Best Shower Valve in 2020 – The Ultimate Guide by Expert Shelly Rhoades
Here’s how to find the best shower valve for your bathroom. You’ll then be able to control the water pressure and temperature, along with other functions.
Trying to find the best shower valve for your bathroom can be a real pain. That’s because there are so many of them to choose from. It would have been nice if there’s a standard shower valve for everyone, but then again at least you’ll have lots of options.
The plain truth of the matter is that not all manufacturers offer the same kind of quality with their shower valves. Some are simply shoddy, while others work well for a long time. These shower valves may also have different features that make them stand out. There are even different types of shower valves, and one may suit your needs better than the others.
So to help you find the best shower valve, we’ve taken the effort to start you off with the top 10 shower valves you can buy for your money. We’ve taken, the most important factors into account, and that includes price. We didn’t limit ourselves to just the cheap choices, but we made sure you’d get a lot of bang for your buck.
Moen 2570 Shower Valve
KOHLER K-302-K-NA Valve System
Two-Handle Valve System
Delta Faucet R10000-UNBX Universal Tub and Shower Valve
Moen 8373HD Commercial PEX Posi-Temp Valve
American Standard R111 Pressure Balance Rough Valve
Pressure Balance Rough Valve
Hansgrohe iBox Universal Leak Preventing Valve
Leak Preventing Valve
Pfister 0X8310A OX8 Series
Tub/Shower Rough Valve
Pressure Balancing Shower Valve
Grohe 35015000 Grohsafe Universal
Pressure Balance Rough-In Valve
Pressure Balancing Tub and Shower Valve
Moen 2570 Rough-In PosiTemp Pressure Balancing Cycling Shower Valve
Moen is well-known for the exceptional quality and durability of their shower valves. It’s not uncommon for owners to replace a Moen valve after more than 2 decades of use with another Moen.
This is made of brass, and it’s easy to install. Its 1222 cartridge also accommodates back to back installations.
This also has the PosiTemp pressure-balancing control valve that helps maintain both water pressure and water temperature in the shower. That’s due to the adjustable temperature limit stop for the valve so you can control the maximum hot water temperature of the shower.
As this is a Moen, it’s designed to last for a very long time. In fact, it even comes with a limited lifetime warranty. So you won’t have to immediately buy another one if you have a problem with it dripping, leaking, or having defects in the finish.
KOHLER K-302-K-NA Ceramic Wall-Mount Two-Handle Valve System
This is a valve that’s installed behind the scenes. Many like it as the best shower faucet valve that’s especially made for a Kohler faucet. This is extremely durable because it’s made of brass, and you can expect it to last for many years to come. Unlike other valves with too much plastic, this is all brass and ceramic.
You won’t have to repair it all that often either. You won’t have to worry about debris buildup with this valve. That’s very reassuring, as it can handle hard water issues with no fuss.
This also features 1-piece ceramic valves. The handles are ergonomically shaped so they’re more comfortable to turn. In addition, you can turn the water on and off with just a quarter turn of the valve. When you’ve turned the valve, it stays where you set it.
Just make sure you’re buying from the right seller. You may end up getting used valves instead.
Delta Faucet R10000-UNBX MultiChoice Universal Tub and Shower Valve Body
It’s not snobbish when you prefer things made in the good ol’ US of A. That’s because you can trust the quality control standards here. That’s not always the case in some countries, especially the ones where the labor rate is so low. With this Delta shower valve, you get a product that’s made right here in the USA.
But it’s not just its manufacturing origin that makes this a high-value shower accessory. It’s because it’s a truly innovative system that lets you make fixture changes to the shower head or tub faucet without changing the plumbing system in the walls. That saves you a lot of trouble, time, and effort. So now you can change the functions of the valves and handles, or make changes to the look of the shower, without any fuss.
The versatility allows for single, dual, or dual thermostatic cartridges. Along with the appropriate cartridge you also get the screws and sponges you need for easy installation (at least for a plumber). It’s also capable of back-to-back installation. It’s made of brass, so durability isn’t an issue at all.
