Bathroom fixtures are an essential part of creating your dream bathroom. From faucets and showerheads to toilets and vanities, the fixtures you choose will set the tone for the whole space. With so many options to consider, it can be overwhelming to select the perfect fixtures that are both visually appealing and functional. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know before installing new bathroom fixtures or renovating your current bathroom.
When designing or redoing a bathroom, fixtures are one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Bathroom fixtures include sinks, faucets, showers, tubs, toilets and lights. The right combination can create a bathroom that is stylish, efficient and adds value to your home.
There are a number of factors to consider when choosing fixtures such as design, finish, efficiency, ease of cleaning and budget. It’s important to think about how each fixture will be used and by whom. Families with children will likely want durable finishes that are easy to clean. Frequent entertainers may want statement pieces that impress guests. Your personal needs and style preferences should guide each fixture selection.
Investing in quality bathroom fixtures can pay off in the long run. Higher end fixtures generally last longer and require less repair or replacement saving you time and money over time. When in doubt, stick with classic styles and finishes that will stand the test of time and match different decor styles.
Types of Bathroom Fixtures
The sink is often the central focus in a bathroom. There are a wide variety of sink styles to choose from.
Pedestal sinks – These sinks stand on a single pedestal base giving them a floating appearance. They maximize floor space but offer limited counter and storage space.
Vessel sinks – Bowl-shaped sinks that sit above the vanity surface. Vessel sinks come in many decorative styles and materials. They can be prone to splashing so consider use.
Undermount sinks – Installed underneath the countertop creating a seamless look. Provide more counter space but can be harder to clean around the rim areas.
Wall mounted sinks – Attached to the wall instead of a vanity. Great for small baths but need special plumbing considerations.
Double sinks – Allow two people to use the bathroom at once. Require a wider vanity but are great for resale value.
When selecting a sink consider size, shape, material and mounting style. Smaller baths do best with compact sinks while larger master baths can accommodate a grand statement sink.
Faucets bring functionality and style to sinks. There are several faucet options that go beyond the standard two handle model.
Centerset faucets – The most common type with handles centered on the spout. Compact size works with most sinks.
Widespread faucets – Handles mount further from the spout for a dramatic look. Require three-hole mounting space.
Single handle faucets – Control both hot and cold water with one handle. Sleek contemporary style.
Touch faucets – Turn on/off with just a tap. Advanced models feature motion activation for hands-free use.
Pull-down/pull-out faucets – Head pulls down into sink or out to allow for directed water flow. Great for kitchen and utility sinks.
Finish and function are the key considerations for faucets. Chrome and stainless steel finishes are popular neutral options. Unique finishes like black, brass and bronze add drama. Look for efficiency specs like low-flow models.
Showers and Tubs
Showers and tubs provide soothing relaxation and efficient bathing. Design your bathroom with both or pick the one that best suits your lifestyle.
Showers – Open up small baths by converting a tub to a spacious shower. Custom tile and multiples showerheads create a spa-like retreat.
Bathtubs – Soaking tubs bring a luxurious feel. Look for ergonomic designs, bubble massage jets and even chromotherapy lighting. Freestanding tubs make a statement.
Combo tub/showers – The most efficient use of space with an all-in-one design. Choose between streamlined models or neo-angle designs.
Accessibility features – Make bathing safer with grab bars, non-slip textures, and walk-in/roll-in designs for handicap access.
Choose shower and tub materials like acrylic, porcelain, fiberglass, enameled steel and cultured marble that fit your budget and design needs. Glass doors in frameless, semi-frameless or framed styles complete the look.
Toilets are the workhorse of any bathroom. Beyond just flush and go, toilets now offer innovative comfort and efficiency features.
Two-piece toilets – Traditional style with separate tank and bowl. Easy to maintain and widely available.
One-piece toilets – Sleek contemporary look as tank and bowl are a single mold. More difficult to repair.
Wall-mount toilets – Installed into wall framing with supports. Allow for easy floor cleaning around base.
Smart toilets – Include high-tech luxury features like heated seats, automatic flush, hands-free opening, germ-killing UV light and more.
Comfort height – Extra tall seating position akin to a chair for easier use. ADA compliant.
Efficient flushing – Look for low-flow or dual flush systems to conserve water. Powerful turbo flush removes waste in one go.
