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Can a Bathtub Drain Be On the Opposite Side of the Faucet?

Having your bathtub drain on the opposite side of your faucet seems like an odd proposition. But just because this bathtub setup is different from most does not mean it’s necessarily a bad thing.

There are specific situations where you might prefer your drain and faucet to be on opposite ends of your bathtub. Or maybe you moved in or purchased a home in which the bathtub is set up in this manner and are looking for ways to deal with it.

Whether your tub’s drain and faucet are on opposite ends by choice or not, this article will help you make the most out of this situation. We will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of this type of bathtub setup and offer solutions and tips to help you deal with this situation if it’s not something you want.

bathtub drain opposite faucet

Bathtub Drain Opposite the Faucet/Showerhead: Is It a Good Idea?

When a bathtub drain and faucet or showerhead are installed on opposite ends, many consider it a mistake on the part of a lazy or negligent contractor. But that is not always the case. Having your faucet or showerhead and drain on opposite sides does not go against any building code regulations, and your tub will still drain perfectly fine.

But there are a few specific benefits and drawbacks to having your tub installed in this manner.


  • Easier To Clean. Those with a traditional bathtub setup will notice water tends to pool at the back of the bathtub and requires extra effort to clean or rinse away. Those with a faucet at the front and a drain at the back won’t have that issue. This will give you a tub that is much easier to clean.
  • Great for Slopes and Uneven Shower Pans or Foundations. If your home rests on a hill or you notice that your foundation is uneven, you will benefit from having your faucet and drain on opposite ends. By having a drain on the lower end of a slope, your problems with draining and cleaning your tub on an uneven surface will be put to ease.
  • Unique Styling Choice. Some prefer more odd or unique styling choices. If you don’t want a tub that looks like everyone else, placing your faucet and drain on opposite sides is an option. You can accentuate this style choice by using a decorative faucet and drain cover.


  • Uncomfortable Sitting Positions. You’ll discover the main drawback of having your faucet and drain on opposite sides when you sit down to take a bath. You’ll be forced to sit with the faucet at your back or directly over the drain. Neither of these tub sitting positions would be comfortable.
  • Uncomfortable Showering. We benefit from having the drain and faucet on the same side when showering because it allows dirt and whatnot to go from your body to the drain. When the tub and faucet are on opposite ends, we have to stand further back, possibly on our heels which can be uncomfortable for some people.
  • Odd Styling Choice. Just as some consider this bathtub setup a unique choice, others will consider your decision an odd one. You will likely have friends or family ask why your tub is set up backward because we are so used to seeing the faucet and drain on the same side.

Bathtub Drain Opposite the Faucet/Showerhead: Tips to Make It More Comfortable

Use a Different Drain Plug or Mat

To sit comfortably in your tub, you can find a soft rubber drain plug without a metal ring on top that can be quite comfortable to sit on. You can also place a nice rubber or memory foam bath mat over your drain, making sitting in the tub comfortable again.

Use a Spa or Bath Pillow

Placing a spa or bath pillow against the wall over your faucet can give you a relaxing bath again. You will need a pillow that is firm enough to protect your back from the faucet but also will not damage your faucet and will protect it from the weight you’ll be applying to it.

Get Your Faucet or Drain Re-Installed

The expensive option is to have your faucet or drain re-installed. Depending on your specific plumbing setup, either the drain or faucet may be easier to move. You should consult a professional before attempting a large job like this and find the option that would suit you best.

Kyle Tucker

Kyle from Kyle Tucker Plumbing is a certified plumber with over 20 years of professional experience installing plumbing fixtures such as bathtubs, sinks, and toilets, as well as installing gas lines and water pipes, performing bathroom repairs, and more.

Kyle knows how to deal with every plumbing issue that modern homeowners encounter, and he shares his lifelong experience with readers in an engaging and easy-to-digest way.

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