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Replacing the look of your bath and shower faucet can be easy and inexpensive if done right. If your concealed valve still works, you can probably just replace whatever parts you see without having to do any plumbing. This saves you from hiring a plumber and buying a new valve. Let's walk through the steps to replace your tub and shower faucet trim (or just the shower) in just twenty minutes. Identify the manufacturer and valve type: To determine if a trim kit will fit your specific tub and shower faucet is available, you must first determine who made it and what type of valve it has.
Faucet manufacturers offer various types of valves for similar faucets to meet the needs of the end user. Some only offer temperature control, others also offer flow adjustments. Some faucets combine these two settings on one handle, while others have separate controls. Therefore, you should determine the type of valve on your bath and shower faucet before looking for an accessory set. If you are replacing a bath and shower faucet, determine the type of bath spout you currently need.
Using an Allen key or screwdriver, loosen the nut under the spout. Now turn the spout counter-clockwise to remove it. There are two types of nozzles: threaded and slide-on. Determine which one you have so you can purchase the correct finishing kit. This will make installation a lot easier if you buy the spout that fits your existing plumbing (some kits have universal tub spouts... and some don't, so better check) Grab your tools: set of Allen wrenches, Teflon tape , regular screwdriver, Phillips screwdriver, adjustable wrench, spatula Remove old tub and shower faucet.
Cut the caulking around the trim and tub spout in the wall. Loosen and remove the screw on the temperature adjustment handle(s). Now remove the screws that secure the trim plate below the handle position. Remove the arm from the showerhead by twisting it counter-clockwise (you'll probably need your adjustable pliers for this). Remove the bath spout as described above.
Install the new tub and shower faucet: It is best to follow the manufacturer's instructions here as every style will be slightly different. Basically the faucet snaps back together much like you pulled the old one apart. Use a towel or other object to protect the surface of the shower arm when tightening it onto the threaded fitting in the wall with your adjustable pliers. Also, be sure to use Teflon tape on the threaded connections to prevent leaks. Operate the tub faucet and shower head and check the connections for leaks.
Wall Sealing: Don't forget to seal the tub spout and faceplate to the wall to prevent water from backing up and entering the wall unit. If water gets into the wall it can cause damage and possibly mold. Replacing the faucet trim in the bath and shower took about twenty minutes and cost about $100. We saved the cost of the valve (about $75) and a plumber ($100 or more) by simply replacing the tub and shower faucet trim. The same principles discussed here apply only to a shower (minus the tub spout).