The shower valve is an important accessory in your shower that regulates the flow of water and allows your shower head to deliver a constant flow of water. This is important because a sudden low water pressure during a shower can scald you badly.
Moreover, the shower valve allows you to get a more enjoyable shower experience by delivering water heated at a specific temperature.
Best, you do not have to make complex adjustments to get a comfortable temperature with the shower valve. Simply turn the handle to get your desired water flow and temperature and you are all set.
If you are fresh on the market for a shower valve, then below you will find an overview of some of the best shower valves for the money. Let’s see which model you need to buy right now!
What To Check Before Buying Best Shower Valve?
First and foremost, you need to make sure that the shower valve is compatible with your plumbing system. Specifically, look for the size of the connectors.
Most of the time, a typical shower valve like the excellent Delta Faucet R10000-UNBX will use a 1/2 inch connection.
Eventually, the price of the shower valve will depend on its controls. The more controls it has, the more versatile it will be, but it will also be more expensive.
Controls in a shower valve range from 1 to 3. As a general rule, a model with more controls will provide you with more versatility.
As an example, a shower valve that has one control will be able to control the amount of hot water flowing through the valve. If it has 2 controls, it will not only be able to control the amount of hot water flowing but also the pressure of the water.
For a model with 3 control units like the Pfister 00131XA, it will do any of the above as well as give you control on which outlet you want the water to flow.
The number of outlets that the shower valve can control is also important. Especially if you have more than one shower head that you need to provision with water.
In this case, you will need a shower valve that comes with 2 outlets. Similarly, if you use 3 shower heads in your bathroom then you will need a model that has 3 outlets.
4. Material and Design
The material and the design of the shower head will dictate 2 things. The durability of the shower head as well as its efficiency in controlling the water flow as well as the water temperature.
In most cases, some of the best mixer shower valves on the market are made from brass which is an excellent material that does not corrode, has good temperature resistance and is highly durable. However, the main disadvantage of Brass is that it is generally more expensive.
If you are on a budget, you can still go with a shower valve made from an ABS plastic and it will still get the job done. However, it will not be as efficient, performing or durable as a model made from brass.
In addition to the material used in the construction, the design of the shower valve is also extremely important because it will dictate how efficient it is.
A well thought and good design will prevent your shower valve from leaking even under high water pressure or high-water temperature.
It will have a superior temperature control over the water flow as well as deliver the water in a more consistent manner to the outlet.
5. Handle Options
A few shower valves come as a kit that includes accessories like a stainless-steel handle that will allow you to quickly and easily interact with the shower valve.
The handle is also usually made from stainless steel but can come in different colors to match the color scheme on your bathroom.
If you don’t want to purchase those accessories separately, then it is best to go with a shower valve kit that includes everything.
6. Easy to install
The shower valve is a plug-and-play pumping accessory that does not require a lot of skill to install. If you can connect 2 water pipes together then you will have no problem installing the shower valve.
However, it is still good to see if the manufacturer makes any mention of how easy it is to install and if it comes with an instruction manual for the installation. This is especially important if you have no experience installing a shower valve before.
In order to ensure that you are getting a quality, durable and performing shower valve, it is important to choose the best shower valve brand that you can find.
This is because a branded model will use quality materials in its build construction as well as provide you with a form of a warranty that you will never get if you choose to go with a no-name brand.
10 Best Shower Valves of 2021 Reviewed
1. Delta Faucet R10000-UNBX (Best Overall)
2. KES K1140B (Most Affordable)
3. Moen 2510 (Durable & Long-lasting)
4. Delta Faucet R22000 (Effective Temperature Regulation)
5. Kohler K-304-K-NA (Easy to Install & Use)
6. Moen 2570 (Lifetime Warranty)
7. SR Sun Rise Square Mixer (A Complete Kit)
8. Pfister 00131XA (Versatile)
9. Danze D112000BT (Small & Compact)
10. Grohe 35015001 (Excellent Price to Performance)
1. Delta Faucet R10000-UNBX – Best Overall
- Material: Brass
- Finish: No finish
This Delta unit is a 1-way control unit that is one of the best mixer shower valves when it comes to price to performance ratio. You also get quite a lot of versatility with this model as you can purchase it in different numbers in the form of “packs” depending on your need.
Since this shower valve is made from brass metal, it is heavy-duty, durable and long-lasting. It is also made in the USA, so you are getting a lot of quality with this purchase.
One good thing about this shower valve is its shape that has a flat back that will allow you to easily make the connections inside your wall without much difficulty.
The threaded connections are standard as this model uses regular 1/2 inch plumbing threads, so you will have no problem installing it to your plumbing system.
For versatility, this unit accepts thermostatic cartridges to regulate the temperature of your shower or dual cartridges for shower head flexibility.
