6 inch center tub and shower valves and faucets

6 inch center tub shower valves

Many old homes seem to have had tub and shower valves and faucets on 6 inch centers. Today, the bathroom renovation and remodel market is penetrated with eight-inch centers. But, if you have this old style, I think we have verified a source where you can find replacement or repair parts. This research started with reader Sandi, who wrote:

Hi!

I’m remodeling my newly purchased 1954 home, and trying to keep as much original as possible. We have a fabulous shower stall (pink and mint green tile!! LOVE IT!), but the pipes are no longer healthy. We are having to have the entire house repiped.

What I am looking for, is a 6 inch shower fixture “body,” the pipe that separates the hot and cold knobs. My plumber says that the standard is now 8 inch, and that it is impossible to find a 6 inch fixture. He wants to tear out the entire stall, which I am adamantly against.

I’m hoping you might have a lead for these 6 inch pipe fixtures?

Thank you for your time,

~sandi

Where to get shower and tub valves on 6 inch centers: Locke Plumbing

A few years ago, a reader — Randall, as I recall — pointed us to Locke Plumbing as a source to find replacement parts for old, mainstream plumbing makes. Sure enough, I found what appear to be tub and shower valves and faucets to install 6 inches on center at Locke Plumbing. I emailed this info to Sandi… she replied that her plumber said none of these was right…but then, she emailed me again a few days later, saying:

I ended up emailing Locke, and they had THE PERFECT part!!!

Super happy! :DThanks again~

Note, I also emailed my contacts at deabath, they said they could not help with this one:

Hi Pam,

Price Pfister stopped making the last true 6″ center kitchen faucet about 15 years ago, as far as we know.  Some of the import single control (Delta clone) faucets had adjustable centers on them, either 6″ or 8″, but the deck plate wound up being too long for some applications. Nothing for the 6″ center tub showers, we rarely get asked.

So the answer to this one: GO TO LOCKE PLUMBING!

I’ve written about Locke Plumbing before — in our Bathrooms / Faucets category, where you can find lots of info about resources to replace or repair your bathroom faucets. 

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Comments

  1. ChrisH says

    Good resource. For those who live in Mid Michigan they might try Jake’s Plumbing in Lansing. They have a lot of old stuff – including bowls and sinks -in colors.

    The old valve bodies can probably be rebuilt.

    • Sarah g (roundhouse) says

      I second that notion of having valves rebuilt. Just have to find someone who knows a little about plumbing and a lot about welding and is understanding and willing. Usually it’s the last 2 traits that are hardest to find….

      • Tom says

        I third the notion of having the valves rebuilt – or rebuilding them yourself! The whole thing is usually easily rebuildable – new O-rings and washers and valve grease for the valves themselves; new seats should be readily obtainable for the valve body if the existing ones are pitted or scored (if you take the valves out, the seats should be visible – they will usually have a square or hex hole in them so that they can be removed with a square or hex (i.e. Allen) wrench. If the valves are completely trashed, entire new valve assemblies are usually available as well. Unless your faucet is some really wierd off brand, all these parts should be available at the nearest hardware or big box home store. The whole job is do-able without taking the valve body out of the wall. You can also get new knobs and escutcheons if needed. Frankly, you need a real plumber instead of a pipe replacer. “Just sayin’…” Stick to your guns, you can easily have it your way in this case!

        • Tom says

          P.S. It IS good to know that there is still a source out there for narrow assemblies, if it comes to having to do an entire replacement. My only hesitation with using them is to consider whether parts will still be available for the new ones, say, 20-30 years from now. Chances are parts will still be available for older assemblies from major manufacturers since they were sold by the gazillions – Gerber, American Standard, etc. Something to consider, anyway. Union Brass (from Locke) may be a big selling brand too, but I’m not familiar with them.

          Sandi, perhaps you can photo & document this rebuild/replacement/upgrade project and Pam can feature it on the blog; it sounds like you have an interesting bathroom – show it off!

  2. Diane says

    I’d get rid of that plumber / too many of them not to be able to find one that will not nay say your every move

  3. Janet in CT says

    Congrats for being persistent and finding the right parts to save your bathroom! Just yesterday I stopped in at my former neighbor’s house in the neighborhood I moved out of twenty years ago. They just sold the house last fall but I was too late – they already ripped out and remodeled the pink, black and green bathroom. Fortunately they did not change the beautiful kitchen with old GE appliances. I have to say this was one bathroom combination that I wasn’t crazy about and that of course it is up to the owner to decide what they like. It was just sad to me that another pink bathroom bit the dust. I am so glad there are options and places where we can still find those difficult parts when doing a remodel. Thanks for doing this article.

  4. Robin, NV says

    Geez I had no idea. I’ll have to look at what I have when I get home. We have a real corrosion problem here and I’m worried I might have to repipe my bathrooms at some point.

    By they way, I love the faucet knobs shown.

  5. Chris says

    I had this same problem where I needed an entirely new valve assembly for a 6″ center tub faucet. I was able to remove the old faucet from the back and not damage the existing tile, but needed to have a three lever faucet that would fit in the old holes. I was able to use Strom’s Mississippi Series for that purpose (I know you like those Pam). At the time the left and right valves were connected to the center diverter with simple brass nipples. (ie they were not one solid cast unit that the one pictured int he article above). If they are still made that way then you can swap out the nipples that they include with nipples of any lengths you like. Brass nipples cost next to nothing and genearlly come in 1/4″ increments for less than 8″ lenghs (8″ nipples would give you a space of over 16″ between taps for example).

    I think the Mississippi has a more vintage look and feel than those offered at the locke site but again you’d need to confirm that they haven’t changed their valves into a solid body cast.

    • pam kueber says

      Yikes, this is all beyond me. I just wanted to put it out there that there seem to be “solution” for 6″ centers. Consult with your own pros, peeps.

  6. Hillary says

    I dread the day my 1949 tub faucet gives out. I have a wall faucet with two handles and no shower. I’ve never seen a replacement for that arrangement online. (Handle-faucet-handle in a “V” formation)

    • Tom says

      They are still available – it’s the setup with the spigot where you have to lift the diverter thing to turn on the shower. If you don’t have a shower, you just put a plug in the shower outlet on top. But chances are your existing faucet can be reworked without replacing it when the time comes, see my comments above.

  7. sandi says

    I actually emailed Locke plumbing to make sure that was the right fixture, and they responded with another option:
    http://www.lockeplumbing.com/detail.asp?c=Bathroom%20Faucets&s=Tub%20Only%20Faucets&s2=&sku=UNI-633&r1=&r2=&r3

    During the time I was emailing Pam and doing research, my father had a valve custom made locally. Either way, it’s great to know that there are options, and Locke Plumbing got back to me right away.

    Thanks again, Pam! Another pink bathroom saved! :D

  8. Anthony B. says

    I know it might be a bit of sacrilege to completely change to a modern Pressure Balancing Cycling Valve, but an option would be a remodeling cover plate. A cover plate converts 2 handle shower to 1 handle with no tile replacements.

  9. Mary F. says

    We have the exact same Union Brass fixtures shown above in both baths of our 1961 house. We’ve also had to have the stems redone. I found replacement knobs at http://www.faucetpartsplus.com/. The stems came from Teeter’s (http://tetersfaucetparts.com/). I don’t know if Teter’s ships out of Dallas, TX but it’s worth a try.
    The first plumber I called took one look and wouldn’t even attempt to fix them. He recommended Levy and Son and they were great.

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