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I'm trying to replace a 1989-vintage Delta roman tub faucet -- the gold spout with the plastic crystal handles.

We had no trouble getting the faucet and handles off, and ordered a new Delta faucet trim kit (faucet and two handles). While the handles fit, the faucet cover is too loose for the metal nipple that the faucet spout was attached to.

I called Delta to see if there was an adapter, and they said no -- it can't be done without replacing what's under the deck of the tub. And there's no access panel on our tub, so we'd have to pry off the top of the tub at the grout lines.

So, my question is, is there any kind of "universal" replacement for this kind of tub -- that is, a spout with handles that will fit any kind of rough-in? We looked at a Price Pfister and the handles sit on star-shaped valves, while the Delta ones are like a cylinder with one flat side. So that's a non-starter.

The faucet/handles we are replacing look exactly like the ones posted in another thread (link below). As I said, we had no trouble getting the faucet off (it was held on by a set screw). Once removed, there is a big hex nut holding the metal nipple to the deck that we couldn't budge (don't have a big enough wrench); I could force that off that but I'm afraid I'd tweak something and make it leak. But if it's possible to replace that nipple that fits into the faucet from the top (maybe by unscrewing it from something an inch down), that might work.

Any advice would be most welcome.
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