Just so you know, the installation process is explained quite well in the instructions that come with the valve. However, it may require soldering and that’s not easy for everyone. So get a plumber, who’ll find this easy to install.
Moen 8373HD Commercial 1/2-Inch PEX Posi-Temp Valve
This is made from brass and not plastic, so it’s much more reliable and more durable too. Yet it only costs a few dollars more than a plastic valve, and that means it offers a lot for your money.
This Posi-Temp valve is all about maintaining the pressure of the water constant. That’s so you’re not blasted with a harsh jet or suffer a weak drip when other people in the house use the toilet or the laundry machine.
It can also help with the temperature as well. It allows you to adjust a temperature limit stop, so that you don’t inadvertently turn the temperature too hot for your liking. Shower burns aren’t all that fun.
This is quite durable, despite the 5-year warranty for material or manufacturing details. Basically, if it doesn’t break down in the next 5 years, it means it’ll last for a good long while even after the warranty period.
SR SUN RISE Square Manual Bathroom Shower Mixer Valve Control SRSH-5043-K
This is a dual function shower valve with a wall-mounted design so that you can have a nice modern-looking bathroom. While the shower body is made of brass for total reliability and long-lasting durability, the outside box is plastic. The box protects the valve body to extend its lifespan.
That makes it much better in withstanding the moisture as there’s no corrosion issue. You won’t worry about rust with the brass material either. The bass also doesn’t pollute the water, so you don’t pollute the environment. It’s good news for your skin as well.
The dual function of the valve lets you supply and mix hot and cold water to your shower head, whether it’s fixed or handheld. The valve is also made from high quality ceramic, which makes it highly resistant to high temperatures and to regular wear.
This also comes with a shower cartridge that contains a pressure balancer. This will help keep the water from getting hot enough to scald you.
You’ll find that the valve operates very easily and smoothly. Turning the valve is no problem, and even those with arthritis issues won’t find it difficult. This may surprise you, considering how solid and seemingly heavy the valve may feel when you hold it.
Pfister 0X8310A OX8 Series Tub/Shower Rough Valve
Pfister claims this model as their best in-wall valve so far, and it’s truly impressive. It comes with a Plaster Guard cap that you attach before the installation. This cap will make sure that you’ll have a big enough opening after the installation.
It features a new brass that’s more durable. The install depth is much more flexible, as now you can do a shallow wall installation instead. It also has a high precision spool balancing unit. There’s a plug for shower only too.
As for the durability, it’s not a concern. It comes with a lifetime “Pforever” warranty for both the function and the finish of the valve.
American Standard R111 Pressure Balance Rough Valve Body With Universal Inlets/Outlets
Having trouble with hard water? Then you need to check out this product we are about to review. This valve body won't let any mineral deposits to form. Therefore, you will have wonderful water flow. Also, it comes with an effective diaphragm system so that there's no crossflow.
I loved the model's cartridge. If you cannot stand any dripping, this is the type of cartridge you want in your valve. Also, when it comes to temperature tuning, it will do an excellent job. Moreover, the unit comes with great versatility. You will find it compatible with CPVC adapters as well as iron pipes.
Now, what about its durability? Well, a brass body isn't known to mess around, is it? Yes, this valve will pass the test of time dealing with constant water flow. Moreover, it offers a consistent water temperature even when there's a change in the supply pressure.
What's more, the unit will be resistant to scalding. And it will balance the pressure as it should. Besides, the brand has a good reputation in making those valves. You can rely on it, even if the price of the product seems quite low.
- Allows no mineral deposits from hard water
- The cartridge prevents any dripping
- Compatible with multiple types of pipes
- Consistent water temperature with no scalding
- None to mention
Hansgrohe iBox Universal Leak Preventing Valve Rough-in with Service Stop for Standard Shower Trims, HG01850181
Let's look at another excellent product. You will find it awesomely compatible with various shower trims. Therefore, if versatility is what you want, this is the unit for you. You will also have to appreciate the low noise this unit offers. Thanks to the rubber seals introduced in it, you will find the vibration to be less.
