Which Is the Perfect Tub Spout Height for a Bathroom

Most people would agree that a bathtub is a great place to relax after a long day. But to get the most out of your tub, it needs to be functional. 

From bathroom sockets to lighting, the comfort of your bathroom depends on various factors. Among them is the ideal height for the tub spout.

The ideal height for your bathtub faucet is what works in your bathroom. That said, it must meet the minimum height requirement of two inches above the rim. The faucet should not exceed 18 inches above the rim.

What Is the Ideal Height for Your Bathtub Faucet?

The ideal height for your bathtub faucet depends on your preferences and what works best for your bathroom setup. It helps to consider plumbing recommendations, personal preferences, and your family’s comfort.

Plumbing Recommendations

There is no definitive answer to the perfect tub’s spout height for a bathroom. Some general plumbing recommendations can help ensure your bathroom is comfortable and functional.

Minimum Height

Plumbers recommend that the bottom of the spout be about two inches above the bathtub rim. This small gap serves an important purpose. It prevents accidental backflow. 

Backflow occurs when water is pushed back into the spout. That lets contaminated water enter your home’s water supply. As you can imagine, back flowing waste water could cause health complications.

Maximum Height

The ideal tub spout height is a matter of debate among plumbing experts. Some recommend positioning the spout between 12 and 18 inches above the tub rim on the high side.

The thinking is that a higher position will prevent splashback when filling the tub. 

But, what happens if you place the spout too high? It creates too much of a gap between the spout opening and the tub. That means water could flow outside the tub and create a mess.

Okay, so you know what the experts say about placement. But, somewhere between two inches and 18 inches is a sizable gap. There has to be more guidance to sort this out!

ADA Guidelines

You may want to consider ADA guidelines when placing a new bathroom spout. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a set of regulations designed to ensure that everyone has equal access to public facilities. It provides guidelines for fixtures, like bathtub spouts. 

The ADA requires that all spouts sit 48 inches or less from the floor. But, if the tub is primarily used by children, the spout can be 36 inches. This ensures that people in wheelchairs can reach the spout and easily turn on the water. 

ADA requirements may not apply to private, in-home bathtubs. It may be important to consider them if you have family members with mobility issues. Following ADA guidelines can even increase resale value. 

Height for Tub Faucet Controls

While considering the ideal height for placing your faucet, it would be wise to consider the controls. There is no set height for the water controls on your tub faucet – it depends on what works best for you and your family. 

For shower-only controls, a common height range is between 36 and 48 inches from the floor. But, the faucet handle should be between 12 and 18 inches above the bathtub’s rim in a tub and shower combo. 

This height is low enough for you to reach the faucet without standing in the tub. It’s also high enough to operate the faucet without bending down. Ideally, use a helper to hold the fixture at an estimated height, then see if it’s a comfortable reach for all users.

Tub Size and Shape

Do you have a giant whirlpool tub? Maybe you’re short on space and picked the smallest one to fit in a nook. Either way, your tub’s size and shape can impact the ideal height for your spout. It needs to work with the tub’s height and any unique contours.

If you have a standard-sized tub, six inches will likely be the ideal height for your spout. A smaller tub may benefit from a shorter spout to prevent water from splashing out of the tub. Larger tubs need taller spouts for proper water flow. 

The Location

Now that you know the ideal height for the tub spout, it’s time to decide on the position. For this task, finding the perfect spot depends on two factors. Consider your tub type and how close the spout is to other fittings.

Free-Standing Bathtub

When placing a tub faucet on a free-standing tub, the most important thing to consider is the reach of the spout. 

You’ll want to ensure that the water will land in the tub and not on the floor when coming out of the spout. You also want to be sure that the placement of the faucet doesn’t affect your ability to enjoy a relaxing bath.

The best place to put a tub faucet on a free-standing tub is near the edge of the tub, close to where you’ll be sitting. That way, you can easily reach for the movable shower head when you need to rinse.

