12+ Types of Bathtub Faucets For Tubs, Showers, And Counters

Jessica Stone
by Jessica Stone

The design of your bathroom can minimalistic and efficient to farmhouse or vintage. Oftentimes, the bathtub hardware that you choose is influenced by the specific bathtub design, your budget, and the style that you’re going for in your bathroom space. In addition to creating your dream space, the faucet you select impacts water flow, which ultimately affects the quality of the soak that you enjoy in your tub.

When it comes to bathtub faucets, there are so many options to choose from. They can be categorized based on installation, style, and how they are mounted. Aside from wall-mounted, deck-mounted, and floor-mounted bathtub faucets, you must also consider how many holes you want to make in order to install the faucet – one-hole or three-hole – as well as the spacing.

While it may be tempting to simply snatch the first bathtub faucet that suits your budget, there is much to consider first. We’ve put together everything you need to know about the types of bathtub faucets, so you can choose the right one for your space.

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Types of Bathtub Faucets Based on Mounting Style

The goal is to choose the perfect bathtub faucet for your space, which requires you to consider the options available for your bathtub type and whether or not you’re starting with a new tub or replacing an existing faucet.

Regardless, one of the biggest things to take into account is how you want your bathtub faucet to be mounted. In terms of mounting style, you have three main options to choose from:

1. Deck Mounted Bathtub Faucet

Deck mounted bathtub faucets are arguably the most versatile option, as they can work well with virtually any tub type and do not depend on the positioning of the bathtub in the bathroom. These faucets are connected to a single block (or mini shelf) of either porcelain, wood, or stone. This “deck” is then attached to the edge of the bathtub.

They are easy to install and come with the added benefit of if you have a leak or some other issue, you don’t have to cut into the wall or floor to access the plumbing. Though, deck mounted bathtub faucets tend to be more expensive than other types and your tub must have sufficient edge space for both the spout and the handles to function properly.

2. Wall Mounted Bathtub Faucet

Wall mounted bathtub faucets are the most popular and also the most affordable option. They come in the widest variety and a wide range of price points to suit your individual needs. These faucets are an excellent space-saving solution as they are installed by attaching them directly to an adjacent wall.

Though, wall mounted faucets will only work on tubs that are placed flush against a wall, like alcove bathtubs. They will be outfitted with or without a diverter valve, which is required for showers.

3. Floor Mounted Bathtub Faucet

Floor mounted bathtub faucets are unique, statement pieces that are typically paired with freestanding bathtubs. There’s nothing that screams sophistication like a long faucet stem that extends from the ground and over the tub. These faucets feature exposed piping that runs from the floor to above the ledge of the bathtub.

Depending on the quality, a floor mounted bathtub tub faucet can end up costing you more than the freestanding tub itself. The installation process involves drilling a hole in the floor, which means that repairs can be rather difficult. It’s also highly recommended to leave the installation to the professionals. In most cases, floor mounted faucets are used in large bathroom spaces with the tubs positioned in the center of the room.

Types of Bathtub Faucets Based on Installation (Holes & Spacing)

Another way to categorize bathtub faucets is based on how many holes are required to install them into your wall, floor, or the tub itself. When it comes to holes, faucets are typically found in two basic varieties: one-hole bathtub faucets and three-hole bathtub faucets.

Single-Hole Bathtub Faucet

As the name suggests, these faucets feature one spout and one handle that is rotated to the right for cold water and the left for hot water. To install, only one hole has to be punctured, which makes the installation both easier and less expensive. These faucets are very common and widely available, which gives you an excellent range of options to choose from.

Single-hole bathtub faucets are typically made out of copper or stainless steel, but there are other options as well to suit your needs. If you are replacing an existing faucet, you must consider the holes that are already present. You’ll save time and money if you opt for a bathtub faucet replacement that suits the existing holes.

