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The luxury of a bath is simply beyond compare. More so, when you invest in a bathtub faucet that adds an elegant touch that exudes luxury before, during, and after your baths.
The bathtub faucet does not only add functionality to your tub ensuring the flow of water is regulated. It is also a bathtub accessory that compliments your bathroom.
Generally, it is important to consider matching finishes, the type of tub (its style, shape, and design) and its positioning, the water flow rates, and accessories, including the essential hand shower before purchasing your next faucet.
And when it comes to installing a wall-mounted faucet on a bathtub, its positioning will dictate if the faucet will work best both in terms of function and visual appeal.
Can You Use A Wall-Mounted Faucet On A Tub?
Yes, you can use a wall-mounted faucet with virtually any type of bathtub that is situated next to a wall.
Such hardware isn’t just for showers because bathtubs, such as built-in tubs, and even freestanding tubs can also use wall-mounted faucets provided that the tub doesn’t have its own faucet holes.
They can be mounted into tiled walls, support walls, elevated tub surrounds, shower enclosures, short half-walls(pony walls), or the walls of the tub itself (i.e. a tub-wall-mount faucet).
Before mounting faucets on the wall for your tub, there are a couple of things to consider:
1. The Location of Supply Pipes
Wall-mounted faucets are mounted on the wall with the supply pipes behind the wall. Therefore, this necessitates important planning before installation.
Since they require accessible water supply lines within the wall, start by locating the water lines, which in some cases, may be easily accessible from a panel in an adjacent room behind the point of faucet installation.
2. The Faucet Spout
Next, you want to then find a faucet spout that goes far enough inside the edge of the tub rim from the variety in the market to prevent water from splashing outside the tub.
To do this, measure the horizontal distance from the wall to the tub’s nearest interior wall to ensure all the water from the faucet spout will clear the tub’s inside wall.
Usually, some water may splash out and get the wall a little damp if it is too close to the edge of the tub rim and the water hits too high up on the interior of the tub wall.
As opposed to a tub with sloping sides, this is less of a problem if the tub has fairly straight sides from top to bottom. The flow of water from the spout should, ideally, hit the tub’s bottom as opposed to its side.
3. The Faucet Height.
Take note of the faucet installation instructions that should mention the ideal spout height above the rim of the tub.
Generally, if it’s too high, the water may splash.
4. The Flow Rate
When choosing your tub faucet, also, check the specs to make sure you have a high flow rate (at least 5-8 gpm) or your tub will take a long time to fill.
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Can You Use A Wall-Mounted Faucet With a Freestanding Tub?
You may be concerned about being able to use a wall-mounted faucet with a freestanding tub. More so, if on a concrete slab, it may be challenging to go for a floor-mount tub filler that is most preferred for freestanding tubs.
In such a case, a better option would be to go for wall-mounted faucets. If your tub is close enough to the wall, you can mount the faucet on the wall.
You can also use a wall mount tub faucet for a freestanding tub if you can get the tub so close to the wall. However, this may limit largely the room for cleaning.
Building a pony wall to act as a wall backing and host the plumbing is another clever alternative, especially if you want the tub out in the room a bit. That way, you can install wall-mounted faucets inside this adjacent wall directly over the tub.
Another alternative would be to extend your bathroom faucet if the spout isn’t long enough to ensure water does not mess up the outside of the tub.
If after checking the faucet extension length and seeing that it’s short, extend it by either welding a coupling and a piece of extension pipe onto the spout pipe or doing a pipe-fit using some elbow grease.
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Pros & Cons Of Wall-Mounted Tub Faucets
Wall-mounted faucets are great yet a bit more complicated. Before choosing to go with this style, here are the most common pros and cons to guide your judgment:
1. PRO: Best Where Underfloor Access is Not An Option
Where underfloor access is not an option, a wall-mount tub faucet is the best solution because it connects directly to the water source behind the bathroom wall and will not need exposed water lines.
This makes this faucet style the most economical option since the additional cost for water lines is eliminated.
Couplers, which are often supplied with the faucet, are used to connect the faucet to its water supply located behind the wall.
The couplers will normally extend the spout’s reach into the tub by 2 inches. In instances when the bathtub is situated farther from the wall, longer coupler lengths are available in 4′′ and 6′′.
2. PRO: Saves Space
A wall-mounted faucet gives you extra floor space, whether you are cleaning your space or relaxing in the bathroom.
This makes them an excellent choice for smaller bathrooms as they will use the vertical surface space. More so, your wall also tends to look cleaner because less of the faucet is in your line of sight.
Additionally, with wall-mounted faucets, you can get a bathtub with a smaller ledge or perhaps just a narrow rim. This makes your bathtub accommodate a larger volume of bathing water while taking up the same amount of space as a tub with a broader rim.
3. PRO: Can Be Used With Any Type of Bathtub
Since wall-mounted faucets are not attached to the tub itself, they can be used for any type (jacuzzis, alcove tubs, and drop-in tubs), material (including stone or wood), shape, and size of the bathtub.
This makes them preferred to deck- and floor-mounted faucets, which have more limited applications.
4. PRO: Water Does Not Pool Around The Faucet
When faucets are attached to the edge of the tub, as is the case with deck-mounted tubs, water drips around the faucet and occasionally collects dirt.
These water droplets can also cause calcium deposits to build up, making your faucet more susceptible to rust and raising the possibility of bathroom mold and mildew growth.
Therefore, with wall-mounted tub faucets, you can eliminate pooling water and preserve the integrity of the faucets, extending their useful life.
Additionally, it increases the life of the bathtub, which if you don’t keep it frequently cleaned, can rapidly develop stains around a deck-mounted faucet fixture, for example.
5. PRO: Accessibility May Be Improved by Wall-Mounted Faucets
To increase the accessibility of your bathroom, you can install a wall-mounted faucet higher above the bathtub and choose one with a longer reach toward the tub.
This may be necessary for a baby bath without worrying about accidents like head bumps.
6. CON: Wall-Mounted Faucets Are A Bit More Complicated to Install
To install a wall-mounted faucet, you’ll need to cut holes and reroute the water supply lines up the inside of the wall to where the faucet will be located.
While it may not be so complicated for new construction, bathroom renovations will always be trickier, especially if your bathroom wall is tiled.
This build, therefore, requires the services of a licensed plumber making the installation more complicated.
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7. CON: They Are More Difficult to Repair
Wall-mounted faucets are equally as complicated to repair as they are to install.
You will have to re-open the wall, creating a hole for access and it is always more challenging to seal it up and make a seamless patch.
If working on a tiled bathroom wall, and the tiles are different, you might need to replace the tile all the way around the tub on the wall. This can be even more problematic!
FAQ: Comparing Wall-Mount vs. Tub-Wall-Mount Faucets
Wall-mounted faucets are mounted to a bathroom wall next to the bathtub so that the bathtub needs no faucet holes nor is it connected to the tub in any way.
Tub-wall-mount faucets, on the other hand, require faucet holes drilled on the wall of the bathtub and water lines connecting the faucet to its water source below the floor. Therefore, underfloor access will be needed to use the common rigid water lines.
The bath is one of the first things noticed about the bathroom so the faucet and handles used on the tub are a good way to dress up the whole room.
Above are a few tips to help guide your judgment before the next purchase of a wall-mounted faucet for your tub.