The height of your shower valve is not primarily about comfort but more about the plumbing setup of your shower. Since shower valves are not universal, determining the ideal height for your shower can be challenging. Therefore, what is the standard shower valve height?
For a shower stall, the standard shower valve height is 48″ from the ground. In contrast, showers located within a bathtub require a shower valve height of 28″ from the ground as it needs to connect to the tub spout tap. Although shower valves are typically not interchangeable between tubs and shower stalls, an adjustable shower valve offers more options.
If you take accurate measurements, you can select the appropriate shower valve and install it correctly. Once you have determined the ideal height for your shower configuration, installing shower valves is easy. In this regard, let us examine the factors that influence shower valve height.
Why It Matters
When taking a shower, it’s important that everyone in your household can stand comfortably beneath the showerhead. Additionally, the valve should be positioned at a convenient height that’s easily accessible, but not too close to the tub or shower.
While the position of the valve is somewhat fixed, the height of the showerhead has some flexibility. There are industry standards for showerhead height that have been effective for a long time, but it’s important to note that these are not set in stone. Depending on individual height differences, it may be necessary to adjust the height of the showerhead to ensure optimal comfort.
Shower Valve Height
The ideal height for a showerhead depends on whether the shower is located in a shower stall or a bathtub. If you have a shower stall, the shower valve should be placed at a height of 48″ off the ground. In a bathtub shower, the ideal shower valve height is 28″.
In shower-tub combinations, there is no need for a low shower valve since there is a separate tap for filling the tub. The shower valve is usually located less than 3 feet from the ground in these cases to allow for the extra pipe connection for the tub tap.
Shower valves are designed to be reachable whether you are standing or sitting, but they are not interchangeable. Some shower stalls have lower shower valves that are easier to reach from a seated position. Adjustable height shower valves are also available, allowing you to set the valve at the most convenient distance from the ground.
The industry standard for showerhead height is 72″ from the ground, which can typically accommodate most people. However, you may choose to install your showerhead higher if your shower stall and plumbing can support it. For optimal comfort, drainage, and easy installation, it’s recommended to install your showerhead 80″ from the shower pan.
Rainfall showerheads are unique and can be installed at a height of up to 84″ from the shower pan without negatively affecting other users or pipe connections. This height allows for comfortable use by taller individuals. The maximum height at which you can install your showerhead will depend on factors such as the height of your bathtub, shower stall, shower pan, and ceiling.
You have the flexibility to install your showerhead anywhere between 70″ and 84″ from the shower pan as long as your shower and plumbing can support it.
Distance Between Fittings
By determining the heights of our showerhead and valve, it becomes easier to calculate the distance between the two fittings. This is crucial to ensure that the length of piping between the two fittings is appropriate. The distance between fittings may vary depending on the height of the showerhead and valve.
For instance, if your showerhead and valve are at the 48-inch mark and 72 inches respectively, you would require 24 inches of piping between fittings. However, the distance between fittings may differ based on the height of your showerhead and valve.
It is recommended that you adhere to the dimensions of a widespread bathroom faucet to ensure a standard look. The cold and hot handles should be eight inches apart, with one handle placed four inches to the left of the valve and the other handle four inches to the right. This is important to maintain a uniform appearance and make it easy for users to locate the shower controls.
When deciding on the heights of shower valves and showerheads, two factors come into play: personal preference and adherence to local codes. While personal preference matters, local codes generally take precedence, as the shower valve and showerhead should be easily accessible to all members of the household. For taller individuals, higher showerheads may be required compared to a family of average height.
Before embarking on any construction project, it is important to verify compliance with local construction codes. Failure to do so can result in penalties, installation modifications, or even removal of the entire project. To avoid wasting time and money, it is advisable to conduct a thorough check of local codes before starting any construction.
How Far Should Shower Valve Stick Out From Wall?
The recommended distance for your shower valve to stick out from the wall is about 3.75 inches. While it can stick out further, it should never extend 12 inches or more from the wall. If the shower valve extends too far, it may create plumbing problems or even pose a safety hazard in case someone bumps into it or falls.
To ensure that your shower valve doesn’t extend too far, the wall plate shouldn’t stick out more than 1-1.25 inches. The wall plate can add length to your shower valve, so it’s important to measure it before deciding how far you want the valve to extend from the wall.
Other Shower Installation Considerations
Depending on the size of your bathroom and any special requirements, there may be additional considerations to make when installing your shower beyond the shower valve and showerhead.
Shower seats, toilet placement, and toilet clearance are a few of the considerations you would need to think about if you decide to embark on a DIY bathroom project. Keep in mind that a contractor would take care of these requirements for you.
While the recommended height for the valve is about 24 inches for showers in tubs and 48 inches for shower stalls, it’s not set in stone. Ideally, the most convenient place to install the valve is directly beneath the showerhead.
Although it’s recommended to install the controls out of the range of water spray to prevent damage, personal convenience is the most crucial consideration. You can place the controls anywhere you find convenient.
For those with mobility or balance challenges, installing a shower seat in their home can make the bathing experience much easier and safer. Whether due to age, injury, pregnancy, or another condition, taking the proper precautions is important to avoid any hazards in the shower.
In some larger showers, it may be convenient to have a shower seat installed. However, it’s important to plan for the installation of the shower seat in advance.
The height of a shower seat should be between 17 and 19 inches from the finished portion of the shower floor. Additionally, the seat should be at least 15 inches deep when finished.
It’s important to ensure that the shower seat doesn’t interfere with the minimum recommended shower size of 36 inches by 36 inches. However, some codes may adhere to a 30-inch x 30-inch floor area. It’s important to check with local codes before embarking on this project.
The pressurization codes for shower valves may differ depending on your location. Usually, the codes require that control valves should be equipped with thermostatic mixing or pressure balance or a combination of both.
The main purpose of these codes is to prevent scalding from water pressure changes. It is crucial to have easily distinguishable blue and red indicators for cold and hot controls, respectively.
Shower Pressurizing and Local Codes
In some residences, the shower area is spacious enough to accommodate two people. In such cases, it is necessary to have separate controls for each showerhead. Prior to installation, the design should account for components like jets, body sprays, diverters, and control valves.
What is a thermostatic shower valve?
A thermostatic shower valve allows you to set your desired temperature, eliminating the need to adjust it while you’re showering. Although you can still adjust the temperature manually during your shower, thermostatic shower valves are capable of maintaining a constant temperature. Although they are more expensive than standard shower valves, hydrostatic shower valves can prevent scalding and are worth the extra cost.
Can a shower valve go bad?
Over time, a shower valve can become faulty due to wear and tear on the cartridge. The rubber rings around the shower valve can wear out, necessitating their replacement or replacement of the valve itself. You can identify a bad shower valve if you experience low water pressure, difficulty turning the handle, or a leaky showerhead.