If you’re remodeling your bathroom right now, you must make sure you do everything right. How can you do that? You can achieve it by replacing everything, including the plumbing inside of the walls with a new one. An essential part you must replace is the shower valve. You should find a sturdy and durable shower valve that can withstand high pressure, changes in the pressure, and a wide range of water temperatures. Finding the best shower valve is key to making your new bathroom safe.
There is a wide range of options you will see while doing your research. Luckily for you, we, at BeyondShower, take all shower-related technologies at heart and can help you. We have done the research. Our shower valve reviews below aren’t in a particular order.
What is a Shower Valve?
If you’re not a professional plumber, chances are you don’t know or aren’t sure what a shower valve is. Don’t worry, our job is to help you learn what it is. We, at BeyondShower, deliver objective reviews and information about a range of shower products.
So what is a shower valve? This is the part of your shower system that controls the water flow. There is a variety of models and styles to match the assortment of shower types.
The valve is like the engine of your shower. Depending on the type, a valve can control water flow or temperature, or both.
Keep reading to see what the different shower valves are.
Importance of a Shower Valve
If you live in an apartment building, you should be familiar with water temperature changes. It isn’t nice to have the water suddenly turn cold or scalding while you shower, right? The same problem can occur in houses with more than one bathroom and old plumbing, too. Sudden fluctuations may occur if somewhere in the building another shower or faucet is turned on. More often than not, water temperature in the shower can also change if a toilet is flushed.
The valve’s role can be to control the water temperature and pressure to prevent the water from going hot or cold instantly. A thermostatic shower valve can automatically balance the hot and cold water ratio. This prevents any drastic changes in the temperature.
Signs That You Need to Replace Your Shower Valve?
How to determine if your shower valve isn’t working properly? There are a couple of sings that can tell you if your valve needs to be replaced.
- Water leaks from the shower. If you see any leaks from your shower trim, the problem is in the valve. You should fix the problem as soon as possible because water may also leak behind the wall. This will damage the wall too, which will cost you more to fix.
- Water temperature changes more than usual. If you’re showering and suddenly the water gets too hot, too cold, or the pressure gets too strong, or too slow, it’s most definitely the valve’s fault.
- The handle is difficult to turn. This could be a problem in the trim, but it could be caused by the valve, too.
- Hot and cold water aren’t mixing correctly. You get bursts of cold and hot water, but they don’t mix as they should.
- The water trickles. Regardless if it’s from the showerhead, the faucet, or the tub.
Sometimes the problem can be caused by a defective or worn out shower valve cartridge. If you notice any of these changes in the water in your bathroom, replace the shower valve before it causes damages. Taking appropriate measures on time can save your family from burns in the shower. Stopping leaking water also saves you further work on the bathroom walls.
Best Shower Valves Comparison Chart
MINGOR Shower Arm Diverter Valve
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Delta Faucet R11000 3/6 Rough Setting Diverter
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KES SOLID Brass Shower Arm Diverter Valve
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MOEN 2510 Posi-Temp(R) Connection
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Delta Faucet R22000-WS Multichoice Universal with Integrated Diverter Rough
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Hansgrohe 4447000 S Pressure Balanced Valve Trim with Integrated Diverter
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Kohler Universal RITE-Temp PB Pressure-Balancing Valve Body and Cartridge Kit
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Top Shower Valve Reviews – (Newest Models)
1. MINGOR Shower Arm Diverter Valve
This Shower Arm Diverter Valve from MIGNOR is a quality piece made from sturdy metal brass. It’s a basic shut-off valve that allows you to switch between two showerheads. However, it doesn’t control the water temperature.
If you’re looking for an affordable option to have a fixed and handheld shower without having to spend hundreds of dollars, this is a good option.
This valve is easy to install by someone with no experience. Everything you need comes in the package. Once you’ve installed it, you can only use it to turn the water on and off. This valve doesn’t restrict the water flow. If you think the flow is changed, the problem may be in the showerheads.
- The brush nickel finish doesn’t allow for corrosion or abrasion.