The only issues we have with this model is that you get the shower valve only. You will need to get a trim plate and faucet separately. Also, the installation instructions could have been simpler and easier to understand.
- Good price. Value for money
- Versatile. Accepts single, double or thermostatic cartridges
- Can be easily purchased in different quantities
- Easy to install because of the flat design that allows it to sit flush to the wall
- Shower valve only. You will need to buy a faucet and trim plate separately
- The installation instructions could have been better
2. KES K1140B – Most Affordable
- Material: Brass
- Finish: Polished Chrome
Not everybody can afford a very expensive shower valve. This is where models like the KES K1140B comes into action. Here we have a very inexpensive shower valve that has a 1-way control and made from a single piece of brass.
So, you will have no problem when it comes to the durability of this shower valve. It uses a regular G 1/2 male and female threads for installation so no problem there as well.
When it comes to efficiency, you get provided with rubber gaskets that will prevent it from leaking, even if you have a high-water pressure in your shower.
For control, there is a small lever on this shower valve that will allow you to easily perform a quarter turn to switch the water supply on or off. You also get the possibility to buy this model in either a polished chrome or brushed nickel finish.
Based on the price, and since this is a bare-bones valve that does not come with a handle or trim plate, we rate this KES unit as the best rough in shower valve in this review. It is simple and works beautifully well!
The only things we don’t like where this model is that you don’t get a handle or trim plate. Also, you need to be careful when installing this valve as the polished chrome surface can easily get damaged with a wrench.
- The most affordable shower valve in this review
- Easy to switch the water supply on or off
- Available in 2 different surface finishes
- Highly efficient. Will prevent leakages
- Basic. Does not come with a handle or trim plate.
- The polished chrome surface may get damaged during installation
3. Moen 2510 – Durable and Long-lasting
- Material: Brass
- Finish: No finish
With the Moen 2510, we now move in the territory of heavy-duty shower valves. This model is made out of a solid piece of brass which means that it will not corrode and not crack even under high water pressure. It is very durable and long-lasting.
What’s good about this model is that it uses standard 1/2 inch female threaded connections, so it will be easy to connect it to any plumbing system. Since this is a thermostatic shower valve, it uses a special technology called PosiTemp that will easily regulate the water temperature regardless of the water pressure.
That means that even if someone opens a tap or flushes the toilet while you are showering, you will not get scalded in your shower. But what’s even more interesting in this unit is that it comes with a lifetime warranty from Moen. You have absolutely nothing to lose by choosing this valve as your next purchase.
Just make sure that you have enough space behind the wall when installing this shower valve. This is because this model is bigger than average and will not sit flush like others.
- Durable and long-lasting brass construction. Can be used as a heavy-duty valve
- Uses PosiTemp technology to regulate the water temperature regardless of water pressure
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- A little bit fat. May have difficulty sitting flush behind the wall
4. Delta Faucet R22000 – Effective Temperature Regulation
- Material: Brass
- Finish: Mixed
This Delta Faucet is a thermostatic shower valve and diverter that will be able to regulate the water temperature and maintain a constant temperature even if the water pressure is low. It does so quite effectively as well.
Since this is a one-piece brass shower valve, it is very easy to install to your plumbing system as well as will last a long time because it does not corrode at all.
Moreover, the flush design will mean that it will sit flush behind your wall, and you do not need a lot of space for the installation.
There are 2 controls in this shower valve that will allow you to quickly and easily regulate the water temperature as well as change the water temperature.
The only caveat we have with this shower valve is that for the price it could have come with a trim plate or a handle. You only get the diverter with this purchase.
Also, the installation manual is difficult to understand by beginners. You need some experience installing shower valves with this model.
- Efficient temperature regulation. Will not cause high temperature even with low water pressure
- Flat design. Easy to install and does not need a lot of installation space
- Flexible. Allows you to control the water pressure as well as a water temperature
- Expensive. You only get the diverter and not a back-plate trim or handle
- The assembly instructions are difficult to understand by beginners
5. Kohler K-304-K-NA – Easy to Install and Use
- Material: Metal
- Finish: Brass
The Kohler K-304-K-NA is a water pressure balancing shower valve that is very beginner-friendly and easy to install. If you have never installed a shower valve before, this model is an excellent choice.
Moreover, this unit is able to work with a low water flow rate while still being able to maintain a comfortable water temperature that will not cause scalding.
In fact, the specialty of this Kohler water valve is its anti-scald protection technology.
Since the main construction material of this shower valve is brass, it is very heavy-duty, durable and long-lasting. It also uses standard 1/2 inch male threads, so you will have no problem installing into your plumbing system.
The only caveat we note is that the backside of this shower valve is a little fat, so you will need some space for the installation. It is definitely not as flush when compared to a slim shower valve.
However, considering its superior ability to control the water temperature and ease of installation by beginners. We rate this model from Kohler as one of the best thermostatic shower valves for the money.
