The 7 Best Thermostatic Shower Valves for Your Bathroom (Buying Guide & Reviews)

We understand that finding the perfect shower valve can be daunting, considering the wide range of available options. 

However, with our expert advice and in-depth analysis, we aim to help you make an informed decision and find the ideal thermostatic shower valve that meets your needs. 

We’ve got you covered whether you prioritize temperature control, water pressure, or style. 

Understanding Shower Valves: Types and Functions

Shower valves generally fall into three main categories: diverter, thermostatic, and pressure balancing valves. Each type serves a unique purpose and offers distinct benefits.

1. Diverter Valves

Diverter valves allow you to control water flow between different outlets, such as a showerhead, tub spout, or handheld shower wand.

They are commonly used in showers with multiple showering options, such as those with body jets.

Understanding the number of outlets you require will help you determine the appropriate diverter valve for your needs.

2. Thermostatic Valves

Thermostatic valves are designed to maintain a consistent water temperature during your shower. They use advanced technology to prevent sudden fluctuations in temperature, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable showering experience.

These valves are especially beneficial for households with young children or individuals with mobility limitations.

3. Pressure Balancing Valves

Pressure balancing valves primarily focus on maintaining a balanced water pressure, even when other appliances or fixtures are used simultaneously.

They prevent sudden drops or surges in water pressure, allowing you to enjoy a consistent shower experience without discomfort.

Best Thermostatic Shower Valves 2023

1. Hansgrohe iBox Universal Leak Preventing Valve

Sale
hansgrohe iBox Universal Leak Preventing Valve Rough-in with Service Stop for Standard Shower Trims...
  • Universal trim compatibility: The heart of your shower system, use the iBox rough-in with any hansgrohe or AXOR standard...
  • Flexible configuration: Provides enough water to supply multiple shower outlets including showerhead, tub spout, handshower,...
  • Style versatility: Compatible with a wide variety of shower trims such as hansgrohe S Thermostatic Trim with Volume Control...
  • Founded, Germany's Black Forest, 1901, Hansgrohe is committed to building a strong sense of tradition. Hansgrohe's products...

Our top pick for the best overall shower valve is the Hansgrohe iBox Universal Leak Preventing Valve. This versatile valve offers exceptional performance and reliability, making it an excellent choice for any bathroom. 

The adjustable collar allows for easy fitting in various applications, ensuring a seamless installation process. 

The universal design works with pressure balancing and thermostatic valves, providing flexibility and convenience. 

Additionally, the leak-preventative design ensures a watertight seal, reducing the risk of leaks and potential water damage.

   – Type: Universal (thermostatic or pressure balancing)

   – Outlets: 2

   – Material: Brass

 – Pros:

     – Adjustable collar for fitting a variety of applications.

     – Universal design works with pressure balancing or thermostatic valves.

     – Leak-preventative design that seals around the wall.

   – Cons:

     – Does not come with a trim kit.

2. GROHE Grohsafe Pressure Balance Rough-In Valve

GROHE 35110000 GrohSafe 3.0 Pressure Balance Rough-In Valve, Unfinished
  • Flush plug allows valve body to be tested and flushed without the presence of the valve cartridge (ships with trim, NOT...
  • Flat back allows valve to be mounted flush against cross brace for easy and solid installation
  • Wide rough-in range from 1-3/4 in. to 2-3/4 in. from finished wall to back of valve
  • Exclusive plaster guard is designed to protect valve and act as a guide during installation

If you’re looking for a shower valve that offers great value for your money, the GROHE Grohsafe Pressure Balance Rough-In Valve is a fantastic option. 

This valve combines affordability with quality craftsmanship. With its wide temperature adjustment range, you can easily find your desired water temperature for a soothing shower experience. 

The built-in check valves prevent back-feeding, ensuring optimal performance and preventing potential issues. Please note that a trim kit is required for installation.

   – Type: Pressure balancing

   – Outlets: 2

   – Material: Brass

   – Pros:

     – Wide temperature adjustment range.

     – Built-in check valves to prevent back-feeding.

     – Plug included to shut off the extra outlet.

   – Cons:

     – Requires a trim kit.

