Armchair Builder

Tub and Shower Faucet Trim Replacement

Replacing your tub and shower faucet look can be easy and inexpensive if you go about it the right way.  If your valve inside the wall still works, you will most likely be able to just replace all the pieces that you see without doing any real plumbing.  This will save you from having to hire a plumber and purchase a new valve.  Let’s go through the steps for you to replace your tub and shower faucet trim (or just shower) in just twenty minutes.

  1. Determine the manufacturer and valve type:  In order to determine if a trim kit is available for your particular tub and shower faucet, you will need to first determine who made it and what style of valve you have.  Faucet manufacturers offer different styles of valves for similar faucets to match the end user’s needs.  Some offer only temperature control…others offer flow adjustments as well.  Some faucets combine these two adjustments into one handle whereas others have separate controls.  So, you need to determine your tub and shower faucet valve type before searching for a trim kit.
  2. If you are replacing a tub and shower faucet, determine what style of tub spout you currently have.  Loosen the nut underneath the spout with an allen wrench or screw driver.  Now spin the spout counterclockwise to remove it.  There are two types of spouts…threaded and slip on.  Determine which you have so you can purchase the correct trim kit.  This will make installation much easier if you buy the spout that matches your existing plumbing (some kits have universal tub spouts…and others don’t so it’s best to check)
  3. Grab your tools:  Allen wrench set, teflon tape, regular screwdriver, phillips screwdriver, adjustable wrench, utility knife to cut caulk
  4. Remove your old tub and shower faucet.  Cut the caulk around the trim pieces and tub spout at the wall.  Loosen the screw on the temperature adjustment handle (s) and remove.  Now remove the screws holding the trim plate in place below the handle location.  Remove the shower head arm with by turning it counterclockwise (you will probably need your adjustable pliers for this).  Remove the tub spout as previously mentioned.
  5. Install the new tub and shower faucet:  It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s directions here since each style will be slightly different.  Basically, the faucet goes back together similarly to how you pulled the old one apart.  Use a towel or other object to protect the finish on the shower arm when using your adjustable pliers to tighten it into the threaded fitting in the wall.  Also, be sure to use teflon tape on the threaded fittings to prevent leaks.
  6. Operate the faucet tub spout and shower head and check for leaks at connections.
  7. Caulk at wall:  Don’t forget to caulk the tub spout and face plate to the wall to prevent any water from getting back behind and into the wall assembly.  If water gets into the wall it can lead to deterioration and possibly mold growth.
Our tub and shower faucet trim replacement took us about twenty minutes and cost about $100.  We saved the cost of the valve (about $75) and a plumber ($100+) by just replacing the tub and shower faucet trim.  The same principles discussed here apply to just a shower (minus the tub spout).  Check out our new video at our main site titled Tub and Shower Faucet Trim Replacement for more information.

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