Shower Valve Replacement: Do I have to replace the tile?
There are several reasons for replacing a shower valve. The most common reason is that it’s leaking, or simply just worn out. Ignoring a leaky valve could lead to additional repairs, as well as mold and mildew growth. Fixing a valve is a scary proposition for many homeowners, as it could mean having to fix or replace tiles in the shower, as well. While it’s possible that some will need to be replaced, it doesn’t have to be an expensive repair.
What is a shower valve?
A shower valve is the device that allows you to mix both hot and cold water in the shower, controlling the temperature. It sits inside the wall, and has both hot and cold lines running into it. This is usually where a leak occurs.
What happens when there is a leak?
A leaky valve can cause problems inside the wall of your home, and wreak havoc on the subfloor, cabinetry, flooring, baseboards, and anywhere else the water goes. The water can also weaken the studs and the underlayment under the tile, which can be an issue, as well. Often when there is a leak, the homeowner doesn’t find it until there has already been significant damage.
Do I have to repair the tile?
Once you have a plumber in to check out the damage, they’ll figure out the best way to access the valve. If you’re lucky, this will be an easy process, and the valve is easily accessible through the wall by cutting the drywall. Unfortunately, it could be more complicated. It may require the plumber to cut through the tile to access the valve. The plumber will take care to only cut what is necessary to get the valve fixed. The size of the repair depends on the size of the hole needed. Depending on how much space the plumber needs to work will dictate how much tile needs to be repaired.