When homeowners decide to remodel a bathroom, they know exactly what they don’t like about the current bathroom. And, they usually have a good sense of the desired bathroom concept. However, they typically have not yet thought about many selections details, including fixtures. Plus, they realize they need help from professionals, like the team from TriFection, in picking those items. With assistance from our vendor partners, we guide our clients through the vast array of choices to identify a fixture package that best fits their style and budget. We also make sure to size and space those bathroom fixtures appropriately for the design. In this blog, we provide some advice and food for thought when you go shopping for bathroom fixtures.
Purchase Good Brands from Good Vendors
It may seem to be an obvious starting point, but do your homework and buy bathroom fixtures from proven, highly rated manufacturers, such as Kohler. You should also choose a knowledgeable, client-friendly vendor. Your contractor should be able to provide valuable advice on manufacturers and vendors, assuming he or she has deep experience in the industry. At TriFection, we partner exclusively with Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery. They have beautiful showrooms, with large displays of high-quality fixtures, all over the Greater Houston area. Our dedicated Ferguson sales representatives take very good care of our clients.
Confirm your contractor can effectively coordinate with your chosen vendor on ordering and delivery. If you buy things from a vendor your contractor does not recommend, be prepared to address any customer service issues on your own. Importantly, understand your vendor’s return policy. Otherwise, you might get stuck with something you don’t like or incur a sizable restocking fee.
Establish Fixture Priorities and a Budget
Prior to shopping, you should think about what bathroom features are most important to you. It could be a rain shower head, body sprays and/or a separate handheld unit for the shower. Or, it might be a freestanding soaking bathtub. Or, maybe you have your eye on really nice decorative lighting or mirrors. Regardless, define areas that are “must haves” and those where you are willing to compromise. Then, establish a comfortable, reasonable budget while being mindful of “you often get what you pay for.” In particular, cheap plumbing fixtures may not perform well and cause problems far more expensive to fix than the money you saved on the fixtures. Complete bathroom plumbing fixture packages, including shower valves & trims, bathtub, sinks & faucets, toilet, etc., usually start in the $5,000-$10,000 range.
Choose Finishes That Match Your Desired Style
Whether your preferred style is traditional, transitional or contemporary, you want a consistent look and feel throughout your remodeled bathroom. The finish on your bathroom fixtures should complement other selections. For example, you would not want to select traditional oil rubbed bronze faucets if you’re going for a modern look with with a mix of white & gray cabinets, counters, tile and paint colors. Similarly, don’t pick a shower package with a brushed nickel finish and chrome fixtures for the tub and vanity areas. They should match. At TriFection, we recommend starting with choices for cabinetry, countertop and tile prior to selecting the finish of your fixtures. Brushed nickel and satin nickel represent two fairly neutral, timeless finishes that look good with a wide variety of styles and color schemes.
Fixture Size Absolutely Matters
Prior to purchasing bathroom fixtures, you must ensure everything fits comfortably in the space. Your contractor, not the vendor sales representative, should help you review the specification sheets and perform the necessary calculations. For example, a large bathtub may look and feel great in the showroom, but it also may not fit in your bathroom OR may require a smaller shower than you intended.
You should know in advance where all shower fixtures will be placed, given the size of the shower and tile design. When picking sinks, faucets, mirrors and vanity lights, make sure they can be aligned properly, given the cabinetry layout. Also, confirm they are spaced so that your elbow doesn’t bang the wall or your spouse every time you brush your teeth or hair. At TriFection, we review specification sheets very thoroughly to confirm bathroom fixture orders are complete and everything fits well within the proposed design BEFORE construction begins.
Inspect the Bathroom Fixtures ASAP
Once you take delivery of bathroom fixtures, you should inspect each one very carefully against your invoice to make sure all correct parts arrived undamaged. Look closely for scratches, dings, dents, cracks, etc. Take pictures of any identified damages or imperfections and report them to your vendor immediately. Otherwise, you may encounter resistance when requesting an exchange. Questions regarding when the damage occurred and who is responsible will arise.
Ask Professionals for Help
Unless you’re a highly experienced Do It Yourselfer, ask your contractor, designer, and/or vendor sales representative for assistance when picking bathroom fixtures. While it may not seem too difficult to pick a bathtub or sinks, many homeowners make costly mistakes. Professionals recognize easily avoidable mistakes and they know the performance of various brands and models over time. They also coordinate ordering, delivery and installation. Plus, they likely can help you in the event of a customer service issue, given their industry contacts and strong relationships.