shower/tub thermostat fixture upgrade

I want to update my old tub/shower fixtures with one of those thermostat valves for showering. i found a kit in Lowes for $144, but getting info or the right info from so called salesman is a joke. Since then, i found also that I may need what they call a rough valve body. Now i don't know if that comes with kit or extra. Also, the kit is chrome. Don't know if that is a good choice. The plumber that would install it has to obviously get through my tiles to get at the old pipes. I got an estimate of a Moen fixture with installation at $650 and it is not a thermostat type that i would like. The way it is now i have to run/waste water for over a minute and 1/2 till it gets warm enough to take a shower. The installer said something about this other valve that is the only one they handle, if someone else is running the hot water in the private house, it would maintain the constant temperature. Isn't that kind of a thermostat type? BTW, is $650 too high?
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Noel wrote:

Replacing the shower control will NOT solve the long delay (1.5 min.) in getting hot water. To cure that, you need some form of recirculation system.
Can the "other" side of the shower wall be opened? That would reduce the amount of tile work that will be needed.
Persoanlly, I would give this whole project another loooong look.
Jim
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Don't understand your question about the other side. my tub/shower is surrounded on 3 sides of tiles. I am not too concerned about the tile, after the installation of the valve, it would be covered with the acrylic enclosures and a tub.
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The valve your plumber is suggesting is a pressure balanced valve. It will protect you from changes in water use in other places in your home.
No shower valve will speed up the hot water in getting to your shower. That is only a function of the size of the existing pipes from your hot water heater to the shower. BTW smaller pipes would get hot water there faster but maybe not with enough flow or pressure.
I have had very good service from Moen valves and when then need a new cartridge (rarely) Moen supplies them as a warranty item.
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