What is a Roman Tub Faucet?

Ancient Rome is famous for lavish luxuries and beautiful architecture, and roman style tubs take the art of relaxation to the next level. Modern bathers can soak in style with the elegant, vintage European feel of a roman tub.

But what is a roman tub faucet?

Roman Tub Faucet vs. Garden Tub Faucet

You will often find these on drop-in or jacuzzi bathtubs. It can be hard to tell the difference between a roman tub faucet and a garden tub faucet because they look identical.

First, let’s talk about what these type of faucets have in common.

They are both deck-mounted faucets, which means that they are mounted on the rim or somewhere around the tub. Both of them come with two handles, although some manufacturers offer single and triple handled faucets.

These faucets need at least 3 holes for installation, one for each handle and another for the spout. 4 holes are required if you want a roman tub faucet with a sprayer. A shower diverter valve redirects the water from the tub to a showerhead for rinsing.

Now let’s talk about the only difference between these two types of tub faucets. The spout length is different. Garden tub faucet spouts are shorter than Roman tub faucets, that’s all.

What is the Flow Rate for a Roman Tub Faucet?

High flow rates are important to consider, especially if you want to fill up your tub faster. Unlike kitchen and bathroom faucets, which are legally required to have flow rates under 2.2 gallons, there is no code restriction on tub faucets’ flow rate. If there was, you’d be waiting all day to fill up the tub.

Standard flow rates are from 4-7 gallons per minute, while faucets with high flow rates average anywhere from 7-11 gallons per minute. Companies Moen and Delta make quick filler tub faucets with high flow rates that can go up to 16 gallons per minute.

Are Roman Tub Faucets Interchangeable?

Soaking Tub Faucet

The short answer is yes, but it depends on the model of your faucet. You can replace one roman tub faucet with another as long as the parts are compatible. It’s a simple DIY matter anyone can do in a few minutes.

Replacing a roman tub faucet is easier than it is replacing a wall-mounted faucet because they mount exactly like sink faucets. Unlike traditional wall-mounted tub faucets, you will be able to access the valves without opening the wall.

There are three things to consider when looking for a replacement faucet:

  • How many holes does the faucet need?
  • Is the spout compatible?
  • Is the handle compatible?

Changing Your Roman Tub Faucet

Although this is a fairly simple task, removal and installation will vary by model. If you can, consult the manufacturer’s website or the product manual for detailed instructions.

Tools for the job include a hex key, screwdriver, channel locks, plumbers grease, and a putty knife.

  1. Make sure that the parts are compatible – most of the time, you can replace the trim (handles, spout, showerhead) on your faucet without changing the valve body. If it’s not compatible, you will have to make some adjustments that require more plumbing experience. The best thing to do is buy parts that you know are compatible, but you can also check by taking apart the faucet.
  2. Shut the water off – make sure the hot and cold water lines are in the closed position. If the handle is at a 90-degree angle from the line, it’s off.
  3. Disassemble the faucet – next, you need to take apart the faucet.
    1. Remove the handles – some handles will unthread off, others will be bolted down by a screw or a hex bolt. Remove the handles and examine the stem to see if it’s compatible with your new faucet if you aren’t sure yet.
    2. Remove the cartridges (optional) – after the handles are out of the way, you can remove the stem extension’s cartridge. Most trim kits don’t come with the valves, but it’s a good idea to replace them if they are old.
    3. Remove the spout – find the bolt that is holding the spout in place and remove it with your hex wrench. The valve body is where the cartridge sits. It may or may not be compatible with your new faucet. If it’s not, you will have to replace the entire valve body.
    4. Remove the shower diverter – as with the handles, find any bolts, screws, or nuts holding the diverter in place and pull it off.
  4. Install the new faucet – reverse the process and install the new trim. Replace the handles, spout, and shower diverter.

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