If you need to remodel your bathroom, getting new vanities, countertops or tiles won’t be nearly enough. There’s no real remodeling without changing the bathroom fixtures: bathtub, showerhead, sink, faucets and toilet. It’s all in the details and even if you’re on a very slim budget, you can’t skip upgrading your fixtures’ in both quality and design. Avoid purchasing on a whim, do some careful planning, set your priorities, match all fixtures’ design, materials and colors in advance. Also, don’t forget to consult expert designers and visit a showroom – this could help you a lot.
Here’s how to choose new fixtures and give your bathroom a complete makeover.
Bathtub and shower fixtures
Choosing a shower fixture may be a bit challenging as there are so many types you’ll find on the market, and even those “luxury” ones can be found at relatively low prices. Thanks to a wide variety of options, your shower can become a real massage center if you opt for installing body sprayers throughout the shower or for a rain showerhead that guarantees full coverage. Make sure that you choose those with a flow rate less than 2.5 gpm to guarantee the maximum water efficiency.
A wall-mount shower unit is the basic fixture, but not surprisingly – this is still the most popular and most functional option. A hand-help unit is not losing its popularity as the spray strength can be adjusted and it offers many functions. It seems that whichever you choose, you won’t be mistaken. On the other hand, installing a new bath is a huge decision. Whichever you opt for, Jacuzzi or ordinary bathtub, don’t forget to think it through since this can be an extremely expensive decision.
Believe it or not, sinks can be grouped into 8 main types and each of them has its own pros and cons. The vessel sink is probably most stylish of them all – if you want to create a statement and show that you care about elegance, you don’t need to look further. The downside of this type is the lack of functionality that some more conventional sinks have. The name tells it – an undermount sink is placed under a counter, which is not only great for cleaning and use, but it looks simple and stylish as well.
Most people wonder which is more important: the look or the functionality? It all depends on your priorities. I already mentioned that undermount type is both easy to clean and satisfies a need for aesthetics. Pedestal sink will save a lot of your bathroom space, while washplane sinks are the most suitable for small, additional bathrooms that will be equipped with toilet and sink for washing hands only (since they are very shallow).
When choosing a toilet, here are some factors to consider. Have in mind that toilets between 16 and 18 inches high are APA approved (Americans with Disabilities Act), but they are not really comfortable for children. If you have kids, consider standard, 14-15 inch height. Shape: if you have a large bathroom, you might consider buying stylish, elongated toilet bowl. In cramped spaces, small, round bowls will work best.
Two-piece toilet is the most common and the most economical (it’s easy to replace its parts). One piece toilet is more stylish, easy to clean and great for smaller bathrooms. Gravity-flush toilet is designed to use less water and it’s less effective than pressure-assist toilets. However, it has more advantages than shortcomings: it’s eco-friendly, water-saving, less expensive and easier to maintain. If you opt for toilet with gravity flush, you’ll certainly save some money on utility bills. Pressure-assist toilets are recommended for use in homes with poor drainpipes.
If you choose wisely, faucets can be the highlight of your bathroom. Nowadays, you can equip your bathroom with faucet of any imaginable shape, style, price and material. The most important decision before the purchase is whether you’ll pair them with new sinks or just buy new faucets for your existing bath and sink: have in mind that the faucet must match the hole openings. You can choose between single-hole faucet, center-set that fits a three-hole sink, or widespread mount with sprout and two handles.
After you choose the type of the faucet, you can move on to more pleasant decisions about style and finish. If you have metal parts on your cabinets and towel bars, make sure that you match the faucet finish with them (bronze, chrome, nickel). Since you’ll be using your faucet for years, I recommend the top quality combination – chrome finish and ceramic valves. Valves manufactured in other materials will last for years, but not nearly as long as ceramic ones that will prevent water leaks.