Selecting the right hardware for your bathroom can completely transform the look and feel of the space. From faucets and showerheads to cabinets and mirrors, the hardware choices you make have a major impact on both form and function. With so many options to consider, it’s important to think through your needs and style preferences. This guide will walk you through the key factors to consider when choosing bathroom hardware.
Assess Your Needs
Before shopping for hardware, take stock of your bathroom needs. Consider the following:
- Number of users – Will the bathroom be used by just you, or multiple people? More users may require additional toilet and sink capacity.
- Purpose – Is this a master bath, kids bath, or guest bath? The purpose can dictate the style and features needed. A kids bath may require more durable finishes.
- Size of space – Measure the sink, tub, and shower areas. This will help determine the appropriate faucet sizes and styles.
- Storage needs – Assess if you need more shelves, cabinets, or drawers for bath essentials. Extra storage can reduce clutter.
- Unique requirements – Do you need ADA compliant handles? Thermostatic valves? Make a list of must-haves upfront.
Once you analyze the functional requirements, you’ll be better prepared to choose hardware that truly fits your bath.
Choose a Style
Bathroom hardware spans a wide range of decorative styles – from modern and contemporary to traditional and farmhouse. Consider the following style factors as you shop:
- Existing style – Match hardware finishes to your current fixtures for a cohesive look. Brass pairs well with traditional designs, while matte black complements modern aesthetics.
- Personal taste – Draw inspiration from baths you love in magazines or Pinterest. Grab paint swatches from the hardware store to visualize finishes.
- Design elements – Coordinate the hardware style with your cabinets, tile, lighting, and other details. Picking up just one or two style cues can pull the whole room together.
- Fixtures – Shop for faucets and showerheads that align with your style. Mixing highly contemporary faucets with traditional cabinet knobs looks mismatched.
Remain open minded – sometimes a contrasting style adds a punch of personality. Just make intentional choices that work with your bath’s overall design.
Choose Durable Materials
Bathroom hardware endures plenty of use and moisture. Carefully evaluate materials to find durable options that stand the test of time.
- Brass – Solid brass faucets resist corrosion and last for decades. Opt for durable brass construction.
- Stainless steel – Sleek steel faucets boast water- and rust- resistance. A great choice for modern designs.
- Nickel – Nickel finishes add shine without fingerprints. Often used for a classic look.
- Copper – Natural copper develops an elegant patina over time. Ideal for farmhouse or vintage styles.
- Stainless steel – Steel knobs and pulls maintain their luster for years. Easy to clean and sanitize.
- Brass/bronze – Sturdy brass pulls come in polished or antique variations to match any style.
- Nickel – A budget-friendly option that complements most color schemes.
- Glass/crystal – Prone to breaking but add elegance. Best for low-traffic baths.
- Metal – Brass, stainless steel, and chrome withstand drips and moisture. Metal lasts.
- Plastic – Plastic showerheads are affordable but less durable. Check for reinforced polymers.
- Stone resin – Resin covers sturdy metal cores for an earthy, spa-like look.
Prioritize metal construction whenever possible. The small upfront investment will pay off for years to come.
Consider Practical Features
Beyond aesthetics, don’t underestimate the importance of functional features that improve convenience and accessibility.
- Hands-free operation – Motion-activated faucets allow for touchless use. Helpful for sinks used often.
- Adjustable height – Faucets that raise up and down accommodate users of all sizes. Great for kids and those with mobility needs.
- Dual temperature controls – Separate handles for hot and cold water allow you to fine tune the exact temp desired.
- High arc spout – A faucet with a high, arched neck gives you more room to wash your face or hands.
- Overhead rainfall showerhead – An indulgent, spa-like addition that also saves water.
- Handheld showerhead – Makes it easy to rinse hair, bath kids or pets. Look for an adjustable mount.
- Jets and body sprays – Strategically placed jets add a luxurious, massaging component to shower time.
- Digital controls – Preset your perfect temperature and flow rate for personalized showers.
- Elongated bowl – Provides more comfortable seating. A must for master suites.
- Comfort height – Higher seats around 16 to 19 inches off the ground reduce strain getting on and off.
- Dual flush – Lets you conserve water with a lighter flush for liquid waste. More eco-friendly.
- Bidet – Features like heated seats and water cleansing up the hygiene factor.
Review all the product specs and experiment with displays in stores. Opting for functional fixtures makes bathroom routines easier.
Compare Prices Carefully
Bathroom hardware spans a wide range of price points. Set a realistic budget by:
- Checking sales – Look for seasonal promotions, specials, and clearance deals on quality brands. Sign up for store emails to receive sale notifications.
- Mixing metals – Opt for higher end metals (brass) for frequently used pieces like faucets. Then balance out costs with affordable metals (nickel) for supplemental items like towel bars and toilet paper holders.
- Choosing selective splurges – Invest in one or two statement pieces you adore, like an intricate mirror or sink base. Supplement with more budget-friendly cabinet knobs and pulls.
- Buying bundled sets – Bundled collections offer cost savings compared to individually purchasing each matching piece. Great for achieving a cohesive look on a budget.
- Tracking resale sites – Score major discounts on high end brands through resale sites. Vet items carefully and purchase from trusted sellers.
With smart shopping strategies, you can secure quality bathroom hardware at the best possible value. Don’t compromise on durability, but look for opportunities to save.
Choosing Bathroom Hardware Q&A
Still have questions about selecting the ideal bathroom hardware? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
What are the most popular finishes for bathroom hardware right now?
Matte black, brushed nickel, polished chrome, and brushed brass are trending. Matte black hardware pairs well with any color scheme for a modern touch. Brushed nickel and chrome add shine without looking too flashy. Brushed brass offers a vintage appeal.
How much should I budget for a bathroom hardware overhaul?
Aim for $1,000 to $3,000 for a full suite of new hardware including faucets, shower fixtures, towel bars, cabinets pulls, mirrors and other accessories. Higher end materials like solid brass and added details quickly increase costs. But sales can help you stick to your budget.
Should I match metal finishes throughout the entire bathroom?
Yes, matching metals creates cohesion. Minimize mixing metals, but it’s fine to incorporate 1-2 secondary finishes for accents. For example, predominantly brushed nickel hardware with a few matte black fixtures for contrast. Just ensure the finishes complement each other.
What’s an easy way to update my bathroom’s look without a full remodel?
New hardware and fresh paint go a long way in breathing new life into a bathroom. Swap out dated fixtures and upgrade drawer pulls. Add a paint color on the walls or vanity cabinets to give the space a modern lift without breaking the budget.
Should I stick to one store when purchasing all my hardware?
Shop around for the best prices and selection. Big box stores may offer bundled specials, while boutique bath shops provide high quality options. Mixing a few key splurges from specialty retailers with budget pieces from discount stores helps maximize your investment.
Achieve the Bathroom of Your Dreams
Choosing hardware may seem overwhelming given the many options and considerations. But keeping your needs, style, and budget central will help simplify the process. Invest time upfront assessing your bath design and creating a thoughtful hardware plan. With quality materials and enduring styles, you’ll love enjoy your new fixtures for years to come. Happy hardware hunting!