Pick a toilet style and color to match your bathroom design. Round and elongated bowls install in standard 12” rough-in spots. Top mount or concealed trapway installations are also available.
Proper lighting transforms a bathroom from purely functional to relaxing oasis. Layer lighting for brightness and style.
Vanity lights – Mount horizontally along the top of bathroom mirror for even lighting. Go vertical with sconces.
Overhead lighting – Central ceiling fixture lights full room. Pairs well with task lighting.
Pendant lights – Suspended light fixtures that bring visual interest over sinks or tubs.
Sconces – Mounted on wall by showers or near medicine cabinets for perfect task lighting.
Natural light – Windows and skylights allow sunshine in. Maintain privacy with textured glass treatment.
Dimmers – Set desired light level based on use from bright task lighting to nighttime ambient glow.
Select light fixture finish and style that enhances your bathroom’s decor. Bulb shape impacts lighting spread from narrow spot to wide flood.
Bathroom Fixture Finishes
Finish choice ties your whole bathroom design together. Consider material, color, and distressing to match both faucets and fixtures.
Polished chrome – Classic silver look goes with any style. Provides a clean and reflective surface.
Brushed nickel – Understated silver finish muting the shine. Works with traditional and modern decors.
Matte black – Having a moment right now and brings drama. Pair with wood tones and metallics.
Bronze – Warmer brown metal finish. Available in dark tarnished to lighter brushed bronze.
Gold/rose gold – Glam finish lending luxury. Especially popular in powder rooms.
White – Crisp and clean. Works in all bathroom color schemes.
Wood – Warm up bathroom with wood grain sinks, vanities and accents. Stain or paint to complement.
Glass – Vessel sinks and shower enclosures bring translucent shine. Consider texture and color.
Mixing finishes can add visual depth but aim for cohesion. For big impact, choose one standout finish as an accent against neutrals.
Bathroom Fixture FAQs
What are the most popular styles of bathroom sinks?
The most popular styles of bathroom sinks are undermount, vessel, pedestal, and drop-in sinks. Undermount sinks provide a sleek look and easy cleaning. Vessel sinks are stylish focal points that come in many shapes. Pedestal sinks are space-savers perfect for powder rooms. Drop-in sinks mount into existing countertop cutouts.
How do I choose a new toilet for my bathroom?
When choosing a toilet, first decide between a one or two-piece model. One-piece toilets have a seamless look while two-piece allow for easier repairs. Next, determine features like bowl shape, tank lever position, flush efficiency, and comfort height. Finally, decide on color and style to match your decor.
What type of shower is best for a small bathroom remodeling project?
For a small bathroom, replacing a tub with a well-designed shower is the best option. Corner showers maximize floor space as do narrow neo-angle showers. Shower pans with molded sides take up less room than framing a shower enclosure. Make sure to include amenities like a rain showerhead, recessed shelving, and a fold-down seat.
How do I add more lighting in my bathroom?
Great ways to add lighting include installing vanity lights, hanging pendants, adding recessed can lighting, using floating wall sconces, and installing skylights or privacy glass windows to allow in natural light. Make sure lighting is layered including overhead, ambient, and task lighting. Use dimmers and automations to control different lighting moods.
What are the most durable finishes for bathroom fixtures?
The most durable bathroom fixture finishes include stainless steel, solid brass, vitreous china, enameled cast iron, and fire clay. Stainless steel’s durability and resistance to corrosion make it an excellent sink, shower, and cabinetry choice. Brass, china, and cast iron are nearly indestructible options for tubs, toilets, and sinks.
What maintenance is required for bathroom fixtures?
Simple regular maintenance keeps bathroom fixtures looking like new. Wipe down sinks, showers, tubs and faucets after each use. Use non-abrasive bathroom cleaners and avoid harsh scrubbing. Descale faucets and showerheads every 3-6 months. Re-caulk sinks, tubs, showers annually. Follow manufacturer instructions for care of specialty faucets and fixtures.
The perfect bathroom starts with choosing fixtures that balance appealing design, durability, and comfort. Sinks, faucets, showers, tubs, toilets and lighting all work together to create your dream bath sanctuary. Keep your lifestyle and design tastes in mind as you select each piece. Invest in quality fixtures suited for frequent use. With proper care, your bathroom fixtures will bring enjoyment for years to come each time you refresh in your personal home spa.