How to Choose the Perfect Bathtub Faucet with Hand Shower

Hey friends! If you’re considering upgrading your bathroom, one of the best places to start is with your bathtub faucet. Choosing the right faucet can completely transform the look and feel of your bathing space. Even better – add on a hand shower attachment for bonus versatility!

I’m Amanda, and I’ve been designing homes in New York for over ten years. While working with clients to style their dream bathrooms, I’ve learned a thing or two about selecting the perfect bathtub faucet. Today, I’ll share my tips and insider knowledge to help you find the ideal faucet and hand shower for your home. Could you grab a cup of coffee, and let’s dive in?

Understanding Bathtub Faucet Types

When it comes to bathtub faucets, you’ve got options! Here are some of the main styles you’ll encounter in your search:

Freestanding Faucets

These faucets make a bold statement, standing independently rather than attaching to the wall or tub deck. Freestanders often have a tall, slender silhouette that complements their height above the tub. While they typically sit center stage, you can also offset them to one side for an asymmetrical look. The pivoting head is ideal for angling the water flow exactly where you want it.

Bathtub Faucet with Hand Shower

Freestanding faucets pair beautifully with drop-in and undermount tubs. Their commanding presence lends itself well to modern, fuss-free bathrooms. Remember that you’ll need a separate mounting kit to secure this faucet style to your tub.

Deck-Mounted Faucets

As the name suggests, these faucets mount directly onto the tub deck or rim. They’re available in both single and double-handle configurations. To provide clearance for the tub edge, deck-mounted faucets often have a graceful gooseneck or swan-like curved spout.

You’ll find deck-mounted faucets crafted from brass, plastic, or both. And they come in a rainbow of finishes like chrome, brushed nickel, bronze, and more. This versatile faucet style plays well with almost any bathtub, from classic built-ins to sleek undermount tubs. Just ensure your tub deck is nice and flat to accommodate the base.

Wall-Mounted Faucets

If you’re working with a petite bathroom, a wall-mounted faucet can be a space-saving win. Installing the tap on the wall prevents it from occupying valuable real estate on your tub deck or surround. You can customize the mounting height based on your tub design and preference.

While wall-mounted faucets take up minimal room, they require some added behind-the-scenes plumbing. The tap connects to supply lines inside your wall cavity, so ensure you have access. Wall-mounted faucets lend themselves beautifully to hand shower combinations for ultimate adjustability.

Roman Tub Faucets

With their column-like silhouette and embellished details, these faucets take traditional style to the max. Roman tub faucets often showcase ornate accents like ceramic disks or crystal knobs. Lever or cross handles continue the old-world aesthetic.

True to their name, Roman tub faucets were made for large, indulgent bathtubs. You’ll find them gracing freestanding tubs and classic clawfoot models. The elevated height provides beautiful cascade effects. Just account for additional plumbing needs to accommodate their lofty stature.

Tub Fillers

If quickly filling your bathtub ranks high on your wishlist, a tub filler is the way to go. These faucets deliver water at an impressively high gallons per minute rate. Tub fillers come in both vintage and contemporary styles. Look for handsome extras like duel finishes or exotic raw materials like crystal or agate.

Regardless of which faucet type catches your eye, consider height, spout reach, potential mounting needs, and overall bathroom layout. This will set you up for success during installation. Let’s move on to the fun part – materials, finishes, and style!

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Select a bathtub faucet style finish and function

Design and Aesthetic Considerations

In addition to functionality, you want your bathtub faucet combo to align with your overall bathroom style. Let’s explore some of the most popular design aesthetics.

Contemporary Styles

For a sleek, modern statement, opt for a contemporary bathtub fixture. Minimalism is key here – clean lines, geometric forms, and a less-is-more approach. Go for a cool-toned finish like polished chrome, brushed steel, or matte black.

Contemporary bathroom hardware pairs perfectly with wall-mounted or freestanding faucets. Continue the vibe with floating vanities and linear tile patterns. Use finishes and materials like stone resin, acrylic, or glass for an ultra-modern effect.

Traditional Styles

On the flip side, traditional faucet designs recall past eras with elements like cross handles, porcelain details, and rubbed bronze finishes. Brass construction adds a beautiful patina that develops over time. For vintage styling, look for ceramic or porcelain hand shower combinations.

To complement a traditional bathtub faucet, look for clawfoot or slipper tubs, floral accent tiles, and curved furniture silhouettes. Create an English garden vibe with florals, wainscoting, and antique crystal sconces. Or go for an old Hollywood feel with Art Deco lighting and gilded mirrors.

Transitional Styles

If you want to balance old and new transitional faucet styles, bridge the gap beautifully. Transitional design mixes clean lines with classic accents and muted color palettes.

Look for a tub filler or wall-mounted faucet with a unique shape and hints of texture or ornamentation. Hand showers featuring both rainfall and concentrated jets work nicely. Aim for a restful, nature-inspired color scheme blending greys, taupes, and creams.

