Installing new faucet and handle in fiberglass tub/shower

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by prplgrrl, May 29, 2007.

  1. prplgrrl

    prplgrrl New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, Ca
    Our house was built in the mid 80's and both bathrooms have fiberglass showers/tubs. They also have the cheap generic fixtures in them from the previous owner. We would like to replace these fixtures with something newer and better quality. We bought a faucet/handle/shower head combo from Price Phister. The problem is that the hole for the existing handle is only about 2 inches in diameter and the valve body for the new handle is over 4 in. dia. and the place piece that fits in the wall is around 5.5 in. dia. We will also need room to work inside the wall, so the resulting hole would be around a foot in dia. We do not have a crawl space to access the area and the other side of the wall is the bathroom counter. How can we change the fixtures? I understand that if the old fixtures were a major brand the change could be easy, but these fixtures don't have any brand. Do we need to cut into the fiberglass? If so, how difficult is it to repair the hole? Is there a way to remove the whole side of the shower in one piece? Please advise.

    p.s.
    We are very new to indoor plumbing, so any advice is very helpful. Thank you!
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Best bet is to REPAIR your existing. Since it is a PP, there may be some alternate handles and trim available to update the "look".
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,268
    Location:
    New England
    If you take a picture of what is in there, one of the pros may be able to tell you what brand it is. Knowing the brand is necessary to be able to find repair parts. You may be able to find new knobs, and return the guts to new condition.

    If you decide to replace it, a plumber probably could cut a hole that would allow him to replace the valve. Many of the companies make a remodel escutcheon that is bigger than the "normal" one that comes with it. I do not know if PF has one, but you could check their website. As long as the repair escutcheon covered the hole, it should be okay. You may be able to find a generic one that you then install the factory one onto.
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