Understanding Tub Spout Heights: Full Guide

What's the ideal tub spout height? What's a conventional tub spout height? Your questions answered here.

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The Hausera Editorial Team

When you’re designing or redesigning a bathroom, a lot of ensuring that you get the layout right is abiding by conventional measurements and regulations. This applies to everything from the plumbing to the height of the vanity, things simply need to be comfortably accessible to be functional. However, when it comes to your bathtub, how far from the ground should your tub spout be? As it turns out, the height of this particular feature is not standardized.

Bathtub faucet heights are not specifically regulated by building codes unless you refer to installation codes to meet the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, which specifies how to ensure that the tub is useful for people with mixed abilities. However, the handicap accessibility guidelines for buildings and facilities are stipulated under ADAAG requirements, while non-ADA compliant installations are a matter of regional preference. 

Here is everything you need to know about ensuring your tub spout is installed at the correct height, why this matters, and some of our favorite products on the market. 

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What’s A Conventional Tub Spout Height?

According to Home Guides, tub spouts should be installed at a conventional height, which takes into account the manufacturer’s suggestions, the plumbing, and the distance from the shower head.

“If placing the faucet in a combination tub and shower unit the faucet is generally placed low, 12 to 18 inches above the rim of the bathtub,” they reported. “The tub spout will generally be located 4 inches above the rim of the tub. In a shower only unit, the faucet is placed higher at 48 inches off the floor. The shower head normally is located 72 to 80 inches above the finished floor. If the homeowner prefers an adjustment in heights, then the shower head can be roughed-in higher or lower. The valve, spout and shower head should be centered side to side in the interior of the shower.”

Again, this also must take into account a non-negotiable 2-inch air gap between the bathtub spout and the tub rim, as well as the comfort and preference of the family who will be using it. 

Why Does The Bathtub Faucet Height Matter?

Though it is a small detail, the height of the tub faucet does matter, especially if you’re installing it yourself. This is for several reasons. First, a spout installed too high or too low can make the renovation look cheap or poorly executed. Aside from the 2-4 inch air gap required between the spout and the tub rim, there are no specific measurements required for the spout. However, it does need to fall within a certain range to look correct.

In addition, the spout needs to be low enough that it doesn’t cause a ton of splashing when the water hits the tub, but still high enough that the nozzle doesn’t go under the water when the tub is filled at maximum capacity. 

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Best Tub Spouts On The Market

If you're unsure about which tub spout and faucet is right for you, feel free to read our guide to bathroom faucets, including ones from Kohler, Delta, Rohl, Brizo, and more.

Beyond this, the final and most important decision is whether or not it will work for your family. If you live with anyone who is of mixed ability and cannot comfortably reach or use the spout, it’s not going to work for you. However, if that isn’t an issue, you have a bit more freedom and range to install it where you’d like, aside from the general conventional standards that are recommended for the aforementioned reasons.