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Shower Head and Valve on Different Walls – What Do Plumbers Say

For many of us, a shower head and the valve have always been on the same wall. But you saw some photos online with shower head and valve on different walls and are wondering if that could be a good idea. 

Shower Head and Valve on Different Walls

Is It a Good Idea To Have Shower Head and Valve on Different Walls? 

There are three aspects to bear in mind in this case:

  • Personal preference 
  • Usability
  • Water flow

You have to analyze if you would adjust well to this new placement of shower head and valve. Does your bathroom layout allow for it to work well? Could it cause water flow problems?

Shower Head and Valve on Different Walls – Considerations

I have a shower tub combo in my bathroom, and I use a shower curtain. The shower head and valve are on the same side; that layout has always worked fine for me. There are a few instances, though, where I would prefer them to be on separate walls. 

They work great on the same wall because I reach in, turn on the water until it’s the desired temperature, and hop into the shower from the opposite end.

However, I run into problems in a couple of areas. First, I don’t wash my hair every time I’m in the shower. So, if I have to reach over to adjust the water, I end up with water in my hair, which frustrates me. Also, sometimes the water temperature gets a little too warm or cold for me. Here, I have to adjust, which means going through the shower spray, which can be aggravating. 

So there is a lot to think about before deciding where to put the shower head and the valve in your shower. Personal preference will have much more to do with it than just the proper placement. 

Now you need to decide; should I put my shower head and valve on opposite walls? Let’s research and find out what the experts say so you can get started on that bathroom remodel. 

Personal Preference

As my situation shows, there are valid reasons why you would have your shower head and valve on different walls. But it’s essential to remember that sometimes our preferences come from what we have now that is familiar to us. So you must consider your shower-taking and what you like or dislike. There are things we can live with and some things we just refuse to deal with. You have to decide where you draw the line. 

Think about your bathroom layout, as well. And is your shower big enough to justify having the shower head and valve on different walls? Would it even make sense, or would it defeat the purpose because you’re not saving space and creating a solution to another problem? Sometimes just because it looks so amazing and you experienced it in a different shower doesn’t mean it will work in your shower layout. 

Best Shower Head Valve


Usability is probably the most significant contributor to your shower head placement and valve placement. For instance,

  • Location to shower door: the valve must be reachable from the shower door or entrance. Due to possible safety issues, you are not recommended to walk into the shower to turn it on. 
  • Water spray: It is not recommended that you reach through the shower spray to turn the valve to adjust the water temperature. That seems fair since reaching through too hot water can create burns. 
  • Shower door location: although this seems logical and goes without saying, ensure the shower head is not across from the shower door. Incorrect placement near a shower door can create a substantial watery mess. 

Water Flow

It is vital to your shower head and valve placement that the water flow is excellent and robust. In addition, there must be no obstacles that the water must travel through or around. To keep the water flowing smoothly, limit the number of fittings placed in the pipe from the valve to the shower head. Follow the most direct route. 

Also, keep in mind where your fittings and pipes will be. For example, let’s say you live in a colder climate. Then, you wouldn’t want to have your lines on an outer wall or in an attic space where the pipes could freeze. 

Of course, stuff like this is what a licensed plumber can tell you before they start working. 

Also, a water flow problem from too many fittings can lead to drain-related issues. Nobody wants to have water flowing out of their standing shower or filling up their tub shower combo, leaving them to stand in six inches of water. 

The Pros and Cons

It is a good idea to list the pros and cons of having your shower head and valve on opposite walls. Here is a list to get you started. Based on your personal preferences, you may think of some that you won’t see on this list.

Shower Head Placement Pros and Cons


No getting wet before getting in the shower. Having the controls separate from the shower head means you can turn the water on when you first walk in the shower, staying far enough away to check your water temperature before committing to the shower. 

Attractive and stylish. The placement of your shower head and valve can contribute to your shower and overall bathroom look. Having the controls on separate walls shows off your creativity, style, and desire to step outside the box. 

Inexpensive. The installation of your shower head and valve on separate walls is not really any more expensive than the traditional way. 

Easy to install. The placement of your shower head and valve on separate walls is easy enough to install that you can still DIY it, just as you would if they were on the same wall. Having a licensed plumber do the job is best, though, so you don’t have to deal with the potential stress of the fittings and extra pipe, but know that it’s DIY-able. 


Back and forth in the shower. There is the potential for slipping on a wet floor if you have to move back and forth in your shower to adjust the water temperature. This slipping can be a hazard but is easily solved with a slip mat on your shower floor. 

Time to adjust to something new. If you are used to the controls and shower head being on the same wall, there will be an adjustment period. However, this is almost not worth listing as a con because it’s something you will quickly get used to. 

Conflict with other plumbing. The idea that your new plumbing might be the biggest drawback to having your shower head and valve on opposite walls can be unsettling. However, it is something that can be addressed with your licensed plumber and can be solved at the outset of the project.

Sometimes the bathroom and kitchen plumbing are placed in a specific way so that they don’t conflict with each other. Again, you can discuss this with the plumber to determine if there will be a water flow issue from having to add the necessary extra pipes needed to accommodate this if the problem arises. 

Extra work. The additional work will only occur if plumbing conflicts arise. Generally, this will run into extra costs, which may be what helps you decide on your shower head and valve placements. 

The Bottom Line

So remember, you spent a weekend at a fancy spa place and had the most amazing shower ever. The shower head was on the wall opposite the valve, and you couldn’t imagine a better layout. Now, if you could just get that same feel in your bathroom!

Before you start knocking holes in your shower wall, though, talk to a licensed plumber and make sure moving the shower head and valve to opposite walls is something you can do. And take a good, long look at your shower and bathroom before you make any decisions. 

But also remember, you want your bathroom to give you that same spa treatment and if it means having shower head and valve on different walls and your plumber says it can be done, then go for it.

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