How Can I Easily Replace My Bathtub Faucet?

Bathtub FaucetWith so many different innovative bathtub faucets hitting the market, your bathroom space may benefit from an upgrade. You can improve the aesthetic value of your bathroom by acquiring a waterfall, jet and decorative faucet for your tub. If your old faucet leaks when not in use, an upgrade will not only improve the look of your bathroom, but optimize its function as well.  On average, even a slow drip can waste up to three gallons of water a day, which adds up to over 1,000 gallons over the course of the year.

Luckily, when you replace bathtub faucet, it will rectify the leaks and make your bathroom look stunning once again.  Although the faucet replacement process is fairly straightforward for industry professionals, it can be quite a challenge to do on your own. That said, it is not impossible. You just have to follow the right steps and avoid common pitfalls during the bathtub faucet removal and installation procedure. To accomplish this task, you can closely follow the steps below to complete the process from start to finish.

Research the Best Types of Faucets

Up until fairly recently, most bathtubs featured plain polished chrome faucets with single dial or triple handle control knobs. As bathroom design trends evolved, artistic structures and attractive materials dramatically changed the appearance of bathtub faucets. To find the best types of faucets for your bathtub, you must browse through the options to identify your ideal configurations.

The most popular modern faucet designs include:

  • Waterfall
  • Vessel
  • Garden
  • Roman


Along with your ideal faucet design, you must determine the best material to use for this important component. Besides polished chrome, bathroom faucets come in brass, copper, nickel, bronze, stone and porcelain materials.

While you look through the options, keep your intended faucet mounting position in mind. Unless you plan to make major changes to the structure of your bathroom or tub, your new faucet should mount in place of your existing spout and handle. Most bathtub faucets either mount against the wall or along the edge of the tub, though variations may exist.

Remove the Old Bathtub Faucet                          

Start the bathtub faucet removal by unscrewing the set screws in the handle using a hex key wrench or screwdriver. If the set screws are not immediately visible, gently pry off the nameplate and look underneath for the hardware in question.

Once the set screws are removed, firmly grab the handle and wiggle back and forth to break the seal, and then place this part to the side. Pry the mixing valve trim away from the tub or wall using a small screwdriver or pry bar. Unscrew the subbase, or backing plate, from the trim piece and pull it away from the surface as well.

The spout should also have a set screw underneath its structure or threads deep inside the fixture. You will need to either remove the set screw and wiggle the spout free or use a pipe wrench to twist the entire spout counter clockwise to complete its removal.

Test Fit and Install the New Faucet

The test fit process helps verify that the new faucet you selected will accent your tub and bathroom as expected. You will perform the test fit by placing the components in their intended locations and visually confirming the finished appearance meets your expectations. You will not screw down any hardware during this process to allow for quick alterations, if needed.

With the components held in place, verify that the edges of the faucet spout, handle and trim fully cover up the holes in the cement backerboard and tile or vinyl backsplash. If you notice any discrepancies, adjust the placement of the bathtub faucet components and perform a quick recheck. In most cases, moving the faucet up and down, then side to side, achieves a perfect placement. Once you are happy with the fit and finish, tighten down the faucet using the set screw or by simply threading it onto the existing bolt.

Add the Bathtub Trim On the Mixing Valve

Once you have the faucet secured in place, it is time to install the new bathtub trim on the mixing valve. Center the trim’s backing plate over the existing location to cover up the void in the wall or tub. Use a Phillips screwdriver to tighten down the set screws. The rear edge of backing plate should sit flush against the tub or wall once this component is tightened down far enough.

Slide the trim piece over the backing plate and push it down evenly to create a solid connection.  Use a level to verify that the trim sits completely flat and even. If you skip this step, and notice any unevenness later on, you will need to remove the handle and trim to rectify the issue. Once you are happy with the trim placement, thread the nut onto the protruding bolt and wrench down to finger tight. Secure the mixing valve trim down all the way using the included sleeve or a wrench and socket set.

Install the Faucet Handle to Complete the Job

The installation of the faucet handle will complete the replacement process. You will need to check the labeling on the handle, if applicable, to ensure the hot and cold directions match the water output.

To install the handle, you must place it over the water adjustment bolt, and then line up the set screw holes. You may need to shine a flashlight in the outer hole to properly find and line up the opening with the divot in the adjustment bolt. Place the set screw in the hole and tighten it down with your fingers. Use a hex key wrench or screwdriver to completely secure the set screw through both mounting holes.

To acquire professional assistance with your bathtub faucet installation, contact the experts at Bath Pro Refinishing Orlando by calling 407-869-8696. With just a single call, you will receive a free, no-obligation estimate for your bathtub upgrade project.