The Correct Tub Shower Valve Rough In Height (Quick Answer!)

Showering in a bathtub is always fun when you can access the valve. In that case, you must know the correct tub shower valve rough in height (what is simply the distance between the valve and the floor).

Overall, the standard tub shower valve rough-in height for tub installation is 28 inches. However, the showerhead height, personal preference, local codes, and shower adjustment can affect how high or low you rough in the shower valve.

We will explore these factors to explain their influence on the tub rough-in height. We will also look at how you can determine your rough-in height and highlight the rough-in measurements for other shower fixtures, such as the tap and grab bars.

Let’s get started:    

how high should a rough-in tub shower valve be

Standard Rough in Height for Tub Shower Valve

Generally, the American standard rough-in height for bathtub shower valves is 28 inches (2’4¨). That’s much less than the standard showerhead valve rough-in height, usually 48 inches (4 feet).

So, why does it matter?

Well, 28 inches is a good height when using the bathtub as it allows you to access the valve as you’ll be seated close.

Furthermore, it’s a comfortable height for everyone in the family, including kids who use the bathtub.

But, must you follow the standard recommendations?

The answer is NO! As the measurements are not engraved in stone.

Let’s talk about the factors that may cause you to deviate from the standard rough-in height.

Factors Determining the Tub Shower Valve Rough in Height

Here are factors determining where to position the bathtub shower valve:

1. Showerhead Height

If your bathtub has a showerhead or plans to fit one, you should also consider its height.

In such a case, you should give the showerhead priority. Essentially, the standard shower head rough-in height is 48 inches (5feet).

Mark You, I’m not talking about the showerhead-to-ground distance (usually 72-84 inches depending on user height). No! I’m talking about the distance between the floor and the shower valve.

So, in the case of a tub and shower combo, the recommended valve rough-in height is 48 inches and not 28 inches.

how high should shower valve be above tub

2. Local Construction Codes

Before setting up your shower, you should familiarize yourself with the local construction codes. The codes keep changing and may differ between states.

So, it’s essential to know them and comply with them. Or better, talk to an expert who understands the codes.

3. Location of The Shower Controls

While the recommended rough-in height for bathtub valves is 28 inches and that for shower stalls is 48 inches, you must consider where your shower controls are.

It’s ordinarily recommendable to install the controls just below the showerhead. But more importantly, the controls should be away from water splash.

So, if the location of the shower control interferes with the shower mixing valve rough in height, you can change either of them, depending on personal preference.

4. Presence of A Shower Seat

You are not expected to observe the same rough-in distance if your bathtub has a shower seat. That’s usually the case of bathtubs meant for people with disability, pregnancy, and other conditions which prevent them from using regular tubs.

Some tubs even allow you to install a seat height, usually 17-19 inches from the bathtub floor. In such a case, it’s hard to stick with the standard tub rough-in height of 28 inches.

So, you’ve to install the valve at a location where you or the user you intend it for can access it.

5. Multiple Shower Heads

If you plan to have more than one showerhead, then you’ll need just as many valves. And since you don’t expect the valves to occupy the same line, you’ll need different rough-in heights.

You’ll need to make adjustments to ensure you comply with the local codes and still access the valves.

standard rough in height for tub shower valve

6. Shower Valve Adjustability

Some shower valves have an adjustable height, which means you can use the shower all over your body without manipulating it a lot. Here are some typical adjustability mechanisms:

  • Screw Adjustment – Valves with this mechanism allow you to adjust an adjacent screw to use the shower efficiently.
  • Manual Adjustment – Valves require using a hand tool or an inverter to lower and raise them.
  • Self-Adjustment – Valves in this category automatically adjust their height when changing the showerhead.
  • Nail Adjustment – The valves feature an adjustment nail instead of an adjustment screw.

So, generally, adjustable shower valves allow you to rough them in any location and adjust them when taking a shower.

7. Personal Preference 

Lastly, your personal preference can determine the tub valve rough-in height. For example, if you are 6-foot-plus, you may prefer to set the showerhead weight above the tub and the valve somewhere higher.

In such a case, observing the standard protocols may not work for you.

Let’s talk about how you can determine your ideal rough in height when you are extra tall.

