How to Replace a Two Handle Bathtub Faucet: A Step-by-Step Guide

Is your old two-handle bathtub faucet leaking or just not functioning properly? It might be time to replace it with a new one. While it might seem like a daunting task, with a little guidance, you can tackle this DIY project and have your bathtub working like new again. In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of how to replace a two handle bathtub faucet, step by step.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

Before you begin, gather the necessary tools and materials. You’ll need:

  1. Adjustable wrench
  2. Screwdrivers (both flat-head and Phillips)
  3. Plumber’s tape
  4. New two-handle bathtub faucet kit
  5. Bucket or towel
  6. Safety glasses

Remove the Old Faucet Handles

Step 1: Turn Off the Water Supply

When installing a new bathtub faucet, it is important to first locate the water shut-off valves and turn off the water supply. This will prevent any unexpected leaks or spills. Additionally, if you find that your outdoor faucet too low to the ground, consider installing a riser to elevate it and make it more accessible. Once the water supply is turned off and the faucet is in place, you can begin the process of connecting the water lines and ensuring a secure installation. Remember always to prioritize safety and take the necessary precautions before beginning any plumbing project.

Step 2: Remove the Old Faucet Handles

Start by removing the decorative caps on the handles. Use a flat-head screwdriver to gently pry them off. Underneath, you’ll find the screws that hold the handles in place. Remove these screws and pull off the handles.

Step 3: Take Out the Escutcheon Plate

The escutcheon plate is the decorative cover behind the handles. Use your screwdriver to remove it carefully. This will expose the valve stems.

Step 4: Remove the Valve Stems

Using an adjustable wrench, unscrew the valve stems in a counterclockwise direction. Once removed, inspect them for any signs of damage or corrosion. If they’re in bad condition, it’s recommended to replace them along with the faucet.

Step 5: Install the New Valve Stems

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install the new valve stems. Apply plumber’s tape to the threads for a secure seal. Screw them in clockwise until they’re snug.

Step 6: Attach the New Escutcheon Plate

Place the new escutcheon plate over the valve stems and secure it with screws. This will give your faucet a polished look.

Step 7: Install the New Handles

Attach the new handles according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure they’re aligned correctly and tighten the screws.

Step 8: Connect the Water Supply Lines

Connect the water supply lines to the new valve stems. Use an adjustable wrench to tighten them securely, but be careful not to overtighten and risk damaging the fittings.

Step 9: Test for Leaks

With everything in place, turn the water supply back on and slowly open the handles to test for leaks. If you notice any leaks, tighten the connections as needed.

Step 10: Reattach the Decorative Caps

Once you’re satisfied that there are no leaks, reattach the decorative caps to the handles.


Replacing a two-handle bathtub faucet might seem like a challenging task, but with the right tools and a bit of patience, it’s a DIY project that can save you money and improve the functionality of your bathtub. Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely and take your time to ensure a proper installation.


Q1: Can I replace a two-handle bathtub faucet with a single-handle faucet?

A1: Yes, you can replace it with a single-handle faucet, but the process will be different.

Q2: How do I know if my valve stems need replacement?

A2: If you experience leaks even after tightening, or if the handles are difficult to turn, it’s a sign that the valve stems might need replacement.

Q3: Do I need to shut off the water supply to my entire house?

A3: No, you can usually shut off the water supply to the specific fixture you’re working on.

Q4: Can I use pliers instead of an adjustable wrench?

A4: While pliers might work, an adjustable wrench provides a better grip and reduces the risk of damaging the fittings.

Q5: Is it necessary to apply plumber’s tape?

A5: Yes, plumber’s tape ensures a tight seal and prevents leaks at the threaded connections.

Roman Moss

Roman Moss works in business development and regularly contributes to blogs around the web with advice, tips, and strategies for small business marketing and promotion. Even when he’s not in the office Jake is thinking about new marketing tactics and techniques. He just can’t get enough!

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