How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Shower Valve?
$435 – $600, Installed
Average Cost of Shower Valve Replacement
Most homeowners pay around $310 to have a plumber replace the stem and internal parts only. Replacing the entire shower valve however, cost an average of $540 installed. This cost includes the new valve, removal of the old broken shower vale, as well as all parts and supplies, labor, and disposal of the old parts.
Overview of Shower Valves and Handles
There are several types of shower valves and handles. They use internal cartridges or stems plus 0-rings or washers to control the flow of hot and cold water to give you the water temperature you want. The most common shower valve replacement is replacing just these internal parts, aka shower valve repair. This can be done from the shower side and is an easy-to-moderately difficult DIY option.
When the valve is beyond repair, the entire assembly must be replaced and a common unplanned bathroom remodeling expense. This is done from behind the assembly, not from within the shower. It can be an invasive repair unless there is an access panel that exposes the assembly and plumbing.
Most showers use a single handle. A few showers have two handles, so both valves might require repair or replacement. Plumbers also refer to these parts as tub shower valves and tub valves.
This shower valve replacement cost estimate includes cost factors, retail cost of parts and labor rates. We’ve also pulled together prices from reliable cost estimating sites and given readers the opportunity to share their shower valve replacement cost.
Project Cost Details
Replacement Valve Price Factors
There are a few significant factors in the cost to replace a tub/shower valve.
- Repair vs Replace – If just the internal parts such as the cartridge or stem need replacing, cost will be much lower than if the entire assembly is replaced.
- Accessibility – If the shower valve has an access panel, the cost of replacement will be much lower, since it will take less time. Follow-up cost of repairing drywall or installing an access panel will be eliminated.
- Cost of the Parts – Retail prices are listed next and vary quite a bit from cheapest to most expensive.
- Who Does the Work – When hiring a plumber or handyman, the majority of the repair cost is labor, so DIY repair reduces cost by more than half.
- Size of the Company you Hire – Single proprietors and small companies have lower overhead and often charge less than large companies.
- Where you Live – Hourly rates for plumbers reflect the cost of living across the country. For example, if you live in suburban Boston, cost to replace a shower valve might be nearly twice what it is in rural Oklahoma.
- Whether you Have a Home Warranty – Most home warranty companies have plans that cover routine plumbing repairs. For example, American Home Shield offers a warranty that covers “Faucets, shower heads and valves for shower, tub and diverter” and more.
In worst-case scenarios, drywall must be cut and patched or replaced after shower valve replacement. Replacing a shower valve assembly costs $500 to $1,000 or more and is usually done by a plumber. That cost doesn’t include drywall work.
Pro Tip: If you cut out a section of drywall to repair a shower valve, replace the section of drywall with an access panel that will make future repairs much easier and less costly.
How do you know you need to replace the shower valve?
Signs of a worn-out valve are:
- Dripping/leaking even when the handle is closed tight
- Water temperature is hard or impossible to balance
- Pressure fluctuates, especially when water is being used elsewhere in the house
Replacing the valve is also a very common home improvement during bathroom remodeling, replacing the showerhead and/or tub faucet, bathtub or shower replacement, or other major renovations like adding a walk-in tub to your bathroom.
Cost of Shower Valve Installation Supplies
Tub and shower valves are available at hardware and home improvement stores and online retailers. If you’re DIY, remove the part and take it with you to the store or to the computer to ensure you get the proper replacement part. They are specific to the brand.
Here are price ranges from a few popular brands for cartridges, complete valve assemblies and repair kits for refurbishing a shower cartridge.
- $35 – $110 | Kohler Shower Valve Cartridges
- $45 – $80 | Delta Shower Valve Cartridges
- $25 – $85 | Pfister Shower Valve Cartridges
- $6 – $110 | Danco Shower Valve Cartridges – Danco is a third-party supplier that makes parts for most brands
- $8 – $30 | Shower Valve Repair Kit with O-rings, washers, springs and plastic body
- $25 – $300+ | Shower Valve Assemblies from major brands, with some assemblies for high-end brands like Kohler, Grohe and Rohl costing more than $500
Permits, Inspection, Related Costs and Valve Installation Time
Permits and Inspection Cost
- $0 – $260 | A permit is not always needed to repair a shower valve, however, if you are replacing the valve completely, check with your local plumbing code.
Related Costs and Installation Time
Homeowners typically call a plumber for tub and shower valve repair, but most handyman services can successfully make the repair.
We recommend calling a plumber for complete tub shower valve assembly replacement. It will cost more, but this is a job you want done right the first time.
- $50 – $85 | Handyman Hourly Rates
- $75 – $150 | Licensed Plumber Hourly Rates
Install Time Schedule
Here are time estimates for both projects. Most plumbers and handyman services charge a 1-hour minimum fee, even if the job takes less time.
- 20 – 60 Minutes | Shower Valve Repair
- 2 – 3.5 Hours | Shower Valve Replacement
DIY or Hire a Pro?
My daughter had a shower leak, and her husband isn’t the handy type. When I visited recently, she told me about the leaky Moen tub shower valve.
The steps I took to repair it were:
- Watch a tutorial video on Moen shower valve repair, and decided the repair was within my capabilities.
- Turn off the water.
- Disassemble the shower handle, and remove the cartridge.
- Took the cartridge to the hardware, and found the proper replacement part with the help of a salesperson. There were several Moen options.
- Install the new cartridge following the written instructions that came with the part, and reassemble the shower handle.
Total work time was about 40 minutes.
If you have moderate skills and closely follow written instructions, you should have success. Basic hand tools are required for tub shower valve repair for most brands.
Had the repair failed, meaning the shower continued to leak, it would have been an indication that the entire assembly was worn to the point of needing to be replaced. And I would have called a plumber.