Ready to change the look of your Roman tub faucet? If you already know how to replace a sink faucet, Roman tub faucet replacement will be a breeze. That's because you don't have to work in tight quarters to mess with the water supply lines. Replacing a Roman tub faucet is also much easier than installing a brand new one, because the new faucet screws onto the old mounting hardware.
Even if you're new to do-it-yourself faucet repair and replacement, the steps for a Roman bathtub faucet replacement can be tackled with a few basic hand tools, including a hex key, screwdriver, channel locks and putty knife. You may also need plumber's putty. Be sure to also only buy the faucet "trim" if possible, not the "valve," because you'll be using the existing valve.
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Turning Off the Water Supply
Perhaps the trickiest part of this project involves exposing the water supply lines directly underneath the tub faucet. Many Roman bathtubs were constructed with easy access in mind, so look for a removable panel directly behind or below the faucet. This panel may swing out like a door, slide out of a groove or require some gentle manipulation. If there's a closet behind the bathtub, look inside for a large square panel on the wall adjacent to the tub.
If you cannot find a way to access the water supply lines, it's still possible to proceed with Roman tub faucet replacement by shutting off the water at the main house line and turning on the tub faucet until all the remaining water drains out. You're simply replacing the faucet spout and handles, not any of the "below deck" hardware, so accessing it isn't critical. However, if you suspect that this hardware needs to be replaced and you cannot access it, call a professional plumber.
Removing Old Roman Tub Faucet
Many brands, like the Moen Roman tub faucet, will follow a similar removal procedure. Loosen the screw located on the back of the spout's base with a hex key. Then, pull straight up on the spout to remove it and/or unscrew any remaining base elements. You may need to slide a putty knife underneath the spout to loosen the putty first.
The faucet handles may be removed in a similar fashion with a screw in the back or on the very top of the handle underneath a decorative cap. Use a flathead screwdriver to pop off this cap. Or, the base may screw off when twisted counterclockwise by hand or with channel locks. Finally, scrape off any putty remaining on the surface of the tub.
Roman Tub Faucet Replacement
Faucets typically come with a rubber ring to create a tight seal at the base. Place these seals over the exposed cartridges and spout pipe so that they rest flat on the surface of the tub. Check the installation instructions to see if the manufacturer recommends using plumber's putty in conjunction with the rubber seal.
Then, place the faucet handles over top of the cartridges and secure them by either twisting the base clockwise or tightening the supplied screw. Place the spout over the central pipe and push down firmly. Tighten the screw in the back with a hex key.
Finally, turn the water supply on again and look for any leaks that may indicate the faucet needs further tightening. When there are no water leaks, the project is complete.