An old shower valve with stiff handles, which were hard for my arthritic client to operate.
When it comes to a shower valve, there are many reasons you may want to replace it. Sometimes, the handles are ugly and/or difficult to operate (for example, old handles and arthritic hands don’t mix) Perhaps the shower handles and/or valve have begun leaking and no replacement parts can be found, or are too expensive. In one case, my customer found their existing shower valve to be too confusing for their guests to operate.
In the past, in order to replace your shower valve, which is typically buried behind tile or another type of shower encasement, you had two options: re-tile the whole shower wall, or cut open the sheet rock on the wall behind the valve, and replace. While opening the sheet rock behind the shower valve is still a viable option, there is now a third option: use an extra large remodel plate. This allows the replacement of an old shower valve (such as the two handle valve pictured above) with a modern shower valve, such as a Grohsafe Pressure Balance valve (pictured below). Parts for the new shower valve are easily replaceable and readily available. A new shower valve will also operate smoothly.
The first step is to cut a large hole in the tile, surrounding the existing shower handles. The hole is large enough to give access to the plumbing behind the wall, but still small enough to be covered by the remodel escutcheon. The old shower valve is cut out and the new shower valve is plumbed.
After testing the new shower valve for leaks, the area is prepared to be “trimmed out”, or concealed once again.
And there it is! A new single-handle shower valve replacing those old, difficult to turn handles. This particular customer chose the Grohsafe shower valve with the Eurosmart trim. The large escutcheon, set behind the smaller Eurosmart escutcheon, covers the hole in the wall.
Depending on the circumstances, a job like this will take somewhere between 4 and 6 hours. Call today for a free estimate on a new shower valve.