Slipper Bathtub

A slipper bathtub is a type of freestanding bathtub that comes with one raised side. It could also have raised sides with a sunken middle.  The unique shape makes placement more challenging, but not impossible.

First, it’s important to consider which end of the tub gets raised. Most slipper bathtubs work best with the faucet on the low end, making the tub more comfortable

That approach doesn’t work if the slipper bathtub has a lower middle than either end. Then, you should place the faucet in the middle of the tub on the side closest to the wall. You should still have plenty of room to enjoy a relaxing soak. 

Enclosed Tubs

Enclosed tubs usually have walls around two or three sides. They may feature a counter or ledge. Some sit beside a partitioned shower.

If you have one of these, finding the right spot to mount the faucet is an important design consideration. The faucet should be centered on one of the ends, then lined up the spout and controls.

While this idea may seem like a small detail, it can make a big difference in the look and feel of your bathroom.

Distance Between Shower Fittings

Have you ever seen an arrangement of shower fixtures that leaves you confused? Maybe one lever is higher than the other or they are too far from the spout. Somebody didn’t plan for the shower fittings before installing them. 

Most local building codes require that you must install fixtures “a reasonable distance” apart. But, they don’t often specify guidelines. That means spacing is up to the installer. If they are in a rush, you can end up with a crooked setup. 

Since shower fixture spacing is left to personal preference, you might have to play around with your design a bit.

  • Consider your bathroom’s size and layout to see what makes the most sense.
  • Factor in other fixtures that you don’t want to move, like the sink and toilet. 
  • Determine how large the fixtures are and where they would be most functional.

It may help to draw out your space with detailed measurements. You may find that you have limited placement options. Or, you could commit to more renovations.

Where To Place a Bathroom Tub Filler

What, exactly, is a tub filler? It is a special faucet designed for bathtubs. While tub fillers work the same way as a tub faucet, they provide a convenient, faster way to fill your tab with water.

Tub fillers come in a variety of styles to suit any bathroom decor. Some tub fillers have built-in features, like hand showers and diverters. They are effective upgrades for people who take frequent baths and want to save time filling the tub.

Where Do You Place Them?

There’s no right or wrong answer when deciding where to mount your bathtub filler. You can place a freestanding tub filler almost anywhere around the perimeter of the tub. You might want to consider a few things before you commit to a location. 

Ease of Access

The most important consideration is the ease of access. You want to be able to reach the taps without any difficulty.

Traffic Flow

It might seem strange, but you need to consider the traffic flow in your bathroom. You don’t want the filler to be in a spot where people will constantly be bumping into it.

Near the Drain

Some designers swear by placing it near the drain. This placement makes sense because it reduces splashing. It also allows for faster drainage if you happen to overfill the tub..

With all of these factors in mind, you should be able to find the perfect spot for your freestanding tub filler.

Consult With a Plumber

The answer to this question is quite simple. You should always consult a professional plumber before deciding about your plumbing. 

Plumbers understand the ins and outs of water systems and know the needs of each bathroom design. They can help you determine the most practical height and position to place the spout or filler.

Tackling this project yourself may be tempting, especially if you have some DIY skills. Before you grab your tool belt, consider the potential risks of a misstep.

For example, you accidentally drill into a water pipe while trying to install the filler. Imagine the water damage to your home! You’ll be doing more than just mopping up water. You will probably have a large-scale renovation on your hands.

Unless you understand how your plumbing works, it won’t be as easy as you think. Inexperienced DIYers may not be able to adjust to unexpected roadblocks during the process. The last thing you want to do is damage your tub or fixtures.

So, while saving a few bucks by taking on this project yourself may be tempting, it is always best to leave it to the professionals.

Key Takeaway

The perfect tub faucet height is a hotly contested topic. Some say it should be low, so you can reach it while luxuriating in a hot bath. Others argue that it should be high so you don’t have to bend down when showering. 

The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. It all depends on your personal preferences and the layout of your bathroom.

However, if you’re looking for a general starting point, we recommend placing a little higher than two inches and a little lower than 12 inches. This way will ensure that you follow the recommended building guidelines.

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