The Best Shower Valves for Your Bathroom Plumbing

Forget finicky temperatures! Get the water just right with the best shower valves for your style and budget.

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Best Shower Valve

Photo: amazon.com

The shower valve is the component of your shower that controls water temperature, and the slightest movement one way or the other can be the difference between scalding and frigid. If you often struggle to dial in the ideal shower temperature, it might be time to upgrade the hardware behind the wall.

The good news is that there are lots of shower valves on the market. So many, in fact, that finding the best shower valve can be a challenge. Choosing the wrong valve—or worse, a low-quality product—can lead to leaks or poor fitment. You also want the valve to suit your style and moderate temperature the way you want it to.

Fortunately, shopping for the best shower valve just got a little easier, thanks to the preselected products you’ll read about below. Whether you’re looking for a simple replacement, a valve that ties in with a smart device, or even a vintage-looking setup, you’re likely to find a model that works for you right here.

Our Top Picks

Check out this collection of some of the best shower valves that you can buy to replace or upgrade your existing model. From high tech to super simple, there is a wide range of options for those updating showers indoors and out.

Best Overall

Best Shower Valve hansgrohe
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The hansgrohe iBox Universal Leak Preventing Valve excels in flexibility—for use and installation, now and in the future. A rough-in model that works with any hansgrohe or Axor shower trim, including pressure balance and thermostatic, it allows you to maintain and update your shower at any point. There’s an adjustable depth collar you can tweak to fit most wall thicknesses, and it mounts directly to the wall studs, providing extra strength and stability from water hammer or multiple showers each day.

This hansgrohe can supply multiple shower outlets, including a showerhead, tub spout, and a handheld shower wand. Plus, the PVC housing was designed to help reduce in-wall vibrations and noise as well, allowing for a quiet and relaxing shower.

Best Bang For The Buck

Best Shower Valve GROHE
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The Grohe Pressure Balance Rough-In Valve is a worthy contender if you’re on the hunt for a quality shower valve at an affordable price. This pressure-balance valve works with any Grohe trim kit. It comes with two inlets for hot and cold water and two outlets for a showerhead and a tub. If you prefer to use just the tub spout or showerhead, however, there’s a plug to seal off the other outlet.

This shower valve has a wide range of temperature adjustability, rotating 265 degrees between handle stops so you can make small adjustments. It also has built-in check valves to prevent back-feeding hot or cold water into the other line. For maintenance, the Grohe features two built-in shut-offs so you can work leak-free in your wall.

Upgrade Pick

Best Shower Valve Moen
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Dialing in the perfect temperature is easier. The U by Moen Shower Digital Thermostatic Valve lets you adjust shower temperature digitally from your phone when paired with a Moen Shower Smart Controller. This shower valve has ½-inch inlets and outlets, and you can set it up to work with both the tub spout and showerhead. It also comes with a 30-foot-long data cable and the power-supply unit, though you can upgrade to a battery backup separately, as well.

While a controller is sold separately, the S3102 is the foundation on which you build your smart shower system. It uses thermostatic valves to adjust for consistent temperature, and it installs easily in a standard two-by-four stud wall.

Best With Showerhead

Best Shower Valve Delta
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Whether upgrading your old shower or installing a new one, consider the Delta Faucet Ashlyn Single-Handle Shower Faucet. A complete kit, it includes the necessary components to revamp your current shower trim, including a pressure balance valve, a showerhead, a tub spout, and hardware. It comes in four different finishes—bronze, matte black, stainless, and chrome—to suit the decor of your bathroom.

The shower valve itself features universal ½-inch inlet and outlet fittings, allowing you to replace most older valves without coupling up or down in pipe size. The pressure balance works to maintain your set temperature within plus or minus 3.6 degrees, eliminating the negative effects of flushing toilets or using washing machines.

Best Shower Arm Diverter

Best Shower Valve Brass
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Showerhead valves can be finicky, especially if your home has hard water. If your current diverter valve isn’t working as it should, you may wish to upgrade to the Brass Shower Arm Diverter Valve for Hand Held Showerhead from Mingor.

If you don’t already have a separate shower wand, this diverter valve lets you install one easily, as it threads onto the pipe behind the showerhead. When the handle is 180 degrees backward, all of the water will flow to the wand. When it’s 180 degrees forward, all of the water will exit through the showerhead. At 90 degrees, it mixes both outlets equally.

One-piece brass construction makes this model long-lasting and durable against hard water situations. It comes with the necessary O-rings for installation and is available in three finishes to match chrome, brushed nickel, or oil-rubbed bronze shower trim.

Best For Outdoor Showers

Best Shower Valve EXFLO
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Forgetting to turn off your outdoor shower can turn into a disaster for your wallet, especially if you use well water or live under drought conditions. This EZ-FLO self-closing shower valve installs directly in line with your showerhead and will operate as long as there is tension on the pull chain. Once you release the chain, it shuts off and conserves water, making it ideal for homes in areas prone to drought or with older well systems.

Brass construction and chrome finish make it a durable choice for outdoor applications. The ½-inch inlet and outlet make it a direct installation for most water-supply pipe fittings. Pro Tip: Be sure to drain your outdoor shower’s pipes before winter sets in. Install a catch to hold the pull chain open, as well, to lessen your chances of a pipe bursting.

Best Vintage

Best Shower Valve Kingdton
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If you’re looking for a stylish upgrade for your clawfoot tub or luxury shower, check out the Kingston Brass KSC266C Vintage Wall Mount Tub Faucet. This kit features a two-hole installation pattern that installs as a wall-mounted unit for shower applications or directly to your clawfoot tub’s plumbing. It has two valves for adjusting to the perfect temperature and features a built-in tub spout with a 59-inch shower wand that rests on the spout. It comes in several finishes, including chrome, matte black, brushed nickel, and antique brass.

Though not a high-tech shower valve, it includes such desirable features as a durable all-brass body (regardless of finish) and drip-free quarter-turn valve cartridges, helping to avoid the small leaks for which older tubs are notorious.