- Easy to use and install by absolute beginners
- Superior ability in controlling the water temperature despite low water pressure
- It has an anti-scald technology that will prevent the risk of scalding
- Requires space behind the wall for installation
6. Moen 2570 – Comes with a Lifetime Warranty
- Material: Brass
- Finish: No finish
The Moen 2570 is a popular shower valve that you will find in many bathrooms. But what separates this model apart from the competition is that it also comes with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.
Moreover, this shower valve uses standard 1/2 inches female connections for the installation, so you will have no problem there.
Additionally, it also comes with a PosiTemp technology which means that it will be able to automatically adjust the temperature regardless of the water pressure.
You will not experience any scalding with this shower valve even if the water flow of your shower diminishes drastically.
Also, this unit is able to regulate not only the temperature of the water but the water pressure as well and you can switch between hot water and cold water on the fly.
When it comes to the build construction, this unit is made up of entirely a one-piece brass which makes that it can withstand a high-water pressure for an extended period of time without cracking or leaking.
The only problems here is the price as this model is quite expensive. Also, it is more difficult to install than the average shower valve.
- Backed by a lifetime warranty
- Durable and long-lasting build construction
- Used standard 1/2 inches female threads for the installation
- Expensive when compared to the competition
- Difficult to install by beginners
7. SR Sun Rise Square Mixer – Comes As a Complete Kit
- Material: Brass
- Finish: Polished Chrome
The SR Sun Rise is a top-rated shower valve that comes as a complete kit. Indeed, you will get not only the shower valve but also a stainless-steel backplate trim as well as a stainless-steel handle with this purchase.
One good thing about this shower valve is that it has a slim and compact form factor, so you will have no difficulty installing it behind the wall of your shower.
Also, since this unit has a brass and a plastic build construction, it will not corrode and is very durable.
Talking about durability, the handle valve inside this model is made from ceramic which means that you can turn the handle thousands of times, and it will still not get damaged. It is quite robust.
Moreover, this shower valve is also very efficient and does an excellent job of maintaining a constant water temperature regardless of the pressure.
The only problem with this model is that it does not come with an installation manual.
- You get the shower valve, backplate trim as well as a handle with this purchase
- Durable and long-lasting. Valve is made from ceramic and is heavy-duty
- Small and compact. It will not take a lot of space behind the wall
- Does not come with installation instructions
8. Pfister 00131XA – Versatile
- Material: Brass
- Finish: No finish
This Pfister model is a 3-handle shower valve that offers a high level of versatility in the shower. Furthermore, since it is made from brass, it will not corrode when it comes in contact with hard water.
One of the best attributes of this shower valve definitely remains its 3-handle function. You will be able to adjust not only the water pressure with this shower valve but also the water temperature as well. Switching between hot and cold is extremely easy with this unit.
When it comes to the installation, you will have no problem as it comes with union nuts that will allow you to quickly and easily connect it to your bathroom plumbing system.
Note that you do not get additional fixtures or trim plates with this purchase. It comes as a rough in 3-handle shower valve. Additionally, despite being made from brass, it is not as durable as others shower valves in this review.
- Versatile. Allows you to control up to 3 faucets
- Slim form factor. Does not take a lot of space behind the wall
- Easy to connect to your plumbing system
- Lifetime warranty on this product from Pfister
- You get only the shower valve and no accessories
- Not as durable when compared to other models
9. Danze D112000BT – Small and Compact
- Material: Brass
- Finish: Rough brass
This Danze shower valve is a small and compact model that will not take a lot of space when installed, especially in tight areas behind the wall.
Moreover, once connected to your plumbing system, this model will have no problem regulating the water flow which in turn will regulate the temperature of the water.
As we can see, despite being a one control system, it still remains quite versatile. It also has a ceramic disc valve that is heavy duty and quite durable. Moreover, you can control not one but up to 2 shower heads with ease using this Danze unit.
For the installation, it uses standard 1/2 inch threads which is pretty much the standard size for any shower plumbing system.
All in all, this model is one of the best shower valves for the money when it comes to the ability to control multiple shower heads and temperature control.
The only issues is that this shower valve is not very durable and may need replacement after a few years of usage.
- Small and compact. Easy to install and does not take a lot of space
- Able to control up to 2 shower heads
- Uses standard 1/2 threads for the installation
- Allows you to adjust the temperature limit
- Not the most durable model
10. Grohe 35015001 – Excellent Price to Performance
- Material: Brass
- Finish: No finish
The Grohe 35015001 is a genuine shower valve that has an excellent price to performance.
When it comes to durability, the manufacturer chose to go with a brass material for the build construction. This will ensure that the shower valve does not corrode when it comes in contact with water and hard water during its operation.
