Subscribe or Renew Membership Subscribe Renew

shower control height

CCI's picture

Another question from the world's worst plumber -

I am installing a stall type shower - new construction, so no limitations from existing pipes - and am up to setting the shower body.

How high off the floor is "normal" for the handles?

There is no bathtub so I don't need to worry about reaching the handles from the "soaking" position.

Is there any code for this or is it just what looks/feels right.


My understanding is that ADA (post #182281, reply #1 of 10)

My understanding is that ADA and accessibility guidelines suggest 38-48" above the finished floor level for the controls: see, e.g.,

Consider building to (or in anticipation of) accessibility standards - either for yourself as you age or for potential buyers who might be among our aging population.

Good handrails are helpful for anyone who might go off balance in a shower (including, Lord forbid) young healthy adults

At a minimum, include good blocking for later attachment options.

Consider also accessibility guidelines for widths depths and under sink access.

======================================== "Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary." Reinhold Niebuhr: 'The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness' ========================================

Thanks for the link. It (post #182281, reply #2 of 10)

Thanks for the link. It looks like I have some range to play with.

I did include 2x8 blocking all around and will install at least 1 grab bar to start off with - not getting any younger you know.

Take pictures of the blocking (post #182281, reply #3 of 10)

Take pictures of the blocking and write the measurements on the photo. Stick it somewhere in the bathroom, such as in a plastic bag tacked inside the vanity.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

I would also position the (post #182281, reply #4 of 10)

I would also position the shower handle with good access from both in side and out side the shower stall. As well as out form under the shower head. I always like to place my shower handles on the opposite wall as the shower head and run a 3/8" OD tubing to the shower head. As for blocking -- I like to cover all the walls in a bathroom with 1/2" CDX plywood. That way I can hang anything anywhere anytime from a hook to a mirror to a grab bar and know it will stay.

My only suggestion is that (post #182281, reply #5 of 10)

My only suggestion is that the control be offset laterally from the shower head so that one doesn't have to put one's hand into the shower stream to turn the shower off.

48" from shower floor to (post #182281, reply #6 of 10)

48" from shower floor to centerline of valve is standard. ADA doesn't apply to single family residential.

And showerhead supply tubing is normally 1/2" BTW

We installed a new tub/shower (post #182281, reply #7 of 10)

We installed a new tub/shower system in an old house, and we went for a hand shower in addition to a tub spout. The control is low enough for my wife to reach it when bathing, but it is also to the right of center, so it's not below the shower stream. The wall outlet to the hand shower is to the left at about the same height and displaced such that the hose has a natural loop to the hand held shower head. The typical tub/shower cross installation is disrupted, and it works quite well.

Since there is no permiting (post #182281, reply #8 of 10)

Since there is no permiting invloved, I can do what I think is best. It looks like 48" or so is a good height.

I am using a 3 handle shower/tub valve but I am using the tub output to feed a wall mounted handheld shower. The center diverter valve will let me choose between the standard shower head and the handheld.
The handheld will be mounted along the long wall near the bench so as to allow easier leg shaving (no not me) and future use of the bench as a seat, if needed.

I will mount the standard shower head at about 6'6" since I am over 6' and hate having to stoop over to wash my hair. The last bathroom I installed it at about 7' but that is too high - the water actually cooled off by the time it reached the children (3-4ft tall). I added an extension to the shower arm and it works now but I learned my lesson about overkill.

I like the idea about offsetting the controls to allow turning on w/o getting wet. I will incorporate that as well.

Thanks for the ideas.

I have one of those two joint (post #182281, reply #9 of 10)

I have one of those two joint extensions in one shower. I pivot it up and it's great for me, down is good for the kids.

Unfortunately the cleaning ladies have a sense of humor and like to leave it pointing in odd directions after they clean.

YAY!  I love WYSISYG editing!  And Spellcheck!


I like the wand showerhead (post #182281, reply #10 of 10)

I like the wand showerhead with the adjustable height on a slider. You can go from 7' tall down to about 5' tall, which is just right for kids. I never worried about having the diverter under the shower head since I don't point it straight down.