If you have read our Guide to Building a Custom Shower System, you have already learned that setting up a full custom shower system can be a little tricky. There are just so many small component pieces. Are you ordering a compatible shower control trim kit and high-flow valve? Are you ordering the correct type of shower diverter and shower diverter valve? Are you optimizing for water pressure? Will everything match? The list goes on and on.
At FaucetList.com we make buying a shower system easy! This guide will help explain how you can further simplify your shower system design and installation by using a Delta Shower Faucet System Control with Integrated Diverter. We'll explain exactly how this innovative new item works, show you some diagrams, a video of it in action, and some sample installations (like the beautiful shower on the left). This article will explain how building a custom shower system using a Delta Shower System Control with Diverter actually has a lot of advantages compared to the typical style of shower system where the Shower Faucet Control and Shower Diverter are two separate fixtures.
A Delta MultiChoice Integrated Shower Diverter is a simpler solution to custom shower system installations and upgrades. These fixtures represent a new way to build a shower system.
A Typical Custom Shower System might have 3 peripheral spray outlets such as a ceiling mount showerhead, a handheld shower, and several body sprays (remember the body sprays count as 1 group). What makes this installation typical is that you have one control that is used to turn on the water and set the temperature, and a second control to set which of the spray outlets are going to be on at any given time.
In a typical shower system these two controls, the shower faucet control handle and the shower diverter valve handle, are separate. Each requires its own rough-in valve. They must be connected by your plumber with a pipe inside the wall.
Compare this to a Shower System built using a Shower Control with Integrated Diverter. In the exact same Shower System with the same 3 peripheral spray outlets you will have 2 less fixtures. A Shower Control with Integrated Diverter puts the both the shower faucet control and the diverter control on a single panel. The multichoice valve used by this fixture merges the normal shower mixing valve and the diverter valve into a single unit. Therefore you get all of the same functionality with an easier installation and a nice clean look.
You can see from the examples of Delta Integrated Diverter Shower Systems above that there is only one fixture to control all shower functions and spray outlets. The diverter and the temperature/volume control handle are both built into the same shower fixture. This combination also carries through to the valve. You will only need to install a single rough-in valve. Not only do these shower systems look great, they are also easier to install and use! Take a look at the pictures below to learn more about what exactly differentiates a shower system with integrated diverter from a normal shower system.
A Shower System Control with Integrated Diverter can be used to create the same great custom shower system. This is because the function of the shower faucet control with integrated diverter is identical to the function of a shower faucet control and separate shower diverter. As you can see, rather than needing two separate valves, you will only need one. Plus, all the controls will be on the same plate, allowing for an intuitive and easy user experience.
First let's take a moment to talk about a concept we at FaucetList.com call a Shower System Base. The Shower System Base powers all the peripheral Shower System Sprays. The shower system base typically contains 4 component pieces. You have the shower faucet control trim kit, shower control rough-in valve, shower diverter trim kit, and shower diverter valve (refer to the glossary definitions above). The water is mixed in the shower control valve and run up into the diverter valve to be sent out to the various peripheral shower system sprays.
If you use a Delta Shower System Control with Integrated Diverter as your shower base it will only consist of 2 component pieces. The trim kit and the valve. All the functions are the same as with a typical shower system. You basically just have the shower control and diverter control merged into a single unit. You also have the corresponding valves inside the wall merged into a single unit. So instead of needing 2 trims and 2 valves, you need 1 trim and 1 valve to create your shower system base.
In the images below you will see that we have "popped out" the Shower System Base from each of the Shower Systems discussed earlier in this article. Below you will see an example of a typical shower system base and also a shower system base configured with a Delta Shower Control with Integrated Diverter. The performance of these two units will be THE SAME. Which style you go with is simply a matter of taste.
With the introduction of the Shower System Control with Integrated Diverter, Delta has simplified the process of purchasing your Shower System Base. Instead of needing to order 4 parts to create a Shower System Base, you now only need to order 2. If you purchase a shower system control with integrated diverter trim kit and a Delta multichoice integrated shower diverter valve you will have everything you need to start building your custom shower system.
There's another advantage too. It's much easier for the plumber to install a single valve. It's also much easier to change later if you want to update the function, finish, or style of the integrated diverter shower control trim kit. Easier for the plumber translates into less expensive for you! To swap out a Delta integrated diverter shower control trim kit you don't need to go into the wall or destroy your tile. You can simply remove the old trim and install a new one with a fresh new look. You can even upgrade the functionality by switching to a dual control trim with thermostatic cartridge and still never need to rip out the tile.