- The metal lever turns smoothly.
- Teflon tape and rubber washers are included in the package.
- This product is a better option than push-pull types because it’s easier to operate.
- It’s made from sturdy and durable metal with a beautiful finish.
- The threads of the valve are too short.
2. Delta Faucet R11000 3/6 Rough Setting Diverter
This rough-in diverter from Delta Faucet is made from brass and provides stability and durability. The model comes with either three or six functions. You can choose which one will suit your shower needs. The price is for the diverter only, which is pricey but worth the investment.
This unit is a standard diverter with no additional accessories or parts in the package. The diverter has one input and two/four outputs. The size of the diverter is 4.00 x 3.55 x 3.60 inches. It fits great in a standard wall depth.
This diverter is simple, its only job is to switch between several showerheads. It doesn’t control water pressure or temperature. For such functions, buy an additional thermostatic valve or pressure valve.
Its installation isn’t something complicated. A non-professional can do it if you follow the instructions. The valve needs to be added inside the wall before a complete bathroom renovation. So for your peace of mind, you can get a professional to add it to the plumbing before sealing the wall.
- It has great pressure on all settings.
- The customer service is wonderful.
- As you are having it installed, the knob can be rotated in any direction you want. Even upside down.
- This unit isn’t suitable for bidets.
- The rough-in valve is sold separately.
3. KES SOLID Brass Shower Arm Diverter Valve
Kes’s shower arm diverter valve is made from solid brass and is available in five colors. It’s an attractive addition to your shower. It’s reasonably priced for what it is – a simple diverter valve. It even comes with a small roll of Teflon tape to help with its installation.
This valve doesn’t allow you to control the water temperature or water pressure. It helps you to switch from a fixed to a handheld showerhead. The inlet side has two tiny 1/8-inch holes, which appear to be restricting the flow.
There’s something else that should be kept in mind during installation. As you put the valve onto your pipe, you must tighten it by having the whole unit revolve. There’s no nut or a bolt that you use to tighten the whole unit. Since the body of the valve will be rotating until it is tight, it will end up in random positions and won’t align properly with your shower head pipe or hose. You may have to do a couple of attempts before you align it the right way.
- This unit can be used for a bidet as well.
- The valve moves smoothly.
- The package includes the valve, a roll of Teflon tape, and two rubber gaskets.
- The brass material should be very durable and last for many years.
- The water flow is a little restricted because of its design.
4. MOEN 2510 Posi-Temp(R) Connection
The MOEN 2510 Posi-Temp(R) 1/2 inches IPS Connection is a pressure-balancing valve. It maintains the water temperature even if the pressure decreases during your shower time. This model comes with the plaster ground necessary for proper installation inside of the wall.
What is great about this product is that it gives you the chance to change the trim without having to replace plumbing or takedown tiles. You can easily replace the trim by untwisting it and installing a new one.
This valve has a standard 1/2-inch IPS body, and you can install as a shower only fixture. You can also install it in a tub port. The width of the valve from end to end is 2 1/2 inches. The instructions can be a bit confusing, so you need a plumber to set it up.
After receiving the package, check as soon as possible if it’s all right and if all parts are in the box. You can return it within 30 days. You won’t have problems with water temperature while taking a shower, even if the pressure drops or increases.
- The valve comes with a pre-installed cartridge.
- This product can be used for a tub installation only.
- This valve can work with a flow rate as low as 1.5 GPM.
- The customer service responds to questions and fixes problems promptly.
- No noticeable disadvantages.
5. Delta Faucet R22000-WS Multichoice Universal with Integrated Diverter Rough
The Delta Faucet R22000-WS Multichoice is a rough-in diverter. This means that it needs to be installed before the completion of the bathroom. It also means it’s not suitable as addition and needs to be installed during a renovation.
The brand is well known for its quality products, and this model is no exception. This is the WS version, meaning it has stops, which slightly decreases the flow rate of the water. This model is not suitable for tubs, only for showers.
