Ceiling Mounted Tub Filler-Help Needed & Source for tub

beekeeperswifeDecember 27, 2011

Little background information for you--we are building a house. I have asked for a slipper/freestanding tub. But, I'm kind of on my own to find it. Once I find a tub that is not outrageously priced, I have to deal with the plumbing issue. I have come to accept that the faucet (whether it's a freestanding unit or one attached to the tub is going to be very expensive). (Wall unit not an option in this setup).

I found myself looking at the ceiling mounted tub fillers. But can someone explain to me what you get for $500+? Is it just the little metal thing and nib that is up in the ceiling? I was told at the bath supply place, I need to get the mixer for the wall, and make sure it's 3/4". So what exactly does all that money get you for the ceiling part? And if you have done this or are familiar with this, can you provide me with exactly what I should be shopping for?

Reason why I'm looking at these is most of the tub mounted units are very old fashioned, vintage in appearance. Same with most of the freestanding mounts, unless they are ultra space-age modern. I fall somewhere in between.

I could also just get a pull-down faucet for the sink and aim it at the tub to fill it....

I've looked at several places I've found here to find my tub, Signature Hardware included. Does anyone have any other suggestions for finding a tub at a good price? I'm about to ask the builder if we can just go back to the drop in tub option that would have been included.



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Sophie Wheeler

How many thousands over budget do you want to be for something that you will use only .2% of the time you are in the home? And that's assuming that you use it twice a week for at least 15 minutes. Most people end up averaging way less than that. Save your money and put it into the kitchen.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 11:02AM
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Holly, do you have a Tub filler mounted in the ceiling? I'm just looking for advice on that. I know how often I use a soaking tub so that isn't the issue.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 12:20PM
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Another option for you is the Geberit Cascading Tub Filler from "Chicago Faucet" (not the chicagofaucetshoppe on the web). This spout is invisible. Use these four words in your web search: Geberit Cascading Tub Filler.

beekeeperswife I'll try to deal with the one big thing you are focusing on.

Any pipe can deliver hot mixed water to your tub. Hiding it behind anything is one way to make it less obtrusive, more discreet and less expensive. Anything covering it. Or, it can be inside a wall niche, and / or a built in channel. Whatever. I dreamt of making a combination arm rest, ledge and water delivery channel. It would have let hot or warm water cascade into the tub along one side, by falling over the channel's side as well as flowing to the open end of the channel. But I had to explain it to my woman, so that idea got nipped in the bud because it sounded like work and experimentation. Then, I found $10 spouts made of copper, made to go inside the ugly tub-wall spouts you see in cheap rental units. I fantasized about making a translucent shape, to hide them and suspending it in mid air from a stainless steel cable or two... it would have held (and hid) several spouts that would all spray a ton of water and fill up my soaker tub very fast. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I didn't build it. One day in a few years from now you might come across a man who builds art that is functional, mostly with working plumbing in it. That will be me. But not this year.

if it's exposed, it costs a lot of money because of several factors. One is that it's been chrome plated. And polished and shaped just right. Another is that there isn't any mass production except for the ugliest thingies you can find at the cheapest hardware stores. Another is that bathroom fixture companies all seem to know that price cutting is not going to help them stay in business. (They won't sell a whole lot more if they cut prices). They have to make a real margin on the slow selling items.

Conclusion: either you make your own ugly spout from any piece of pipe, and you cover it any way you wish, or you buy something ready made and pay the going price.

The ceiling mount spout is a Kohler product. There are several models. Go see their web site. Call Kohler too. The phone support person will help you get product numbers.

if it is all about money, then money is "it". If you have enough room for a freestanding tub, it can be an option. But it costs more, and you ask about money. Then the chromed pipes delivering water to it also cost more. On top of all this, here are a few more factors weighing in. You haven't posted a layout but you talk about the builder and "what would have been included". You don't seem to know about the 3/4" thingie. It also costs more. And what takes the cake is the statement about using a kitchen spout to fill a tub.

you are a nice person so i hope you understand I'm only resisting and talking back in order to get a few facts straight. The previous post from hollysprings is one I could have written. Never talk about money if you want a freestanding tub and glamourous supply pipes.

A tub filler has a big flow.

If you want to have a discreet / invisible / clean looking tub filler, this will have to be what you search for.

Do you know what size supply pipes your builder is installing to the tub area? They are only two size, big or small.

To fill a soaker it is more fun when the flow is high.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 1:00PM
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I have done two projects using the Kohler laminar fill ceiling tub filler. IRL a ceiling mounted tub filler is a PIA better suited to a guest bath that is only occasionally used to impress. It does have a cool factor, but it splashes water everywhere and the water cools off much more than it would from just a regular tub filler. You would want a tub with a heater and you're not going to find that with but a select few pedestal tubs. It's also not a cheap upgrade, and tub fillers are already pricy.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 7:14PM
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Costco has a very simple looking freestanding tub filler - New Waves Athena Freestanding Bathroom Faucet. They also have a couple of very affordable acrylic freestanding tubs. Don't know who acutally manufactures them, but they look cool.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 11:20PM
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GreenDesigns, thanks for answering a lingering question for me. I always wondered how much heat you loose filling a tub from above. That would be my biggest challenge moving forward with that solution. I want to get into the hottest bath my body will allow and linger in there until I'm "cooked", not because the water got cold.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2011 at 9:20AM
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That ceiling mounted thing always seemed too precious to me. And loud. How do you add a little more hot water to the tub when you're in it?