So now that you understand the base you can start getting creative and choose your Peripheral Shower Sprays. Peripheral Shower Spray Outlets are all of the various fixtures that you actually get to enjoy while using your shower. Examples are showerheads, handheld showers, and body sprays.
There's no rule about exactly which peripheral spray options you should choose so get creative! Most shower systems allow for 2 or 3 peripheral spray outlets. Remember, body sprays are usually treated as a group so they effectively take up 1 outlet port. You can choose body sprays, a hand shower, and a ceiling mount shower head. Or maybe 2 showerheads. Or a Showerhead and Body Sprays. You could even have 2 ceiling mount showerheads and a handheld shower. There are nearly limitless combinations possible.
The peripheral sprays connect up to the diverter via pipes installed in the wall. These pipes feed the mixed warm water to the peripheral spray so you can enjoy them while taking a shower. You can control these sprays using the diverter. Whether you have a separate shower diverter valve or a shower system control with integrated diverter the peripheral spray options are the same.
Although we called the Peripheral Shower Spray Outlets group 2, maybe it's better to start off planning your system in reverse. From a technical standpoint, the Shower System Base you should choose ultimately depends on which peripheral spray options you want to have in your shower.
If you want 3 peripheral sprays you must choose a Shower System Base that has a 6-setting diverter. If you only wish to have 2 peripheral sprays, you should choose a 3-setting diverter. You will learn more about how exactly diverters work and what exactly each setting will do later.
Remember again, Shower Systems often have multiple body sprays. These body spray wall jets will function as a single unit. Therefore they count as just a single group. It's entirely possible to have a 3 peripheral spray system with a showerhead, hand shower, and 3 body sprays. If you add these all up it will seem that you have 5 "things" spraying water. Don't worry! The 3 body sprays will function as a group and either all be on or all be off. You will not have individual control over each body spray (unless you plumb the system that way). Therefore it is definitely possible to have a set of 3 wall jets, a hand shower, and showerhead in the same system.
The other reason you should consider the peripheral spray outlets first is that you need to know the total water demand on your system. You want to make sure that you can actually power all the external shower sprays.
The water output of a Delta Shower Valve is actually determined by the cartridge. Later in this article you will find a more detailed breakdown of the waterflow offered by each cartridge type. When planning your shower system you should choose a shower control trim kit with a cartridge that ensures you will have enough water to supply all your peripheral spray outlets.
Shower Faucet Controls that use a Delta 17T TempAssure Thermostatic cartridge not only have the highest flow rate, but also maintain the most constant water pressure. We recommend a 17T cartridge for all systems, but they are especially important (if not required) for shower systems with 3 peripheral spray outlets. Read this article to learn more about the benefits 17T Series Thermostatic Shower Cartridges.
A 17T cartridge is absolutely not required for every shower system but you should give careful consideration to all the variables. 17T Cartridge Thermostatic Shower Control Fixtures cost the most and you may be just fine saving some money and going with a 14 or 17 Series pressure balanced cartridge. It just depends.
The article linked above will really help explain in much more detail. If you scroll down you'll see a diagram with the cartridge flow rates at various home water pressure (PSIs). Calculate the water output required by the shower system peripheral spray outlets you want and make sure the cartridge and valve you choose can supply them with enough water. If you have questions we can help!
As mentioned before, at the center of your Shower System is the Shower System Base. Made up of a Shower Control and a Shower Diverter, this is how you power the entire system. All shower systems begin with these components. There's simply no other way for it to work. Something needs to mix the water and something else needs to divert the water to the spray outlets.
A Delta Shower System Control with Integrated Diverter serves the exact same purpose as a separate shower control and shower diverter. It's just a little simpler to order and install. Plus, from a style standpoint it offers a nice minimalistic design, with everything you need to control your shower system all in one place.
So let's say you decide to order one of these great fixtures as the base of your shower system. Now you need to decide which peripheral spray options you want to have in your custom shower. Do you want body spray jets? How many? Do you want a hand shower? Do you want an overhead shower? Do you want a wall mount Shower? Depending on what exactly you want, you can deduce what Base you need to choose.
