Choosing the right bathroom fixtures can be an overwhelming task, with so many styles, finishes, and features to consider. Whether you’re doing a complete remodel or just swapping out a few key pieces, it’s important to understand your options so you can pick fixtures that match your needs and design aesthetic. With some planning and research, you can select beautiful, functional bathroom fixtures that will serve you well for years to come.
Types of Bathroom Sinks
One of the most used fixtures in any bathroom is the sink. When selecting a bathroom sink, consider the installation (drop-in, undermount, vessel), the material (porcelain, glass, stone), and features like single vs double basin.
Undermount Bathroom Sinks
An undermount sink is installed below the countertop, creating a seamless look. The sleek style works well with stone countertops like granite or quartz. Undermount sinks come in various materials like ceramic, stainless steel, and enameled cast iron. Make sure to factor in professional installation costs.
Vessel Bathroom Sinks
Vessel sinks sit on top of the counter like a bowl, making a dramatic style statement. They come in eye-catching shapes, colors, and materials like glass, stone, and hammered copper. Vessel sinks generally require less installation work than undermount styles. Just keep in mind they offer less counter space.
Pedestal Bathroom Sinks
A pedestal sink has a basin that sits atop a single column pedestal. The vintage look works well in powder rooms. Pedestal sinks take up less floor space than vanity sinks. But they offer very little countertop area for bath accessories.
Toilets might not be glamorous, but they’re one of the most important fixtures in your home. Focus on finding a toilet with a comfortable height and powerful flush performance. Other factors to consider include the bowl shape, tank style, and water efficiency.
Elongated vs Round Toilet Bowls
Elongated bowls are oval-shaped for greater comfort but require more floor space. Round bowls fit better in compact bathrooms but can feel cramped. If you have the extra room, elongated is usually preferred.
Two-Piece vs One-Piece Toilets
With two-piece toilets, the tank and bowl are separate components. This style is more affordable and easier to repair. One-piece toilets have a seamless design for easier cleaning. But they tend to be more expensive.
Dual-flush toilets offer a choice of light or heavy flushing, helping conserve water. Look for EPA WaterSense-certified models that use 1.28 gallons per flush (gpf) or less.
For a relaxing soak, you’ll want to choose a durable, easy-to-maintain bathtub material. Options range from inexpensive to high-end.
Acrylic is a budget-friendly material that’s easy to clean. It’s molded from a plastic-like resin to create sleek, contemporary designs. Acrylic scratches more easily than other materials.
Cast Iron Bathtubs
Cast iron tubs have a classic, built-to-last quality and extra deep bathing well. But they are exceptionally heavy, making installation a challenge. Plus, cast iron is prone to chipping.
Stone Resin Bathtubs
Stone resin bathtubs capture the look of natural stone at a lower cost. Made from crushed stone and resin, they are durable and scratch-resistant. Just be aware, stone resin is not as glossy as acrylic.
Showerheads and Faucets
Installing new shower fixtures and faucets is an easy DIY upgrade that can make a big impact. Look for quality materials and appealing styles to match your bathroom’s overall look.
Rainfall showerheads, as the name implies, mimic gentle falling rain for a luxurious spa-like soak. Opt for a large 8-10 inch diameter for maximum coverage.
Handheld showerheads are versatile, allowing you to direct the spray where needed. For more mobility, choose a model that slides along a vertical bar.
When selecting a new faucet, look for WaterSense-certified models using 1.5 gpm or less. Features like touch-activation further help reduce water usage.
Widespread faucets have separate hot and cold handles, giving you more flexibility in placement. The wide spout provides excellent clearance.
Key Bathroom Cabinet Considerations
The vanity and medicine cabinet provide essential bathroom storage. Keep these tips in mind when choosing cabinetry:
- Optimize storage with pull-out shelves and drawers inside cabinets
- Lighted medicine cabinets provide bright task lighting
- Adjustable shelves make organizing products easy
- Match the finish to other hardware and fixtures for a cohesive look
Planning Your Bathroom Lighting
Proper lighting transforms a bathroom from purely functional to relaxing and beautiful. Use a combination of lighting types to meet all your needs:
Pendant lights or flush mount fixtures provide ambient overhead light. Avoid harsh, blue-toned LEDs. Opt for warm 2700-3000K color temperature bulbs.
