I want to give a more detailed project update next week, but in the meantime I wanted to share about the salvaged tub we purchased and the little challenge that went with it to find it a faucet.
I would have loved to do a tub with subway tiled walls, but for this bathroom, it made the most sense to go with a standard fiberglass insert for a number of reasons. 1. An insert is expected in homes like ours where we live. We probably wouldn’t get the money back with tiled walls when selling our home. 2. The easy installation means we can have a working shower a lot quicker for when we move on to the other bathroom. 3. Our budget. We’re trying to buy things second hand as much as possible. 4. These tubs have very minimal chances of leaking and is low maintenance, great for bath tubs that kids will use.
We bought this used tub/shower unit at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore for $125. New they cost around $600. It was in great condition, white (not almond or bisque), and in the right size with a right-hand drain, which is what we needed. The only thing is, it has 3 holes pre-drilled for the faucet, as you can see from the picture. That means I have to find a 3-handle shower faucet to fit these holes, which is actually a bit of a challenge since they’re sort of becoming obsolete. The single handle shower faucet is what is being made now to replace the 2 and 3 handle versions because of new code requirements and people finding them easier to install and use.
Home Depot and Lowe’s does sell them, but they aren’t attractive and are made of plastic. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if this tub had this faucet before.
I knew there had to be prettier options out there, so I have spent the last couple of days looking at what is available to buy online. There really aren’t a whole lot of choices out there, but they do exist. And I think what is out there are really beautiful and classy, and worth sharing.
I doubt too many people would have my particular problem of finding a shower faucet for a tub insert like mine, but if you live in an old house, chances are you have a 3-handle faucet. So if you are looking for a replacement, or you want to bring a vintage touch to your bathroom, I have already done the searching for you. I looked at cost, design, and customer reviews, and have narrowed down my favorites to the 6 best 3-handle shower faucets.
Options under $500:
1. American Standard “Hampton,” shown in polished chrome. $177 at Home Depot.
2. Kingston Brass Faucet with 3 porcelain lever handles, shown in oil rubbed bronze. $96 from faucetdirect.com.
3. Pfister “Triple Series,” shown in polished chrome. $140 from faucetdirect.com.
Options over $500
4. Phylrich “Le Verre La Cross,” shown in polished brass. $574 from plumbtile.com.
5. California Faucet “Tiburon,” shown in satin nickel. $864 from efaucets.com.
6. Strom Plumbing “Mississippi,” shown in polished nickel. $551 from vintagetub.com.
You can also see more of my favorites on my Pinterest board.
So, which one am I going with for my bath?