Shower handle sticking out too far

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by alphonse55, Dec 31, 2007.

  1. 45and45

    45and45 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Alberta
    Thanks for posting this information about the Moen Handle Sticking Out Too Far. I was plumbing in the Moen Valve and did a mock up for depth placement with the plastic cover flush with edge of the finished wall. I used a tile and a small peice of drywall to estimate it's thickness. Well I found that it stuck out too far if I followed the Moen instructions (I had to download them as the ones in the box were just pictorial). Yes the handle would function but it wouldn't look good. Kind of like having a door knob stick 6 inches out from a door, it will work but it ain't pretty! I ended up moving the valve further back in the wall cavity before I had put up the drywall, Kerdi and tiles. Very happy in the end but I did a lot of head scratching in the beginning, it sure didn't look like the nice picture they showed. One weird design that could be made a lot nicer looking. Lesson learned, read the instructions, do the mockup, then if it seems wrong go to the internet, chances are someone else has had the same problem with the same model as you. Thanks everyone
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,034
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Now, IF you had been paying a plumber to install that valve, would you have been happy with the SEVERAL hundred extra dollars he would have charged to go through the gyrations you did to get the handle a fraction of an inch closer to the wall? Especially, if YOU then decided to make a "minor" change in the wall or tile and it became TOO deep in the wall to finish without additional labor or an extension kit? I think not, and THAT is why we use the manufacturer's min/max specifications regardless of the handle's projection from the wall.
  3. Florida Jake

    Florida Jake New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Florida
    Moen sells junk

    From your post in 2007 I find it funny that I ran into the same problem in 2012. Moen simply sucks. They know that they have this probem and they continue to sell the same junk with the same problems. In south Florida most upscale homes are made with concrete block and stucko with a 1/2 inch nailer, sheet rock then tile (wood is bug food down here). Installed the product per Moen instructions more or less just diagrams.

    So when installing the same shower valve five years later I have the same problem and it looks like hell. Pure junk. Moen answer move the valve back to allow the handle to be flush. Oh, you want me to take off the tile, sheet rock, knock a huge whole in the concrete block and change the plumbing just so your junk will be flush. You got to be kidding me. Moen plan B we will send you an extention for the plate that will give the tolarable distance of 3/4 of an inch. Give me a break. Moen shower handle sticks out and looks like crap.
  4. Chad Schloss

    Chad Schloss Member

    Messages:
    330
    Location:
    USA
    "Moen simply sucks. They know that they have this probem"

    moen does not have a problem.. it is simply whomever installed the valve who has the "problem"

    it is OK where it is. if you wanted it closer, you could have talked to whomever installed it BEFORE it was installed & where you expected it to be.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,262
    Location:
    New England
    Moen (and most other manufactuers) give a range of acceptable fitment for their valves. From their viewpoint, if it fits, it's okay. But, since there's a range, it is up to the individual to decide where THEY want it. SOrt of like deciding where to hang a picture...not everyone will like it in the same place. YOU have to try it and decide. The manufacturer is just telling you the range in which it will fit. It's always best to mock up the wall configuration and valve placement to decide if it's the look you are after. If not, and you can't change the valve placement, choose a different brand that may have a different set of limitations that meet your criteria of acceptable asthetics - don't blame the manufacturer on this (although they are not blameless maybe for not telling you).
  6. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,703
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    I have never cared much for the Moen line myself but in order to not make this a "I hate Moen thread" will say that having the trim onsite with the rough in is key to nailing these installs. I'd class Moen in with a huge class of what I call Low End fixtures. These low end fixtures offer a good price and cheap replacement parts. Easy to service. Fast to install. Cheap. Cheap. Cheap.

    Higher end fixtures like my favourite Dornbracht ones offer up better design, better site sizing, better leak protection and on and on. The difference is in the install and how the trim is installed.

    With some fixtures great effort is needed to achieve a certain look. Perhaps the backing for the Moen shown above was installed as a 2"x10" - perhaps using some 3/4" plywood would have made this install look that much better.

    Sometimes its crap in the wall. Maybe the collar is not fully sitting back into the wall???

    If you leave these types of choice to the plumbers - you get what you get.

    JW
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,295
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Here is the same valve as above. A Moen Posi-Temp. I just trimmed this out today.
    I like the fact that there is a range that the valve can work at. I'm not a big fan of tearing things out when the surround that gets installed is either too thin or too thick. Moen is pretty hard to screw up. Even if it's set too far back, it's doable.
    Kohler does have some tub shower trims that do have a more consistent finished look to them though. There are some options in valve selection.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012
  8. jehman

    jehman New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    San Diego
    [​IMG]
    [/QUOTE]

    That looks beautiful.

