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Bathroom Renovation Tips: Choosing Faucets for Vanities-Shower-Tub

Aug 9, 2008
One of the most important decisions in a bathroom remodel project is choosing the plumbing fixtures. There are so many options today; you need to consider a few key details to make an educated decision. What fixtures are you shopping for? A typical bathroom remodel includes vanity faucets, tub faucets, and shower faucets. Begin by making a list of the faucets you are shopping for.

The next item to decide is your budget. Plumbing fixtures can vary widely in price, so setting a budget is an important first step. You should not use price as your only factor in choosing fixtures, as the quality of fixtures also varies widely. You definitely get what you pay for when it comes to plumbing fixtures.

What is the style of your bathroom? Is it traditional or contemporary? Traditional style faucets include the standard 3 hole, 2 handle gooseneck, while a contemporary look would be something like the Purist line from Kohler - simple and sleek.

What finish matches your style? Here are the most popular finishes:
- Chrome: Chrome is the least expensive and is the most easily matched across manufacturers. This simply means that you are generally safe buying a chrome finish faucet from Moen and one from Kohler to use in the same bathroom and you should not notice the difference in finish color.
- Polished Brass
- Antique Brass
- Pewter
- Brushed or Satin Nickel
- Oil Rubbed Bronze: This is the most expensive finish; if you choose this finish, consider a high quality brand name, as the oil rubbed finish tends to rub off depending on the amount of use.

Quality issues to consider include:
- The fixture needs to be manufactured from metal, no plastic parts.
- The fixture should be heavy, significant of solid metal.
- The fixture should have washer less valves and/or ceramic valves.
- Does the fixture come with a warranty?
The best way to check quality is to test display models at your local hardware store. You can immediately feel the difference between a fixture that is $50 and one that is $200. This will help you determine what will fit your needs based on price and use.

If choosing a tub faucet, make sure there is ample flow rate to fill a tub in a reasonable amount of time. Some shower faucets take special plumbing requirements such as larger water lines and specific plumbing techniques for proper operations. If choosing a large shower head, you need to consider if the fixture will require a higher flow rate on the valve and larger diameter plumbing for proper operation. Also, be sure to have ample support for long stem shower heads.
About the Author
Julia Ritzenthaler is Owner of boutique online furniture stores, http://www.UniqueVanities.com, http://www.UniqeMirrorsOnline.com, & http://www.UniqueLightFixture.com. For more information about unique bathroom vanity ideas, visit us online or email us with your questions at uniquevanities@msn.com.
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