Hints to help you choose the right fixtures

November 22, 2016

Replacing your plumbing fixtures is a great way to modernize a bathroom, update the kitchen sink, or install a more water-friendly, low-flush toilet. Here are five helpful hints to get you started on the path to choosing new plumbing fixtures when planning your next bathroom renovation or kitchen update.

Hints to help you choose the right fixtures

Time: 2-3 days
Frequency: As required
Difficulty: Easy
Tools: Pen, paper, measuring tape

Step 1: Check your finances

First things first: make a budget.

  • Start with the total amount you can spend on plumbing fixtures. Then, do some research online or check out your local hardware or plumbing store for prices.
  • Break the cost down to each individual plumbing fixture. Don’t forget to include taxes in the calculation.
  • Consider the material, durability and ease of maintenance when comparing prices. Don’t be swayed by the lowest price and don’t automatically think the highest price is the best. What you need and what you’d like may be two different things.

Step 2: Work with what’s already there

Sometimes, you may find you’re constrained in your choices by existing factors. For example:

  • Replacing a faucet on a kitchen sink may mean you need to match the existing holes for supply lines.
  • Because of your bathroom layout, you may be limited to a corner shower only.
  • Your local plumbing code may call for the installation of low-flush toilets.

Determine your limitations before you research your options. If in doubt, check with a local plumber. They’ve installed hundreds of fixtures and can often give good advice on what would work in your specific area and home.

Make it easy!
Measure what’s already there if you don’t want to be faced with moving drains or pipes. There’s an infinite variety of models, sizes and price ranges of plumbing fixtures. Make your life (and budget) easier by picking a fixture that will easily replace an existing unit.

Step 3: Consider the function of the plumbing fixture

  • Consider the needs of your family. How many people will be using the bathroom fixtures at any given time, for example? Perhaps two washbasins are needed rather than one.
  • Are there elderly people in the family who might need or appreciate a shower seat? Will a fixed showerhead or a flexible line make life easier?
  • A pedestal sink is a great space saver, but is counter space important to your family members? Or perhaps storage is an issue in the bathroom and an under-the-sink cabinet would be useful.
  • Low-flush toilets are ideal for saving water. You could go one step further to help the environment and choose a bidet. Consult with a plumber if relocating the toilet or installing a bidet would mean a change to the plumbing.

Step 4: Choose the style and material

Stainless steel or porcelain? Pedestal or vanity sink? Claw bathtub or walk-in shower? Plumbing fixtures come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials to suit every budget and taste.

  • Consider neutral tones and timeless designs if you prefer longevity to trends. Leave the vibrant colours and snazzy designs for people who change their plumbing fixtures on a fairly regular basis.
  • Check out the variations for kitchen sinks. The choice is not only between a single or double sink, but also the size and material. Stainless steel looks nice and may match your other kitchen fixtures. On the other hand, porcelain doesn’t scratch and comes in a variety of colours.
  • Reflect on the overall look, feel and purpose of the room before purchasing a fixture (within budget).

Step 5: Don’t forget maintenance and cleaning

  • Avoid fussy and complicated plumbing fixture styles unless you have the time and inclination to maintain them properly.
  • Select styles that suit not only your lifestyle, but also your cleaning style.

When it comes to choosing your new plumbing fixtures, don’t make your selections in isolation. Consider your budget, your home and your lifestyle. Check the finances, take accurate measurements and research your options. Choosing the right bathtub or that perfect kitchen sink can transform a room and add value to your house. With proper planning, you can enjoy the process almost as much as the results.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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