Since this model uses regular 1/2 inch male threads, it is easy to connect to any plumbing system using a regular water connector. Moreover, the valve can be rotated 265 degrees, so you will have no problem switching between hot water and cold water using this valve.
All in all, this Grohe unit is one of the best shower valves for hard water on the market. This is because it does a great job resisting minerals from hard water and has an excellent price to performance ratio.
Just keep in mind that this model requires plumbers tape during installation or else it will leak easily.
- Excellent price to performance ratio
- Lifetime warranty from the manufacturer
- Excellent resistance to hard water. Durable and long-lasting
- The handle can rotate 265 degrees to easily switch between water outlets
- You will need to use plumbers tape on the male threads or else it may leak
Types of Shower Valves
There are 3 main types of shower valves on the market. Here is an overview of those different types of valves so that you can choose the best shower valve for your need:
Thermostatic Valve: The thermostatic valve is a type of valve that will prevent the temperature of the water from changing. In a common shower without a thermostatic valve, any change in the water pressure will directly result in an increase in the temperature of the water.
For example, if you flush your toilet while showering, the temperature of the shower will rise sharply which can cause scalding. This is a problem that the thermostatic valve will prevent from happening.
Pressure-Balancing Valve: Most showers are at the mercy of the water pressure delivered by the plumbing system.
Sometimes you get a high-water pressure when no one else is using water in the house, and sometimes you get a low water pressure when the demand for water is high.
What a pressure-balancing valve does is help stabilize the pressure of the water. This results directly in not only getting a consistent and constant water flow but also a more stabilized water temperature regardless of water usage in the house.
Diverter Valve: As its name suggests, the diverter valve is a type of valve that will divert the flow of water to a specific outlet.
For example, if you want to switch between your hand-held shower head and your fixed shower head using your faucet, you can quickly and easily do it with a diverter valve.
A big advantage of the diverter valve is that it prevents you from instilling complex plumbing infrastructures or having to install the diverter that usually comes with your shower kit.
Most of the time, the dedicated diverter valve will be superior both in durability and efficiency to the diverter that comes with your shower head unit.
How to Install Shower Valve?
Installing the shower valve is not a very difficult task and it still remains quite big and a friendly. Here is a step wise manner and how to install the shower valve in your bathroom.
Step 1 – Remove the Handle
Your shower valve should normally come with a handle. Remove that handle using either a screwdriver or an Allen-wrench to gain access to the innards of the shower valve.
It is at this point that you should also shut down your water mains to prevent water from flowing during the installation.
Step 2 – Remove Trim Plate
You now need to gain access to the plumbing system behind the escutcheon trim plate of your shower.
This plate should normally use a clicking system, so you can open it by placing a flat head screwdriver between your wall and the escutcheon trim plate.
However, there are some models that are secured with a bolt or an Allen-wrench. Use the appropriate tool to remove this trim plate.
Step 3 – Access Your Plumbing System
Once the escutcheon trim plate has been removed, you should now see the plumbing system.
However, it may be too tight to work with comfortably, so you need to create a hole large enough, so you can gain access inside for the installation.
Step 4 – Connect the Shower Valve
Now that you have gained access to the plumbing system and water pipes, remove your old valve if you have one. If not, simply connect the new shower valve to the pipes using the appropriate fittings.
Don’t forget to use plumbers tape on the threads of the shower valve to prevent any leaking. Additionally, you may want to replace any fittings if they are old to further prevent the possibility of leakage.
Step 5 – Let the Water Flow
Once you have made all the connections to the shower valve, open the water mains and see if there is any leakage. Let it flow for around 5 minutes just to make sure there are no leakages.
Once done, place the escutcheon trim plate again on the wall and connect the handle to the shower valve. The shower valve is now installed and good to go.
As we have seen, the shower valve is an important shower accessory that will not only regulate the flow of water but also allow the shower to deliver the same water temperature every time you switch your shower on.
If you are looking for a reliable model then you cannot go wrong with the Delta Faucet R10000-UNBX. It has an excellent price to performance ratio.And for those who are on a very short budget, then consider the KES K1140B.
In this post:
- What To Check Before Buying Best Shower Valve?
- 10 Best Shower Valves of 2021 Reviewed
- 1. Delta Faucet R10000-UNBX – Best Overall
- 2. KES K1140B – Most Affordable
- 3. Moen 2510 – Durable and Long-lasting
- 4. Delta Faucet R22000 – Effective Temperature Regulation
- 5. Kohler K-304-K-NA – Easy to Install and Use
- 6. Moen 2570 – Comes with a Lifetime Warranty
- 7. SR Sun Rise Square Mixer – Comes As a Complete Kit
- 8. Pfister 00131XA – Versatile
- 9. Danze D112000BT – Small and Compact
- 10. Grohe 35015001 – Excellent Price to Performance
- Types of Shower Valves
- How to Install Shower Valve?