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How to Choose a Roman Tub or Jacuzzi Tub faucet

Updated on October 12, 2012

You have the tub - now you need a faucet. What to look for?

Most plumbers want to install the faucet at the same time as the tub. And, sometimes it can be hard to find a roman tub faucet to meet your needs quickly (as in, today) - but here is what to look for.

Roman tub faucets are not the same as lavatory or regular sink faucets, even the widespread ones. Roman tub faucets put out a lot more water, 8 to 10 gallons MORE per minute than a regular sink faucet. That is why they are more expensive, and more rare in selection. If you take the time to select a good quality roman tub faucet you will always have a quickly filling bath that will last for years to come.

They come in different sizes?

Yes. And it can be very important if you are replacing an old roman tub faucet to measure the distance between the hot and cold handles, and note if they are in a straight line or at an angle with the spout. Another reason you will find limited selection in a walk-in store in this faucet type is because of this difference in size or 'spread' between the handles. There are 8 inch spread faucets, 10 inch spread fixed and also adjustable items that will cover a range of sizes. The top 'trim', the handles and spout, are often sold in a separate box in some brands because the lower part the 'rough plumbing' part that attaches into these from underneath, is the part that needs to match the spread of the holes on an existing tub, or the plan a designer had in mind in a new construction.

And then there is the color and style

and perhaps the need to special order

After you have found out the size specifics you will need for your faucet, then you can look further into one that fits the need and has the right color and style. Ordering a faucet may take as little as 3 days, or up to a month - depending on how set you are in a certain style or color. Too many customers will wait until the last minute to choose this type of item because they do not understand all of the factors - and may end up with a stalled project or a product they are generally unhappy with in style or color but does fill the bill to let the plumber proceed.

Make sure when you are ordering the faucet that you are getting the rough parts and the trim that will work with it. Not all trims can work with the same rough and vice versa - unless they are made to do so by their company. Visiting a local home improvement store and speaking with a knowledgeable person who specializes in bath design will help you know you are getting all the right parts. You can also call the 1-800 information line for the brand you are considering, and they will assure you of the proper items as well.

I want to do it myself

Many of these roman tub valves will come with bare copper connections. You can use a fitting called a Sharkbite or Gatorbite to attach to the copper pipe and allow you to use threaded CPVC connections. Do not simply return a faucet with copper - as they are actually the higher quality items than the ones that will come pre-threaded.

Other things you will need : A drill, small saw, screwdrivers, allen wrench set and CPVC fittings and glue. It is a very good idea at this time to plan an access panel in the tub, a closet or another room to get back to this plumbing at a later date. If pipes freeze in the winter, bust in the middle of the night or the faucet simply needs a tightening or a repair part - you will be happy you planned for the future.

Selections on Amazon

In looking at the following items note that they are different sizes, may or may not come with all necessary parts (trim only - or rough sold separately) and that there is a handshower included. The handshower would also change what model of rough under plumbing valve the faucet would use as it works like a sprayer on a kitchen sink - cutting into the line between the hot and cold so warm water can come out as well.

A few other roman tub faucets in bronze color - without handshowers. Look to see if the trim or the rough are included.

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