Soaking tubs, or roman tubs as they are commonly referred to as, are a special variety of bathtub found in some bathrooms. Unlike a typical bathtub/shower combination, roman tubs are meant solely for long-term soaking sessions. Due to the nature of these tubs, installing the inner workings may at first seem daunting; however with proper knowledge the task becomes much simpler. This guide will provide easy to follow instructions for the installation of a roman tub faucet, valve and drain.
As this is an advanced project, this guide assumes that a new roman tub & deck have been selected and the necessary rough-in kits for the faucet and drain have been purchased already. The water to the bathroom should be shut off before working and the supply lines should be capped and marked.
ROMAN TUB DRAIN
The new tub’s drain should match up with the previous tub drain if this is a remodeling project. If it is a fresh installation, then the drain pipe should already match the desired location for the roman tub. The p-trap and drainage hole for the tub should match up. Now install the overflow and standard drain pipes. The overflow is usually located a couple of inches below the rim of the tub basin on the front of the tub and is used to drain water should the level rise high enough to reach the height. The overflow drain pipe connects to the main tub drain via a simple tee connection. Once the tub drain pipe is installed, thread on the strainer through the hole at bottom of the tub basin and secure it. It may be warranted at this point to check the seal on the drain by pouring a bucket of water into the tub and checking the pipes for leaks.
ROMAN TUB VALVE & FAUCET
First, an important note about valve installation and faucet trim. The faucet body must match the manufacturer of the valve that is installed. It is important to pick out the design of the faucet first, and then purchase the valve that matches. If this is a remodeling job, the valve won’t need to be replaced if the new faucet trim is compatible with the valve. Replacing the valve will require access to the underside of the tub, requiring delicate and time-consuming work. Some faucets come with a rough-in kit that includes everything needed for installation of the faucet and spout. The valve, as mentioned above, is sold separately from the faucet trim and should be installed first.
By this point of the installation, the tub should already be set into the deck and the drain should be installed. If done properly, the location of the water supply lines were marked on the deck or tub rim so the proper holes could be cut. If this is a standard two-handle tub faucet, cut three adequately sized holes at the proper location. At this point, the tile surface of the deck should be installed. Be sure to leave space for the holes that were just cut or cut the tiles accordingly. The installation of the faucet valve varies by manufacturer, so specific instructions should be followed here. The most common installation method is to drop in the valve through the top and use a retaining nut to fasten it to the underside of the deck or tub rim. Afterward, the water supply lines are connected to the valves underneath the rim. Connect the supply lines from the valves to the spout shank. Drop the spout in through the top and fasten the retaining nut before connecting it to the joined supply line. Attach the faucet handles to the valves. Once the entire faucet has been installed and the tub is ready for a test run, turn on the water supply to the bathroom and turn on each faucet individually to check the connection.