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14 Different Types of Shower Diverters

Photo collage of different types of shower diverters.

A shower diverter is used to change the water flow in a shower from the tub faucet to the showerhead. There are three main types of shower diverters: knob, push-button, and lever. Knob diverters are the most common type.

They are easy to use and usually have a single handle that controls the water flow and temperature. Push-button diverters are becoming more popular because they are easier to operate than knob diverters. They usually have two buttons, one for hot water and one for cold water.

Lever diverters are the least common type of shower diverter. They are often used in commercial applications because they can be operated with just one hand. Several types of shower diverters are available on the market, and each style has advantages and disadvantages.

While the three listed above are generally the categories, there are more than a dozen different types of shower valves you will be able to choose from.  The most common types of shower diverters are:

1. Pressure-balanced shower diverters

A person fixing a Pressure-balanced shower diverters.

These types of diverters use a system of valves to maintain water pressure and prevent fluctuations. This helps ensure a steady stream of water, even if someone else in the house uses water simultaneously. They work to balance the water pressure and compensate for the lack of hot or cold water.

This maintains the water temperature and prevents scalding. The pressure can vary significantly as the shower is used and the temperature fluctuates. You may notice this more in multiple shower heads.

Also, this pressure variable is obvious with setups with various shower heads. It helps a shower stay safe and comfortable.

2. Thermostatic shower diverters

Thermostatic shower diverter on a white background.

These use a thermostat to control the water temperature. The thermostat monitors the water temperature and adjusts it as needed to maintain a consistent temperature. This can be beneficial if you have children or elderly family members who could be at risk for scalding.

It will automatically stop the flow of hot water if it senses a dangerously significant temperature change. You can pre-set the water temperature. So, your shower will not be hotter or colder than the temperature you predetermine.

One of the advantages of selecting a water temperature is that it is environmentally friendly.

3. Single Valve (or T) diverter

Single Valve (or T) diverter and a wrench.

 A single valve diverter is the most common type. It has one handle that controls both the water flow and temperature. The advantage of a single valve diverter is that it is relatively easy to install and use.

The disadvantage is that getting the water flowing from the showerhead can be challenging if the tub faucet is already on.

4. Double Valve (or Cross) diverter

Two Double Valve (or Cross) diverter on a white background.

 A double valve diverter has two handles, one for hot water and one for cold water. This type of diverter is becoming more popular because it is easier to operate than a single valve diverter.

5. Manual shower diverters

Manual shower diverters on the wall.

These diverters require you to adjust the water pressure and temperature manually. This can be not easy if you have children or pets who like to play in the shower. However, manual diverters are usually less expensive than other options.

6. Dual-purpose shower diverters

Dual-purpose shower in a white background.

 This type is called a 2-way shower diverter. There are multiple types of dual-purpose shower diverters. The most popular type of dual-purpose shower diverter is standalone.

It is made out of two parts. It has the rough diverter valve body and also the diverter trim. It has two features  the wild diverter valve body and the diverter trim.

The stand-alone 2-way shower diverter helps give the shower a cleaner appearance. It may also be used with showerhead and tub spout combinations. These always have two parts: the diverter unit and the main valve.

7. 3-Way Diverter A dual-purpose 3-way diverter

It has a separate diverter valve. This gives the unit 3 functions rather than two. It has one inlet, three outlets, and four port diverters. You may see it used as Showerhead+Rainhead+Body Spray

Showerhead+Tub Spout+Handheld,

or in other ways.

8. Push Button Shower Diverter

Push Button Shower switch on the white background.

The push-button shower diverter has a pressure balance valve pre-installed. This type of shower diverter does not have a dial function. So, there’s less control than other types. It’s operated with a push & pull function or a push-only function.

You can only entirely turn off the diverter or turn it on to full flow. You will commonly see this type of diverter used with a tub and shower combination.

9. Integrated Diverter

This type of shower valve is constructed out of the handle of the shower valve trim that is already there. One way it may work is a slide-in mechanism or a dial. The diverter may hang from the primary handle or be positioned on top or behind the control.

One reason you should consider using this handle type is that it can be more versatile and functional than a push-button diverter. The shower diverter will have a full flow range. It also takes up less space.

However, it may be more confusing to use than other shower types.

10. Stacked Diverter

The shower valve component used in a stacked diverter is 2 in 1. It has a separate handle that is full that is below or stacked on top of the main valved. It will either be a knob or a lever handle.

This type of diverter has a few advantages. The main one is that it functions like a standalone diverter but takes up less space.

11. Shower Arm Diverters

A person turning a Shower Arm Diverters.

Shower arm diverters are placed on the shower arm. It is a T-shaped valve controlled by a knob or lever handle. The water will flow out of the main showerhead.

You can also use the diverter to hold a handheld showerhead or another accessory. This is a good option if you want more than one showering option but don’t want to install a complete dual-purpose diverter.

12. Diverter tub spout

Diverter tub spout with flowing water.

This type of shower diverter is installed on the tub spout. It has a knob or lever handle that controls the water flow. It is built right into the tub faucet.

Also, it will provide direct flow by taking the metal tab or valve and pulling it up. You can use the diverter to send water to the showerhead or a handheld showerhead. This is a good option if you want more than one showering option but don’t want to install a complete dual-purpose diverter.

13. Hot & Cold Diverter

Hot & cold diverters control the water temperature in your shower. They are usually installed on the wall near the showerhead. They have a hot water inlet and a cold water inlet.

You can use the diverter to send water to the showerhead or a handheld showerhead. This is a good option if you want more than one showering option but don’t want to install a complete dual-purpose diverter.

14. Four-Way Shower Diverter

A four-way shower diverter valve allows users plenty of options. You can power any two outputs at the same time. This may look like a tub faucet, rain showerhead, handheld, or regular showerhead.

You also can divert the entire flow of water to a single output. However, all the results must be lined up perfectly for it to work correctly.

History of Shower Diverters

Shower diverters have been around for many years. They were first invented in the early 1900s. The first shower diverters were used to control the water flow from the showerhead to the tub spout.

This allowed people to take showers without filling the tub first. In the 1950s, dual-purpose shower diverters were invented. These diverters could be used to control the water flow from the showerhead to the tub spout or a handheld showerhead.

This made it possible to take showers and wash them off in the tub without filling it up first.

How Do I Choose a Shower Diverter?

A person wielding a shower diverter.

There are many different types of shower diverters to choose from. The type that you choose will depend on your needs and preferences. Here are some things to consider when choosing a shower diverter:

  • What is your budget?
  • How much space do you have?
  • What type of showerhead do you want to use?
  • Do you want to be able to use more than one showering option at the same time?
  • Do you have a preference for a particular type of handle?
  • Do you have any special requirements, such as a need for aADA compliant diverter?

Once you’ve considered all of these factors, you should be able to narrow down your choices and find the perfect shower diverter for your home.

What type of shower diverter is best?

The best shower diverter for your home will depend on your needs and preferences. If you want to be able to use more than one showering option at the same time, a dual-purpose diverter would be a good choice. A wall-mounted diverter might be a better option if you have limited space.

If you prefer a particular type of handle, such as handles or lever, you should choose a diverter with that type of handle. And if you have any special requirements, such as a need for an ADA-compliant diverter, make sure to choose one that meets those requirements. More advanced shower diverters can help to protect you and your family from temperature changes or extremes.

What is the most eco-friendly shower diverter?

You will want one that limits the amount of water used at a time. While the most a shower head can use at one time is 2.5 gallons per minute, you should look for shower diverters that help to minimize the amount of water used.