A Quick Guide to Faucets for Freestanding Tubs

A Quick Guide to Faucets for Freestanding Tubs

If you’ve just purchased a freestanding tub, you’re probably searching for a freestanding tub faucet that combines style with functionality. Luckily, there are many different types and styles of faucets for freestanding tubs to choose from, ranging from basic budget models to high-end designer faucets.

Most freestanding tubs do not come with pre-drilled faucet holes. This allows you to choose from a wide variety of freestanding tub faucet designs, ensuring your tub filler provides the functionality and aesthetic you desire. Popular styles of faucets for freestanding tubs include modern, contemporary, transitional, and traditional or vintage-style.

Various types of freestanding tub faucets are available for purchase, including floor-mounted, wall-mounted, and deck-mounted. The exact type of freestanding tub faucet you’ll need will depend on the model of tub that you purchase and your bathroom layout and plumbing setup.


Types of Faucets for Freestanding Tubs

Most freestanding tubs are sold without a tub faucet or filler. So unless you choose an all-in-one freestanding tub and faucet package, you’ll need to purchase your own freestanding tub faucet or tub filler. To do that, you’ll first need to determine what type of freestanding tub faucet will complement your new soaking tub and overall bathroom layout and design. Because most freestanding tubs don’t have a deck, they typically require either a floor-mount or wall mount tub faucet.


Floor Mount Freestanding Tub Faucet

Often referred to as a floor mount tub filler, this is the most common type of freestanding tub faucet. Unlike traditional tub faucets that are mounted on the deck of a tub or wall next to a tub, a floor mount faucet is installed directly into the floor and will stand independently next to a freestanding tub.

Floor mount freestanding tub faucets have a long spout that reaches over the edge of the tub to deliver hot and cold water. Floor mount tub fillers often have a long, elegant gooseneck, waterfall, or elephant-style spout.

Designers and homeowners love the sleek, streamlined aesthetic of a tall standalone tub faucet. Floor-mount freestanding tub fillers are also popular because they can be installed wherever they look and work best. However, before purchasing this type of freestanding tub faucet, you will need to ensure that hot and cold water supply lines can be accessed through the floor of your bathroom.

Floor mount freestanding tub faucets are considered a luxury bathroom fixture, crafted out of long-lasting and durable materials like brass and stainless steel. Floor mount freestanding tub faucets are typically more expensive than other types of tub faucets, ranging in price from several hundred dollars to $1,000 or more.

Many floor mount freestanding tub faucets feature a handheld shower attachment for added functionality, making it easier to rinse off or clean the tub. Other optional features that a floor mount freestanding tub faucet may have include a thermostatic mixing valve (to maintain consistent water temperature and provide anti-scald protection) and back flow preventer check valve (to ensure that water cannot flow back into the plumbing through the shower head).


Wall Mount Freestanding Tub Faucet

Wall mount freestanding tub faucets connect to water supply lines that are hidden directly behind the walls of your bathroom. For this type of faucet to be installed, your freestanding tub will need to be positioned close to a wall on at least one side. By keeping plumbing neatly out of sight, this type of freestanding tub faucet offers a clean, uncluttered look that complements contemporary and transitional bathroom designs.

Wall mount faucets for freestanding tubs can be relatively inexpensive compared to floor mounted tub fillers. However, the wall where the faucet will be installed must have access to hot and cold water supply lines. Additional plumbing work may be required if existing supply lines are not in the desired location. Also, a wall mount freestanding tub faucet will require your freestanding tub to be located directly adjacent to a bathroom wall – you obviously won’t be able to place your tub in the center of the room!


Deck Mount Faucet for Freestanding Tub

If your freestanding tub has a rim or deck with pre-drilled deck mount faucet holes, you will want to purchase a deck mount tub faucet. A deck mount faucet can be installed directly onto the rim or deck of certain models of freestanding pedestal or clawfoot tubs. When installing a deck mount faucet for a freestanding tub, water supply lines will need to be accessed through the floor of your bathroom.

Deck mount faucets for freestanding tubs have many benefits. Many homeowners prefer the cohesive, streamlined look of a tub with deck mount faucet. A deck mount faucet can be more space efficient than a floor-mounted tub faucet. It keeps the area around the tub clear and uncluttered. Having the faucet mounted on the deck also puts temperature and water controls within easy reach while using the tub.

Deck mounted tub faucets are available in a variety of styles including traditional, transitional, and contemporary. Some models, like vintage British telephone style deck mount faucets, may include a hand shower and cradle.


Clawfoot Tub Filler

Certain models of tub faucets are designed specifically for freestanding clawfoot tubs. This includes clawfoot tub wall mount faucets (made specifically for clawfoot tub wall mount installation) and deck-mount clawfoot tub faucets (for clawfoot tubs with pre-drilled deck mount faucet holes).

