Trying to build a custom shower setup

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by caliskier, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. caliskier

    caliskier New Member

    Mar 22, 2009
    Wife and I want to install a custom shower. We want to install a wall head, a ceiling head and a hand shower; maybe a couple of body sprayers if the cost does not get too out of hand. We want to control all 3 (or 4) components with separate on/off valves after the main so that we can have complete functionality. The main valve we want to be the thermostatic control type that always keeps the temp the same (someone flushing the toilet makes it super hot, want to fix that).

    I have gone out to different sites like moen, kohler, grohe etc. and have seen the kits, but man, expensive, and I don’t know if I want the heads that comes with those kits. Plus most do not come with the valves. So my noobie question is this, can I go out and buy any brand of valve, thermostatic and on/off, and then buy the trim or does the trim and valve have to come from the same company? Is there a recommended lower cost way of doing this where I do not have to buy all the valves and trim from the same company?

    Also, looking at several brands: Alsons, American Standard, Grohe, Hansgrohe, kohler, Latoscana, Moen. Which should I avoid.
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Trim is specific to not only a brand but to the model as well.

    Another thing to consider is that if you have all of those valves open at the same time, you will go thorugh LOTS of hot water, so you need to provide for that as well. You'll probably need a 3/4" main from the WH to the thermostatic valve - 1/2" to the showerheads would be fine. You could probably limit the number of valves if you could come up with a set of combinations and then use a multiport divertor valve instead of shutoffs. Quality trims can cost as much or more than a good valve.

    If you haven't found it yet, check out for help on tiling this new shower.
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  4. caliskier

    caliskier New Member

    Mar 22, 2009
    Thanks for the puts, looks like if I want to go cheep I will need to keep trims together with valves and try to match trims from their. That may be a crazy idea, but i a going see what I can do. 1/2" from the WH but I will never be using all valves at once, the WH would run out of water in about 2 min. I will look into the multiport divertor, but would like to be able to run any two things at once. I saw a Moen that only allowed this for 2 of the things, the other three were always stand alone. Thanks for the tile forum, that is now a favorite, because that is what I am going to worry about next.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    You can buy the valve, the control stops, and the shower heads separately. There is no reason to stay with one manufacturer other than to keep the handles similar in appearance. There are multiport diverter valves, but the sequence as to which ones can be operated simultaneously is limited so you have to make that decision during installation so the various items can be connected to the proper, usually adjacent, ports.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2009
  6. caliskier

    caliskier New Member

    Mar 22, 2009
    Thanks, what manufacture is recomended for price and quality?
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