Are Kohler and Delta Interchangeable? How To Switch Units

Faucets have a functional element, but they can also have a stylistic component. Selecting a faucet with a perfect design can rejuvenate your bathroom or kitchen in an instant. But homeowners are likely to swap out individual parts instead of the whole faucet.

Delta and Kohler are two of the most popular brands for bathroom fixtures. This leads to the question: “Are Kohler and Delta interchangeable?”

Read on to discover whether some faucet parts are compatible with other manufacturers. I’ll also explain the best way to perform this upgrade.

Switching Fixtures

Valves in the plumbing industry manufacturers are usually proprietary in nature. You sometimes won’t be able to mix and match components from different manufacturers. The trim and valve kit usually only fits parts from the same company.

What Is the Shower Valve?

The shower valve regulates output to the showerhead, water temperature, tub spout, and other accessories. It is the inner device found in the wall. The supporting device that controls temperature and water flow is the cartridge. The cartridge connects to the external trim.

What’s the Difference Between a Shower Valve and a Shower Faucet?

The shower faucet might be referencing multiple parts. The terminology can get somewhat confusing, so let’s do a brief breakdown.

The shower faucet, as a whole, is where the water exits. But when saying “shower faucet,” someone could be talking about the showerhead, tub spout, shower controls, or other parts.

You can refer to shower faucets and their controls as shower trim. These are the visible components of your shower that you use daily.

Generally, shower valves are sold separately from accessories and shower trim. So, not all trim sets will come with valves.

The same manufacturer has to make the shower valve and the shower trim. These components work in tandem. Also, the pairing must be correct to ensure proper fitting.

How To Choose Fixtures 

Let’s take a look at the steps you should take to know which brand fixtures are in your home currently.

Figure Out Which Manufacturer You Have

First, determine which company made the valve you currently have in your bathroom or kitchen. You’d have to look at the trim plate to see if you can find a letter logo. Usually, Delta products have the signature “D” etched into the faucet, and Kohler uses a “K.” 

Keep in mind that this method of identifying the manufacturer isn’t always the case. Some brands will go with the complete name of the company across the trim. 

You always want to make sure you know which brand you currently have before you replace it.  This way, you can choose what to buy. You should also familiarize yourself with the type of assembly of that model.

You can also look at the cartridge to find the manufacturer. Remember that manufacturers ensure their parts cannot get paired with a competing brand. 

What To Do if You Need Help

Speak with a professional first before you decide to swap your faucet for another. A professional plumber will be knowledgeable to verify the specifications of any faucet.

Contacting a plumber will help you figure out whether or not you can swap out individual parts of your faucet.

Look at the Specs Sheet 

I also recommend you find the original specification sheet for the faucet you intend to swap out. Each make and model will have different configurations, dimensions, and the like.

For instance, a faucet may be able to screw on the rest of the shower fixture. Such a situation allows a person to swap out a faucet handle.

Should You Upgrade the Entire Platform?

Although it’s possible to fit new faucet parts onto an older faucet, the best option in most cases is to upgrade the whole piece. Let me explain why this is beneficial.

Less Leaks 

When placing new faucet pieces on old fixtures, there’s a good chance that leaks will develop. Even if the parts are compatible, the old parts will deteriorate and warp over time.

Even though you may get more use out of the existing fixture, the truth is the other parts will wear out before the newly added piece. If you replace the entire fixture, the whole piece can age together at the same rate.

Design Integration

When you replace the entire faucet, you’re assured of a more seamless design style.

It might seem intriguing to mix and match parts to improve the appearance of the fixture. But it can lead to a confusing design that doesn’t mesh with the room.

More Options

When you choose new parts for your faucet, you have to stick with the same brand you have. So, you have fewer options. 

Instead of struggling with finding the style you like based on what’s available, consider upgrading entirely. This strategy gives you a larger array of options. You would have less of an issue finding a design you love.

Kohler vs. Delta

Delta and Kohler are two of the most popular brands of plumbing fixtures. 

Delta

They are a global leader in plumbing accessories such as flush valves, faucets, and more. The Delta Faucet Company provides quality units. 

A Delta valve will only fit with a Delta trim kit. You can’t use either of them with a different brand.

Delta’s Universal Fixture 

Delta offers a universal fixture for people who want to change their shower’s appearance or even how it functions. They have made it a point to create universal shower valves. So, you can remove the trim kit only and swap it out. 

You won’t need to pull out the valve. Just switch the trim kit. You’ll feel like you’ve installed a completely new one.

Delta has many options from the Delta Collection that will fit your style effortlessly. You can also use the valve for a shower-only install or a tub/shower combo.

Kohler

Kohler has been around for much longer than Delta. It was established in 1873, as opposed to 1954 for Delta. Kohler stands out regarding bathroom and kitchen faucets and accessories. 

There’s the same issue about products from this brand: they are not interchangeable. They’re not interchangeable within the brand, either. 

All of Kohler’s shower valves have various sizes and designs compatible with certain trims and cartridges. You wouldn’t be able to swap a Delta piece for a Kohler piece without problems.

Why Kohler Valves Aren’t Universal

While Delta offers a universal valve, Kohler has three major reasons why they don’t: 

Kohler Shower Valves Come in Different Designs

If you look at Kohler’s shower valve catalog, they look very similar, but the designs are different. They all have various model numbers, also. 

The modem number allows you to understand which valve goes with which kit. You will encounter problems if you try to force it with a non-compatible kit.

Kohler Shower Valves Aren’t Compatible with Every Kohler Trim

Kohler’s trims are not universal. Because they go hand-in-hand, there is no point in making the valves universal if the trim kits could not pair with all Kohler parts. 

This factor makes it a little more difficult to replace features that you may need to repair.

Conclusion 

There are many reasons why manufacturers choose to make most of their plumbing units incompatible with other brands. For example, it keeps you coming back to them for replacements and upgrades. 

So, are Kohler and Delta interchangeable? They are not! You have to stick to the same brand when replacing parts.

You can usually change part of your Delta faucet with other Delta products. But with Kohler, you have to change the faucet kit as a whole.

Be sure not to create problems for yourself by mixing products that will affect the overall functionality of your faucet system. Stay with one brand to make it a quicker and less expensive renovation endeavor.

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