A shower conversion kit for your clawfoot tub faucet is an easy, cost-effective way to turn your clawfoot tub into a tub-shower combo. Shower conversion kits for clawfoot tubs, which include an overhead shower riser piper that attaches to the tub faucet, are available for many different models of freestanding clawfoot tubs.


Types of Freestanding Tub Faucet Handles

Faucets for freestanding tubs are equipped with water flow and temperature control mechanisms, such as handles or levers, that allow bathers to adjust the temperature of the water to their preference.

Tub faucets handles are a key design feature of freestanding tub faucets. Common types of tub faucet handles include porcelain lever handles and metal cross handles. Lever handles are generally easier to operate, especially for individuals with limited hand strength or dexterity. However, some people prefer the traditional, vintage look of metal cross handles.

Both single handle and double handle tub faucets are available for freestanding tubs. Single handle tub faucet designs often have a sleek, modern aesthetic that many homeowners desire. However, some prefer double handle tub faucets as they allow for more precise control of hot and cold water.


What to Look for in a Freestanding Tub Faucet Kit

Faucets for Freestanding Tubs - Technical

Freestanding tub faucets are often sold as kits that may include essential components for installing the faucet such as supply lines, diverter, rough-in valve, and trim kit.

A tub faucet with a diverter valve makes it easy to switch from filling a tub to using a handheld shower sprayer. A handheld shower attachment and cradle are often included with a tub faucet with diverter.

A tub rough-in valve is an essential plumbing component installed behind the wall or under the floor that helps regulate water flow and temperature. To ensure optimal performance, purchase tub faucet trim and rough-in valve from the same manufacturer.

The tub faucet trim kit contains the visible components of a bathtub faucet that you interact with (spout, handles, cover plate, etc.), as opposed to the hidden plumbing parts like the rough-in valve. Freestanding tub faucet trim kits come in various styles and finishes to match bathroom decor, such as chrome, nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, brushed gold, and matte black.


Additional Considerations to Make (Before Buying a Tub Faucet)

Faucets for freestanding tubs are engineered to quickly and efficiently fill a soaking tub with enough heated water for a comfortable bath within minutes. Freestanding tub filler faucets typically have a higher water flow rate than bathroom sink faucets. Most faucets for freestanding tubs have a water flow rate between 4 and 7 gallons per minute, while a bathroom faucet generally runs at 2 gallons per minute. It’s important to choose a tub faucet with a water flow rate that does not exceed the water supply pipe size capacity. This will help maintain consistent and efficient water flow. We suggest consulting with a qualified plumber for advice on the correct supply pipe capacity and faucet combination to get the most efficient performance out of your new freestanding tub. A plumber will also help you figure out where to place your new freestanding tub and faucet to make use of existing plumbing connections.

It’s important to ensure that the tub faucet that you purchase is compatible with both your freestanding tub and your bathroom’s plumbing setup. Before installing a freestanding tub faucet, remember to check the faucet manufacturer's specifications and recommendations for the required rough-in valves and other plumbing components. You’ll want to make sure that the required rough-in valve and supply lines are compatible with your plumbing setup.


Choose the Best Freestanding Tub Faucet for Your Bathroom

When it comes to selecting the best freestanding tub faucet for your bathroom, you’ll want to consider technical features like water flow rates as well as design features such as faucet style, finish, and handle design. There are numerous types of freestanding tub faucets to suit every bathroom layout and design (and remodel budget). While having a wide variety of tub faucet types and styles to choose from is certainly a privilege, it can also make choosing a tub faucet a daunting task.

The type of tub faucet that you choose for your new freestanding tub will ultimately depend on your tub’s design and other considerations, such as budget and plumbing requirements/limitations. Before buying a faucet for your freestanding tub, always consult the specification sheet and installation/owner’s manual for your freestanding tub. These essential documents provide important details about your tub's design and compatibility with plumbing fixtures and components including tub faucets and bath supply lines.

The manufacturer of your new freestanding tub may recommend specific faucet models that pair well with your tub, ensuring optimal performance and visual appeal. These recommendations can help you choose a faucet that fits the tub's dimensions, installation requirements, and overall design.

To avoid the hassle of trying to find a faucet that is compatible with your tub, you can always choose to purchase an all-in-one tub and faucet package. A freestanding tub and faucet combo package ensures that the faucet and tub are designed to work together seamlessly, simplifying the selection process. You’ll then just need to consult with a plumber on freestanding tub/faucet placement and installation, to ensure everything is installed correctly and functions properly.

For assistance with selecting a freestanding tub faucet or tub/faucet combo package, contact our Customer Service team.

by Cassidy Carr