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How High Should a Bathtub Faucet Be? (Explained)

To many people, a bathroom is more than just a necessity. Some people dream to create a bathroom built according to their taste and preference. A well-built bathroom must come with the right plumbing solution and placement.

A faucet is an important part of a bathroom. If you have a bathtub, the faucet placement for the tub can be tricky depending on the type of tub you have and the faucet you are planning to use.

It also depends on the plumbing location of your bathroom.

How high should a bathtub faucet be?

A bathtub faucet, without an attached spout, should be at least 12-18 inches above the bathtub rim. If the faucet and spout are attached, the spout should be at least 2 inches above the rim of the bathtub. While in a shower-only unit, it should be at least 48 inches above the finished floor.

If you are building your home from the ground, you have all the options to plan and place the plumbing according to your needs.

But if you are residing in a ready home, you can’t change the plumbing locations. So you must abide by the existing system and select your faucet placement according to that.

Wall-mounted bathroom faucet:

Wall-mounted bathroom faucets used to work best for any type of bathroom. In modern bathrooms, these faucets got replaced by the new, easy-to-install faucets that are installed in the counter, tub, or sink.

Since a wall-mounted faucet is installed on the wall, the installation and replacement can be a bit complex.

The wall-mounted bathroom faucet should be placed in a location that is easily accessible to the bather.

If you have a combination tub and shower, you must place the faucet somewhere that is accessible to both a bathtub bather as well as someone using the shower.

For a bath-only tub, the faucet should be 4 inches above the rim of the tub on the lower side. On the higher side, the distance should be 12-18 inches.

 For a shower-only bathroom, the faucet should be placed at least 48 inches above the floor.

Tub faucet:

A tub faucet is usually placed on one side of the bathtub. If your bathtub is placed against the wall or has one or more walls around it, you should go for a concealed tub faucet.

For an independent bathtub, the faucet can be a floor-type tub faucet. Either way, the height depends on the convenience and comfort of the bather.

There are different types of tub faucets available in the market. You need to choose the right one considering the type of your tub, spout dimensions, and most importantly, your and your family’s needs.

Tub faucets are affordable and less complicated to install compared to wall-mounted ones.

How high should tub spout be above freestanding?

Freestanding tubs are fun to use. But the spout placement needs to be perfect to ensure comfort to the bather.

The main rule that you should follow is ensuring that the spout points directly inside the tub and that it reaches the tub properly.

If you fail to measure it, you may end up splashing water all over the place. It should not be above 4 to 6 inches above the rims.

Also, make sure that the faucet controls can be reached easily. If you are using a slipper tub where there’s one lower end and one higher end, install the spout on the lower end of the tub.

For a slipper tub with a lower-middle part, install the spout in the middle. This way, the spout can reach the inside of the tub easily and you can get the most comfortable bathing experience.

How far should the tub spout be from the valve?

The tub spout should be 6-11 inches away from the shower valve. It is recommended to place the spout 4 inches above the rim of the tub.

This way, the distance between the floor and the spout will be 18-20 inches. Usually, the shower valve is placed 26-28 inches off the floor.

This is an ideal measurement that works for most tub plumbing fittings. Still, it can change depending on the type of faucets and other fittings.

You should always check the manufacturer’s instructions. The distance between the spout and valve is very important to maintain.

For a combination tub and shower, the spout comes with a diverter that enables water to come from the faucet and showerhead alternatively.

If the distance between the diverter and the valve is not maintained, it can cause leakage from the showerhead or the spout.

Why does the bathtub faucet need to be at a certain height?

The bathtub faucet needs to be at a certain height to avoid splashing and backflow. If the faucet is not placed at a safe distance from the tub, it can result in splashing and damaging the walls.

Similarly, a miscalculated height can result in backflow causing tub water to get inside the faucet and contaminate the water source.

If the faucet and faucet controls are not installed with proper measurements, you may find it hard to control the faucet while bathing in the tub. A misplaced faucet can irritate you while you bathe.

It can poke you on the back and that will not be pleasant. Also, you should caulk around the faucet to restrict water from going around the tub or into the wall.  

How to measure for bathtub faucet height?

You can look for a building code to know about the faucet height for your tub. If there isn’t any building code available, there are ways to determine the right height.

Determine the type of your bathtub and spout:

The height of a faucet depends a lot on the type of bathtub you are using or planning to set up. There are different types of bathtubs out there, the faucet height can change with the type.

So first, determine the type of tub you will be installing the faucet for. To make the faucet work, the spout and faucet must match. They can’t be even a few millimeters off, they must fit each other.

Consider your personal needs and comfort to determine the height:

In most places, there are no specific recommendations or building codes for faucets or spouts. But from various users’ experiences, it is safe to say that the height of a faucet depends on the purpose of your tub.

You should place the faucet at a height that is convenient for you to use without any disruption.

For combination shower and tub, the faucet should be installed in a way that makes the distance between the spout and tub rim 2 inches. For bath only unit, it should be at 12-16 inches distance from the floor.

You wouldn’t want water to get inside the walls or behind the tub. Also, you must avoid backflow of water through the spout so keep these two in check as well.

Measure the faucet reach and faucet height:

You can measure the faucet’s reach starting from the centre of the faucet base and horizontally moving to the point of the water flow.

And to measure the right height, start from the rim of your bathtub and vertically move to the highest point of your faucet. Now check with the faucet specifications sheet.

Where should a tub spout be placed?

The following points can help you find the right place for the spout.

Neither too high nor too low:

The right placement of the spout ensures that water is pouring in the right place inside the tub. If it is too high, it can cause violent splashing as the water starts filling the tub.

Again, if the spout is placed too low, it can disrupt a comfortable bathing time and you wouldn’t want to reduce your space inside the tub.

Not too close to the wall or too short:

Don’t place the spout too close to the wall. Also, the spout should not be too short. Either one of these can cause water to splash around the edges of the tub causing water to pool on your bathroom floor.

The other elements must be positioned in the center:

It is an important thing to consider when you are placing a spout. The spout, along with the shower valve and showerhead, should be positioned in the center. If the elements are not positioned perfectly, it can cause a backsplash.

Final Thoughts

A bathtub faucet that is combined with the spout should be placed in a way so that the spout is 2 inches away from the rim of the tub. If the faucet is separated, it should be placed at least 12-18 inches above the floor. The placement of the faucet is crucial to avoid a backsplash.