Installing Bath/Shower Mixer Taps
A bath shower mixer allows a standard tub to also offer a shower option. Bath/shower mixer taps are very common, and you don’t need to tear out the wall over the tub to add a complete shower unit. You can simply switch from bath to shower functionality by pulling on a plug that closes off water to the faucet and diverts it to the shower head. You can adjust the water temperature just as you would for a bath.
Step 1 - Removing Old Faucets
Start by turning off the water to the bathtub. If there is no separate stopcock for these, turn off your water at the house mains. Allow the faucets to run until no more water appears.
Remove the side of the tub so you can remove the old faucets for installation. Use a pipe wrench to loosen the nuts on the water wipes that attach to the faucets. Loosen on both the hot and cold water pipes. Then use your screwdriver to loosen the caulking around the faucets and slowly pull the faucets loose. Remove them and set them aside to dispose of later.
Step 2 - Cleaning
Before you put the bath/shower mixer taps in place, you should clean the bathtub to remove any old caulking and ensure the new faucets will sit evenly and cleanly. At this stage, apply Teflon tape to the threads on the faucets where they will join the water pipes. This will give a firmer, more watertight seal.
With this done, apply a very thin bead of caulk on the base of the bath/shower mix taps before you push them into place. Again, this makes the seal watertight and prevents excess water from dripping down any open crevices.
Step 3 - Tightening
Start hand-tightening each of the nuts onto the threads with the taps. This makes sure they’re secure on the threads and that they’ll tighten easily with a wrench afterward. Use your pipe wrench to tighten each of the nuts until they’re very firm. Don’t over tighten or you'll risk stripping the threads so you won’t be able to remove the faucet if you ever want to replace it.
Step 4 - Shower
You now have the bath shower/mixer taps in place but you still need to add the shower part of the unit. You will need a shower head and possibly also a stand that can be affixed to the wall. A metal hose will come off the shower, ending in a nut.
This nut needs to be attached to the bath/shower mixer tap. First, wrap Teflon tape around the threads on the tap then hand tighten the nut onto this. Tighten further with an adjustable wrench.
Turn the water back on and check for any leaks, including in the shower connection, before screwing the side of the bathtub back in place.