We have this one from Signature Hardware (I think...I don't precisely remember, but I can look it up if you're interested.) It falls somewhere between modern and old fashioned. My plumber was happy with the quality and approved mightily of the cutoff valves at the bottom, apparently they come in handy when issues arise. Just another option.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2011 at 2:37PM
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This was the issue when I got a freestanding tub. Had no idea how expensive the faucet would be. I really went round and round about this and finally ended up with one that was about $800 all total. It's the kind that hangs up like a telephone. I saved by going with chrome instead of brushed. It was a shock to see how much the faucets cost. The faucet I really wanted was a modern single handle simple looking one with a single pipe but then you need a rough in valve and that was another $356 on top of the $1800 for the faucet. Deal breaker...

One option would have been to go with a wall mounted roman tub type of faucet that would have saved quite a bit. Not sure if the plumbing would have been a wash. I feel for you. But the quotes of 5K are not correct. I have a fairly high end tub from Victoria + Albert the York model and it was $2400 at a local supply (European Sink outlet store) plus tax and $150 shipping and then the faucet was around $800 including tax and shipping. So that's $3200. It was a splurge for us but I really wanted a tub I would use and not some huge tub I wouldn't ever use and would take too much water and space up in the room. I am very happy with it. I looked at the heated tub (MTI Linda) and it really doesn't give out that much heat and wasn't worth it to me. If money were no object though that MTI tub would be sitting in my bathroom instead of what I have, lol. It was a little wider at the base and the shape though similar had a little more modern vibe to it. So far in my York tub by V+A the water stays warm just fine. We were told the V+A tubs hold heat well because they are made out of lava ash that retains heat well. Good luck!!!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2011 at 1:42PM
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"I could also just get a pull-down faucet for the sink and aim it at the tub to fill it."

You could - but you won't like it. The most one of those will fill is 2.2 gallons a minute - some less that that. Divide your tub's capacity by that and you're looking at 20 minutes to fill +/- Not good.

beekeeper - I have one of these and have placed more than half a dozen in projects over the past few years. What you get for your money is a machined brass body that mounts in the ceiling or wall and a plated trim piece. The body is a substantial piece of hardware and chrome,brass, nickel plating costs $$$ too. Whether that's all worth 500 + bucks, is up to you.

Like davidro says, it doesn't matter what the delivery system is, this is just an opening for hot water to come out of, albeit one with a bit of engineering.

GD & Spanish - the splashing is very much dependent on the mounting height of the unit AND the tub selected AND the location of the water column inside the tub. Mine hardly splashes at all. The ones I have seen that splash only do so for a minute or so until their is enough of a pool in the tub to counteract it. Flat bottom tubs with tall ceilings are going to splash more than one from 7' into a sloped contact point in the tub. Besides , we're talking water in a bathroom, generally tiled so what's the big deal ??? It's not like the amount of splash is the same as taking a shower and leaving the door open.

2. While you are correct in that "the water cools off much more than it would from just a regular tub filler", it's not as if it cools off enough for anyone without a thermometer to tell a difference, and a very sensitive one at that! Sure the air cools the water more from a stream falling from 8 feet than one falling from two feet. But bath water that is 100 + degrees is not going to cool down to 90 deg. in the xtra 1-2 seconds it takes it to fall from the ceiling- get real. Additionally , that filler produces a very dense column of water (laminar) that has little to no air in it, so one might argue it will be hotter and less prone to heat loss than a "regular" filler that introduces room temp air into it's stream - thus cooling it off on it's way to the tub. So don't worry Spanish -your tub will still be plenty hot with that filler if you choose it.

IT'S A NON -ISSUE people.

I've already alluded to the real issue for lower tub temps - FILL TIME. That's directly related to the delivery system ( valve). If your valve and accompanying filler will only deliver 5 gallons a minute it's going to take a while to fill an 80 gallon tub, and there will be some heat loss. Select a valve that delivers 20 gallons a minute and you can be soaking quicker that most people can undress.

Here is a link that might be useful: laminar valve body - see page 2

    Bookmark   January 1, 2012 at 3:30PM
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ditto. The temperature is still the same when the water hits the tub. The temperature is still the same, for all intents and purposes. What IS important, and not mentioned by any newbies, is the time it takes to fill a tub. An 8 gallon / minute tub filler is good, and an 11 gallon / minute one is even better. Get the picture? These work on small size pipe (nominally 1/2" diameter) but my writing this out does not mean I like that size for tubs.

You don't need 20 gallons / minute. You can get into a half full tub if you are standing around waiting and wondering what to do. I think 20 gallons / minute is for people who are in a rush to hurry up and relax.


    Bookmark   January 1, 2012 at 5:17PM
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Do make sure that you have a hot water production system that can keep up with your demands. And if you are on a well, you need to get the plumber to run the numbers and purchase the appropriate pressure tank, especially if the shower will have multiple heads. These are all upgraded items that will need to factor into your total budget besides just the additional fixture costs and additional labor costs.

And yes, be very sure you want this. If you want to add hot water during a soak, it's a bit more awkward than a standard installation would be.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2012 at 8:47PM
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"If you want to add hot water during a soak, it's a bit more awkward than a standard installation would be. "

I disagree with you on this one LWO.

It presents an initial design challenge because you wouldn't want to locate the water column on your head or shoulders. You wouldn't be able to fill the tub while bathing if it lands on that spot - which is often ideal (to minimize splashing) for many tubs because of the slope there.

Otherwise it's just like a conventional filler, it'll drop on the water surface above your feet,ankles or mid thigh depending on the filler location - just like a "normal" tub. No biggie.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2012 at 8:04PM
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I thought I might get a free standing tub but ended up w/ very little room and the smallest bain air tub I could find. Here is the one I was planning on investigating.. HIH

Here is a link that might be useful: vintage tub and tile

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 10:17PM
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