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How Do Plumbing Fixtures Affect My Bathroom and Do They Really Matter?

Updated: Apr 28, 2021


Today we are going to talk about some simple changes that can have a beautiful impact on your bathroom and make you want to go back and stay a while.


If you’re like me the word “plumbing” connotes (GASP ) toilet ! Well guess what? That couldn’t be further from the truth. Plumbing fixtures range from faucets to sinks, tubs, showers, and drains. (Oh my!) We’ve narrowed down how these small details make a big impact on the look, feel and functionality of your bathroom.


Faucets. These little guys can make or break the look (and not to mention the functionality) of a sink. They are like the icing on the top of the cake. There are many options to choose from but first let’s consider a few key factors. Budget goes without saying, the size of your bathroom and considering balancing the scale of the faucet to the size of the bathroom. It would look a bit off if you had a grand bathroom with a tiny faucet. Ask yourself if you will be using an already existing sink or will you be upgrading? Be sure you know where the opening of the faucet is. If you are buying a new sink or retrofitting a new faucet to an existing sink, make sure the opening of the faucet aligns with the drain in the sink.


A regular faucet is the most used faucet because it is less expensive and easier to install. However, if you want to up your bathroom game consider choosing a wall mount faucet. These are literally installed on the wall and require a mixer, which makes it more of a challenge to install, however, if you have the time and money a wall mount faucet is a gorgeous choice. One key point to remember and a design bonus is to match your plumbing fixture colors to your tile metal edges. This adds a streamline and cohesive element to the overall feel of your room.


The different types of faucets to choose from are: Single-hole which often have a single lever, and are ideal for smaller sinks that would be in a powder room or small bathroom. If you’re going for a modern look, this is a good fit because they typically have a clean straight lines. Center-Set faucets may have a single or double handle. This is a go-to for most bathrooms because of their functionality and ease of use. They are a great option for any bathroom especially smaller bathrooms because their parts are connected. Widespread faucets are a good option if you have extra space to spare. The parts that make up these faucets are all separated- two handles and a mount.

Wall mount faucets require longer spouts and have a very edgy look and pair well with free standing sinks



To choose a tub or not to choose a tub? We will make it easy for you: having a tub dramatically increases your home’s resale value which may just help you narrow down your decision quickly to choose or not to choose a tub. Tubs are highly desirable especially for families who must have a tub for their little ones. Before we dive into this further here’s some handy information on tubs: the standard size of a tub is 30-32" and for a couple of people 36" wide. It is possible to choose a larger or smaller tub however, it is not recommended to choose a tub wider than 32 inches because you’ll have to balance yourself in the tub when you just want to relax and want it to feel just right: snug enough to feel secure and large enough to have space to stretch out.



Now, let’s break down the main showers to choose from and their materials. We will start with curbless vs standard. Curbless showers are sleek and modern in appearance without the edge that hangs over the side. A pro of having a curbless shower is functionality because they are easy to get in and out of making which makes this a good choice for an elderly client or one with young children. They are easy to clean and luxurious much like one you’d find in a classy hotel. Here’s a few more helpful pointers to consider: curbless showers are the best options for first story homes because it makes switching the flooring easier. A downside of choosing a curbless shower is it will be more work and is more costly. On the upside it will allow for more freedom to choose beautiful large tiles while a standard shower with a curb will limit you to choosing only smaller tiles. Bottom line: if you’re going for a cleaner more lux look, the curbless shower is the one for you !

 

Considering the right material is also important when choosing a tub. The main materials to choose from are fiberglass, acrylic and cast iron. Fiberglass is not recommended but its the cheapest. The reason it is not highly recommended is because it changes color with time and can appear old. The next material is acrylic. This material is very recommended because it is solid and durable. Lastly, the most recommended is cast iron due to it’s luxury look and feel and it’s the most durable of all the options.



Who knew drains were part of this decision making process and that their size would impact tile size! We will let you in on a trick of the trade. After speaking to a few highly trained and experienced contractors they recommend: if the drain of your shower is positioned in the center of the shower, you are limited to choosing smaller tiles in your shower. It you install a lineal drain larger tiles are more possible.



Lastly, let’s talk about the shower niche. What’s that you ask ? A shower niche is that cute little pocket or indentation in the wall that holds all your essentials. It’s easy to overlook this little part of the shower but it can make a lasting impression if executed properly. A gorgeous and on-trend idea is to add a pop of color or something that makes this little niche pack a punch! The pros recommend custom installed unique tiles that will be make a lovely addition to a classic let’s say….subway tiled shower. Another option is to add LED light to the niche cascading gorgeous glows in the shower that make showing a much more moody experience. Whatever you choose, the nice has the power to be either a subtle impression or the wow-factor of the entire shower !

 

To close out our first post on how these plumbing features affect your bathroom it’s important to keep in mind when choosing a contractor, to pick someone you would feel comfortable going with you to a showroom. Most pros would welcome the opportunity to go with you and help you choose a beautiful design that would best suit the space you’re working with. It can feel intimidating going into a showroom alone especially if you’ve never gone to one and having a knowledgable contractor by your side will ease those showroom nerves.

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