Of the many unseen components of a great shower, perhaps the most important is a shower valve. It plays an irreplaceable role to make your shower work properly. For that reason, it is crucial that you buy the best shower valve.
A shower valve does two crucial things; it controls the temperature and flow of the water in your shower. The valve mixes hot and cold waters from your respective supplies in different proportions to regulate temperature. It is the job of a single control.
It controls flow by adjusting the flow rate of the water. It achieves this by directing the shower water to one or more outlets by the use of diverters or flow controls. Based on this mechanism, there four kinds of shower valves. These include one-way twin shower valve, two-way twin shower valve, two-way triple shower valve, and three-way triple shower valve.
This incredibly important component might need replacement if your shower seems not to work correctly. But if you can be sure to buy the best shower valve for replacement, you can also be sure you’ll not need to replace this component frequently.
If your bathroom has been cruising from flawed shower valves to insipid imitations, then it is time to install one of the following top-quality shower valves.
Top 10 Best Shower Valves
Table of Contents
1. Delta Faucet R10000-UNBX MultiChoice Shower Valve
You stand to enjoy limitless possibilities by choosing to buy the Delta Faucet MultiChoice Universal. It allows you the chance to upgrade or alter the functionality or style of your showers without changing the plumbing within your bathroom wall. It works both with a tub and shower.
The shower valve is made mainly of brass which makes it durable, pliable, robust, wear-resistant, and corrosion-resistant and a perfect thermal conductor.
The construction material also has antimicrobial properties thus protecting you from water-borne bacterial infections. It measures 4.9 x 5.1 x 4.9 inches in dimension and weighs 1.45 pounds.
The versatile design of the MultiChoice Universal tub and shower valve makes it accept single, dual as well as a dual thermostatic cartridge. However, you will have to buy trim (sponges and screws) separately including the matching cartridge.
The valve has back-to-back installation capability. Three connection types including PEX, IPS and Universal means there are connection options for all kinds of plumbing.
Installation is easy, and Delta Faucet provides a reliable guide to help. This is because the valve does not require you to interfere with your plumbing in any way. A heat-resistant pressure test-cap that brand provides lets you air-test or water-test before you install the valve cartridge. The aim is to minimize the possibility of improper installation.
- USA made shower valve
- Accepts dual cartridge, dual and single thermostatic cartridge
- Allows for back-to-back installation
- Brass construction is sturdy, heat-resistance and corrosion resistance
- Allows fixture installation without requiring behind-wall plumbing changes
- Trim is sold separately and comes with an appropriate cartridge
2. KOHLER GP77759 Mixer Cap Shower Valve
The KOHLER GP77759 Mixer Cap shower valve is an excellent choice for a modern bathroom. Its plastic construction leaves you with an exceptional showering experience every time you use your bathroom. The valve is specially engineered to maintain the original performance of the product and enhance the durability.
This mixer cap is compatible with a majority Rite-Temp shower valves from Kohler Genuine Part. Such level of versatility is only seen with a few brands. It is made to fit with Kohler sponges and screws (trim) which you’ll need to buy separately. The valve lets you rotate the shower handle smoothly and effortlessly.
Scalding due to high water temperatures is common with faulty shower valves. You do not have to worry about burning with this model. The GP77759 features Kohler’s temperature limit stop.
This technology offers temperature control for your safety. The technology lets you choose the most comfortable water temperature for you but at the same time allows for optimal water temperature.
Although affordable, you may need to spend more money to buy the Kohler K-304 pressure balance valves and a handle. You need to be extra-keen purchasing these valves because lackluster imitations are available in the market. Ensure you are purchasing a genuine product by checking for Kohler Genuine Part logo.
- Easy water temperature regulation
- Made of strong, durable, heat- and corrosion-resistant design
- Offers smooth rotation of shower handle
- Engineered to fit comfortably with Kohler trim
- Compatible with most if not all Rite-Temp shower valves
- Temperature limit stop technology for safety
3. Delta R11000 Diverter Rough
Check out the Delta R1100 Diverter Rough if you have been searching for the best shower diverter valve. It features a performance-oriented design that will allow you to enjoy your shower moments. You can use this diverter rough with either three- or six-setting Delta Custom shower diverter trim.