    I just had the same shower kit installed and got what the original poster showed. I know I’m late to the party here but as far as the banter about functional vs. aesthetics goes, I think any professional should have enough forethought to make sure it is 100% functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. Unfortunately, it seems like professional is used rather loosely nowadays. I'm a homeowner, not a contractor. While I'm exceptionally handy fixing things around the house, I don't know a lick about plumbing. I expect the plumber “professional” to know it. So in instances like this I would expect a professional plumber to either make it look like the box picture or be sure to notify the homeowner beforehand what needs to be done to make it look like that.

    In my case I used a general contractor and I know that has its own problems because I’m not speaking directly with a plumber and the plumber probably isn’t speaking directly with the tile guy. So I don’t fault the plumber fully, but he should have made the contractor aware and the contractor should have told me. It’s a lesson learned on my part, but it sucks that a homeowner has to essentially be the plumber and think of all this ahead of time so he can make sure to tell the contractor “this is how it should look” when everyone knows darn well how it should look.

    And not to bash on plumbers but if any “professional” says “well, it’s within specs” to justify the handle looking like that then they are hardly professional at all. And don’t give me the baloney that this is what the Moen instructions say. I hire a “professional” not because he can follow an instruction sheet but because he supposedly has years of experience that allow him to make something functional AND aesthetically pleasing. If I was a "professional" plumber, I'd be embarrassed that a shower handle turned out that way.
    Put it this way. If I make drugs for a living and I have a cure for cancer, you’d probably be pretty pissed if I give you a drug that cures your cancer but leaves you completely unable to move. I can say “hey, the drug is functional”;)
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2014
  9. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,295
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I was lucky with the valve pictured above. Sometimes I'm not that lucky.

    I would love to come to your work and watch you for a day. Let's see how many times you do things within the spec of your job, and see if I complain that, well, are you sure you did that right? Are ya sure?

    If you want the extension to be out within 1/4" of an inch, then you need the tile setter to install the faucet. Or have the plumber install the tile.
    There are so many things that can happen after the plumber has left the job site. After we leave, the wall may be furred out, or the the mudset under the tile may be thick or thin, the tile can be different thicknesses. Will there be deco's at that location? It's kind of a crap shoot. Have something to work with has save our bacon quite a few times. Nobody wants to pull tile to readjust the depth.

    Are you saying by that "witty" comment, that the faucet is there, but "can't" be used?
    Because if so, that isn't even the issue. It is being used, and being used very well.
    When it can't be used, that is when it is "out of spec".
    There are brands that allow the handle to adjust to the wall. Kohler makes some like that.
    I like that Moen gives me quite a bit of options. They even have a handle extension if the valve really gets buried in the wall.

    Don't be expecting plumbers to hang out several days to work alongside the tile setter. We don't get paid to drop by every few days to talk shop with tile setters.

    [​IMG]

    Here is one I did a few weeks ago.

    [​IMG]

    I trimed a HansGrohe a few weeks back, and the tile setter had furred out the wall almost to the point where the valve might not have worked. We would have had to go through the back wall and moved it forward. And that one was set right in the middle of the spec. At least when I left the job.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,262
    Location:
    New England
    The best way to approach this is to make up a mock-up board of the finished wall with tile attached and show them where you want things to be. But, if you then decide to change tile or change something else, you can't blame the plumber. Most of the time, those details have not been determined and things like the tile and trim may not get selected until long after the plumber has left the job.
  11. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,703
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Most times plumbers need only a measurement. Tell the plumber the build out from framing is 1 1/4".

    This world with most 3/8" tile =/- 1/4"

    Set the center of the mud ring or depth gauge at this mark.

    Before doing so check that the off set is nice at factory settings.

    many fixtures have segmented parts that can be cut back for a tighter fit......

    Planning Fixture Placement? Check out this Ideabook
  12. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,262
    Location:
    New England
    That will work with many brands, but not all. Take some of the Kohler stuff where it has to be within 1/16" to look good. Until you've selected all of your components, where it needs to be is just a guess...it will often work, but it's still best to check your specific situation. And, then you have to ensure your desires are fulfilled and you have to follow through with using the same materials.
  13. jehman

    jehman New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    San Diego
    Well, my intention is not to say that plumbers are not professionals. I just think that anyone seeing an end product in the original picture should agree that the valve sticking out that far doesn't look asthetically pleasing. In 40+ years and 12+ dwellings, I've never lived in a place where the shower handle stuck out more than 1/4" from the escutcheon. Maybe I've been lucky, but that is the experience I've had. Heck, until this recent remodel I didn't even know they could stick out that far. You've shown three different photos and they look excellent, so I'm assuming you don't have 40 other installs where the handles are protruding an extra 1.5"

    In my case I look at it as my beef being with my general contractor that left the job looking like that. I feel like he should have been coordinating the plumber and tiler so the job didn't end up just "within spec" but also should have been asthetically pleasing.

    That's pretty much my point. If I'm doing a job on my home it may not be exactly to spec, but it will definitely be functional AND asthetically pleasing to the best of my ability. But for jobs out of my element, I'm paying a professional plumber, builder, contractor, etc. so I don't have to ask those questions.