3. Moen S3102 Smart Shower Digital Thermostatic Valve

Sale
Moen 179573 Bathroom Shower U by Moen Digital Shower Backup Battery Kit with Moen S3102 Bathroom...
  • OPTIONAL: Battery backup kit for U by Moen digital showering technology line
  • EXTRA POWER: Allows use of digital bathroom shower for up to a few days without AC power
  • TERRA BEIGE: Neutral finish option makes an easy complement to any bath
  • REMOTE ACTIVATION: Now featuring three ways to control your shower: voice, phone, or controlle

For those seeking an upgrade to a more technologically advanced shower valve, the Moen S3102 Smart Shower Digital Thermostatic Valve is an excellent choice. 

This smart valve lets you digitally control your shower temperature from your smartphone when paired with a Moen Shower Smart Controller. The personalized temperature settings ensure a customized and enjoyable shower experience. 

The valve is compatible with tub spouts and showerheads, making it versatile and adaptable to your preferences. Please note that the controller is sold separately.

  – Type: Diverter valve

   – Outlets: 2

   – Material: Brass

   – Pros:

     – Available in 3 finishes.

     – 3-position handle for shower, faucet, or a mix of both.

     – Durable one-piece brass construction.

   – Cons:

     – Only a diverter valve does not mix temperature or balance pressure.

     – Requires a basic shower kit.

4. Delta Faucet Ashlyn Single-Handle Shower Faucet

Delta Faucet Ashlyn 14 Series Single-Function Shower Faucet Set, Full Body Spray Shower Head,...
  • ROUGH SOLD SEPARATELY: Shower trim kit only, purchase Delta's MultiChoice Universal Shower Valve separately to complete the...
  • INTENSELY POWERFUL: Immerse yourself in the steady, intensely powerful full body spray with forceful streams of water to...
  • PROTECTION FROM SUDDEN TEMPERATURE CHANGES: The Monitor Pressure-Balanced Valve Cartridge (included) ensures a consistent...
  • EASY TO CLEAN: Delta shower heads with Touch-Clean spray holes allow you to quickly and easily wipe away calcium and lime...

If you plan to revamp your bathroom aesthetics while ensuring optimal functionality, the Delta Faucet Ashlyn Single-Handle Shower Faucet is a stylish and reliable option. 

With its sleek design and single-handle operation, this shower valve offers ease of use and adds a touch of elegance to your bathroom decor. 

The pressure-balancing feature maintains a consistent water pressure, while the durable construction ensures long-lasting performance.

   – Type: Pressure balancing

   – Outlets: 1

   – Material: Brass

   – Pros:

     – Single-handle design for easy temperature and flow control.

     – Sleek and stylish appearance.

     – Durable construction.

   – Cons:

     – May not be suitable for those who require multiple outlets.

5. Kingston Brass KS266C Vintage Wall Mount Tub Faucet

Sale
Kingston Brass KS266C Kingston Clawfoot Tub Faucet, 6-Inch Adjustable Center, Polished Chrome
  • Solid Brass Construction
  • Drip-Free Ceramic Disc Cartridge
  • Wall Mount 6" Centerset 2-Hole Installation
  • 7.0 GPM/26.5 LPM Water Flow Rate at 80 PSI

The Kingston Brass KS266C Vintage Wall Mount Tub Faucet is a great choice if you’re looking for a vintage-style shower valve. 

It adds a touch of elegance to your bathroom with its vintage design and durable brass construction. However, please note that it does not offer temperature control.

– Type: Diverter valve

   – Outlets: 2

   – Material: Brass

   – Pros:

     – Vintage design adds a classic touch to your bathroom.

     – Sturdy brass construction.

   – Cons:

     – Limited to wall-mount tub faucet applications.

     – May not be suitable for modern-style showers.

6. Moen ExactTemp 3/4-Inch IPS Rough-In Thermostatic Shower Valve

Kohler 26346-9-CP Anthem™ Two-Outlet Recessed Mechanical Thermostatic Valve Control, Polished...
  • Two-Outlet Mechanical Thermostatic Valve Control: Recessed trim plate features a temperature control knob and shower outlet...
  • Safe and Easy to Use: When pressed once, shower outlet turns on and button pops out, becoming a knob for water flow...
  • Easy Install Trim Plate: Wall-mount thermostatic trim plate features a low-profile design with an easy-to-clean,...
  • Additional Hardware for Installation and Use: Thermostatic trim plate designed for use with a K-26340 Anthem two-port...

