View Full Version : Would I be wise to totally redo my tub/shower plumbing?

02-09-2008, 06:31 PM
I am fixing up my tub/shower in my late 40s house as inexpensively as is reasonable. I had planned to keep the tub and use low cost tile. I am a total novice and I called a plumber to see what he would suggest about the plumbing in the wall which is about 60 years old.

Although I have no problems with the plumbing now, he was concerned that tiling would make the plumbing inaccessible (at least from the front) and suggested that I have him install a Grohe rough-in valve ($115). I also priced Grohe trim which has integral stops (ca. $300 cheapest). Labor would be about $250 (2-3 hrs). Now we are over $650 for the plumbing alone.

He was uncertain about a lower cost way to go, but mentioned other brands (Delta, Gerber, Amer. Standard, Price-Pfister) that might be cheaper if I wanted to track them down.

I would just like to leave “well enough alone.” Perhaps I should not use tile, but some other material? Perhaps I should bite the bullet?


02-10-2008, 06:22 AM
Do not tile up a wall and leave a 60 year old shower valve in there.

Grohe is pricey and difficult/expensive to repair, parts not always readily available. HansGrohe is inferior.

Delta is the most commonly mentioned favorite among plumbers . Moen, Price Pfister, American Standard are decent brands. All have fans and detractors.

The Delta R10000 universal rough in valve is great, and allows wide choice of trims in single handle pressure balanced, 2 handle pressure bal., or thermostatic type controls.

Consult the Tile Handbook by the North American Tile Council ( tileusa.com) and also the tile forum www.johnbridge.com (http://www.johnbridge.com) for help with the tile work. Please note that the most important part of a shower tile job is the substrate. NO DRYWALL! Need moisture barrier, cement board, etc.

02-10-2008, 12:27 PM
With your help I’m getting somewhere! Thanks.

The difference between R10000-UNBX and R10000-UNWS [“with safety stops”]?

Can I use any brand trim with the R10000—Delta, Moen, Price Pfister, Am. Standard?

02-10-2008, 01:53 PM
Trims are brand and sometimes model specific...you can't put Moen trim on a Delta rough-in valve.

Most (all?) new shower valves have a means to limit how hot they can get. This often must be set by the installer, and could result in it being too cold in the winter, if it was set when the incoming cold water was very warm. A thermostatic valve should also be check for accuracy, but will then compensate by itself when the cold (and hot) water temperature changes with the seasons or use. If you are referring to service stops, these are shutoff valves designed to be used if you are going to perform maintenance on the valve so you don't have to turn the water off to the whole house. Handy (if they still work) when you find you want to take the cartridge or part to the store to match up and not leave the house without water for hours or days at a time.

02-10-2008, 01:56 PM
Can I use any brand trim with the R10000—Delta, Moen, Price Pfister, Am. Standard?

No. Trims are brand and model specific.
If you have Delta, you would use Delta trim.
The manufacturer website will show which trims fit which valves.

02-10-2008, 05:02 PM
The thing about the Delta universal rough in valve, is that you not only can select different finishes, but there are 3 different function types to choose from, because all three types of cartridges fit into that rough valve. The trim does have to be Delta. Specific to that valve.

02-10-2008, 05:15 PM
Thanks for all the good advice!

I found a Delta model trim I like the look of for the shower/tub (583-SSWF) and for vanity faucet (T14478-SSLHP). I like the style of the Am. Standard (Reliant 3 Satin PVD) better; they are more expensive.

So now I will have to see what they look like in the store.

02-11-2008, 09:07 PM
Am. Std. is not what they once were... Not a fan at all!

The Delta would get my vote

02-12-2008, 06:47 PM
When I went in to check out Delta trims I got a stern warning about all the plastic they are now using compared to Santex (more expensive)(and also Porta for faucet) and how over time hot water and plastic equals problems. Do you agree or should I face that in the future knowing that I have a good rough-in valve?

It sure is hard to track down specific products in the Santa Cruz, CA, area versus an on-line site like Faucet Direct. I couldn't find American Standard yet locally, but also got warning about poor service for problems.