You can get a three or a six function trim, which plays a role in how many shower types you can have. For two shower heads, you need a 3-function. For three or more showerheads, you need the 6-function.
Know that even with the 6-function, you can only use one or two shower heads simultaneously, not all of them.
- The product is high-quality materials.
- You can choose between three trim style choices to coordinate with your bathroom design.
- The WS version allows you to turn off water only to the shower, not the entire house.
- The package doesn’t include cartridge and a trim kit. You need to purchase them separately.
- This WS version can lead to 8%-10% water flow decrease.
6. Hansgrohe 4447000 S Pressure Balanced Valve Trim with Integrated Diverter
The Hansgrohe 4447000 S Pressure Balanced Valve Trim has an integrated diverter. This makes this product very reasonably priced for what it offers. The trim is available in two finish options – Chrome and Brushed nickel. You can choose the one that suits your bathroom design.
It has a two-function diverter to switch between two showerheads. You can also use both showerheads at the same time. However, they share the water flow, and you cannot increase it.
The trim has a clean, stylish design and looks great when it’s installed. The vibrations are reduced, and it’s also mineral accumulation resistant.
The product is of good quality, but you may need to call a professional plumber to install it. It will give you peace of mind that you won’t have any issues with the performance. It’s not a cheap unit, but it’s worth the price.
A good thing about this valve is that it can work with any type, model, or brand showerheads.
- This pressure-balanced valve is suitable for tub spout.
- The trim is corrosion and dent resistant.
- Good customer support from the manufacturer.
- The backplate is plastic instead of metal.
7. Kohler Universal RITE-Temp PB Pressure-Balancing Valve Body and Cartridge Kit
The Kohler K-8304-K-NA Universal RITE-Temp PB is a rough-in kit comprising the valve and the cartridge. The advantage here is that you get the valve body and the cartridge together. Thus, you don’t need to research further how to pair them. You also have a rough-in guide for installing the two correctly. The valve is a new model and will not be suitable for some older trim models.
There are three simple steps for the installation. First, the valve, then the cartridge, and then the trim you’ve chosen. The bottom outlet can be plugged and used with just a showerhead. You just need to put a cap on it. The brand is known for its good bath hardware products, and this one lives up to the expectations.
The valve can regulate the temperature only. It will not allow for temperature changes. It will not have any impact on water pressure.
- This product delivers outstanding performance.
- The brand offers a wide range of trim options to choose from.
- Good value for money, since you get the valve and the cartridge together at a great price.
- Instruction can be a bit confusing.
- Stops and trim need to be purchased separately.
Types of Shower Valves
As you see from our product reviews above, there are several types of shower valves. Here we will explain what they are and what they do.
Temperature Regulating Valves
These are becoming old technology as they cannot regulate the fluctuations of the hot and cold water. These valves allow you to control the water temperature in your shower, but cannot prevent a change if something happens in the plumbing system. Often these types are being replaced by more advanced valves.
Pressure Balancing Valves
These are one option people turn to when replacing their temperature regulating valves. Pressure balancing valves guarantee you that your shower water won’t turn into a hellish experience. Once you’ve set your shower temperature, it’s the valve’s job to keep it constant regardless of pressure changes. Pressure balancing valves are also called anti-scald valves. If you hear both names, you should know they refer to the same thing. These valves adjust the amount of pressure of the water, thus keeping the temperature unchanged.
A step ahead of the pressure-balancing valves are thermostatic ones. These valves can control the water pressure and temperature. They have the option to pre-set the temperature for your shower and not have to wait for the water to warm up. If the thermostatic shower valve needs some temperature adjustment, it would be a small one.
Traditional Mixing Shower Valves
As the name implies, these units draw hot and cold water from their separate taps and mix them to give you the temperature you’ve set. They were widely used some years ago and are currently found in older houses and buildings. Unfortunately, these traditional mixing valves cannot regulate sudden temperature changes. The water can turn scalding or cold in the middle of your shower, which puts old people and children at risk of getting burnt.