    I understand this and can sympathize, especially when the plumber never gets to talk to the tiler. Im my case, I went through a general contractor so I lay the blame at his feet. I gave him all the materials up front, so I would have expected him to coordinate the plumber and tiler.

    The comment wasn't really meant to be sarcastic or "witty." It was an analogy. I do drug research for a living. The cancer drug is equivalent to the valve. If the cancer drug does its job it works. If the valve is "within specs" it works. However, if the cancer drug leaves you paralyzed you might look at it as being alive but not really meaningfully, thus who cares if the drug works your life is ruined either way. If you've created a beautiful bathroom except the shower valve sticks out 2" and looks obviously out of place, you might think it detracts from the whole thing and ruins the look, so who cares if the valve is working properly.

    You mentioned that Kholer builds some adjusting room into some of their products and Moen sells a longer valve to help with adjustments. Do you know if Moen sells a shorter valve? Really, it looks like all they need is to shorten the stem that the handle attaches to. I considered cutting mine down but I don't think I can re-tap the threads to screw the cap on again.
  14. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,295
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Okay, now you're making sense. When you stand in your shower and look at the handle, it sticks too far out from the wall.
    God that must suck!
    You must have a foot, maybe two or three feet behind you that is just open air. But your attention is on that nasty 3/4" of an inch that protrudes out from the wall as you look at it. I'm glad you notice little details like that. I'm a big fan of cancer drugs myself. The drug didn't kill me, but it did a real number on my memory for two years. I think my hair improved though. Bonus!

    The surgeon messed up on his cuts, and his stiching of my stomach left a lot to be desired. In fact they later admitted that they had a hard time figuring out how to lay my intestines back in between my hip cavity. Another "sorry about that Mr. Love" And then they noticed that they had used too much radiation on me, and things were a bit fried. Another "Sorry about that Mr. Love."
    Of course the infection from the leak that was making me lose a pound a day for six weeks was a drag. I knew at some point, maybe death, that the weight loss would stop. So they did what any cancer doctor would do, go back in and try to fix some things. That stopped the weight loss, and added a few more issues. But I get it, it's freaking nuts when a handle sticks out within specs and the manufacturer has an odd design. That really sucks. Yes, maybe you should try to hack up that nice faucet and shorten it. Wait.............and you make cancer drugs. Sheesh. I better be done with cancer. Going through that entire gamble was bad enough. I don't even want to think about putting something in my body again. I'm just going to eat healthy and live healthy. And while I'm at it, I really should be installing that six head Moen setup I have sitting here. That would be kind of trippy. :)
    But you know..........I'm going to be standing with my back to all those shower heads and letting them just beat on me. I won't even care how they look, I'm just going to enjoy the moment. :)
  15. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,703
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Jehman

    I pay my plumbers to install the plumbing. Not the backing or blocking they need to mount the fixtures.

    Many times we need to use 5/8" ply to make a fixture look nice. These can be hard to install easily.

    Some jobs we have used 1/4" ply.

    One job we slapped the fixture on the back side of the drywall and had to Jerry rig it. Then I spray foamed the bitch in place.

    Lots of dicking around many times.

    If we all did everything by the book all the time it would be impossible to finish a job and make it look nice. Kind of like installing sheet membranes like Kerdi, NobleSeal TS, Dural and the like. If we mixed the thin-set like we are suppose to (maker of thin-set specs) it would not work well with the sheet membrane.

    If we follow manufactures specs on setting thin-set over concrete we would have to shot blast every slab.

    I'm not a fan of Kohler and Moen fixtures because they are so fixed and rigid in design. The higher end fixtures have segmented handle stems that can be trimmed to fit perfect.

    [​IMG]

    You can see the segment rings. These get cut after tile for a perfect fit....

    When your seeking perfection you need to be able to afford it. Ask for it. And then pay for it.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
  16. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,295
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The Moen Posi-Tem is less than $100 with trim and works pretty well. But yes, you can spend thousands too. The Moen iDigital is something like $2600
  17. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,703
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    I'm liking the look of that in the shower Terry.

    [​IMG]

    I think that's the Eye Digital there on the right.

    Have you rough'd in one of these yet?

    I can see where this fellow has his priority washing area zoned in..... LOL

    [​IMG]

    Looks like a Happy Ending Shower
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
  18. jehman

    jehman New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    San Diego
    As are you. Taking too many drugs and hiring a wise cracking plumber to be your surgeon can leave a lot to be desired. Ah well, we live and learn...
  19. RedShoecounterbalance

    RedShoecounterbalance Stay away from ladders

    Messages:
    508
    Location:
    Minnesota

    Next time San Diego jehman give Reed stewart a call @ stewart Brothers construction...Real nice guy with top notch follow thru.
  20. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,295
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    [​IMG]

    A Moen Posi-Temp installation.
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