Like most high-quality brands, the R11000 diverter rough is made of brass. The design material is forged brass which offers excellent heat resistance and wear-resistance. Besides, the diverter is strong, ductile and extremely durable.
Whether you install it as a new component or you use it as a replacement component, you can be sure the valve will serve you for years without any issues.
One lovely thing about Delta bathroom fixtures is that you do not have to interfere with your pre-existing behind-the-wall plumbing to install them. It is not different for the Delta R11000 diverter rough. For this reason, you do not need the services and professional plumber to install the new component for you.
Another great thing is that you’ll find a test cap in the package of the diverter rough. It allows you to test your valve with water (300psi) or air (200psi). Thus you will know the optimal performance of your shower valve in a variety of situations. Be mindful that you may need additional components for proper installation
- Made of high-quality forged brass
- Replaces delta six-setting, three-port diverter rough-in
- Installs without having to alter your pre-existing behind-wall plumbing
- Comes with test cap for air and pressure testing
- Requires additional components for proper installation
4. KOHLER K-304-K-NA Pressure Balancing Valve
Buy and install the Kohler Rite-Temp pressure-balancing valve if you desire a massage shower head dedicated to an unforgettable shower. The fact that the valve allows for back-to-back installation makes it ideal for special as well as high-volume tasks. This means you can install it in your home bathroom because it works perfectly even for a single installation.
The valve operates behind the scenes to protect you from freezing and scalding. This guarantees you safe and comfortable water supply. Similar to other Kohler valves, the Rite-Temp Pressure Valve features high-temperature limit stop as well as an optimal comfort zone. This allows you to set an absolute high and then obtain and maintain your preferred water temperature.
In addition to the temperature limit stop, the valve features a diaphragm design that gets rid of freeze-ups from water debris and contamination.
The water temperature regulation and anti-scald protection happen even at an all-time flow rate of 175 gallons per minute. The flow rate is far below the standards mandated by the federal government which is set at 25 gallons per minute.
Installation is easy as the unit comes with detailed user instruction. The mounting tabs are situated right on the rough-in to offer secure installation. However, it needs a valve trim which is sold separately. Large internal ports ensure super-fast bath filling.
- Designed to prevent scalding and freezing
- High-temperature limit stop lets you pre-set a comfortable water temperature
- Diaphragm design eliminates freeze-ups from contaminations and water debris
- Back-to-back installation
- Right temperature and comfort zone is easy to maintain
5.Moen 2510 Monticello PosiTemp Shower Valve
The Monticello PosiTemp shower valve is laden with many beautiful features making it an outstanding performer. Moen built it on their easy to install M-PACT universal valve system. This design allows you to almost any style alterations in the future without having to replace or change your plumbing.
The unit is armed with Moen’s PosiTemp technology. The technology maintains the temperature of the water and offers a generous water flow. This 4-port, cycle shower valve lets you preset the hottest water temperature setting before you begin the installation.
The 4-port design and long lasting brass construction of the Monticello PosiTemp pressure balancing shower valve meet the performance requirements of ASSE. Once installed, the unit allows you to change your trim whenever you want without interfering with your plumbing.
This is because you can make all the changes you need in front of the wall. Simply untwist your current trim and then lock your replacement trim into place.
Its 1222 cartridge, on the other hand, accepts the back-to-back installation. It also takes ½-inch IPS connection type which is compatible with the standard plumbing. Overall, the shower valve is lovely and reliable with an innovative design. Like all Moen products, this unit comes backed with a limited lifetime warranty against drips, leaks and finish flaws.
- 1222 cartridge allows back-to-back installation
- Compatible with 1/2 IPS connection type
- PosiTemp technology for water temperature and pressure regulation
- Compatible with standard Moen M-PACT trim kits
- Strong and heat-resistant brass construction
6. Repair Kit for Delta Faucet RP1991 Shower Cartridge
In case your shower features Delta Faucet RP1991, and you wish to repair it, then you can choose this repair kit. It fixes the Delta 1600 series single handle tub and shower valves. This makes it a unique product as included in our review. However, it can help your shower regain its past glory.