Transfer and Diverter Valves
These two types have the same function – to divert water from one outlet to another. Shower diverter valves allow you to switch between using the showerhead or the shower faucet. With a transfer valve, you can switch between more outlets. For example, a fixed shower head, a hand-held one, tub faucet, etc.
What is the Difference Between a Shower Valve With Stops and Without Stops?
As you see from our product reviews above, there are two types of shower valves available. One type is with stops and the other without stops. But what do these stops do? What does it matter if a valve has them or not?
A shower valve with stops allows you to stop the water only to the shower faucet. For example, if you need to fix or replace the shower faucet, you need to stop the water first. Here comes the role of the stops. You can turn the water off to just the shower faucet instead of the whole house. To use the stops, you must remove the shower trim.
A valve with no stops needs a shut-off valve somewhere else in the system. Most likely it will cut-off the water to the entire house or several faucets. Such shut-off valves can be on your whole house water heater if you’re using such in your home. For additional product information on whole house electric tankless water heaters, you can check our page on the topic.
What to Look for When Choosing a Shower Valve?
Careful considerations need to be taken when choosing a shower valve. It may be a small part of your plumbing system, but it has an important role, as you see from our article. It is crucial to know every detail about such products and invest a little more so you can get a high-quality unit.
Here are the things to consider when choosing a shower valve for your home:
- How many outlets you have in the bathroom? Do you have only one showerhead and a faucet or do you have a couple of both? A tub faucet should also be included in the number of outlets. You must decide if you need between a diverter or a transfer valve to accommodate your number of outlets in the bathroom.
- Do you want the temperature to be the same each time you shower? A manual or digital shower valve can be the way to go depending on what you want for your shower temperature. A digital thermostatic valve can have the temperature set up, so you don’t have to spend time manually adjusting before each shower.
- Will you need only one or more outlets running at the same time? You may need more than one valve, or different valves to suit all of your needs.
- The depth of the wall for installing the valve is also important. For bathrooms under renovation, the depth can be changed. Otherwise, where an old valve is being replaced, the exact measurements should be taken so the new valve fits the old one’s spot.
How to Install or Replace a Shower Valve?
Installing or replacing a shower valve most times isn’t very complicated. If you’re replacing an old valve with a new but different one, you may need to find someone with more experience. For a straightforward situation (installing a new one or replacing with the same model) you only need some basic knowledge.
You will also need some tools and additional materials, such as Teflon tape, silicone sealant, a board size, drop-ear elbow, adjustable wrench, a screwdriver, level, slip-joint pliers, and a crimping tool.
- The first thing you should do is turn off the water supply in your bathroom.
- After the water is stopped, remove the shower trim and unscrew the existing valve.
- Then apply some Teflon tape on the fittings to prevent leakage.
- Use a wrench to tighten the fittings to the valve.
- If you’re installing a thermostatic shower valve, set it to your desired temperature. For non-thermostatic valves, skip this step.
- Lastly, use a plastic guard to protect the valve and mount the valve onto the piping.
FAQ About Shower Valves
What is a rough-in valve?
A rough-in valve is installed inside of the wall. Most of the products above are rough-in valves. However, not every single valve is rough-in. There are also exposed valves that are installed out on the shower faucet. Such valves may be suitable for outdoor faucets or outdoor showers. You can check out our reviews and buying guide for outdoor solar showers if you want to read more.
Can any valve fit any shower system?
No. Ideally, both the valve and the shower system would be of the same brand. At least, they need to be compatible with each other.
Do all shower valves come with a plastic guard?
A: No. Some valves come with a guard, others don’t need one. The plastic guard protects the valve from outside damage. It also plays a role in the minimum and the maximum distance of the valve from the wall. Read our product descriptions or reviews before purchasing.
We are confident that the products we’ve reviewed can suit most standard home plumbing systems and bathrooms.
We are certain that you’ll have no problem finding the best shower valve for your home. Hopefully, our guide and reviews help you. With our shower valve reviews, we aim to provide objective opinions on the products and their functions.
At BeyondShower, we value your feedback. If our reviews or guide helped you in any way, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment below. We would love to hear from you.
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