 years.

How Big Is A Shower Faucet?

Shower faucets come in different shapes and sizes, so there’s no exact answer to how big a shower faucet can be.

Simply make sure the faucet size you go with suits the space and set up of your bathroom or shower. A shower faucet should typically take up 4 to 5 inches of space.

How High Should A Shower Faucet Be?

A shower faucet should be 38 to 48 inches, above the floor of your shower and 8 to 18 inches above the water supply of your bathtub, if your faucet controls both your bathtub and shower.

How far up you install your shower faucets and showerhead actually depends on your height and what is convenient for you.

A shower head should be installed 80” away from your shower floor. Below you would find a table of different height ranges and how high up your shower head should be installed.

Shower Head HeightUser Height
6’3”- 6’6”86 inches
6’-6’3”83 inches
5’7”- 6’80 inches
5’3”-5’7”76 inches
5’-5’3”73 inches
5’68 inches

You can use this guide to estimate how high you should install your other shower controls.

Final Thoughts

We hope we’ve been able to answer all your questions on shower faucets and provide a concise guide on how to work with these bathroom accessories.

While it is possible to successfully fix, repair or install your shower faucets yourself, do not hesitate to call on a plumbing expert if you have any issues along the way.

In case there’s a lot more you’d like to know in this area, check out our other articles on bathroom or shower installations!


  • Shower Valve Types 101 – How to Choose the Right Shower Valve, vevano.com/resource-center/shower-valve-types/.