Ashburn, VA

How much does a shower valve replacement cost?

$225 – $575 shower valve replacement cost
$100 – $350 shower cartridge replacement cost

Shower valve replacement costs $225 to $575 on average. Plumbers charge $100 to $300 in labor alone to replace a shower mixing valve or diverter valve. Shower cartridge replacement costs $100 to $350, and may repair a leaking shower faucet without replacing the entire valve assembly.

Get free estimates from plumbing services near you, or view our cost guide below.

September 23, 2021

Reviewed by Tom Grupa and 5 expert plumbing services on HomeGuide.

Shower valve replacement cost

Shower valve replacement costs $225 to $575 on average, depending on the mixing valve or diverter valve brand and type. Replacing a shower cartridge costs $100 to $350 and can fix some problems without replacing the entire valve. Plumbers charge $125 to $350 to fix a leaky shower faucet.

Shower valve replacement cost - chart
Shower valve replacement cost - chart

Shower valve replacement cost
National average cost $400
Minimum cost $145
Maximum cost $900
Average cost range $225 to $575

Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.

Cost to replace shower valve assembly

Replacing a shower mixing valve or diverter valve costs $225 to $575. Replacing only the shower valve cartridge costs $100 to $350 and may fix a shower faucet leak without replacing the entire valve.

Cost to replace shower valve assembly - cartridge, mixing valve, diverter valve - chart
Cost to replace shower valve assembly - cartridge, mixing valve, diverter valve - chart

Average cost to replace shower valve assembly
Part Average cost to replace
Shower cartridge $100 – $350
Shower mixing valve $225 – $575
Shower diverter valve $225 – $575

*Including parts and labor

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Shower cartridge replacement

Replacing a shower cartridge costs $100 to $350, including materials and labor. A shower faucet cartridge costs $15 to $85 for the unit alone, plus plumbers' charge $85 to $265 for labor.

Cost to replace shower valve cartridge
Brand Shower cartridge cost Total replacement cost
American Standard $15 – $50 $100 – $315
Delta $20 – $80 $105 – $345
Grohe/Hansgrohe $25 – $85 $110 – $350
Kohler $30 – $60 $115 – $325
Moen (standard) $15 – $50 $100 – $315
Moen (posi-temp) $60 – $80 $145 – $345
Price Pfister $20 – $40 $105 – $305
Danco $10 – $40 $95 – $305
  • Some manufacturers warranty their shower cartridges for life. Confirm whether the cartridge is covered under warranty before purchasing a replacement.
  • Cartridges are not interchangeable across brands.
  • Match the part number of the new cartridge to the old cartridge to verify compatibility.

Shower mixing valve replacement cost

Replacing a shower mixing valve costs $225 to $575 on average for materials and labor. The cost to replace a mixer valve depends on the valve type, brand, and accessibility. Replacement costs more for thermostatic valves or valves that must be accessed through the back of the wall.

Shower mixing valve replacement cost - chart
Shower mixing valve replacement cost - chart

Cost to replace a shower mixing valve
Valve type Valve unit cost Total replacement cost*
Pressure-balancing $50 – $300 $150 – $600
Thermostatic $150 – $600 $250 – $900

*Including valve with installation

Shower mixing valves come in three types:

  • Pressure-balancing shower valves have a single handle that controls both water temperature and flow volume. Pressure-balancing valves adjust the hot and cold water pressure to prevent the shower water from becoming scalding when cold water is used elsewhere in the house, such as when a toilet is flushed.
  • Thermostatic shower valves automatically adjust the hot or cold water flow to maintain water pressure and temperature and prevent scalding. Thermostatic valves have two handles—one to control temperature and one to control flow volume—allowing users to adjust the two settings independently.
  • Standard mixing valves draw water from the hot and cold taps but can't regulate sudden changes in water pressure. Mixing valves are more common in older homes and do not offer any anti-scald protection.
Thermostatic shower valves are the most expensive but safest option for homes with small children because they prevent scalding.

Cost to replace shower diverter valve

Replacing a shower diverter valve costs $225 to $575, including materials and labor. A shower diverter valve switches the flow of water between the bathtub spout or shower head and is typically controlled by a small handle located on the center trim plate or near the tub spout.

Faucets with both a fixed shower head and handheld shower head typically include a built-in diverter valve to route water to one shower head or the other. Transfer valves allow water to flow to multiple components at the same time.

If the tub spout leaks while the shower is running or the shower head leaks while the tub is running, a faulty diverter valve is the most likely cause.

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Cost factors for plumbers to install a shower valve

Replacing a shower or tub faucet is a common home improvement during a bathroom remodel. The following factors affect the cost to install or replace a shower valve:

  • Repair vs. replace – Replacing internal parts like the cartridge or stem costs less than replacing the entire valve assembly.
  • Accessibility and complexity – Easily accessible shower valves cost less to replace. If the valve can't be accessed from a hole behind the center trim plate, the plumber may need to remove tiles, use an access panel, or go through a wall behind the shower.
  • Shower tile repair costs $7 to $25 per square foot if the plumber removes tile to access the shower valve.
  • Drywall repair costs $75 to $150 to patch a small to medium-sized hole if the plumber opens the wall behind the shower to access the valve.
  • Material and replacement parts cost vary based on the brand, style, and finish. Some assemblies for high-end brands like Kohler, Rohl, and Grohe cost $500 or more. Cheaper generic options are also available from major manufacturers.
  • DIY vs. professional labor – DIY shower valve replacement saves $100 to $300 on labor costs. Replacing a shower valve is a challenging project that may require removing a section of the wall to access the valve and surrounding pipes.
  • Home warranty – Some home warranties cover shower valve replacement. Check the warranty policy to confirm the coverage details.
  • Plumbing permits cost $30 to $300 for small jobs. Most cities require a permit for plumbing changes.