The Moen ExactTemp is a thermostatic shower valve that allows you to dial in and maintain your ideal temperature.

It is compatible with the Moen M-PACT common valve system, so you can easily update the look of your faucet without ever touching the plumbing.

The valve is made of durable brass construction and is backed by Moen’s Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Pros:

  • Precise temperature control
  • Easy to install
  • Durable construction
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • Some users have reported difficulty adjusting the temperature
  • The valve is not compatible with all Moen trim kits

7. Kohler 26346-9-CP Anthem

Kohler 26346-9-CP Anthem™ Two-Outlet Recessed Mechanical Thermostatic Valve Control, Polished...
  • Two-Outlet Mechanical Thermostatic Valve Control: Recessed trim plate features a temperature control knob and shower outlet...
  • Safe and Easy to Use: When pressed once, shower outlet turns on and button pops out, becoming a knob for water flow...
  • Easy Install Trim Plate: Wall-mount thermostatic trim plate features a low-profile design with an easy-to-clean,...
  • Additional Hardware for Installation and Use: Thermostatic trim plate designed for use with a K-26340 Anthem two-port...

The Kohler 26346-9-CP is a two-outlet thermostatic valve trim that is designed to provide precise temperature control and a comfortable shower experience. It is made of high-quality materials and features a sleek, modern design.

The Kohler 26346-9-CP’s ability to maintain water temperature even when the hot water heater cycles is one of its outstanding features. The thermostatic valve controls hot and cold water flow to maintain a narrow temperature range.

The Kohler 26346-9-CP has volume controls for each outlet to customize water flow. This is ideal if you have numerous individuals in the shower or want to manage water flow for different shower heads.

The Kohler 26346-9-CP is easy to install and use. The instructions are clear and concise, and the installation process is relatively straightforward. Once the valve is installed, you can simply turn the knobs to adjust the temperature and volume of the water.

Here are some of the pros and cons of the Kohler 26346-9-CP:

Pros:

  • Precise temperature control
  • Separate volume control for each outlet
  • Easy to install and use
  • Sleek, modern design
  • Made of high-quality materials

Cons:

  • Can be a bit expensive
  • Not as many features as some other thermostatic valve trims

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Thermostatic Shower Valve

1. Valve Type:

Consider the specific type of valve that suits your needs—diverter, thermostatic, or pressure balancing. Assess your requirements for water flow control, temperature stability, and water pressure balance.

2. Material:

Look for shower valves made of durable materials such as brass or copper. These materials offer longevity, resist corrosion, and provide reliable performance.

3. Compatibility:

Ensure the valve is compatible with your existing plumbing system, shower fixtures, and accessories. If applicable, check the required fittings, connections, and compatibility with trim kits.

4. Installation:

Consider the ease of installation. Some valves may require professional installation, while others are suitable for DIY projects.

Check if the valve comes with installation instructions or requires additional components for installation.

5. Aesthetics:

Choose a shower valve that complements your bathroom decor and personal style. Consider the finish options available, such as chrome, brushed nickel, or oil-rubbed bronze.

6. Budget:

Set a budget for your shower valve purchase and look for options that offer the best value for your money.

Consider the long-term durability and performance of the valve to ensure it’s a worthwhile investment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What is a shower valve?

A: A shower valve is a plumbing component that controls the flow and temperature of water in your shower. It ensures a comfortable and consistent showering experience.

Q: Are shower valves universal?

A: Some shower valves are advertised as universal, but it’s important to research and confirm if they are compatible with your specific plumbing setup.

Universal valves may not be an exact swap for all applications.

Q: Can I install a shower valve myself?

A: The ease of installation depends on the specific valve and your plumbing skills. Some valves are suitable for DIY installation, while others may require professional assistance. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and local plumbing codes.

Q: How do I maintain a shower valve?

A: Regular maintenance involves cleaning the valve and checking for any leaks or signs of wear.

Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for specific maintenance instructions. If you encounter any issues, it’s recommended to consult a professional plumber.

Conclusion

Choosing the suitable thermostatic shower valve is crucial for creating a comfortable and enjoyable showering experience. We’ve covered a range of options to cater to different needs and preferences. 

Whether you prioritize temperature control, water pressure, versatility, or style, the recommended shower valves in this guide are sure to provide an exceptional showering experience. 

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