What are the Different Bathtub Parts?

Alex Tree

While the bath tub might seem like a simple apparatus at first glance, it has quite a few parts. One essential piece is the faucet that allows for control over the flow and temperature of the water being brought into the tub. Other examples of bathtub parts are the main drain and drain cover that enable a person to dispose of used bathtub water or retain water in the tub. Many bathtubs also have a secondary overflow drain that releases water from the tub if the water level exceeds a certain height to avoid spillage onto the floor. Another small part many old-fashioned bathtubs have is feet that act as small legs to hold the body of the tub above the floor.

Some bathtubs have feet that hold the tub off the floor.
Some bathtubs have feet that hold the tub off the floor.

One important piece of a bathtub is the faucet, which can come in a variety of materials and finishes. The primary duty of these bathtub parts is delivering water to the bathtub. Though the specific machinations vary from one bathtub faucet to another, these devices work by blocking and unblocking the flow of water in the pipes. Another ability of the bathtub faucet is controlling the temperature of the water which is released into the body of the bathtub.

Bathtubs feature a drain.
Bathtubs feature a drain.

Another key bathtub part is the drain, which is invaluable to the design of a bathtub because it allows water to be disposed of easily. In most cases, the body of a bathtub is typically designed so that all water it contains runs toward an area lower than the rest where a drain resides. So that water is not lost immediately and can be retained for bathing, bathtub parts referred to as drain covers can be employed. These covers are often fastened to the faucet with a metal chain and fitted on or in the bathtub drain to stop the flow of water. At the end of a bathing session, the drain cover is typically removed.

Desk mount faucets are typically used with jetted tubs.
Desk mount faucets are typically used with jetted tubs.

A second type of bathtub drain is employed in a way quite different from the main bathtub drain. These drains are referred to as overflow drains and literally aid in preventing a bathtub from overflowing. This can occur when adding water for heat or by accident in other ways. Overflow drains are typically located near the lip of the bathtub to just barely catch water from overflowing. This high location allows a person to fully fill the tub without having to plug the overflow drain in addition to the regular drain.

Some bathtubs also have four feet that hold the tub above the floor. How high off the floor these bathtub parts hold a tub varies between models. Generally, bathtub feet are considered old-fashioned, but many people find the claw-footed look appealing and opt for it instead of a tub that sits directly on the floor.

Ceramic bathtubs are typically more expensive than those made of other materials.
Ceramic bathtubs are typically more expensive than those made of other materials.

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Discussion Comments


@rundocuri- I had the same problem, and I went to a plumbing supply store. A staff member was able to look up the brand type and model of the old faucet, and found the original manufacturer. He was then able to call the company, and order a bathtub replacement faucet that was identical to the one that broke.

Just remember that no matter where you look for a new faucet, you will need to take the old parts with you. This will allow the sales staff to find exactly what you need.


I'm looking for some advice from someone with knowledge about bathtub replacement faucets. Mine recently broke, and I have not been able to find the same model. I like the one I had, plus I don't want to spend a lot of money replacing other bathtub parts to get a different model to fit. What can I do ?

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