I was also impressed with the pipe inlets of this model. They seem to be perfect for 65 psi max pressure. So, you will have an impressive regulation of water temperature with this valve body.
Moreover, it comes with a pair of inlets and a pair of outlets. Therefore, if you are looking for more than one shower function, you are game. Also, the way this unit prevents leakage is brilliant. It will seal a finished wall like nothing else.
Now, installing this valve isn't that complicated if you know the basics. However, it will be nice to seek help from a professional. You will find the unit getting along with various walls with different depths.
I was also impressed with the water flow it provides. No matter how many outlets you have in your bathroom, the valve head will provide sufficient water for all of them. Therefore, if you have a modern bath with all sorts of outlets, it's time you purchased this excellent valve.
- Compatibility with multiple shower trims
- Brilliant in sealing walls and preventing leakage
- Sufficient water flow for numerous outlets
- Easy installation of the valve
- The Service Stops come open
Symmons S-46-1-BODY Temptrol Pressure Balancing Shower Valve Body with Volume Control
This valve comes with a cast brass body, so that should assure you of its quality and durability. Actually, its construction uses brass, bronze, and stainless steel. Its design allows it to be prefabricated without the need to disassemble the valve, so there’s less room for error.
If that’s not enough, then it should be reassuring to know that it’s made in the USA, right here in Braintree, Massachusetts. That should convince you that’s it’s made to high standards. If even that’s insufficient to assure you of the quality, there’s also the limited lifetime warranty for residential use.
This is safe to use for water-conserving shower heads, so those who want to limit their shower water use will like it. It also prevents the dangerous change in temperature that can happen to your shower water when someone flushes a toilet. The temperature limit stop can be fine-tuned to fractions of a temperature degree.
However, this is just the valve. It doesn’t have the outside trim. You’d have to buy that separately.
Kohler K-304-PX-NA Rite-Temp Valve with Pex-Crimp
This is a Kohler valve with the matching trim for all Kohler faucet lines. So if you have a Kohler faucet line, then when it comes to fit this will be the best shower valve for you.
This is a temperature control valve, and it works in several ways. This allows you to set an optimal comfort zone, so you can have it working constantly to maintain the water temperature you like. Also, you have a hard high-temp limit stop that makes sure you never get scalded in the shower.
The diaphragm design on this valve also keeps freeze-ups from ever happening, which can result from water debris and contamination.
The plumber will thank you for choosing this, as the fittings on the valve inlets let you crimp the tubing directly on to the valve with no need to install separate fittings. The universal connections also won’t require additional parts to install this valve.
Grohe 35015000 Grohsafe Universal Pressure Balance Rough-In Valve
The Germans sure know all about engineering and manufacturing don’t they? The quality of this valve is undeniable, as it showcases Teutonic attention to perfection. This valve comes with the unique “SilkMove” design that ensures smooth valve operations for a lifetime of use.
What this is, is a way to guarantee that you won’t ever have to get the shock of your life when the water temperature changes while you’re taking a shower. Now you can’t be punked by someone flushing the toilet when you’re in the shower. This gives you a wide comfort zone that lets you to regulate the water temperature gradually and precisely. No more sudden water temperature changes, in other words.
Proflo PF3001CLS Pressure Balancing Tub and Shower Valve with Stops
This is a cast bronze valve that lets you adjust the water pressure as well as the temperature. It meets (or exceeds) the anti-scalding ASSE 1016-P standards so you know for a fact that the water won’t ever get too hot for you.
Plumbers will also love the fact that it comes with a plaster guard that can be removed quickly, while the brackets are easy to mount. The 1-piece cartridge design also makes it easy to maintain. With its brass and ceramic construction, this will last you for a very long time.
So what’s the catch? Well, it does seem like ProFlo made the mistake of making too few of these and the demand for it was too great. That’s why it’s not easy to find, even online. It’s often unavailable.
What Shower Valves Do?
Shower valves haves several different functions, depending on the type of valve you get. Its main function is to regulate the amount of water that comes out of the shower head. You can then open the valve at a level to dictate how much water flows out. Some valves can even make sure the water pressure is constant no matter what.
