Pfister - Change Compression to Ceramic?

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by john4mary, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. john4mary

    john4mary New Member

    Feb 9, 2014
    I have an entire house full of fixtures currently in polished brass finish which I am changing to brushed nickel. This will be done under warranty from Pfister due to the brass finish being defective. Pfister has been very supportive about replacing the fixtures, however I have some detailed technical questions and need some help/advice.

    I can replace the entire faucet for the kitchen and lavatory sinks fairly easily because they are accessible. However my showers and roman tub would require busting out tile to replace the entire unit. I REALLY don't want to do that if I can avoid it! Simply swapping out the trim would be ideal, but there is a catch.

    My current polished brass fixtures have compression stems (manufactured pre 2003). I am told by Pfister customer service that compression stems and ceramic stems are apples and oranges and the trims are only compatible with one or the other type (not both). The problem is that the selection of replacement trims for compression is very limited. So to get the trim I want I need ceramic stems. Questions:

    1. Why are the trims not interchangeable between compression and ceramic stems? The obvious answer is they are different dimensions but I don't want to assume anything.

    2. Can the current compression stems simply be swapped out for ceramic? I realize the seats may also need to be removed.

    3. Is there an adaptor that will allow trim designed for ceramic to be matched to compression? I have seen stem extenders advertised, but I'm not sure how/why they are used.

    Overall I'm looking for the path of least resistance that will still get me the trim I want.

    Background information:

    Current fixtures are Georgetown collection. Both roman tub and shower/tub combo are two handle design with cross type handles. Desired new trim is Saxton collection. I'm happy to post pictures and part numbers if that helps. I will be doing the work myself, but I am capable of doing pretty much anything.

    I appreciate your time.
  2. robert13084

    robert13084 New Member

    Nov 15, 2013
    waco, TX
    The ceramic shower stems are designed differently. You can keep the old valve and use the ceramic stems. Pfister makes a flat seat that you would need to install with it. The roman tub will have to be changed. The valve is going to be different and there no way around that. If you are wanting the saxton your going to have to change the shower valve and roman tub valve. The saxton has a new style of handle which threads on to the valve. Your other options would be the Avalon, Catalina , portola, and a couple others. Basically you can keep the shower valve and need to change roman tub.
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