Most standard bathtubs have a wall mounted faucet – but if you’re upgrading to a big inset tub like a whirlpool – or especially a freestanding tub – it can be difficult to line up your new fixtures with traditional style hardware. Not only that, but keeping your tub stuck to a wall can really limit the layout of your bathroom remodel. If you don’t like the idea of big, gangly clawfoot tub fillers – or if you’re going for a look that’s more contemporary than classic, you might want to think about investing in a deck mounted faucet instead.
Clawfoot tub fillers are completely exposed, showing the piping literally from the ground up, which creates an excellent antique look. But if that isn’t the style of your tub or bathroom it can be hard to know what fixtures to use for your new freestanding tub. If the walls are thick enough, you can actually install the fixtures directly into the edge of the tub. This allows you to keep the plumbing hidden, and create a modern rather than period feel with something like this American Standard Moments faucet.
Another benefit is that deck mounted faucets tend to be significantly less expensive than ornate freestanding tub fillers. Depending, of course, on the specific faucet, we’re talking a difference of at least a couple hundred dollars, if not closer to a thousand, partly because of the increased material cost for the larger stand. A filler like this Kohler Crescent is simple, elegant, and relatively inexpensive – and it won’t take up any floor space.
If you are going for a specifically modern style for your bathroom, opt for deck mounted faucets with simple, sleek design and dramatic angles instead of curves. I think chrome fixtures, like this Graff Roman Tub Set, look especially nice – the reflective surface accentuates the clean linear design. Especially in a high contrast black and white bathroom, chrome can be extremely dramatic.
With a deck mounted faucet, it’s also a little easier to get some of the innovative faucet styles that are more common with bathroom sink faucets. Because deck style fillers are mounted in almost the same way that sink faucets are, and the water is able to flow into the basin in the same way, you can get larger versions of beautiful waterfall style fillers, like this La Toscana Morgana, you might otherwise find paired with a vessel sink.
If you follow this blog, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of coordination. And if you’re in the midst of a whole bathroom remodel, I think it’s especially important to find matching hardware. Deck mounted faucets afford you the unique ability not only to get matching finishes or similar styles, but to actually get the same fixture in two different sizes to serve two different functions. Having a pair of these Brizo Vesi faucets, one for your sink and one for your tub, and coordinating with matching drawer pulls can help give your bathroom a sense of balance and unity.
And heck, a lot of them just look really nice – if your bathtub is modern rather than victorian style, traditional freestanding fillers just won’t work. Something simple and minimal like this Graff Roman Set is a much better alternative.
What do you do if you prefer the style (and price!) of a modern fixture, but your new tub doesn’t have a deck or rim big enough to install a faucet on? Most contractors will tell you, stick it against a wall or deal with the exposed hardware. But with a little creativity, you can build a freestanding wood or tile pedestal to “mount” the faucet on, keeping your plumbing hidden (but accessible with a hinged door) and your costs lower. The best part is, you’ll be able to install your tub wherever you want, while still getting the same wonderful style of a deck mounted faucet – whether that’s ultra modern or something more traditional like this Royale set.
There are a million and one different kids of bathtubs and tub fillers out there, but it’s all too easy to take your bathroom layout for granted. So before you settle for something you might not be happy with, consider the possibilities beyond the obvious – and don’t be afraid to play around with your configuration, or to take advantage of the simple but less expensive stylings of a modern deck mounted faucet. But what’s making you consider a deck mount faucet – the style, the price, the configuration, or something else? Let me know in the comments!