Choosing the Right Finish

The finish you select for your bathtub faucet and hand shower combo carries just as much visual impact as the style. Here’s an overview of popular finishes and critical considerations:

  • Polished chrome: This mirror-like finish offers serious shine and pairs well with modern and traditional bathrooms. Easy to wipe down and keep clean. But can show water spots.
  • Brushed nickel: This finish warms up sleek chrome with its softly brushed texture. It’s still neutral enough for various aesthetics. Very on-trend.
  • Oil-rubbed bronze: This darkened bronze finish lends a timeworn, earthy feel. Works beautifully in traditional, Tuscan, or farmhouse bathrooms. Requires more cleaning.
  • Matte black: For high-contrast drama, matte black adds a modern edge. Fingerprint resistant too. It needs gentle cleaning to avoid scuffs and scratches.

Consider the overall look you’re going for and the maintenance requirements that come with different finishes. With the proper care, even higher maintenance finishes can deliver beauty and longevity.

Functionality is key when choosing a bathtub faucet

Material Considerations

Equally important is the design – the materials your faucet is made from. Let’s look at some top options and their benefits:

  • Brass – Hands down, it is one of the most durable and resilient materials for bath hardware. Brass resists corrosion and stands up well to daily wear and tear. And it delivers a beautiful patina over time.
  • Stainless steel – For a sleek, contemporary look, stainless steel brings a high-end vibe. It’s easy to clean, sanitize, and maintain. Very resistant to corrosion and rust.
  • Porcelain – Offering vintage charm, porcelain bathtub fixtures feature incredible craftsmanship. Porcelain won’t corrode or oxidize. However, it can chip if handled roughly.
  • Plastics – For budget-friendly options, plastic faucets offer simplicity and reliability. Go for high-grade plastics that resist staining and discoloration. It may have a limited longevity of metal fixtures.

Build quality is as important as materials. Look for solid brass or ceramic internal components, watertight gaskets, and protective finishes. This ensures your faucet and hand shower perform reliably for years on end.

Features and Functionalities

Now let’s dive into the key features that make bathtub faucets and hand showers even more functional and enjoyable:

Hand Shower Diverters

A hand shower diverter lets you easily toggle between the main faucet and your hand shower. Many are designed as a simple lever located near the faucet handle. Look for a diverter made of metal – less potential for cracks and leaks.

Make sure the diverter mechanism feels solid when switching back and forth. Avoid loose, creaky diverters that can break over time. Oh, and pro tip – if your faucet doesn’t have an integrated diverter, many universal adapters fit most models.

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Adjustable Water Flow

Look for a bathtub faucet that allows you to control the water flow rate and pressure. This lets you customize everything from a gentle stream for shaving legs to a forceful downpour when you need to rinse thick hair.

Ideally, the faucet should offer a full range of adjustable output while maintaining a steady temperature. This prevents scalding and makes bath time safer for kids and older adults.

Choose a Faucet that Fits the Overall Style of Your Bathroom

Anti-Scald Protection

Speaking of safety – anti-scald protection is an absolute must, especially in family bathrooms. Scald-prevention faucets regulate the water temp, shutting off or lowering flows if the temperature creeps too high.

“Many faucets have caps that prevent handles from turning to dangerously hot settings. There are also anti-scald valves designed to be installed under your tub, providing an added safety net. Look for the”“ASSE 1070” certification to ensure robust scald protection.”Many faucets have caps that prevent handles from turning to dangerously hot settings. There are also anti-scald valves designed to be installed under your tub, providing an added safety net. Look for the “ASSE 1070” certification to ensure robust scald protection.

Water Saving Features

To conserve water and lower your bills, look for faucets and hand showers to restrict wasteful water flows. EPA-certified WaterSense labeled models are your best bet. Low-flow aerators help reduce water volume without sacrificing performance.

New faucet models allow you to pause water flow with a touch rather than shutting off entirely. This saves gallons of water when shaving, washing up, or sudsing your kids. Installing a recirculating hot water system also minimizes water waste.

Easy Installation

“If a DIY installation sounds tempting, look for faucets with universal connections and detailed instructions for guidance. Many manufacturers offer”“easy install” systems with color-coded hot and cold supply lines and adapters for non-standard configurations.”If a DIY installation sounds tempting, look for faucets with universal connections and detailed instructions for guidance. Many manufacturers offer “easy install” systems with color-coded hot and cold supply lines and adapters for non-standard configurations.

Quick-connect shower hoses take the frustration out of attaching your hand shower. And features like pre-assembled cartridges and single-piece bodies simplify the process. Don’t forget to shut off the main water lines before swapping out your faucet!

Ergonomics and Accessibility

A well-designed faucet and hand shower setup should provide effortless, comfortable use for family members of all ages, statures, and abilities. Here are some key considerations:

ADA Compliance

For accessibility, look for faucets and showers that meet ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements. ADA-compliant design makes bathing and grooming easier and safer for those with limited mobility.

Some specs include handles rather than knobs, arm-reachable positioning, and adjustable shower heads. Non-slip grips give added security. There are even hands-free faucets activated by motion sensors.

