• In this video, This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey outfits an old standalone tub with a new showerhead.

    Steps:
    1. Close the tub's shut-off valves for both the hot and cold water. Turn on the faucet's handles to release pressure and to ensure that the water is indeed turned off.
    2. Use an adjustable wrench to disconnect the water-supply lines from the back of the tub.
    3. Unscrew and remove the old faucet from the tub.
    4. Dry-fit together the parts that make up the shower assembly.
    5. Wrap plumber's putty around the threaded fittings on the backside of the new tub faucet.
    6. Install the faucet to the tub, and tighten the lock nuts with an adjustable wrench. Scrape away any excess putty that squeezes out from behind the faucet.
    7. Attach the hot- and cold-water supply lines to the faucet; tighten each compression fitting with the adjustable wrench.
    8. Tighten the new tub spout onto the faucet housing.
    9. Assemble the shower riser, using Teflon tape to create watertight connections between each threaded riser section.
    10. Tighten the shower riser into the threaded hole in the back of the tub spout.
    11. Hold a level against the shower riser and move it into plumb position. Hold the wall support in place and mark where it intersects the riser.
    12. Cut the wall support to length using a tubing cutter.
    13. Screw the wall-support flange to the wall.
    14. Tighten the setscrew to secure the wall support to the shower riser.
    15. If necessary, use the tubing cutter to cut the overhead shower-curtain ring down to size.
    16. Fasten a mounting backet to the ceiling or wall on the opposite side of the tub.
    17. Assemble the shower-curtain ring and then connect one end to the riser and the other end to the mounting bracket.
    18. Install one additional wall support to prevent the shower-curtain ring from rotating out of position. Hang a shower curtain from the oval ring.
    19. Attach the showerhead to the upper, curved end of the riser.
    20. Turn on the water and test your work.
    • Difficulty: Moderate
      There are a surprising number of parts that must be assembled
Ask TOH users about Showers

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      Tools List

      • adjustable wrench
        Adjustable wrench
      • two-foot level
        18-inch level
      • tubing cutter
        Tubing cutter
      • drill
        Drill/driver
      • multi-bit screwdriver
        Screwdriver

      Shopping List

      Tub-and-shower assembly, with tub spout, handheld shower and showerhead

      Wall support, for stabilizing shower riser

      Mounting bracket

      Plumber's putty

      Teflon tape

      Hollow-wall anchors