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Shower Valve Height: Why It’s Important to Get it Right

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A shower valve controls the water flow and temperature of the water, and where its placed is important. Depending on the setup of your shower stall or bathtub, the shower valve should be installed at a height of between 30 to 50-inches. If installed over a bathtub shower combination, the valve should be placed a few inches above the tub or directly on it and connected to the faucet.

Getting the positioning correct for the shower valve matters since it dictates the usability and functionality of the shower, as well as your safety. To help you figure out where to install your valve, we've created a simple guide so you can get the height and placement right.

Chrome Shower Valve

What is a Shower Valve?

The shower valve is an important part of your bathroom setup and its usually located within the shower stall or bathtub for ease of use. The valve controls both the level of water flow and the temperature of the water that comes out of the faucet or shower head. 

In a standard shower configuration, the shower valve is located on the side of the shower stall or bathroom wall. Since the valve is in control of the water settings, it must be easily in reach of the user so they can have a safe and practical bathing experience.

Does the Height of the Shower Valve Matter?

When designing a new bathroom, most people tend to focus on the aesthetic aspects of the room, and overlook the importance of practicality and safety. 

The shower valve should be easy to reach by all members of the family who will be showering by themselves, taking into account people with disabilities, the elderly, and younger users.

These valves are commonly placed directly under the shower head and at a height convenient for most users. The standard position provides some leeway on exactly how many inches from the ground the shower valve should be placed. 

Not only are there functional reasons why a shower valve should be placed in the right spot, but it's important to also check your local building codes before beginning the installation. If you're unsure, you may want to seek professional advice.

Older Shower Valve

Proper Shower Valve Height

There's no specific height that a shower valve must be installed (unless your local building codes state otherwise), but there are guidelines to ensure safety and practicality.

How to Measure: Place the end of your measuring tape on the bathroom floor or shower pan and measure upwards.

Shower Stall Valve Height

The standard shower valve height is 48-inches, but it can be anywhere from 30 to 50-inches depending on the setup and type of shower stall used. 

At this height, most users should be able to reach the valve comfortably and safely without straining. 

It'll also leave enough space for the shower head to be place above the valve, which is usually around 72-inches from the base of the shower stall or bathroom floor.

Bathtub Valve Height

The standard shower valve in a bathtub is 28-inches.

A stand alone bathtub or bathtub/shower combination unit will have slightly different needs for the height of the valve. The placement of the shower valve is typically either inside the tub and connected to the faucet, or a few inches above the top level of the bathtub, depending on the design.

The valve should be easily reached without the user having to stand up or get out of the tub. You'll also want to consider the physical requirements of the users as well. 

Gold bathtub with shower valve

Dangers of an Incorrect Shower Valve Height

Bathroom renovations and construction take a lot of planning to get right, even when it comes to something as seemingly simple as a shower valve. If you fail to plan where this valve will go, and simply place it somewhere that looks good, you could have issues.

Most importantly, a shower valve should be placed where it can be used by all members of the family.

Of course, you'll also want to consider the resale valve of the house.

The shower valve should be easy to reach so the user can quickly change the water pressure and temperature as needed, especially if there's a risk of serious burns.

Finally, a shower valve should never be placed where it might be an obstruction, especially when installing one in an already small stall or space. Showers are a common area for slips and falls, and if the shower valve is difficult to reach, the likelihood of an accident will increase. 

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