How to Measure Your Bathtub Shower Valve Rough in Height

You can determine your most perfect rough-in height using these steps:

  • Measure your height in inches
  • Add 12 inches to your height to get your shower rough-in height if your tub also features a showerhead
  • If it doesn’t, measure your height while seated upright (head to ground distance) and add 12 inches.

But How Far from the Wall Should Shower Valves Stick Out?

It’s essential not only to consider the distance of the shower valve from the ground but also from the wall. The shower valve should preferably stick out about 3.75 inches from the bathroom wall.

While you can go more than 3.4 inches, you shouldn’t go more than 11 inches. If you do 12 inches and above, the shower valve may interfere with your bathroom plumbing and may even pose a safety risk if you accidentally rub your body against it.

And as far as the wall plate is concerned, it shouldn’t stick out more than 1.25¨ as that may make the shower valve protrude extensively.

Remember, the wall plate adds some length to the shower valve. So you also have to consider how much it sticks out when determining how much the valve protrudes.

Delta Shower Valve Rough-In Height

Other Shower Installations

We’ve seen two of the most critical installations; the tub and showerhead. However, they are not the only considerations when setting up a shower system.

You also have to consider the shower tap and the grab bars.

Shower Tap Rough in Height

The standard height for shower tap rough-in usually is 20 inches from the bathroom floor. Compared to other shower fixtures, bathroom taps have the lowest rough in height. They are the closest to the ground.

Shower Grab Bar Rough-In

Since grab bars are essential for setting up a shower, you also must consider their rough-in height.

The standard height for grab bars usually is 36-42 inches off the ground. They are likely to occupy a central position on the wall in a shower with a showerhead.

However, the rough-in height is not the only important consideration. You also have to consider the rough-in angle for safety purposes, and the recommendation is 30-45 degrees.

If you don’t observe this inclination, you could hurt yourself when you shower.

Delta Shower Valve Rough-In Height

The delta shower valve applies the standard rough-in height as follows:

  • Tub rough-in height – 28 inches
  • Shower stall (showerhead) valve rough-in height – 48 inches

Note, however, that the rough-in height depends on other factors like local codes, personal preference, and valve adjustability, as discussed.

Other Considerations When Fitting Shower Fixtures 

After observing the standard tub and shower rough-ins, also keep the following fixture distances:

  • Maintain a piping distance of 44 inches when the tub rough-in height is 28 inches and the showerhead rough-in height is 48 inches.
  • Keep the distance between the hot and the cold water knobs 8 inches. That keeps the two 4 inches away from the valve.
  • Observe a 6-inch gap between the valve body end and the spout’s base. However, the distance between the shower fixtures changes when moving the fixture. So, you may have to redo the calculations each time you change the fixtures
  • Install the showerhead at least 72 inches off the ground. If you are not sure, add 12 inches to your height, and that’ll give you the correct measurement.

People Also Ask

1. How High Should a Rough-In Tub Shower Valve Be?

A rough-in shower tub valve should be 28 inches high from the ground. However, there are exceptions, such as when dealing with a tub shower head combo.

In such a case, the shower valve should be 48 inches off the ground (which is the rough-in height for shower stalls.

2. How High Should Shower Valve Be Above Tub?

The most recommended rough-in height for a bathtub is 28 inches. That is, the shower valve should be 28 inches off the ground. You can, however, position it up to 48 inches high when installing a shower stall.

3. What Is the Correct Height for A Shower Valve?

American standards for installing shower valves are 28 inches for bathtub valves and 48 inches for shower stall valves.

You can, however, go higher if you are taller and your shower head is above the standard height (above 72 inches)

4. What Is the Rough in for A Bathtub and Shower?

The recommendable rough-in valve height for bathtubs is 28 inches, while that of the showerhead is 48 inches.

However, when it comes to the showerhead position, it should be 72-84 inches off the ground, depending on the user’s height.

5. How High Should a Bathtub Faucet Be Off the Floor?

Depending on the tub model and personal preference, the faucet should be 12-18 inches above the tub’s faucet. 

Note, however, that a faucet is positioned as high as 48 inches from the bathroom floor for a shower-only unit.

Closing Remarks On Tub Shower Valve Rough in Height!

Generally, the standard rough-in for the bathroom tub is 28 inches, while that of the shower stall is 48 inches. However, the measurements depend on the local codes, personal preference, shower seat, valve adjustability, shower controls position, among others.

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