There are two things to consider. First, what are the water demands you are going to be putting on the valve while it powers the spray outlets and second, how many spray outlets do you want to have. The first question requires you to consider which trim kit has the correct cartridge to output the correct amount of water. The second question is really up to you. The answer will determine which Shower Control Diverter you need. Remember, if you want a shower system with 3 peripheral spray outlets you will need a 6-setting diverter. If you want a shower system with 2 peripheral spray outlets you will need a 3-setting diverter.
There are two major Delta Shower Diverter types. There is a 3-setting shower diverter and a 6-setting shower diverter. In the case of Delta, both use the same Shower Diverter Rough-in Valve. When we are talking about a Shower Faucet with Integrated Diverter we mean either a 3 or 6-setting diverter. NOT a 2 way diverter - which is something quite different.
Sometimes you see the term shower valve diverter used when describing a tub and shower combination faucet. In this case the diverter is designed simply to switch the water from tub spout to showerhead. This situation only requires a simple 2 way diverter.
This is NOT what a Delta Integrated Shower Diverter Valve Trim is designed for. Rather, these items are very specifically for creating custom shower systems. They are designed to simplify the process of buying a shower system with multiple spray outlets. They are also made with style in mind. Having both the shower water control and diverter function on the same escutcheon plate creates a sleek and stylish design for your shower.
Delta Shower System Controls with Integrated Diverter are NOT recommended for use with a tub spout. The diverter limits the water flow in such a way that it will not be suitable with for a tub spout. The water pressure is perfectly fine for powering a shower spray but tub spouts require significantly more water.
Simply put the most relevant information you need about a shower diverter is that it diverts water. It may sound silly but that's really all it does. Remember, this is a manual device. Depending on the position of the handle, the outlet ports of the diverter will either be open or closed. If the port is open, water will flow from the peripheral spray outlet connected to that port.
The shower diverter valve is connected to each showerhead, body spray, and hand shower in your custom shower system via pipes installed in the wall. Rotating the shower diverter handle to the different setting options will change where water flows internally inside the wall. The result will be that water comes out from your desired location. A shower diverter can be used to create a truly amazing shower experience. If you want to be completely engulfed by an amazingly relaxing shower spray you will definitely need to buy a diverter.
A 6-Setting diverter has settings for 3 individual positions and 3 shared positions.
The diagram illustrates that the 6-Setting Diverter uses all 4 rough-in valve ports. The bottom port is the inlet where the water enters the valve. In the case of a Shower Control with Integrated Diverter, this is a direct connection with the mixing valve. The other 3 ports are outlets. They each send water to a peripheral spray outlet group.
To best illustrate the function, let's go back to the example of our shower system from before. In this case we have a system with 3 peripheral spray outlets. We have the ceiling mount showerhead, the handheld shower, and the body sprays. We will use these images to illustrate the various spray setting options you will have in your shower. As you can see you can turn on any shower spray outlet individually or any combination of 2.
When you see a Delta Shower Diverter indicated as having 3 function settings, this means that it has 2 individual positions and 1 shared position. With a 3-setting shower diverter you can have a shower system with 2 peripheral shower spray outlets.
We have taken our example shower system and removed the body spray group. Now our example system has 2 peripheral spray outlets: a ceiling mount showerhead and a handheld shower. In the images that follow you will see the various spray options offered by a 3-setting diverter. The 3-setting diverter allows you the ability to turn on either spray outlet individually or both together at the same time.
This diagram explains the function options when using a 3-setting shower diverter fixture. In the case of a 3-setting diverter, you only use 3 of the 4 shower diverter valve ports. The fourth is plugged by the plumber.
The Shower Diverter is ultimately what determines how many peripheral spray outlets your shower system can have. If you choose a Shower Control with Integrated 6-setting Diverter you can have a shower system with 3 peripheral spray outlet groups. If you choose a Shower Control with Integrated 3-setting Diverter, you can have a shower system with 2 peripheral spray outlet groups. Remember, multiple shower Body Sprays function as a group and only count as 1 spray outlet.
While in the planning phase you should decide how many sprays you want in your custom shower system and determine which diverter will be right for you.
Now that you've read so much about this darn shower control, wouldn't it be nice to see how it actually works?! Well check out this video to see how a Delta Shower System Control with Integrated Diverter looks in a real shower! The video is a bit promotional (ie cheesy) in nature - it's made by Delta - but it will help give you an idea of how this fixture is operated.
