Hi, I'm Dave Osborne. With over 50 years experience as a journeyman carpenter, foreman and contractor in heavy construction I enjoyed working with apprentices and sharing the tricks of the trade that others shared with me. Now I get emails from Members all over the world and we include many of my answers in our Free Monthly Newsletters. Some of my answers include drawings and instructions specific to a project, but may also answer your questions. I use correct construction terminology, so you can confidently inform your building supply dealers or contractors exactly what you need.
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Can you tell me how to install a shower valve in my new bathroom. The two 1/2" water pipes are stubbed out between two 2X4's in the wall. I just don't know how to mount the valve between them. Is there some type of special bracket that is made to do this?
Sometimes the valve has brackets to screw to backing between the studs, Most times the valve doesn't have anything for this at all. Regardless, backing, a 2x4 or 2x6, is fastened on the flat in between studs and centered with the shower drain. Usually the instructions will give the distance the valve should be back from the finished shower wall, depending on the finished trim you have selected.
The valve is then fastened to the backing with plumbers metal strapping. The hot and cold water supply should connect directly to the valve inside the wall, they should not be stubbed out. The plumber probably stubbed them out as a temporary service so he could turn the water on. So before removing the supply pipes from these stub outs turn the water off.
Depending on the type of valve you got it will take either 1/2" female iron pipe adapters or 1/2" copper pipe sweated fittings. If you sweat the copper pipe fittings to the valves remove any rubber washers, etc before heating the valves up, so you don't damage them.
The shower head should be on the same center line vertically. For a shower only, the valve is centered horizontally at 54" above the finished floor with the head at 78" above the finished floor.
For a tub/shower combination, the valve is centered with the drain and 15 1/2" above the tub rim, the spout is centered 4" above the tub rim and the head is 78" from the finished floor. If you have the original instructions with the unit follow their specs.
Dave(Ask Dave) (About Dave)
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