The right set of plumbing fixtures can add that shiny finishing touch to your bathroom. Whether you are updating old, rusty fixtures or embarking on a full bathroom remodel, taps, sinks, showers and toilets are a major functional and cosmetic feature.
When choosing plumbing fixtures for your bathroom renovation, consider style, material, functionality, price and compatibility, as well as any tools, additional parts or speciality know-how required. Knowing how to choose the right fixtures and finding the perfect combination can be a challenge, but it is time well spent.
4 Things to Keep in Mind with Plumbing Fixtures
Decide what styles, materials and colours work within your home and be consistent. There are two broad types to consider; modern or traditional.
Modern homes are generally well suited to smooth curves or defined angles with shiny, metallic finishes. Sleek stainless steel taps can add a touch of luxury and elegance to a contemporary city apartment. Conversely, the same stylish taps may look completely out of place compared to ornate bronze or copper fixtures more commonly associated with old-fashioned country homesteads.
Need some help finding design inspiration for your plumbing fixtures? Check out our blog post on bathroom design ideas and inspiration.
What kind of lifestyle do you have? This is an important question to ask yourself so that you choose fixtures that will suit your purpose. If you have young children, choose faucets that are easy to turn and are within easy reach. A single tap may be preferable over the separate hot and cold taps of times past, or it may be time to install sensors and go touch free.
For showers, one family member may enjoy a powerful massaging jet, while another may prefer a gentle rain. In this case, dual fixtures may provide the rare solution which pleases everyone.
Be aware that water efficiency of fixtures especially that of faucets and shower heads will vary considerably. It also pays to check pressure and temperature ratings, as particular fixtures or materials may be designed for a specific function.
Image source: flickr.com
Price can be the final deciding factor for many. Different types of fixtures are available at a wide range of prices, depending on the material, style, brand and warranty. Figure out your budget first then stick to it by shopping around to find the best price. Pay special attention to wholesalers, outlet stores, warehouses, or if your product is available online.
For those on a budget, there are often cheaper versions of expensive fixtures and materials. Materials such as brass are often available across a wide price range. However, cheap fixtures may not last and may be difficult to find replacement parts for. Investing in well-known brands made of high-quality materials for a little extra can save you money in the long run.
Find out more about what the finishes selections process in the bathroom finishes slection process.
4. Compatibility with Pre-existing Fixtures, Fittings and Plumbing
Rearranging the layout of plumbing fixtures is more expensive and time-consuming than simply swapping out taps of the same size and material. Choosing fixtures that are compatible with the size, materials, placement, and existing plumbing system (or the one that you are planning) will make your life a lot simpler.
For those in need of a quick refresher, pipe fittings are the pieces that connect different pipes, components, and associated fixtures. They can be used to allow water flow between tubes of different sizes, shapes, and pressures or even divide flow so you can achieve your dream bathroom renovation.
The above content is written as guest post by Plumbing Plus.
Once you have chosen your fixtures, get them installed by a reputable, qualified plumber, who will be aware of standard plumbing, building, and health codes.
Professional plumbers will also be able to provide personalised advice on how to alter your existing plumbing systems to fit your chosen fixtures, predict any problems you may encounter, offer suggestions for saving money and most importantly, help you avoid re-enacting the great flood.
If you are
- a plumber
- planning on getting a plumber’s license
- building contractor
- an owner-builder
here are some additional tips for you to make the fix plumbing fixtures with ease.
Tips For Installing New Bathroom Services
This is the stage of your project when the plumber and electrician will come in to either install new services or modify the existing services to suit your new bathroom design.
1. HAVE ALL FITTINGS ONSITE BEFORE WORK STARTS
The biggest tip here when it comes to bathroom services is to make sure you have all plumbing and electrical fittings onsite before starting any of the work.
You’ll need to have all your fittings on site ready to go. These include:
- Light fittings
- Exhaust fans
- Heated towel rails
- And all other items for the plumber/electrician
We touched on this during our planning stage so I won’t harp on it too much, but I recommend having all your fittings in a spare room or the garage for when your contractors arrive.
2. KEEP TECHNICAL DATA CLOSE AT HAND
Another tip is to have all technical data for the items available to contractors.
Normally they will be in the box’s supplied with the fittings, but in some cases you may need to download this information from the suppliers website, so be prepared for that.
3. PUT UNUSED PARTS BACK IN THEIR BOXES
When the contractors arrive they will generally pull the boxes open to get to any parts the may need at the initial rough in stages of the project.
I recommend making sure that when they are finished all parts (including instructions) that were not used should be placed back into the box. That way the contractors will be able to find everything when they return at a later stage for the fit off.
I have had a few bad experiences myself over the years with missing parts or instructions – so try and be diligent with keeping everything together.
If you are working with a larger company and not an owner operator, sometimes one tradesman may come out to perform the rough in, and when it comes time to the fit off they may send someone else. In that scenario if the box with the part is missing along with any parts or instructions…. Well you get the idea.
4. AVOID SCHEDULING CLASHES WITH CONTRACTORS
Another tip is to avoid having multiple contractors working in your bathroom at same time. We discussed this in Stage 3: Pre Construction when drafting our Construction Schedule for the project. But it’s still good to keep this in mind.
Book the plumber one day and the electrician the next.
5. GOOD TIME TO THINK OF UPGRADING
With the installation of new bathroom services this could also be a perfect time to look at upgrading that old hot water heater or electrical meter board.
It’s worth getting advice from your contractors back in your preliminary planning stages when they are quoting your project. That way you can factor it into your budget.
If you are opting for upgrades to your services, the contractors would either be working on the upgrades at this stage of installation or at the end when they come back to perform the plumbing and electrical fit off.
6. AVOID SCHEDULING CONFLICTS WITH CONTRACTORS
Like I previously mentioned, its best to avoid having your contractors working over the top of each other.
What I tend to do is book in the electrician one day and the plumber the next day to avoid the chaos of too many people in one small room at a time.
7. USE DROP SHEETS ON TILES
Ask the tradesman to use drop sheets or protection over your freshly tiled floor.
Most decent contractors wouldn’t need to be reminded of this – but preventing scratches on the tiles is far better than finding a cure!
8. WARRANTY CARDS & TECHNICAL INFORMATION
Once the tradesmen have completed their installations, check all the boxes that your fixtures came with to make sure that any warranty cards or technical info are still there.
It’s a good idea to kept these – preferably saved into your job filing system so that you can call upon the information at a later date if any warranty issues occur.
Now that we’ve completed the plumbing & electrical fit off, it’s time to move onto Stage 4: Construction – Painting.
9. LAMINATE YOUR PLANS
It’s also a good idea to have a full set of plans laminated and left on site. That way if any of the contractors forget theirs they have something to work off.
It’s critical that all your bathroom services are installed exactly where you want them, so don’t be afraid to check the contractors work or ask questions if something doesn’t seem right.
10. TAKE LOTS OF PHOTOS
Lastly, I recommend that you take lots of photos of all the bathroom services in the wall before they are covered up! Then if there are any issues down the track, you’ll know where to look, or where to avoid if installing new fixings.
Plumbing work is something that needs complete attention and perfection. Else the fittings might end up leaking or start wearing out with time. So do not touch plumbing work if you are not a licensed professional.
If you have any questions let me know – I’m always happy to help!
Enjoy your renovation.
All the best,