How do I adapt a shower head without tearing into the wall?

Rich Wilson
by Rich Wilson

I moved into a house with a bathtub with no shower, which I desperately need! The depth of the counter and the old Roman water spout has me perplexed as I do not see a way to adapt a shower head without tearing into the wall or losing the bathtub filling option.

Any creative ideas welcomed.

Bathtub with no shower head

  12 answers
  • 19698379 19698379 on Dec 26, 2018

    I would recommend getting a contractor. Plumbing problems can get expensive if done wrong.

  • Joy30150932 Joy30150932 on Dec 26, 2018


  • William William on Dec 26, 2018

    I would call a plumber. I see only two ways it can be done. The bathtub valve would need to be replaced (where the handle is) and repiped for a fixed shower head. This means cutting into the wall. Another solution would be to access the plumbing on the other side of the wall, if possible, and tie in to the spout pipe for plumbing for a hand held shower head on the tub side. Also means cutting into the wall behind the tub.

  • Gk Gk on Dec 26, 2018

    What is on the other side of the plumbing wall? That is where you would have to access to add new plumbing for a shower head. And you would also have to do something with the wall where the faucet is located-the knockdown finish on that wall isn't going to last because of all the moisture.

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Dec 26, 2018

    I have a faucet in the back of the house that I needed two hoses on, I got one of the adaptors to put on it, one head for soaker hose that goes up to my vegetable garden, and one for the hose to water plants on the side of the house. It gets screwed onto the existing faucet easily and has shut offs for both hoses. Perhaps they may have something like that you could use to put a handheld shower setup onto the existing faucet and it will still be able to be used for both baths and showers. Just a thought, I don't know if they have them for indoor faucets or not.

  • Rich Wilson Rich Wilson on Dec 26, 2018

    I was kind of hoping there was an option of connecting into the faucet pipe by removing the faucet to run a flexible tube up the wall to a handheld shower head, but that would delete the water faucet. I was hoping the the best of both worlds.

  • Kc Kc on Dec 26, 2018

    The simplest option ( but not necessarily very attractive) is a hand held shower wand that comes with a flexible hose. The hose is connected to a diverter valve designed to attach to the tub faucet. (The diverter valve allows water to flow either to the hand held shower wand or to the tub faucet at the turn of a switch).

    Look for a conversion kit that includes a wall mounted shower wand holder or slide bar so that you can use the shower wand feature hands free. You also need the diverter valve that screws on to the end of the tub faucet. It probably won't come with the hand shower kit.

    A pretty and elegant retro/vintage upgrade uses the same tub faucet diverter concept but has solid pipe attached to the wall that goes from the faucet diverter up to the shower faucet. These look more like those original claw foot tub/shower conversions.

    If you google various versions of "tub faucet/hand shower attachments and conversions" you'll find some ideas.

  • Dee Dee on Dec 27, 2018

    I agree they do sell shower hoses that attach to the faucet. Not very pretty. I would call a plumber and get a free estimate for the job. Looks like you have sheetrock not tiles on that wall, so it will not be a very big expense to have a plumber hook it up for you.

  • Bryan's Workshop Bryan's Workshop on Dec 27, 2018

    Add a hose with a shower head on it to the faucet. Unscrew the aerator from the spout and take it to a hardware store/plumbing store to match up the fittings. I live in Japan and this setup is the norm.

  • Melissa O' Melissa O' on Dec 28, 2018

    Unfortunately the counter depth and the lack of tile on that wall makes putting in a shower very difficult.

    I don't think that there are any diverter faucets for a Roman tub and a hand-held shower would get water all over the unprotected sheetrock wall. You would have to tile the wall.

    If you want something down and dirty try the VersaSpray hand held shower which slips over the faucet.

    Or try the Rinse Ace snap 'n Spray shower head spray. It has a quick connector that screws into the faucet.

    You would have to hold it over you to shower, and keep the water away from that unprotected wall.

  • Rich Wilson Rich Wilson on Dec 29, 2018

    Update: I removed the Roman faucet to expose the piping, looks like the diverter faucet could work with an adapter over the bare pipe (Sharkebite Push to Connect Adapter) . Hopefully this solves it!

    comment photo
  • Laura Cooper Laura Cooper on Dec 29, 2018

    Rich, I think these are very pretty. There are several different styles and some have a wall hook for the shower head.