Q: Dear Ed: I've learned a lot about plumbing fixtures from your column and really like the concept of having a freestanding bathtub in my new bathroom. But, since freestanding tubs just sit exposed on the floor with no walls or flat tub rim area for water fixtures, what kind of tub filler valve is used?
– Larry, New Jersey
A: Freestanding baths are becoming very popular.
Basically, it's a self-supporting soaking tub that sits on the floor and requires no wall enclosures or supports. Some homeowners install a freestanding bath in the center of the bathroom, making it the design showpiece for the bathroom.
Naturally, with a special bathtub, you'll need a special bath tub filler valve. The kind of tub filler used for most freestanding baths is called a floor-mount bath filler. It's a tower-type setup with a special water spout that's tall enough to clear the tub rim.
Floor-mount bath fillers come in many configurations and some even have hand shower options as well. Just keep in mind this type of bathtub setup is very high end, so installing a freestanding bath can be very far from free.
Master Contractor/Plumber Ed Del Grande is known internationally as the author of the book "Ed Del Grande's House Call," the host of TV and Internet shows, and a LEED green associate. Visit eddelgrande.com or write firstname.lastname@example.org. Always consult local contractors and codes.