The kit consists of one RP1991 Scald Guard Cartridge and one RP4993 Pair of Seats & Springs. All the components feature strong and durable brass and metal construction that are corrosion or tarnishing resistant. The plastic design may make the unit look a little bit larger than the original, but it fits right in the compatible component of the shower valve.
Delta Faucet made this repair kit to help people with leaking compatible shower cartridges. It stops leaking right after installation. In case you notice any drips, simply coat all its rubber seals with faucet grease and all will be well.
Once installed, you can be sure your shower will work correctly for years before you even think about making another replacement.
This generic cartridge is made in the US which is a mark of quality. Besides, it is backed with the famous Delta Faucet Lifetime Limited warranty against leaks and design flaws. You will not need to alter your behind-wall plumbing to install this component, and the process is straightforward.
- Made of durable plastic that will never corrode or tarnish
- Compatible with Delta 1600 series shower and tub faucets
- Includes springs and seats
- Made in the USA as a generic cartridge
- Backed with Moen Lifetime Limited warranty
7. Pfister 3-Handle Tub & Shower Rough-In Valve
This 3-handle shower and tub rough-in shower is one of the best shower valves thermostatic. It is perhaps the best accessory (in our view) to attack your preferred handles and spouts. Concerning type, it is a thermostatic, diverter and volume control valve making it a great performer for installation in high-quality bathrooms.
The valve is constructed with high-quality metal to ensure maximum sturdiness. You can install it in your bathroom, laundry room, and garden. The design material is durable and heat-resistant allowing you to enjoy your shower for years without worry.
It features 1/2 inch union inlets and 1/2 IP outlets and comes with appropriate union nuts. Measures just 0.1 x 8 x 10.6 inches and weighs only 1 pound.
The best thing about this 3-handle shower valve is the fact that you have individual controls or adjustment for cold and hot water. This gives you more power allowing you to enjoy showering at your pleasure.
The valves are nicely engineered and come with an extra-set of valves. Pfister designed the body of the valve to accept several different trim sets. You will need to buy them separately.
Installation is fast and very easy. First, you must make sure you gave the right components so that you do not experience compatibility issues. There is no need to alter the current plumbing behind your bathroom wall to install your new shower valve.
- Three-hole installation
- It is a thermostatic, diverter and volume control valve
- High-quality metal control ensure optimal sturdiness and longevity
- 10” fixed valve body
- Covered with Pfister’s Pforever warranty
8. KOHLER K-304-KS-NA Rite-Temp Pressure Balancing Shower Valve
This excellent quality pressure-balancing shower valve will completely change your showering experience. Although hidden behind the walls, the valve is still beautiful and elegant to behold and offer a performance that is better than many models currently in the market. It works behind the scenes to prevent freezing and scalding to guarantee you safe and comfortable water supply.
The unit is capable of maintaining shower water temperature within +/-3 degrees Fahrenheit range. Its cartridge allows for back-to-back installation which is great for high volume and unique jobs.
The valve comes with integrated screwdriver stops that assist in the repair and turn off the water supply at the valve. Besides, mounting tabs are located on the rough-in allows for secure installation.
The Right-Temp pressure balancing valve features the so-called high temperature limit stop as well as an optimal comfort zone to allow you to set a maximum high. For that reason, you can set an optimal high and sustain your preferred shower water temperature.
Furthermore, the valve features a diaphragm design that gets rid of freeze ups that result from contamination and debris in the shower water.
You’ll see a white dome over the valve. When you remove the beginning part of the white dome, you will see the actual valve. The dome only serves as a shield or protector to cushion the component during shipment. This part is imported and made in China.
- Accepts back to back installation
- Offer anti-scald protection and temperature control
- Integrated screwdriver stops let you turn off valve for repair
- It maintains shower water temperature within +/-3 degrees F.
- Diaphragm design eliminates freeze-ups
9. Danze D112000BT Shower Mixing Valve
If you hate drips and leaks, then you will do well by choosing to install the D112000BT Shower Mixing Valve from Danze. This brand provides you with an opportunity to install a high-quality shower valve to change the performance of your bathroom to the better.
