Q: I’m installing a soaking bath and wanted to add a two-handle tub filler mounted on the tub deck. But I’ve realized a two-handle filler with a spout will take up too much space for my layout. I like the three-component faucet look. What do I do now?

A: Standard two-handle tub fillers are a popular choice, but they do consume more deck space with their three-hole installation.

If the soaking bath’s deck area is tight, single-handle tub fillers are available and take up less deck space. With a one-hole filler installation, the single-handle control valve and the tub spout are combined into one component. This may not be what you want if you like a multicomponent look.

A compromise is available if the deck area can fit a two-hole installation. In this case, the two-component tub filler takes up less space than a standard filler, while retaining a multicomponent look. Two-component filler designs call for a single-handle control mounted in one hole and a tub spout in the other.

I know this is a lot of information to soak in, so just remember: A single-handle, single-spout filler can give you the best of both worlds.

Ed Del Grande is a master plumber, contractor and author. Send questions to eadelg@cs.com.