Best shower valve--ranking companies from high to low

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by timsean, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. timsean

    timsean New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Shopping around for a new shower system, which made me wonder the relative merits and quality of the various brands. I like the look of Kohler, but have been warned off the brand. So I am wondering (especially from the plumbers out there) what are the best brands? If you could rank them, which brand is the best? Has the fewest problems? Ease of installation and maintenance? Some people have told me that Grohe or Hansgrohe should be my top choice, but I'd to hear some informed opinions.

    Thanks!

    TimSean
  2. FloridaOrange

    FloridaOrange Plumbing Designer

    Messages:
    1,317
    Location:
    SW Florida
    Delta is king down here from what I've seen.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,540
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The Delta 1700 series is the ONLY one I furnish, or recommend to my customers. After that, have five plumbers rate five valves, and you will find that NONE of them agree on the rankings.
  4. jc60618

    jc60618 DIY Junior Member

    Messages:
    88
    Location:
    Chicago
    I am a big fan of Delta also, never had a problem with them.
  5. FlynHokie

    FlynHokie New Member

    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Williamsburg, VA
    Not that I have any experience in other valves, but I've been real pleased with the GroheSafe PBV's I installed in my two bathrooms.
  6. Winslow

    Winslow Plumber

    Messages:
    450
    Location:
    Hawaii
    It really depends on the type of installation you are doing. For an ordinary shower delta is good. When I remodeled my tub I used hansgrohe because it eliminates the need for a diverter spout or valve with intergal diverter, neither of which work well.
  7. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Symmons, Powers
  8. EuroPlumber

    EuroPlumber In the Trades

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    North America
    I love Hansgrohe, but I work for them, so take that for what it's worth. Hansgrohe is the original since 1901. Grohe is also good and founded by Hans Grohe's son Fredrich Grohe. I manage technical support here. I can tell you we build excellent products for the shower. Some plumbers don't like thermostatic because they don't know it. I had never heard of thermostatic shower valves 19 years ago. Now I love them and use them in my home, and have installed dozens in other peoples homes. My customers always loved the ones I installed, but I did go behind a few plumbers who had not installed one before and had to correct their work. Make your plumber sit down and read the instructions, and read them yourself so you know it is done right.

    Good luck and happy showering.
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,540
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; When I remodeled my tub I used hansgrohe because it eliminates the need for a diverter spout or valve with intergal diverter,

    The only way you could do that would be with an "always on" valve and individual volume controls on the various devices. It is NOT a feature unique to Grohe.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2010
  10. shadysprings

    shadysprings New Member

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Maybe you can answer this? I'm trying to find out why thermostatic valves seems to be better at higher flow. Most PB valves are 4-8 gpm, while thermostatic are 9-18 gpm. And can you provide amodel # for a typical 1/2" valve for shower only that has 11+ gpm?
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,950
    Location:
    New England
    There is a maximum flow rate that is safe for durability of pipe. On a 1/2" pipe, that's about 5gpm. Now, since a shower usually has some hot and cold running, you may find a valve rated for more flow than that. A 3/4" pipe can have a lot more flow, more than twice as much. Internal to the valve, they could have larger openings than the inlet supply pipes, but often not. If you exceed the maximum flow rate, you risk literally eroding the pipes, creating some noises, and risk water hammer when you shut things off. The vast majority of homes have a single shower head, so the flow rate is more important when filling the tub. But, most tubs sold aren't all that big, so huge flow isn't needed, so since more flow means bigger or better engineering, and either of those costs more, most valves aren't all that big. You want more, you pay for it. You need more, buy a 3/4" valve and upgrade the supply runs. Otherwise, you'll be restricted to about 6-8gpm on average, and less if your WH thermostat is set low and you need max hot so you can't take advantage of the volume from the cold supply.
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