Brass shower valve assembly up close
Brass shower valve assembly up close

Labor cost for plumber to replace shower valve

Plumbers charge $100 to $300 for labor alone to replace a shower valve or $225 to $575 for the valve with installation. Replacing a shower valve takes 1.5 to 3 hours on average, depending on type and accessibility. Replacing a shower cartridge takes 30 minutes to 2 hours.

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  • Professional plumber hourly rates are $45 to $150 if additional repairs are needed.
  • Handyman prices are $50 to $125 per hour to install a shower valve.

Replace shower plumbing pipes

  • Replacing plumbing pipes costs $300 to $350 for the shower drain only.
  • Installing shower plumbing costs $450 to $1,800 for a new shower or bathtub instead of replacing an existing fixture.

Additional costs to fix a leaking shower

Additional costs to repair a leaky shower faucet may include:

  • A shower valve repair kit costs $5 to $40 and contains replacement washers, gaskets, and O-rings to prevent leaks.
  • New shower handles cost $30 to $120 and are sold as part of a shower valve rebuild kit.
  • Fixing a leaky faucet costs $125 to $350, depending on the source of the leak.
  • Replacing a shower faucet costs $250 to $800 on average, depending on the style, features, and finish.
  • Silicone caulk costs $4 to $12 per tube to cover 50 linear feet to seal gaps around the shower faucet trim.

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Signs you need to replace the shower valve

Signs a shower valve needs to be replaced:

  • Dripping or leaking water even when the shower is turned off
  • Shower handle gets stuck or is difficult to turn
  • Grinding sound when turning the shower handle
  • Sudden changes in water temperature
  • Weak or inconsistent water pressure
  • Water trickles but doesn't come out of the faucet
  • Corrosion or sediment buildup in the valve assembly

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What is a shower valve and assembly?

A shower valve regulates the flow of hot and cold water to maintain a consistent water temperature. The valve prevents temperature fluctuations in the shower when hot or cold water is used elsewhere in the home, such as when a toilet is flushed.

Shower valves typically must be paired with a faucet trim kit from the same brand. Some shower trim kits come with new valves, while others require a compatible valve sold separately.

What type of shower valve do I have?

To determine your type of shower valve, look for a brand name or symbol on the center trim plate, handle, or spout:

  • Moen shower valves are labeled "M".
  • Kohler shower valves are labeled "K".
  • Delta, Price Pfister, American Standard, and others print the full brand name on the spout or center trim plate.

If no brand name or symbol is visible on the trim, the cartridge must be removed for identification based on its length and the size and shape of the broach on its stem. Refer to a cartridge identification guide or bring the cartridge to a local hardware store.

Can you replace a shower faucet without replacing the valve?

You can replace a shower faucet without replacing the valve if the stem is not damaged. The faucet—also known as the shower trim—includes the visible center plate, spout, and control knobs or handles. The valve is located inside the wall and can't be seen without removing the trim.

Most trim kits are only compatible with valves from the same brand. Before purchasing a new shower trim kit, confirm it is compatible with the existing valve.

How high should a shower valve be installed?

A shower valve should be installed 38 to 48 inches above the floor for showers without a tub. For showers in bathtubs, install the valve at a standard height of 28 inches.

How far should a shower valve stick out from the wall?

The distance a shower valve sticks out from the wall varies by style and manufacturer. Shower valves come with a round plastic piece called a plaster guard that should be aligned flush with the finished wall during installation to ensure the valve is placed at the correct depth.

Most shower valve manufacturers sell extension kits to adjust the depth if the valve is installed too deeply in the wall for the handle to turn smoothly.

Are shower valves and cartridges universal?

Shower valves and cartridges are not universal and are not interchangeable between faucets or brands. Each manufacturer uses brand-specific cartridges, and the correct cartridge type depends on the shower valve type. When replacing an old cartridge, use a new cartridge with the same part number.

Can you run two shower heads with one valve?

Running two shower heads with one valve results in a loss of water pressure whenever both shower heads are used simultaneously.

  • When using a pressure-balancing valve, the water pressure from each shower head is halved if both shower heads are running simultaneously.
  • When using a thermostatic valve, the total pressure is split between both shower heads, but the water volume from each head may be adjusted independently.
  • When using the same valve for two shower heads, both heads run at the same temperature.
  • Dual-unit faucets with one fixed shower head and one handheld shower head typically include a built-in diverter to route water to one shower head or the other.
To prevent a reduction in pressure, install a diverter valve so water flows to only one shower head at a time or install a separate mixing valve for each shower head.
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Finding and hiring a plumbing service

Before hiring a plumber to replace a shower valve, be sure to:

  • Get at least three estimates from local plumbers to compare.
  • Look for plumbers with experience repairing showers.
  • Browse their reviews on HomeGuide, Google, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
  • Select companies that are insured, bonded, and have been in business for more than five years.
  • Avoid selecting the lowest quote as quality may suffer.
  • Get a detailed estimate, contract, and warranty in writing before the work begins.
  • Confirm if a manufacturer's warranty covers the malfunctioning parts.
  • Never pay in full before the project starts. Follow a payment plan instead for work completed.

Questions to ask

  • Which part of my shower valve is malfunctioning?
  • Is the part covered under warranty?
  • Should I replace the cartridge or replace the whole valve instead?
  • How long will the repairs take?
  • What additional costs should I expect?
  • Will you perform any drywall or tile repairs if you can't access the valve from the opening behind the trim plate?
  • What permits do I need, and will you obtain them?
  • Does a warranty cover the new parts? If so, how long is the warranty, and what does it cover?
  • Do you provide a warranty on the repairs?

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