Future-proofing shower valve depth in wall?


Old 09-02-19, 06:12 PM
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Future-proofing shower valve depth in wall?

Hi all -- i have an ancient, leaky stem valve shower faucet of unknown brand. There is only one plumber in my rural area and he recommended replacing the whole 3 handle system with a new 1 handle faucet. I'm on board, but funds are limited. I currently have a very thin glue-up shower surround wall set, although at some point in the future i would like to put up tile.

My question is, once the new faucet is installed for the depth of the thin glue-up shower surround, how much of a problem will it be to use the same faucet/valve setup for the added depth of a tiled surface? Do the copper pipes have enough "give" to just change the location of the valve assembly along the studs by 1/2" (or however much will be needed)? Or will this require cutting and soldering pipes in order to change the valve depth in the wall?

The good news is I have access from the back side of the wall (in the next room). Just want to understand if i'm going to have to essentially pay the plumber twice to move the valve depth, which might change the math on when i can afford to retile the shower.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 09-03-19, 08:21 AM
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Almost all new faucet's have a certain range of wall thickness they accommodate, usually a couple inches. The faucet body and piping should be rigidly attached so it can not move. The trim and escutcheon are adjusted to handle different thicknesses. This is all described in the installation instructions for the faucet. If you have your new faucet installed so it is protruding "more" then that will leave you more adjustment for a new, thicker tile shower walls in the future.
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