How to Install a Bathtub Faucet

If you’re finding that your bathtub faucet needs repair – forget about it! Just purchase a new one and install it yourself. If you’re not too sure how to install bathtub faucet pieces, it isn’t too difficult – you can do it by yourself in just a short period of time.

Part 1: Behind the Wall

    1) The first part of bathtub faucet installation is figuring out how to get the faucet assembly back behind the wall – without having to rip off the entire front side of your bathroom wall.

    2) Typically, you’ll find that builders will provide a rear access panel in the room or closet adjacent to the bathroom. Remove this panel, and you’ll be able to connect all your fittings without damage to the bathroom wall.

    3) Bathtubs commonly use a two-valve faucet assembly, and the pieces should come with some basic installation instructions that you can check over as you complete the job with the instructions here.

Part 2: Replacing the Spout

    4) Remove your old waterspout by loosening the screw that holds it in place. You might have to move the spout a bit counter-clockwise to free it from the wall; the screw that you need to loosen will probably be located underneath the spout, close to the shower wall.

    5) Take this spout with you when you travel to the hardware store, and purchase your replacement according to the size, the tools you have on hand – since some faucets require different tools than what you may have on hand.

    6) When you’re back at home, use a twisting motion to get the spout onto the spout fitting, making a clockwise turn. When it is flush against the wall, screw it into place. You may need to use an Allen wrench for this process, though again, check the instructions and the screw you’re using.

    7) Run a bead of caulking across the gap that sits between the tub spout and the wall of the shower. Run your finger along it to get rid of air bubbles and smooth it out, and take a wet paper towel to clean things up.

Part 3: Two-Handled and Single-Handled Faucets

    8) If you’re installing a two-handled faucet, you’ll want to screw the flanges for the handles onto the valve stems of the faucet, and then attach the handles to the stems with mounting screws. After this, you can easily attach the spout and trim caps. However, remember that the faucet body needs to be attached before the wall surface is installed, unless you’re working from behind the shower wall through the panel.

    9) Alternately, if you’re working on a single-handled faucet, you’ll have to open the built-in shutoff valves with a screwdriver, and then attach the included escutcheon plate to the faucet body using mounting screws. Then, you can secure the faucet handle with several more mounting screws, and subsequently attach the spout and the trim cap.

In some cases, you’ll find that you actually have to replace the shower wall in order to get at the faucet assembly – in which case, you’ll have to do drywall repair afterward. While rare, this can happen in some older houses, so it might be worthwhile to take a look at the pipes and their condition while you’re at it.