How to choose the perfect finish for your bathtub faucet

Ease of Use

Intuitive, user-friendly designs allow for effortless one-handed operation of both the faucet and hand shower. Look for ergonomic handles crafted for comfort and easy twisting. Hand showers should have settings marked with raised symbols.

If you have kids or older adults, opt for anti-scald fixtures and long, flexible shower hoses. Installing grab bars and a fold-down seat also helps boost convenience and safety.

Adjustable Hand Shower

Choose a hand shower setup with an adjustable slide bar for the ultimate versatility. This allows you to customize the height for bathers of different statures. Look for shower heads with long, flexible hoses for optimal range of motion.

Hand showers on adjustable slide bars are also great for shaving legs or washing hair and pets. The slider mechanism should lock firmly into position without drooping over time for safety.

Ergonomic Handles

Comfort is vital when gripping and turning the faucet handles multiple times daily. Seek out thoughtfully designed lever handles angled for easy wrist rotation. Handles should also sit at a suitable distance from the deck or wall.

I prefer metal handles with a non-slip finish. Curved handles with a wider gripping surface help those with arthritis or limited dexterity. If your faucet will see heavy family use, durable ceramic disk valves stand up better over time.

Installation and Compatibility

Ready to tackle a DIY faucet installation? Here are some pointers to prep your project for success:

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Assess Plumbing Requirements

First, determine if your plumbing can accommodate a new tub faucet/shower combo. Check your household water pressure and pipe connections. You want to avoid leaks or unwelcome surprises mid-project!

Ensure the supply lines are adequately sized for your chosen faucet’s flow rate and pressure. For wall-mount faucets, ensure you have the necessary in-wall supply lines. Don’t forget to account for proper shower drain placement, too.

The Best Bathtub Faucets With Hand Showers

Retrofit Existing Setups

Swapping out an old tub faucet? Take measurements to ensure compatibility. Examine the existing valve stem as well – will a simple cartridge replacement suffice? Carefully remove old plumbing connections and supply new adapters or extensions for your new faucet.

Oh, and don’t toss that leaky faucet! Many communities offer free faucet recycling programs that recover valuable brass components.

DIY Installation Tips

If you’re up for the DIY challenge, shut off the main water lines and disassemble the old faucet setup before installing the new one. Follow manufacturer instructions closely, making sure your connections are tight.

Be prepared with plenty of towels to catch drips and spills! Once installed, apply silicone sealant around the base. Turn the water back on slowly and test for leaks. Your sleek new bathtub faucet is ready for action if everything looks good!

Call a Pro When…

Of course, some complex faucet installations like Roman tubs or in-wall retrofits are best left to professionals. Also, enlist an expert if you’re unsure about size requirements or making plumbing connections.

Pros have the right tools and expertise to handle tricky configurations and modifications. They can also inspect your existing plumbing and point out potential issues. Take photos of your bathroom and measure carefully before calling in a contractor for a faucet installation quote.

Maintenance and Care

Let’s wrap up with some self-care for your new fixtures. Taking good care of your bathtub faucet ensures reliable performance and longevity:

Regular Cleaning

Wipe down faucet fixtures after each use with a soft towel or cloth to prevent mineral buildup and soap scum accumulations. For a deeper clean, use a mild dish soap and water. Rinse thoroughly afterward!

Clean any mesh aerator screens or shower wands that lose pressure. And remember to disinfect hand shower hoses and heads to prevent mold regularly.


Over time, mineral deposits from hard water can cause scale buildup that clogs faucet aerators and shower heads. Descale every 3-4 months using white vinegar or a citric acid-based cleaner.

Remove the scale using an old toothbrush carefully – don’t scratch your shiny new finishes! Flushing the pipes regularly helps minimize scale, too.

Faucet Cartridge Replacement

If your faucet drips after thorough cleaning, the inner cartridge likely needs replacing. Many cartridges are designed for easy, drop-in replacement without altering connections.

Follow manufacturer instructions closely, keeping note of model numbers. Lubricating faucet O-rings helps maintain a watertight seal, too. And don’t overtighten connections!

Understand Your Warranty

Review your product warranty closely so you know what’s covered. Most faucets come with a limited lifetime warranty covering defects and finishes. Save your paperwork, sales receipt, and warranty cards with your faucet!

File warranty claims promptly, and don’t attempt to modify or repair defective faucets before speaking to the manufacturer. Photos and videos of the issue help, too.

Parting Thoughts

As you can see, selecting the perfect bathtub faucet and hand shower involves many considerations. Start by dreaming about your ideal bathing space. Measure your existing setup carefully and set a budget. Weigh the different faucet styles and finish options against your goals.

Keep future accessibility and maintenance in mind, too. And don’t hesitate to call in a pro if needed for installation. Most importantly, choose fixtures that make you smile when you enter your beautiful new bathroom!

Let me know if you have any other bathtub faucet questions. I’m always happy to offer tips! Until next time, happy designing!