If you are in the process of building a new bathroom or renovating an old one, something you might be looking for is a nice faucet for your bathtub. There are actually many different bathtub faucet types out there, each with its own unique look, functionality, and benefits.
Let’s get to it and talk about the different types of bathtub faucets and faucet handles out there.
6 Types of Bathtub Faucets
There are six separate categories of bathtub faucet types to go over, plus a few small subcategories too, for a grand total of nine options you can consider.
Freestanding Bathtub Faucets
One of the most luxurious types of bathtubs you could have is a freestanding bathtub, something that often comes with special decorations and is made of expensive materials. Because these freestanding bathtubs aren’t attached to any walls, they require floor-mounted freestanding bathtub faucets.
Here, the plumbing fixtures are exposed all the way from the floor to the spout of the faucet, thus adding to the stylish appearance of your freestanding tub.
This is the most expensive kind of bathtub faucet you can go with, but generally is also made with the highest quality of materials and features the best water flow. As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for, and what you get here are style and quality.
Deck-Mounted Bathtub Faucet
The next type of bathtub faucet to consider is the deck-mounted variety, a perfect option for drop-in and under-mounted tubs, and these can be used whether the tub is near a wall or not. As long as the ledge or deck of your tub has enough room for the spout, as well as the handles for hot and cold water, then this is an option for you.
Many people like these because the handles and spout don’t need much room, they produce quite a stylish appearance, and you can find both affordable and expensive ones too.
While some deck-mounted faucets have diverters for showers, many deck mounted bathtubs don’t have showers, which is why the faucets often don’t have shower diverters either. The other issue here is that you need to have the right holes in your deck for the faucet and handles, and if you don’t, they need to be cut out, which, if you have something like a cast iron tub, is going to be nearly impossible.
Roman Bathtub Faucet
A very popular and stylish type of bathtub faucet is the Roman bathtub faucet, which yes, has its origins thousands of years ago in Roman bathhouses. This type of bathtub faucet usually consists of deck-mounted plumbing fixtures combined with a focus on very traditional and old school style, such as the large arched spout that they often come with.
What’s nice is that you can find Roman nickel spouts for as little as $30, with freestanding models costing as much as $2,000, with an average price of around $500. No, most of the good ones aren’t exactly cheap, but they do certainly look nice.
What you may also like is that you can find Roman bathtub faucets in all kinds of mounting options including deck, wall, and freestanding mounts, along with different types of spouts and handles.
Tub-Wall Mount Bathtub Faucets
If you are looking for a very versatile type of faucet that can be used with virtually any bathtub type, then the tub wall mount faucet could be best for you. This type of faucet is mounted on the inside walls of a bathtub, right near the top by the ledge.
If you are buying a tub, make sure that it has pre-drilled holes that will allow the particular faucet in question to be easily and properly mounted. If your tub doesn’t have pre-drilled holes, you will have to make some, but do keep in mind that this is not advised with cast iron and other tubs made out of thick and heavy materials.
Another big advantage with this bathtub faucet type is that it can be used with virtually any type of bathtub, including clawfoot, drop-in, alcove, and freestanding tubs. They can be used whether the tub has a wall nearby or not, plus many of them can be quite affordable too.
Wall Mount Bathtub Faucets
The most common, popular, and affordable type of bathtub faucet out there is the wall-mounted variety. Of course, these require that you have a bathtub that has a wall on at least one side, and necessarily a wall at the front because the faucet spout and handles are mounted in the walls.
These are convenient for people who have limited space to spare, plus they are also very easy to install. Keep in mind that within this category, there are several subcategories to consider.
- Standalone faucet: Here, the faucet is made up of a spout, temperature lever(s), and a diverter valve (if you have a shower). That said, this type of faucet usually does not have a shower.
- Spout-only faucet: This option consists of only a spout and is often purchased if you just need to replace the spout, but not the rest of the plumbing. If you go for this, you need to have a tub with a separate hot and cold water lever, as well as a separate diverter valve for your shower head.
- Spout-only faucet with a diverter: This is more or less the same as the spout-only faucet discussed above, but also comes with a diverter valve for the shower.
- Bathtub and shower faucet: This type of faucet comes with the spout, the water levers or handles, the diverter, and the shower head included. If you are looking for an all-in-one faucet combo for your combination tub and shower, this is probably the best way to go.
Single vs. Dual Faucets for Hot and Cold Water
Although you won’t find this often anymore, there are a select few bathtub faucets that feature separate spouts for hot and cold water.
The hot water has its own handle and spout, and so does the cold water. In all honesty, while this can look super cool, it’s not overly functional, and due to the extra spout, it also requires extra plumbing and effort to install.
4 Types of Bathtub Faucet Handles
Just like there are different types of bathtub faucets and spouts, there are also a few different kinds of handles to consider. The handles are quite a minimal aspect, so there is not going to be too much to talk about here.
Dual Cross Handles
These handles are usually made of metal and look like a wheel with spokes, like a small wheel with an X going through it. The cross or X makes these handles easy to hold, they look nice, and are usually affordable too. Since there are two handles, hot and cold water is controlled separately.
Single Cross Handle
The appearance here is the same as with the dual cross handles, with the difference being that a single handle is used to balance hot and cold water. This type of handle can help save space, but achieving the right water temperature can be slightly difficult.
Dual Lever Handle
This type of handle consists of a single lever, just like a lever door handle. Move the lever in one direction to turn the water on, and in the other direction to turn it off. In terms of functionality, there is no real difference between these handles and cross handles. It all really comes down to which style you prefer in terms of appearance.
Single Lever Handle
Single lever handles are another option to go with. The difference is of course that with single lever handles, both the hot and cold water is controlled with a single lever, which can make it a bit hard to balance the hot and cold water, at least until you get the hang of it.
What Else to Consider When Buying a Bathtub Faucet?
There are some other things to consider before you go out and buy a bathtub faucet, so let’s take a quick look.
- One of the most important considerations to keep in mind is whether you need a diverter or not. If you have just a bathtub, then you won’t need a diverter. However, if you need to be able to send the water through a shower head whenever you like, you will need a bathtub faucet with a diverter.
- You always need to consider what kind of tub you have, whether a drop-in, alcove, freestanding, or anything in between.
- Consider that with this kind of thing, you do usually get what you pay for, so we advise spending a little extra on quality components.
- Always consider the installation process. Does the faucet type in question require you to make additional adjustments to the tub and/or to the walls, or can it be installed as-is? Both labor and material costs need to be considered.
- Although not a huge deal, do consider things like style, appearance, size, and color, all things that you want in a good faucet so that it matches the style and décor of the rest of your bathroom.
The bottom line is that there are many different bathtub faucet types for you to select from.
Just consider what your installation requirements are, what kind of tub you have, how the tub is mounted in your bathroom, and of course, what your budget is too.