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Man of many hats
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690 Posts
Personally, since the risers are 70 years old, I'd opt for the smaller plumber replacing the risers and eliminating that from being a problem in the future. Then a 'remodeling escutcheon' for the valve should take care of the access problem.
 

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Man of many hats
Joined
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690 Posts
I think Lowes has the escutcheon, though it may have been HD. If the showerhead is above the tile you might be able to run pex down to the new valve as well without having to bust open your wall.
 
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