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Shower Valve Height…Everything You Need to Know

Shower valve height is important.

After all, if you can’t comfortably use your shower then why build it?

In this tutorial, you’ll see how to set the height of shower valve bodies for walk-in showers and tub showers.

Let’s dive in!

Shower Valve Height for Walk-In Showers

Here’s the deal,

There’s no specific shower valve height.

It’s a range.

The National Kitchen and Bath Association recommends the standard height of shower valve bodies be 38 inches to 48 inches off the finished tile floor.

Note, the valve below was installed before the shower tray…more on that in a moment.

Height of Shower Valve

Furthermore, I recommend taking the user into consideration.

For example, if my 5’2″ mom wants a new shower, the shower valve height will be in that 38-inch to 42-inch range.

But if I’m installing a shower valve for my 6’3″ client, that valve will be in the 45-inch to 48-inch range.

Here’s a Pro Tip,

Factor in the thickness of both the shower tray and floor tile when setting the height of shower valve bodies.

Tile Shower Flor

For instance, if the shower tray is 1-1/4 inches thick and the shower floor tile is 1/4 inch thick, factor that into your height.

Also, I add an extra 1/4 inch for thin-set mortar.

Thus, the tray, floor tile, and thin-set would be roughly 1-3/4 inch in thickness.

So, I’d set the shower valve height to 38 inches plus 1-3/4 inches for my mom.

That way, when she steps on the tile shower floor the shower valve would be around 38 inches.

Also, don’t forget to add the height of any self-leveler in case the valve has to be installed prior to that being poured.


Details matter…especially for the user(s) of the shower.

What’s the shower valve height for bathtubs?

Standard Valve Height for Bathtubs

The standard shower valve height for bathtubs should be between the rim of the tub and 33 inches off the finished floor per the NKBA.

But here’s a wrinkle,

Some shower valves have the copper stub out already installed at the factory.

For example, I love using the Delta multichoice shower valve.

Bathtub Shower Valve Height

Notice how the copper pipe already has the bend in it.

This is one less step for me ( I don’t have to solder the copper). And the stub out is perfectly aligned with the valve.

As such, I focus on setting that horizontal copper pipe 4 inches off the tub deck.

Delta MultiChoice Shower Valve

That height allows the trim to be easily installed for the shower valve and tub spout.

Here’s an important tip,

Ensure the horizontal copper pipe is level and the valve body is plumb.

And if there’s any movement in the copper, secure it to wood blocking.

Standard Height of Shower Valve

This makes the tub trim seal against the tile.

And it prevents water leaks inside the tile shower wall.

What’s Next

Setting the shower valve height is easy once you know the recommended ranges.

Be sure to set the valve to the correct depth as well – otherwise the trim kit might not fit.

Details matter when doing plumbing. And mistakes can be hard to fix.

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