Three-Hole Bathtub Faucet

These tub faucets have three separate sections – two handles for cold and hot respectively, and then the spout. Three-hole bathtub faucets allow you to control the water temperature more precisely. However, the drawback to this type is that they are more prone to leaks than their one-hole counterparts. They are also more complicated and expensive to install.

While three holes is typically the max for bathtub faucets, things like shower heads or soap dispensers will add extra holes.

Bathtub Faucet Spacing

As far as spacing goes, there are generally two main types of “spreads” you can choose from for bathroom faucets: centerset and widespread. Though, minispread is another option that is essentially the same as widespread faucets, but in a more compact design. The “spread” simply describes the distance between the various pieces of hardware.

1. Centerset Spread

A bathtub faucet with a centerset spread simply means that the handles and the spout of a three-hole faucet are up to 4 inches from each other. This makes them appear like they are functioning as a singular unit.

2. Wideset Spread

With wideset spread, or simply widespread bathtub faucets, the components are spaced between six and twelve inches apart. Oftentimes, this type of configuration is chosen to achieve a more modern look with deck-mounted hardware. It also allows for additional features like shower spray heads or soap dispensers to be added to the faucet setup.

3. Minispread

Minispread bathtub faucets are basically a more compact version of widespread faucets. Though they are still a three-hole system, they have a more streamlined and scaled-down appearance – with the hardware pretty much touching.

Bathtub Faucet Styles

Bathtub faucets can be found in a wide array of styles, with the most popular being roman faucets, waterfall faucets, vintage faucets, and spout only faucets.

1. Roman Bathtub Faucet

Roman bathtub faucets are essentially a form of deck-mounted faucet that are designed to imitate the luxury and sophistication of baths in ancient Rome. Their style is very traditional, featuring an arched spout. Though, there are more modern options available that lack the signature arched spout design.

While they are commonly seen as deck-mount faucets, you can also find these bathtub faucets in wall mount, and floor mount styles as well.

2. Waterfall Bathtub Faucet

As the name suggests, this type of bathtub faucet resembles the appearance of waterfall flowing out of the spout. They typically feature wide spouts, which allows the faucet to achieve that signature waterfall effect.

These faucets can be found in modern styles with clean lines as well as more classic styles with traditional lines. They are also available in deck mount, wall mount, and floor mount designs.

3. Vintage Bathtub Faucet

Vintage bathtub faucets are the ideal choice for bathroom spaces that are inspired by traditional design. They look like they hail straight from the Victorian era and are often outfitted with a telephone shower head that looks similar to the rotary phones of the past.

4. Spout Only Bathtub Faucet

This type of bathtub faucet is only the spout portion. You’d typically select this faucet if you only need to replace the spout and not the entire plumbing. For instance, if you like the look of your handles and simply want to upgrade the spout, this is an excellent option. Swapping out the spout can actually give your fixture the new look it needs, while also improving the water flow to your bathtub.

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Bathtub Faucet Metal Options

Bathtub faucets are available in an array of different metals. And, each metal comes in a variety of finishes – from satin to hammered to brushed. The most common bathtub faucet metals include chrome, brass, zinc, and brushed nickel.

  • Chrome: Chrome is one of the most popular choices for bathroom faucets, as it’s durable and will complement both traditional and contemporary designs. This metal has cool blue hues.
  • Brass: Brass offers a stunning look, but requires polishing on a routine basis in order to maintain its appearance. Though, it’s unlikely to rust and comes in brushed, polished, and hammered options.
  • Zinc: Although zine is highly affordable, it is not one of the most durable options. If possible and if durability is a priority, try to consider a different metal.
  • Brushed Nickel: Comparable in terms of price to chrome, brushed nickel is often used to provide a nice upgrade to a bathroom. The metal appears in whitish or yellow tones.

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Jessica Stone
Jessica Stone

Jessica considers herself a home improvement and design enthusiast. She grew up surrounded by constant home improvement projects and owes most of what she knows to helping her dad renovate her childhood home. Being a Los Angeles resident, Jessica spends a lot of her time looking for her next DIY project and sharing her love for home design.

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