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Can You Use A Shower Tub Valve For Shower Only?

A shower tub valve controls water flow and temperature in a shower tub using two handles or knobs. And some valves also include a diverter for switching between the showerhead and tub spout.

But one might ask, can you use a shower tub valve for the shower only? Yes, you can. However, you need to have profound knowledge about the valve that’s being used in your shower-tub combo. Besides, there are merits and demerits of such action. You need to go through them beforehand.

Moreover, the next thing that can come to your mind is what’s the process of the conversion. Rest assured because I will be covering everything in today’s article.

can you use a shower tub valve for shower only

What Are The Different Kinds of Shower Valves?

There are 3 different categories of shower valves. Let’s discuss them.

Single Handle Shower Valves

These valves use a single handle to control the water flow and temperature. They can be controlled by a lever, knob, or dial. Single-handle valves are more convenient to use and can save space in smaller bathrooms.

Dual Handle Shower Valves

These types of valves have two separate handles that control the flow and temperature of the water. Dual-handle shower valves can be found in both bathtubs and shower stalls. They are usually made from brass or chrome and are known for their durability.

Diverter Valves

Diverter valves for shower tubs are plumbing components that switch water flow between the shower head and tub spout. They have a handle/lever typically located on the wall above the tub.

The lever controls water flow to the shower head or tub spout. This allows switching between a shower or filling the tub.

Can You Use A Shower Tub Valve For The Shower Only?

Yes, a shower tub valve can be used for the shower only. This generally involves adjusting the valve to divert water flow solely to the showerhead and not to the tub spout.

However, there are advantages and disadvantages of such conversion. It is best to check the instructions of your specific valve to determine how to use it for the shower only.

Advantages of using a shower tub valve for the shower only

Let’s look at the advantages of using a shower tub valve for the shower only.


Using a shower tub valve for the shower only eliminates the need for a separate shower valve. This can save money on installation costs.


A shower tub valve takes up less space than a separate shower valve. This can be beneficial in small bathrooms.


A shower tub valve allows the user to switch between the shower and tub functions, providing the option for a bath if desired.

Disadvantages of using a shower tub valve for the shower only

Now let’s look at the disadvantages.

Limited Control

A shower tub valve may not provide as much control over the water flow and temperature as a dedicated shower valve. This can affect the overall shower experience.

Difficult to Repair

It would be more difficult to repair than a dedicated shower valve If a shower tub valve malfunctions.

Dual Control

It can be difficult to operate for some people If you have dual control for the shower and tub spout. Especially the elderly or those with mobility issues.

How to Use A Shower Tub Valve For The Shower Only?

To successfully complete the job, you will need the following materials.

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Teflon tape
  • Replacement shower-only trim kit (specific to your valve type)
  • Screwdriver (if necessary for your trim kit)
  • Pipe cutter, if you need to adjust the length of the pipes (optional)

First, have a look at this American-standard shower tub valve diagram to understand what you’ll be dealing with.

shower tub valve usable for shower only

Now let’s look at the steps to make a shower tub valve usable for shower only.

Step 1. Turn off the water supply to the shower/tub by locating the shut-off valves in the basement or crawl space.

Step 2. Drain any remaining water from the pipes before making any changes.

Step 3. Remove the handle and escutcheon plate from the shower/tub valve.

Step 4. Locate the diverter valve, which is typically a small knob or lever located behind the escutcheon plate.

Step 5. Use a screwdriver or pliers to remove the diverter valve.

Step 6. Replace the diverter valve with a shower-only valve, which can be purchased at a home improvement store.

Step 7. Reinstall the escutcheon plate and handle.

Step 8. Turn the water supply back on and test the shower for proper function and leaks.

Note: These instructions may vary depending on the specific shower/tub valve you have. It’s always a good idea to consult the manufacturer’s instructions or hire a professional if you are unsure about any step.

Here’s a video that you can watch to get a better picture.

How Much Will The Conversion Cost?

To use the shower tub valve for the shower only, you might need to spend from $1200 to $8000 and $3000 on average. The cost varies based on size, accessibility, and the type of kit you are choosing.

If you decide to take professional help, the labor cost can go up to $1000. You can save this amount by going for DIY, but it will consume a lot of time and energy.

How to Use Shower Tub Valve For The Shower Only Without Permanent Conversion?

Here I will discuss the instructions step by step, which you can follow if you don’t want permanent conversion.

Step 1. Locate The Shower Tub Valve

The shower tub valve is typically located behind the showerhead or on the wall near the tub. It may be a single handle or a dual handle valve.

Step 2. Set The Temperature

If you have a dual handle valve, turn the handle or knob that controls the temperature to the desired setting. Pull the handle out to adjust the temperature if you have a single handle valve.

Step 3. Turn On The Water Flow

Turn the handle or knob that controls the water flow to the on position. This will allow water to flow to the showerhead.

Step 4. Test The Water Flow

Turn on the shower and check the water flow and temperature to ensure they are at the desired levels.

Step 5. Close The Tub Spout

If your valve has a diverter, turn it to the shower position to redirect water flow to the showerhead and away from the tub spout. But if your valve does not have a diverter, you may need to close the tub spout manually.

Step 6. Enjoy Your Shower

Now you can enjoy your shower without water flowing into the tub. Remember to turn off the water flow and temperature when you are finished showering.


Let’s look at some of the frequently asked questions and their answers on using a shower tub valve for shower only.

Q. How much does it cost to replace a diverter?

The cost could start from $75-$150 and go up to $300. However, this won’t include the wall repair cost or painting cost.

Q. What is a shower valve?

Shower valves are brass plumbing elements that control the operation of shower fixtures.

Final Thoughts

Using the shower tub valve for shower only isn’t an unmixed blessing. Hence, you should make the decision by weighing the pros and cons. As the process requires covering multiple aspects, having a supervisor is always a better idea.

Moreover, you can always ask professional plumbers to make things easy for you. Hopefully, today’s article will help you to walk in the right direction if you want to use the shower tub valve for the shower only.