To understand Shower Fixture water flow it might first help to have a short refresher course on Delta cartridges. Delta Shower System Controls with Integrated Diverters use the exact same cartridges as their normal shower controls and diverters. Basically the integrated diverter shower control simply merges a diverter with a shower faucet on / off control. Therefore all information regarding the cartridges is applicable.
You can read more details about Delta Showers or learn specifically about the difference between a 17 series pressure balance cartridge and a 17T series thermostatic cartridge. That being said, the flow rate varies based on which cartridge your Shower Control with Diverter features. The flow rate is also affected based on whether or not your shower valve has stops. Here's the flow rate breakdown:
So you can see that for a system with multiple spray outlets, choosing a Shower Control with Integrated Diverter that has a 17T series cartridge is clearly the best. For a system with 3 peripheral spray outlets (e.g. a shower system with body sprays, hand shower, and showerhead) we do not advise you use anything but a 17T thermostatic cartridge control.
The reason being is two-fold. 1) The flow rate is simply higher so you will have better water pressure when powering your system. And 2) A thermostatic cartridge will keep your shower water in a stricter temperature range and if someone turns on the water in another part of the house, it will not cause you to lose water pressure. More details on this here. If you want your shower system to have high pressure and for the water to spray out with some force, a 17T thermostatic Shower System Control will be a wise investment.
Depending on the PSI (water pressure) you have at your home a 14 or 17 series Delta Shower System Control with Diverter could be completely adequate. These styles are a bit less expensive so you have to consider your individual situation to determine what would be best. Also, if you are choosing showerheads and handshowers with a lower flow rate, the demands on the system will be lower, therefore a 14 or 17 series will likely be just fine.
Please also consider the PSI (water pressure) in your house and the availability of hot water. If your home has very high PSI coming in from the city you will have higher water pressure by default and can adjust accordingly. In addition, when planning a custom shower system you should consider the demands on your hot water. If you do not have a large enough hot water tank, a higher flow rate system may deplete your hot water too quickly.
The nature of the Delta Shower System Control with Diverter is that everything is installed on a single plate. This creates a pleasing aesthetic and makes your shower system extremely intuitive to use. Rather than a confusing and cluttered system with a jumbled group knobs and multiple controls you will have a single panel.
The control handle(s) at the bottom will turn on the water and set the temperature and the top lever will divert the water to your multiple shower sprays. The operation is clear and straight-forward. The last thing you want to do before your morning coffee on a Monday morning is to be fussing with the shower controls. Keep things simple, tidy, and streamlined.
Furthermore, the installation and plumbing is easier too, which will make it less expensive to install or update. Lots of nice advantages come from this type of Shower Control with Diverter.
If you order the trim kit, yes: you will receive 2 cartridges with the trim – one for the diverter handle and one for the main control handle. These utilize the same cartridges as the R10000 and R11000 valve and trim kits.
Please let us reiterate a point made earlier. This item is NOT designed for use with a tub spout. Delta specifically states they do not recommend installing a tub spout using this product.
In California you are not allowed to run more than one peripheral shower spray at the same time. Non-shared diverter cartridges may be ordered separately from Delta. To modify a 6-setting Diverter to be California approved with 3 individual positions and no shared positions, order Delta part RP71718. To modify a 3-setting Diverter to be California approved with 2 individual positions and no shared positions, order Delta part RP71717.
Delta Shower Controls with Integrated Diverters offer a new and exciting way to create your own custom shower system! These innovative fixtures serve as a Shower System Base, ready to be paired with whatever peripheral spray outlets you desire. A Shower Control with Integrated Diverter replaces the need for a separate Shower Faucet Control and Diverter Control. They offer an easy-to-use intuitive operation and a clean style.
Delta has once again taken the lead with this creative new way to construct a shower system. Not only are these fixtures exciting, but they are also made to last. Delta offers a lifetime warranty on both the operation and finish plus 6-day-a-week help and tech support. If you buy a Delta fixture, you will have nothing to worry about in the future.
A Shower Control with Integrated Diverter provides a simpler solution to building a shower system. With just 1 Trim Kit and 1 Valve you will have everything you need to power your showerhead, body sprays, hand shower etc. It's not so much that these fixtures are better than the separate shower faucet control and shower diverter found in a typical style full custom shower system - it's just that they are easier to install. Less work for the plumber translates into less expensive for you! Plus, having all controls on a single panel makes for a nice looking uncluttered design aesthetic.
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***Article updated November, 2019