Some valves have the added function of also regulating the temperature of the water that comes out. This valve mixes the hot and cold water, and the mix will determine how hot or cold the water will be when you shower.
Of course, you can’t ignore the aesthetic value of these valves. If you get a nice-looking valve, then your bathroom looks much nicer.
Best Shower Valve Buying Guide
What is a Shower Valve?
A shower valve is the part of the shower system that controls the water flow. But it can also control the temperature and diver the water from one faucet to another.
Things to Consider While Buying the Best Shower Valve
For such a simple function, however, there are several factors for you to consider, so you get the right one. Perhaps the most important factor is to get it in the right size, because it’s useless if it won’t fit.
The brand is important, so you’re more likely to get a high quality valve. You should read reviews to find out the best shower valves that can last a long while. But the price is important too.
What types of the Shower Valve you need-
You also have to remember that there are several types of shower valves:
Thermostatic Shower Valves
You know how the water temperature from your shower head can change when somebody else in the house flushes the toilet? It’s a very unpleasant experience when it happens to you. But that won’t happen at all when you have a thermostatic shower valve.
This vale’s main function is to keep your shower water temperature constant even if somebody else flushes the toilet in the house.
It’s also frustrating when you’re showering with a full blast of water from the shower head and then it slows down to a trickle. Sometimes the reverse happens, when you have a gentle stream from the shower head and then it turns into an angry jet of water.
If you put in a pressure-balancing valve, however, the water pressure from the shower head will remain constant so there aren’t any nasty surprises. This also works as your best kitchen faucet valve.
If you have a tub with a faucet, you can use a diverter valve to have a shower instead of a bath. The valve diverts the water from the faucet towards the shower head. This keeps you from having to have extra pipes installed for a separate shower stall.
Guide to Shower Valves & Diverters-
Twin thermostatic shower valve
This gives you 2 handles for a single shower head. One handle controls the water flow, while the other maintains the water temperature.
Triple thermostatic shower valve
This is for 2 shower heads, and it can work for these showers when they’re on at the same time. You have 3 handles, and one of them maintains the same temperature for both shower heads. The other 2 handles offer water flow control for each shower head.
Twin thermostatic shower valve & diverter
This has one handle that lets you control the water temperature. The other handle lets you divert the water from an overhead shower to a slider rail kit.
Triple shower valve & diverter
This is like the twin, with one handle as the diverter and the other as the control for the water temperature. However, there’s a 3rd handle which controls the water pressure from full off to full on.
How to fix or replace a shower valve?
Your best bet is to have a professional plumber do the honors. This is especially true if you have an old house or you have galvanized steel pipes. In these cases you probably won’t have the needed tools to do the job.
In fact, it’s actually best if you just leave everything to the pros. It’s considered a rather advanced procedure, and it’s more likely that you’ll get it wrong if you’re not a pro yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a rough-in valve?
Ans: It's the component of a shower that connects it with the cold and hot water lines. And it usually has four ports: two inlets and two outlets.
2. What is the standard height for a rough-in valve?
Ans: It should be 28 inches high for a bathtub shower and 48 inches tall for a shower stall.
3. What are the types of rough-in valves?
Ans: There are pressure building valves and thermostatic valves we see most commonly. Also, there are diverter valves and transfer valves available on the market.
4. Can you use a particular type of valve in any shower system?
Ans: No, you can't do that. The shower system and the valve need to be suitable for each other. Therefore, it's preferred that the valve and shower system are of the same brand.
5. What is the role of a diverter valve?
There are two types of diverters. These are plate diverters and diverter valves. It directs the water flow to either the showerhead or the bathtub spout. So, with such a valve in place, you can have the water flow in either of the outlets, never in both of them at the same time.
Here’s what you should do to avoid any problems. Have our list with you when you discuss the shower valve replacement with your plumber. The plumber will help identify which ones will suit your bathroom. You can then pick among them for the best shower valve that offers the features and looks you like. After that, you’ll get the sower experience you want and deserve!