Cover plates to hide holes in old bath tub. After Replacing An Old Faucet:

Installing Small Cover Plates To
Plug Empty Holes On A Bath Tub

In This Article:

Silicone is applied to the back of a cover plate, then it is placed over the hole and a wing-nut on the back is tightened.

Related Articles:
Skill Level: 1 (Very Basic) Time Taken: 10 Minutes

By , Editor


After installing the new tub drain and overflow tube, there were two open holes in the tub from the old faucet.

The faucet had been replaced previously. See that article.


Boring Technical Note: 

Modern bath tubs will not have holes for a faucet like this. One feature of recent plumbing codes is the requirement that faucets be placed in a way that is impossible to become submerged in dirty water, in the event that a drain were to become plugged.

Why? There is a rare but nasty phenomenon called back-siphoning, which can draw dirty water into the supply pipes. Read this brief article for more information. 



This round cover plate costs about $2.


I applied a bead of clear silicone caulk around the back rim. This caulk should not be necessary, but I wanted to ensure a tight seal on the rough old tub surface.


The silicone also helps hold the cover in place while I go around to the other side and install the hardware.

Duct tape would also hold the cover in place temporarily.


This is the hardware that holds the cover in place. The bolt has a square head that fits in a slot, and the "nut" is a big piece of sheet metal with threads.


The bolt is inserted into the slot in the back, and the nut is installed and tightened by hand. The cover tends to slip while the nut is tightened.


Task completed.

The dirty marks around the holes could not be removed with any cleaner or rust remover chemicals. Since this house is slated for major remodeling, I decided to ignore the problem.



Tools Used:

  • Caulk Gun

Materials Used:

  • Caulk, Silicone


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Copyright © 2001, 2005

Written February 11, 2001
Revised January 12, 2005