Plumbing fixtures are the main event in the bathroom: toilet, sink, shower and tub. The best way to begin selecting these essentials is to visit a bathroom showroom where you can see and try, and ask questions. Your designer (if you have one) will guide you through the selection process and make recommendations, as will a professional in a plumbing showroom who is well-versed in the latest technologies. If you don’t have a designer, don’t fret. Salespeople are very knowledgeable and can assist you. Revisit that priority list as you make fixture selections; the important thing here is to be practical. Do you like faucets with separate knobs for hot and cold water or a single hand control?
When it comes to shower fixtures, you have a few options. Body sprayers placed throughout the shower can massage the body or produce a relaxing mist. Rain shower heads give you the feeling of standing underneath a water fall. And there’s no need to limit yourself to just one shower head. Dual fixtures mean more than one person can enjoy the shower at a time. These luxury fixtures aren’t limited to the master bath.
Manufacturers are making more cost-effective products that you can use in a standard bathroom. Various platforms for shower fixtures include the typical wall mount, hand-held units, rain showers and combo packs that include a rain shower or wall mount plus shower head. Here is a round-up of various types of popular shower heads you’ll come across:
- Wall-mount unit: This is the basic fixture, nothing fancy but highly functional.
- Hand-held unit: The ability to remove the shower head for cleaning and bathing is a true convenience. A hand-held can offer multiple functions, such as a very targeted strong spray for cleaning and a soft spray for bathing children.
- Rain shower head: You’ll get full coverage and a waterfall experience with this unit, but be careful that it has an engine and is pressurized. You don’t want rain shower droop.
- Body sprays: You can purchase drill-less slide bars with flush-mount body sprays and you won’t damage your shower if you decide to try the technology. However, it is a commitment to drill a fixture into your wall. The slide bars on which body sprays are fixed are mounted to the shower with suction cups on this Moen product.
In regards to sinks, the vessel sink is ideal for a powder room and serves as a focal point, but in a full or master bath, some find this configuration is less functional than a deeper, undermounted sink with a nice, arching faucet that is easy to operate with a single handle. You must decide if it is more important to you how the sink looks, or how it works.
Pedestal style sinks are timeless space savers, and their bowls are available in oblong, rectangular or traditional oval shapes. Glass sinks can be dropped in and under-mounted, or installed with an integrated glass top. Taking it a step further, cast iron allows users to have more finishes like a black-and-tan, sea salt or ember.
Faucets. Aside from water efficiency, today’s faucets are highly functional with features like integrated ceramic disks within the fixture that help grind away buildup that causes leaks.
When it comes to toilets, you’ll have to decide if you want a standard toilet, or a taller one. Taller toilets are usually more comfortable for most homeowners, except for children. The decision actually might be more difficult than you might think. You can spend a couple hundred dollars or several thousand, especially for one-piece toilets that are sleek looking but require more labor on the manufacturing end, which drives up the price.