Mount slender LED strips or sconces on each side of the mirror for ideal grooming light. Position at eye level on a dimmer for easy adjustability.
Shower and Tub Lighting
Waterproof LED fixtures add safety and ambiance. Recessed cans work well but avoid placing directly above showerhead.
Maximize natural light with ample windows and skylights. Freshen stale air and reduce mold with operable windows and exhaust fans.
Choosing Bathroom Flooring
Bathroom floors endure splashes, humidity, and heavy foot traffic. Prioritize these factors when selecting flooring:
- Durability: Choose water-resistant materials like porcelain tile or natural stone. Avoid carpet or unsealed wood.
- Slip resistance: Textured surfaces provide traction. Mosaic tiles can be slippery.
- Easy maintenance: Limit grout lines that trap dirt. Porcelain is stain-resistant.
- Comfort underfoot: Warmer floors like vinyl plank feel better on bare feet.
- Noise reduction: Cork and rubber dampen sound. Tile and stone echo more.
Creating the Ultimate Spa Bathroom
For a relaxing home spa sanctuary, incorporate these soothing elements:
- Large soaking tub: Prioritize a roomy tub for luxurious baths. Jetted options add massage comfort.
- Tranquil music: Install waterproof Bluetooth speakers to stream spa playlists.
- Soft lighting: Use dimmers for adjustable ambiance. Try flameless candles for a soothing glow.
- Essential oil diffuser: Disperse calming scents like lavender or eucalyptus.
- Plush towels: Treat yourself to ultra-soft, thirsty cotton towels.
- Luxurious shower: Upgrade to a rainfall showerhead, heated floors, and tile walls.
- Minimal clutter: Clear counter space and add discreet storage to maintain a tranquil vibe.
Save Money With Water-Efficient Fixtures
You can cut your water and energy costs in the bathroom with some smart upgrades:
- Install EPA WaterSense certified toilets, faucets, and showerheads to reduce water usage. Look for fixtures with flow rates of 1.28 gpf or less for toilets and 1.5 gpm or less for bath faucets and showerheads.
- Choose on-demand hot water systems like tankless water heaters to eliminate the energy required to constantly keep water hot in a storage tank.
- Replace old, inefficient fixtures like showerheads and faucets. New low-flow models cut water waste significantly.
- Repair any leaks promptly. A small drip can end up wasting hundreds of gallons over time.
- Consider adding aerators to faucets and showerheads. These inexpensive devices mix air into the water flow to maintain pressure while cutting water usage.
With the right water-saving upgrades, you can reduce your utility bills while still enjoying a luxurious bathroom oasis.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bathroom Fixtures
What are some space-saving tips for small bathrooms?
Opt for compact toilets and sinks. Choose narrow single-sink vanities. Install corner shelves and vertical storage options. Use pocket or sliding doors. Include a mirror that spans the length of a wall to create the illusion of more space.
How much does it cost to remodel a bathroom?
The average bathroom remodel costs $10,000-$20,000. Fixture costs range from $100-$600 for toilets and sinks, $200-$800 for bathtubs and showers. Vanities run $400-$2,000. Installation and labor add significantly to the total.
Should I get separate bath and shower or a combination?
It depends on your space and preferences. Combination showers are more compact. Separate tubs and showers allow multiple people to use the bathroom simultaneously.
What grab bars and non-slip surfaces should I add for safety?
Install grab bars in and around the tub or shower and near toilets. Use non-slip rubber mats and apply textured tape strips on floor surfaces. Look for ADA compliant fixtures.
How can I add storage to my bathroom?
Take advantage of all available space with narrow shelving, wall cabinets, under-sink drawers, freestanding cabinets, and over-the-toilet units. Store items in baskets and organizers.
The bathroom is one of the most used spaces in your home, so take the time to choose fixtures and finishes that match both your lifestyle needs and design tastes. Focus first on quality over trends to ensure durability and performance. Small upgrades like new faucets and showerheads can make a big visual impact. For major remodels, create a master plan to make the most of your available space. With strategic planning and design, you can craft a bathroom oasis perfect for relaxation and rejuvenation for years to come.