IMHO (In My Humble Opinion) means just that, my opinion just like you are entitled to your opinion. If the knob is so close that it is touching the escutcheon, IMHO it is set too deep. If a lot of the stem shows, it is set too shallow. How much clearance and how much variance between them is a matter of personal opinion, but the inconsistency smells of poor workmanship. As I said, it may or may not have been the fault of the plumber. I would not accept that sort of workmanship and if the contractor would not make it right, I would open the wall on the other side.
If the first picture with no clearance was the objective to shoot for, with the possible variation in tile setting, there would not be both plus and minus wiggle room so if one were to strive for no gap and came up shy by 1/16" it would rub. Also, the tighter the clearance, the more visible the variation, so if one were to strive for a 1/4" gap and missed it by 1/16", one at 3/16" and the other at 5/16" would IMHO still be acceptable.
First of all, let me thank all the members of this forum. Because of you, I am much closer to reaching an acceptable outcome to this situation.
Secondly, if this forum doubles as a venue for plumbers to vent their frustrations with their clients, the homeowners, I apologize for unwittingly stumbling into your midst.
HJ, within this single thread, you have presented 2 hypothetical situations that had nothing to do with my original post: a) a homeowner wanting the handles to look like they did at a showroom that I never visited, and b) a homeowner changing their mind at the last minute for a different thickness wall tile, which I did not do. I sincerely apologize on behalf of all homeowners for those who have caused you such deep consternation that you must take such an accusatory and condescending tone in all of your posts. Although I doubt it will assuage your mortal abhorrence of the uninitiated plumber and/or homeowner, I will add a bit of back-story to my plumbing woes to at least put them in perspective for the rest of the forum (if this post doesn't get canned):
The morning after plumbing in the master shower (the one with the two handles featured in the OP) was finished, we had our inspection. The plumber finished late the previous day, already two weeks behind schedule because he came down with the flu, and so my SO and I did not have time to inspect the plumbing. After the inspection, the tile setter came in to start tiling and he made it about three feet up the shower before the end of the day. That evening, as my SO and I are inspecting everything, we notice that the main shower pipe, with the valves where the handles will attach, is about 5" to the left of the center line of the tile. The tile is 24" wide and the shower stall is exactly 2 tiles wide with a thin grout line directly in the center. And the plumber's pipe is veering hard left. It wasn't so easy to see when there was no tile yet laid, but after the first three rows of tile were laid it was quite obvious. The shower is only two tiles wide, and our handles were going to be almost a quarter of the way into the left tile. The next day we asked the tile setter to stop work in that shower and had the plumber come back to re-sweat the pipes and lay them straight. So, not only did we provide the exact width of wall, thinset, and tile, but he already had a third of the wall height laid out for him to match up the valves to, and still my two shower handles are wildly inconsistent!!!
None of this seemed pertinent at the time of my original post because I didn't think it right or necessary to vent my frustration at an inept plumber on a public forum. All I was hoping for was a solution to what is, to me, an aesthetic problem. I realize it is to some extent an aesthetic matter and I at no point was trying to lay blame. I was only asking for suggestions to fix the handles so I would be happy with them since, after all, I paid for them. And, before HJ suggests that it is, in the end, my fault for hiring an inept plumber, let me add a bit more to the puzzle: I live in a small town; we do not have that many plumbing companies; this gentleman has been a plumber for 40 years, his daddy was a plumber, his granddaddy was a plumber. If I'm at fault, I'm at fault for hiring a plumber past his prime.
Again, thank you all for helping me come a little closer to finding a solution to what is to some of you a silly trifle, but is to me a heartbreaking disaster in a home I've put so much effort, time, and money into
It would be typical that the handle would be out a ways from the wall.
The fact that the two valves on the same wall were plumbed at different depths was a workmanship issue.
You should not have needed to call a plumber back to make the installation plumb to the wall. Installed valves at an angle is sloppy.
Since you did call him back, he could have made them the same distance out.
You can only adjust with the adapter in the 1" increment that hj mentioned. It sucks that the plumber installed the way he did.
My "hypothetical" situations are REAL ones. If you do some searching you will find several postings at this site where the homeowner bemoans the fact that the handle is NOT against the plate like the photos in a catalog show or like the ones on the display board at the showroom. At the point where the valve was repositioned and the tile was only partly done, was when SOMEONE should have realized that the "plaster ground" was NOT going to be flush with the finished tile surface, even though it is PLAINLY MARKED that it should be. (Unless you have a tileman who thinks the plaster ground is a nuisance because he has to make too nice of a cut to fit around it so he tosses it in the garbage.) IF THAT had been done the handles would ALL have been the same distance from their plates, but NOT necessarily like the one with the handle almost right against the plate.
Exactly! If it was shown in a catalog or display as flush, that would have just been a poor mock-up. As hj said, if the front of the plaster guard came flush with the finished face of the tile, the rough-in was set correctly. There of course can always be deviation caused by inconsistencies in the framing, backer board, mortar, and tile or stone thickness.
Originally Posted by Terry
When looking at the photos for comparison, one needs to realize that the reflection in the chrome makes the gap appear to be twice what it is. When several sub-trades are involved, it is the contractor that should have looked for the aforementioned inconsistencies that could have resulted in a gap on one being radically different than the other.