It is one of the few shower valves made of ceramic disc. Such a design will provide you with a lifetime of smooth handle control and eliminates leaking and dripping.
This mixing valve is made of top-quality hardened ceramic with an upper and lower disc designed to slide against each other. This mechanism perfectly controls the water flow rate and temperature.
The valve is maintenance free. It is also durable in various water conditions and can withstand years of scrubbing, soaping, washing and rinsing.
Since ceramic is corrosion resistant, Danze pressure shower valve is potentially the best shower valve for hard water. Temperature limit adjustment allows you to choose your comfort zone. It also acts as a scald protector.
Due to its design, the unit is ideal for a tub, single shower as well as combinations or shower with hand shower combinations. The valve features 1/2 combination IPS/copper sweat ports and positive diverter control.
There are reverse flow adjustments from the front side of the valve for back-to-back installation. The unit provides up to six gallons per minute water flow rate at 45Psi to support two outlets.
- Ceramic disc valves offer smooth turning action and eliminate drips
- Temperature limit adjustment offers scald protection
- Made of hardened ceramic discs for durability
- Allows for back to back setup
- Package includes with a plaster guard and a mounting basket
10. GROHE Grohsafe Pressure Balance Valve
Featuring the German perfectionism, the Grohsafe Pressure balance valve from Grohe is one of the shower valves currently in the market. It is this perfectionism that inspires the confidence of customers in Grohe products. The valve provides you with long term reliable water protection from scalding as well as cold shocks.
The unit features Grohe SilkMove technology that offers a lifetime of smooth operation. It allows for a broad comfort zone so that you can progressively and accurately regulate the water temperature.
Being a universal mixer, it is designed for use with a shower and a tube or with a tub alone. It comes fitted with a brass disc to block your shower head in bathtub only installation.
Although the valve is easy to install, you can run into problems if your bathroom wall is very thick. In such a circumstance, you may employ the services of a plumber to ensure the installation is done correctly. You may need to buy 1-inch brass nipples that are only available true-plumbing hardware stores.
Grohe Grohsafe Pressure balance shower valve features diaphragm cartridge design but does not come with cartridges so you’ll need to buy them separately. Unfortunately, the cartridges are not easy to find in conventional plumbing stores unlike the Moen and Delta cartridges.
They are readily available online and in true plumbing hardware shops. Package includes a plug and cap for 3-port installation.
- Grohe SilkMove technology offers smooth operation
- Features diaphragm cartridge design
- Metal construction looks great and is durable
- Universal mixer ideal for tub and shower and bathtub alone installation
- Backed with Grohe’s lifetime limited warranty on leaks, drips and design flaws
How to Choose the Best Shower Valve
We can confidently claim that the products we have reviewed are among the best currently in the market. But, we can also be sure that the taste and preferences of people vary greatly. If you do not find a suitable shower valve model for you among the ten reviewed, then you can make your own choice by considering the following.
The Number of Controls
Shower valves come in three varieties depending on the number of controls they have. You will commonly come across the designations 1, 2 and 3 controls.
Generally, the higher the number of controls a shower valve has, the more beautiful the shower quality you will experience. In other words, a shower valve with 3 controls allows for better pressure balancing and temperature adjustment.
Water flow in single control valves start cold and then become hotter as the flow rate increases. A double control valve, on the other hand, features a single control for temperature and the other for pressure.
Triple control shower valves are ideal for showers designed with many outlets. In this case, one control is dedicated to temperature regulation and the second one to pressure. The third control lets you choose the preferred outlet. Use this information to determine what suits your needs.
The Type of Shower Valve
There are three types of shower valves depending on their mechanism of action especially when it comes to temperature and pressure regulation. Here are brief discussions of the three common types of shower valves:
- Manual Shower Valve
A manual shower valve comes with a single handle which allows you to control the flow rate and the temperature of the water at the same time. It uses the same mechanism as the mixer tap you find in sinks. This means you will have to adjust the water temperature each time you turn the shower on.
