I'm retrofitting a new showerhead to an old shower.

The old showerhead had an escutcheon plate, the new showerhead doesn't. The result is that the new showerhead sits 10mm off the tiled wall of the shower.

enter image description here

enter image description here

The bit of threaded pipe sticking out of the wall, sticks out by 20mm. I have measured the internal depth of the screwed part of the showerhead, and it is only 10mm deep.

Do I simply need to hacksaw off 10mm of the screwed pipe coming out of the wall, or is there some better way of fixing this?

enter image description here


Cutting the pipe back 10mm worked fine.

I did encounter a problem when installing the wall fitting ('wall elbow').

When screwed down fully, flush to the wall, the outlet fitting on the wall elbow pointed to the left. This is against manufacturer's recommendation as the hose to the handpiece needs to hang straight down.

I tried to forcefully turn the wall elbow to the correct, outlet-down position, but wasn't able to do this without applying excessive force.

I ended up unscrewing the fitting one turn, so the wall-elbow's outlet pointed down as recommended. This left a small gap behind the fitting which I used silicone caulking to seal up. I left a small gap in the silicone at the 6-o-clock position on the fitting, which should allow any trapped water to drain out.

  • 1
    Does the old escutcheon plate fit the new head? Could you use a generic escutcheon plate? Cheap, probably looks good, and least effort. HTH
    – Freiheit
    Commented Jan 11, 2015 at 16:56
  • Old escutcheon plate is slightly dome-shaped; this new head is meant to sit flush to the wall. A potential solution is to use the old escutcheon plate, padded out with a big rubber washer, but that's a bit of a hack. Commented Jan 11, 2015 at 17:10

3 Answers 3


It is really hard to tell from the picture. Is the pipe from the wall threaded all the way down to below the tile surface?

If the answer is no then I would be concerned that if you were to saw off 10mm of the threaded pipe coming out of the wall that you may have one or two problems.

  1. You could be left with so few threads that it will be hard to seal the threaded joint without a leak.

  2. The new shower head attachment could bottom out on the threaded portion of the pipe and still not be tight to the tile surface.

+ + Edit + +

Based on the comment left by the OP I would fully agree that the extending pipe can be cut to a shorter length. As a matter of fact, when looking closely at the provided picture it is easy to see that this pipe has already been cut from a previous install.

When cutting off a threaded item like this there should be some post cutting dressing of the first thread using a file. The tapering down of the leading edge of the first thread and a general beveling all the way around the outside corner will greatly ease installation of the mating shower head assembly. It the sawing leaves any sharp edge or burrs on the inside corner of the pipe those should also be removed.

When cutting off this pipe to the requisite 8 to 10mm protrusion it will be best done using a hand tool such as a good quality hack saw with a new fine toothed blade. I would recommend taping some cereal box type cardboard to the tiles before starting the work in order to prevent the hack saw from rubbing on the tile and grout lines and leaving metal markings which can be hard to clean away. It may also be suggested to wear some of the thin hand forming gloves similar to "Gorilla Gloves" to avoid getting skinned up hands working in close to the wall.

  • The threads go all the way back into the wall, at least 5mm back behind the tile surface. Commented Jan 11, 2015 at 15:30
  • Thanks for the suggested method. I will cut the pipe back to size and report how it goes. Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 0:16
  • 2
    another trick to cutting threads. Place a nut on the part you want to keep and cut agains the nut. So the Nut would be against the tile. This is good for two things. A Guide to help cut and since you have something on the threads it will back off the pipe and straighten out the boogered up threads you cut.
    – scooter133
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 4:49
  • Cutting the pipe back to 10mm worked fine. Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 14:37

Looks like this is already solved, but here's another possible approach.

These fittings often consist of a drop ear brass elbow like this: enter image description here

The part you see sticking out out of the wall is simply a brass nipple threaded into the elbow:

enter image description here

You could get yourself an internal pipe wrench, unthread the nipple, and replace it with one half an inch (12 mm) shorter.

This is how I've done it and seen it done. What's behind your walls may differ, so buyer beware.


Not an expert, but I suspect using a hacksaw is going to be the safest way without potentially damaging the tiles. May take some elbow grease though!

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