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Shower Handle Height: An Overly-Detailed 2024 Guide

Shower Handle Height: An Overly-Detailed 2024 Guide

What height should the handle be in your shower?

Keep reading to find shower handle height recommendations, guidelines, and more!

Average Shower Handle Height: A Summary

Shower handle heights range from 28 to 50 inches from the ground.

There is no specific code or regulation that determines this height. Shower handle heights can adapt to fit the needs of the user!

What Height Should Your Shower Handle Be?

Plumber fixing a shower handle on a single-handle mixer in a shower for a piece on the average shower handle height


Let’s take a more in-depth look at shower handle height and the factors that determine the proper placement for your shower.

What Are Your Shower Handle Height Needs? 

Shower handle height can range anywhere from 28 to 50 inches off the ground.

The shower handle height may be as low as 28 inches from the ground or just a few inches above the tub spout for shower-bathtub combinations.

The shower handle height in a stand-alone shower could be as high as 50 inches off the ground, depending on your needs or preferences.

Always keep in mind the height and comfortability of users. When deciding on shower handle height, you may need to factor in all adults, children, or seated users.

The design of your shower, ADA requirements, single vs. multiple shower heads, and customizing your shower handle are other things you may want to consider.

Before you install your shower handle, test the height for comfort for those using the shower

Then, as you stand in the shower stall or bathtub, reach out toward the controls to gauge a comfortable position. The shower handle height can be uncomfortable if it is positioned too low.

On the other hand, the shower handle may be out of reach for some users if it is too high. You should test the height before deciding where to place your shower handle.

Shower Handle Height for Shower Stalls 

Shower handle height is often higher from the ground when installed in a stand-alone shower.

This height should be comfortable for users to reach out and use the controls. The shower handle height can range up to 50 inches off the ground. 

Shower Handle Height for a Bathtub and Shower Combination

The shower handle height is lower to the ground, closer to the tub, when installing the shower handle in a shower tub combination.

Positioning the shower handle closer to the tub allows the user to access the handles from a seated position. 

Typically, this shower handle height would be about 28 inches from the ground; however, it may need to be a little higher, depending on the accessibility of the user and the position of the tub spout.

ADA Requirements 

Private homeowners are not required to meet the ADA requirements. Business owners and public bathing facilities must have at least one accessible facility. ADA requirements cover bathing facilities with and without seats.

ADA standards state that controls must be between 38 and 48 inches from the ground. This standard remains the same whether the shower is a roll-in shower or a shower with a seat.

The shower handle height for showers with or without a seat must be accessible to the user. The shower handle height must be at least 1.5 inches above the grab bar in a roll-in shower without a seat.

The shower handle height should not interfere with the accessibility of any grab bars in the shower. The shower handle can be on any wall in the shower. The shower handle height must be at least 38 to 48 inches from the ground.

The placement of the shower handle may differ in a shower with a seat. The shower handle can be on the side or back wall. The handle should be accessible to the user from the seated position.  

Using Multiple Shower Handles 

Many showers have multiple shower heads. There are several options for controls and shower handles when you have multiple shower heads. Shower handle height and position can change if the shower has multiple shower heads.

One option for multiple shower heads is a pressure balance system. Pressure balance systems usually run off one valve and attempt to maintain an even pressure flow to both shower heads.

This system can result in a loss of water pressure for one or both shower heads. A thermostatic valve is another pressure system available for use in your shower.

This system has separate controls for each shower head and allows the user to increase or decrease the water pressure at each shower head individually. Thermostatic valves can turn on one shower head or both. 

How Can I Customize My Shower Handle? 

Shower handle height is one way to customize your shower. Since there is no specific code or regulation on shower handle height, you can choose the best height for your shower.

Shower handle height can make a shower experience more comfortable and accessible with a height that works for its user. 

The shower handle itself can be a point of customization. As you are replacing or installing your shower handle, there are many different styles of shower handle.

Choosing the perfect shower handle can enhance the look and style of your shower. Shower handles can cost anywhere from under ten dollars to a few hundred dollars, depending on the design, brand, and functionality.   

Another way to customize your shower experience is to go digital. Using a panel outside of your shower can control settings like temperature and pressure.

You can also control the settings through your voice or phone. Smart showers are a more expensive option. Purchasing a shower controller and thermostatic valve to fit the controller cost over $1,000.

What If I Don’t Like My Shower Handle Height? 

You can adjust your shower handle height to fit your needs and preferences. An important factor in determining the right shower handle height for your shower is the height of those using it.

The shower handle height must fit the necessary requirements of anyone, such as kids or those with special needs, who are using it. 

Many videos online show you step-by-step directions if you need to install or change your shower handle height. Shower handle heights can be uncomfortable or even inaccessible when too high or too low. 

Things to Consider 

Replacing or installing your shower handle can be stressful. Here are some essential things to think about before you install: 

  • Do you need to meet ADA requirements? 
  • What are the heights and needs of the people using your shower or tub?
  • Is your shower handle height accessible to the users?
  • Is the height of your shower handle comfortable for its users?
  • Can you access your shower handle from the inside and the outside of your shower or tub?
  • Do you need multiple shower handles?
  • What is the pressure system your shower handle will control?
  • Do you want to use a digital shower system?
  • Do you like your shower handle height? If not, change it! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Loofah hanging from a shower handle in a white tiled shower

Becky Wright Photography/Shutterstock

Still have questions?

Here are a few answers to the most common queries on shower handle height.

What is the code for shower handles?

Shower handles must be single handle pressure balanced or thermostatically controlled, according to ASSE 1016. Two and three-valve handles are not pressurized in this way.

As a result, they could cause you harm from scalding hot water. If you’ve moved into a home with a two or three valve handle, replace it with a single handle should something go wrong.

How high should the shower handle be in the shower?

Generally, the shower handle is 30 to 50 inches from the ground. The height of the shower handle may be only a few inches above the tub or part of the tub faucet when you have a shower bathtub combination.

Where should shower controls be placed?

You should place your shower controls 28 inches from the ground if it is a bathtub and shower combination. Shower handles are 48 inches from the ground in a shower stall or walk-in shower.

Should the shower door be higher than the shower head?

There are no specific codes or regulations to dictate the height of your shower door, but the door should prevent water from getting out of the shower. Most shower heads are 72 inches at a minimum, and 80 inches is the standard height.

What is the ADA height of a shower valve?

ADA requirements state that the shower handle and controls are between 38 to 48 inches from the ground. You can have it anywhere within that 38 to 48 inches, but anything outside that scope is no longer ADA compliant.

What is the code for grab bars in the shower?

The top of your horizontal grab bar must be 30 to 36 inches from the floor for toilets and showers. The bottom of the vertical grab bar should be three to six inches from the horizontal grab bar in your transfer shower.

How long should grab bars be?

Grab bars beside your toilet or shower should be 24 inches long. Any other grab bars on the same wall as your shower head should be 12 inches long.

So, What Is the Standard Shower Handle Height?

Well, what should your shower handle height be?

Unless you need to follow ADA restrictions, there is no one answer to this question. Shower handle heights can range from 28 to 50 inches from the ground.

Your shower handle height should be comfortable and accessible to you, the user!