Since you cannot control temperatures, you will experience a flush of cold water if someone turns on another tap in the house. Water can also get hotter than you expect which is dangerous to the kids as it can lead to scalding.
- Thermostatic Shower Valve
A thermostatic valve, on the other hand, is more advanced. It is fitted with a device that turns off the water flow if a certain pre-set temperature level reaches.
The benefit of this technology is that you can choose your comfort zone and avoid chances of scalding due to higher than average water temperatures. Even if someone was to open another tap in the house; the water temperature will remain as set.
- Pressure Balancing Shower Valve
Another type of shower valve worth mentioning is the pressure-balancing models. These valves are engineered to keep shower water pressure at the same level even if pressure changes considerably.
Although it looks like just any shower valve, they have inside a diaphragm which moves when there is a need to balance the pressure of cold and hot water inputs. Such a mechanism ensures the water temperature remains within a normal range.
Number of Outlets
Similar to controls, you will often here plumbers refer to shower valves as having 1, 2 or 3 outlets. A single outlet valve is quite limiting because it only allows you to use one outlet. For instance, if you install it for the showerhead, it will not work with any other outlet.
A two outlet valve is a little bit flexible in the scope of what it can do. For example, one outlet could be for the showerhead and the other for a handheld showerhead.
A three-outlet shower valve is extremely versatile allowing you to enjoy even better showering experience. Besides the handheld showerhead and the overhead showerhead, a third outlet could be the bathtub or body jet.
Construction Material and Design
It is not easy to know your reason for looking for the best thermostatic shower valve or any shower valve for that matter. For many people, it could be to replace a faulty or leaking valve.
Therefore, you need to look for a model that is well designed and leak-proof. It should be well-sealed and sturdily constructed. Check if the model you wish to buy is tried and certified leak-resistant.
The material used in construction is another important consideration. The commonly used materials are brass, plastic and soldered metal. Brass is the best material for shower accessories, but that does not rule out valves made of high-quality plastic. Regardless of your choice, the material should be rust, corrosion, and tarnish-proof.
Handle Options (If Available)
A few brands usually sell their shower valves as kits. Such packages typically contain the shower valve, the trim (screws and sponges) handles, and other accessories.
When it comes to handles, you need to consider the ease and smoothness with which it operates. This will determine the performance of your shower faucet. It may come down to testing the handles to be sure.
Shower valves can be installed with new plumbing as in a new house or are accessories in home or bathroom remodeling. Besides, they often come in as replacements for faulty valves.
It is essential to choose a brand and model that does not require you to alter your behind-wall plumbing wall to install the new component. This will reduce the amount of money, time and effort you spend on installation.
Q: What is a shower valve?
Ans: A shower valve is essentially a bathroom device, tool or accessory which is typically installed hidden behind walls but can also be open and visible. Its function is to regulate water temperature and the flow rate of the shower water. They come in many types and designs.
Q: Do I really need a shower valve?
Ans: Yes, you need a shower valve. The most important reason you need the right quality shower valve is to control the water temperature of your shower. This can protect you from accidental scalding when the water temperature goes too high. It also provides a solution to leaky or faulty faucets.
Q: What is the best type of shower valves?
Ans: According to many, the best type of shower valve is the thermostatic model. A majority lets you set your preferred water temperature. You can even establish your comfort zone. With thermostatic models, there is literally no chance of scalding.
Q: Which is the best brand when it comes to shower valves?
Ans: Brands matter when it comes to such tiny components. Only the brands that have stood the test of time have demonstrated the quality of the products they make. In the case of shower valves, the best brands are American Standard, Pfister, Kohler, Delta, Grohe and Moen among others.
All the products in our review deserve to be included in the list of the best shower valves currently in the market. Anyone of them can guarantee you an unforgettable showering experience.
Whether you are looking for the best thermostatic shower valve, pressure-balancing shower valve or manual model you are confident you’ll find a model fits your needs.
If not, you can use our in-depth buying guide to help you make your own choice. With confidence, we can assure you it will not be long before you settle in the best selection that will suit your needs. Have a successful shopping experience.