How to Replace Bathtub Faucet

Replacing a bathtub faucet may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and steps, you can do it yourself. 

Are you tired of dealing with a leaky bathtub faucet? Do you want to replace it with a new one but don’t know where to start? Replacing a bathtub faucet may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and steps, you can do it yourself. 

The trick to successfully replacing a bathtub faucet is to master the art of removing the handles and faucet without damaging any of the surrounding fixtures. Once you’ve got this part of the job under your belt, the rest of the process is a piece of cake. 

Just follow the steps carefully, and soon enough, you’ll have a brand-new faucet in your bathtub that’s working perfectly.

What You’ll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Cloth or towel
  • Flathead or Phillips screwdriver
  • Pass-through socket wrench
  • Hex key
  • Pipe wrench
  • Tape measure
  • Caulk gun


  • Bathtub faucet
  • Bathtub handles
  • Caulk
  • plumber’s tape
  • Plumbers grease

11 Easy Steps to Replace Tub Faucet

Replacing an old bathtub faucet can be a DIY project that can save you money on professional plumbing services. With the right tools and knowledge, you can replace your old faucet with a new bathtub faucet in just a few easy steps.

Step 1: Shut off the main water valve

Before starting the replacement process, turn off the main building shut-off valve to prevent any excess water from flowing through the pipes. The shutoff valve is usually located near the water meter or where the main water lines enter the house.

Step 2: Lay a Towel at the Bottom of the Tub

To prevent any parts from getting damaged or lost, lay a towel or drop cloth in the bottom of the tub. This will also provide a soft surface to rest the tools and parts on while you work.

Step 3: Remove the Handle Index from the Stem

To remove the stem of a bathtub faucet, you first need to remove the handle index from the stem. This can be done by prying off the handle’s plastic cover with a flathead screwdriver and then unscrewing the handle screw with a flathead or Phillips-head screwdriver. 

If the handle doesn’t come off by hand, you may need to use a faucet handle puller. Once the handle is removed, place a socket wrench over the bathtub faucet stem and turn it counterclockwise to loosen the hex nut. 

This will allow you to pull the stem free. If your bathtub has two handles or a single-handle design, you will need to remove the thin stems that connect to the pipes and may also need to be replaced.

Step 4: Loosen the Handle Fastener to Detach the Handle

Use a hex wrench or pliers to loosen the handle fastener and remove the handle. Be careful not to over-tighten or loosen the fastener, as it can damage the faucet.

Step 5: Unscrew the Stem from the Faucet

To remove the stem from the bathtub faucet, you can use a socket wrench that fits over the stem and covers the hex nut. By turning the wrench counterclockwise, you can loosen the nut and free the stem. 

Alternatively, you can use a small crossbar or a screwdriver shaft inserted through the socket to remove the stem. If your bathtub has a “washerless” stem, you will need a 5/8″ deep socket and turn it counterclockwise. 

In case the stem is stubborn and won’t come off, you can try using WD-40 on the threads, let it penetrate for a few minutes, and then try again.

Step 6: Remove the tub Spout

To remove a tub spout, the first step is to identify whether it is a screw-on or slip-on spout. If it is a screw-on spout, look for the set screw and use a screwdriver to loosen it. Once the screw is loosened, slide the spout off. 

On the other hand, if it is a slip-on spout, twist it counterclockwise to remove it. In case the pipe coming out of the wall is copper with a threaded fitting, the fitting must be cut off with a tubing cutter before installing a new slip-on spout. 

It’s essential to ensure that the new spout fits properly to prevent any leaks.

Step 7: Buy Replacement Parts

Measure the pipe’s threading and diameter to ensure that you purchase the right replacement parts. You can find replacement parts at your local hardware store or home improvement store.

Step 8: Screw in a New Stem

Screw in the new stem clockwise onto the faucet body. Use plumber’s tape to seal the threads, and finish tightening the hex nut with a wrench.

Step 9: Install the New Handles

To install new handles in a bathtub faucet, you should first remove the old handles by following the specific procedure for each type of handle. For knob-type handles, pry off the cover plate using a flathead screwdriver and remove the securing screw. 

For other types of handles, use a flathead or Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the handle screw and wiggle the handle until it comes off. If the handle is difficult to remove, you may need a faucet handle puller or can try heating it with a hair dryer to loosen it. 

It’s important to be gentle when pulling to avoid breaking the handle. Once the old handles are removed, align the new handles with the stem and secure them with the provided screws. Make sure the handles are tight and do not wobble before using the faucet.

Step 10: Install the New Tub Spout

To install a new tub spout, begin by checking to make sure that the pipe coming from the wall is the correct size.

Then, clean off the pipe using a wire brush or sandpaper to remove any debris or residue. After that, apply a small amount of silicone caulk around the back of the spout, where it will meet the shower wall. This will help create a water-tight seal.

Next, slide the spout onto the pipe until it is snug, ensuring that it is properly seated. Make sure that the spout is straight and aligned properly before tightening any screws or setscrews that hold it in place.

Be careful not to overtighten the screws, as this could cause damage to the spout or the pipe.

Step 11: Test the Faucet

Turn on the main building shut-off valve and turn on the new faucet. Test the new faucet for leaks and adjust the handles as needed.

In conclusion, replacing an old bathtub faucet is a simple DIY project that can be done with the right tools and knowledge. By following these steps, you can replace your old bathtub faucet and add a new fixture to your bathroom without needing professional help.


With these simple steps, you can easily replace your bathtub faucet without any professional help. It may seem like a daunting task at first, but trust me; it’s not as hard as it seems.

By following the steps outlined in this post, you’ll save yourself a ton of money that you would have otherwise spent on hiring a plumber. Plus, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you tackled a DIY project on your own and succeeded!

So what are you waiting for? Grab your tools and get to work! Your new bathtub faucet is just a few steps away. Just remember to take your time, stay focused, and follow the instructions carefully.

If you run into any trouble, don’t panic. Take a deep breath and refer back to the steps. You got this! And once you’re finished, sit back and admire your handy work. Your bathtub will look better than ever before.


How to Tighten a new shower head

To tighten a new shower head, start by screwing the replacement onto the shower arm in a clockwise direction and hand-tighten it. Once it’s snug, turn on the water and check for any leaks.

If leaks are found, wrap the threads with Teflon tape and reattach the shower head. It’s important to avoid over-tightening the shower head, as this could cause damage to the fixture or the pipes behind the wall. 

Can you change the bathtub faucet without changing the valve?

Yes, you can change the bathtub faucet without changing the valve. Simply replacing the shower handle or spout can give your bathroom a fresh new look without the need for extensive plumbing work.

Do all tub faucets screw on?

Not all tub faucets screw on. There are two types of tub spouts: slip-fit and threaded. Slip-on style spouts have a setscrew, while screw-on spouts may have threads. Most tub spouts are fitted to the wall via a threaded nipple.



  • vikram-2-1 How to Replace Bathtub Faucet

    My name is Vikram and I have a genuine passion for plumbing and faucets. I've spent countless hours researching and experimenting with different techniques and products to find the most effective solutions for common plumbing problems. My goal is to share my knowledge and experience with homeowners, so they can save time, money, and stress by tackling plumbing issues themselves.

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