Bathroom Hardware and Plumbing Buying Guide

If you're fretting about making the right hardware and plumbing choices for your new bathroom, look no further. We've compiled a buying guide that can help you understand the ins and outs of sinks, faucets, tubs, and toilets. Armed with our advice and tips, your shopping decisions will be easier and your purchases just right for you.

Types of Bathroom Hardware and Plumbing

Types of Bathroom Hardware and Plumbing

If you're like most homeowners, you don't know a lot about bathroom plumbing and the accompanying hardware. But outfitting a new bathroom requires making informed product choices. The bathroom, after all, is where we start and end the day, and we want it to not only function flawlessly but look like our own personal spa. Here, then, is our best advice for purchasing the bathroom products that deliver precious H2O.

Bathroom Faucets

Bathroom faucets -- or lavatory faucets -- come in four configurations: widespread, center-set, single-hole, and wall-mount. With widespread faucets, the spout and handles are separate pieces, so you'll need three holes drilled in your bathroom countertop. Center-set faucets combine the spout and handles on a single base, so they're more compact. They're the most common, least expensive, and easiest to install. Single-hole faucets have a spout and mixing handle in a single unit, allowing one-hand operation. Wall-mount faucets, like widespread faucets, have separate spout and handle pieces, but the faucet's valves are mounted behind the wall above the sink rather than below the countertop. This configuration is ideal to use with a vessel sink, as the faucet extends over the deepest part of the sink's basin.

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Symmons
$129.31

SYM1730 Features Identity collection Ceramic cartridges Lid not included Country of Manufacture: United States Material: Brass Dim...ensions 0.5" IPS inlet connections standard 1.0 gpm (3.8 L/min) Overall Faucet Height: 4.5" Overall Faucet Width: 9.5"... read more

Design House
$96.66

The Design House 523134 Torino Roman Tub Sprayer Kit has a satin nickel finish and enhances any roman tub experience. Relax and ma...ssage your muscles with this beautifully designed sprayer. read more

PULSE ShowerSpas
$39.02

PULSE ShowerSpas introduces the Island Falls Stainless-Steel Rain Showerhead collection! These showerheads are easy to install and... add an elegant touch to any style of decor. Available in 150mm, 200mm and 250mm sizes with brushed matte or polished finish. read more

Bathroom Sinks

Bathroom sinks take many forms. A drop-in sink's bowl fits into a cut-out on your vanity top, and its rim rests over the edges, holding it in place. An undermount sink is similar, but its rim is installed under the countertop so the edge where sink and countertop meet has a seamless look with no lip. Wall-mount sinks attach to the wall and are open underneath, except for the visible plumbing. Console sinks also mount to the wall but have two front legs for support. Pedestal sinks have a single column of support under the sink basin. Vessel sinks are bowls that sit on a countertop (or slightly recessed) as a freestanding unit. And apron-front sinks are set into a countertop on three sides but have a decorative front that breaks the countertop edge.

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Bathroom Tubs

Tub types are numerous. The most common is the recessed tub, which fits into a three-wall alcove and is often used with an acrylic shower surround and combined with a shower. Corner tubs are similar, fitting into a corner alcove. Drop-in tubs sit inside a deck structure, with the rim of the tub resting on the deck. Undermount tubs also have a deck platform, but the rim abuts the surround rather than resting on it, and the floor supports the tub. Freestanding tubs -- claw-foot, roll-top, or high-back slipper -- stand alone and often serve as design elements in a bathroom. Deep soaking tubs can be either drop-in or freestanding; they are designed for full-body immersion.

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Shower and Bathtub Faucets

The most-used tub and shower faucets are mounted on the tub surround or the wall above the tub surround. The spout and one or two handles are visible; one-handle models make it slightly easier to adjust water temperature and volume. Some models include hand-shower attachments. Deck-mount faucets, often called tub fillers or Roman faucets, are installed through holes in the tub rim or on the deck of a drop-in tub surround; pipes are concealed below the tub deck. Tub-filler faucets can accommodate the higher water volume that tub and shower pipes supply to fill a tub quickly. Freestanding faucets are typically used with vintage-style tubs. Their pipes are visible, coming up out of the floor and fastened to the tub or wall for stability.

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Hardware House
$93.36

A blend of curves gives the Hardware House Single Handle Tub/Shower Faucet a simple look for today's contemporary baths.

Hardware House
$76.97

A blend of curves gives the the Hardware House Single Handle Tub/Shower Faucet a simple look for today's contemporary baths.

Hardware House
$87.97

A blend of curves gives the Hardware House Single Handle Tub/Shower Faucet a simple look for today's contemporary baths.

Showerheads

Shower heads are either fixed or handheld, or you can assemble your own multi-element shower system. Fixed showerheads are most common; they're mounted to either the shower wall or the ceiling above the shower. Wall-mount fixed showerheads are adjustable for users of different heights. Designs range from small square units to oversize round rain-style heads. On slide-bar models, the head moves up and down. Shower towers with multiple heads can replace an older showerhead without changing the plumbing. Handheld showerheads have a flexible hose and work well for people with mobility issues. Shower systems have multiple heads, sprays, and controls; they can spray your entire body with water all at once.

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PULSE ShowerSpas
$39.02

PULSE ShowerSpas introduces the Island Falls Stainless-Steel Rain Showerhead collection! These showerheads are easy to install and... add an elegant touch to any style of decor. Available in 150mm, 200mm and 250mm sizes with brushed matte or polished finish. read more

PULSE ShowerSpas
$52.22

PULSE ShowerSpas introduces the Island Falls Stainless-Steel Rain Showerhead collection! These showerheads are easy to install and... add an elegant touch to any style of decor. Available in 150mm, 200mm and 250mm sizes with a brushed matte or polished... read more

PULSE ShowerSpas
$45.62

PULSE ShowerSpas introduces the Island Falls Stainless-Steel Rain Showerhead collection! These showerheads are easy to install and... add an elegant touch to any style of decor. Available in 150mm, 200mm and 250mm sizes with a brushed matte or polished... read more

PULSE ShowerSpas
$52.66

PULSE ShowerSpas introduces the Island Falls Stainless-Steel Rain Showerhead collection! These showerheads are easy to install and... add an elegant touch to any style of decor. Available in 150mm, 200mm and 250mm sizes with a brushed matte or polished... read more

Toilets

Toilets can be one-piece or two-piece models. One-piece toilets are seamless and thus easier to clean; however, two-piece toilets are more common. Most toilets have in-floor plumbing, but some mount on the wall, making cleaning the floor underneath them easier. Toilets have either pressure-assisted or gravity-fed flushing systems; both work well, though the gravity-fed systems operate more quietly. Toilet seats can be round (more compact) or elongated (more comfortable). And while standard toilets are 15 inches from the floor, taller bowl heights of about 16-1/2 inches make it easier to stand up after use.

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Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

Equipping a bathroom is a complex process requiring lots of decisions. Here are the most important considerations as you contemplate purchases that are right for you.

Bathroom Faucets

Bathroom faucets come in a multitude of styles (contemporary, traditional, and everything in between) and finishes (gold-plate, stainless-steel, copper, chrome, nickel, polished, brushed, and matte). Choose the combination that suits your personal taste. Also, be aware that lever handles are easier to grip and turn than round or cross models. Saving water is an increasing priority. Touch-free electronic handles conserve water by shutting off automatically when no motion is sensed; aerated faucets mix water with air for a lower flow rate. Your faucet's valves play a key role in its performance and operation, so look for washerless construction found in ball, cartridge, and ceramic-disk valves. Also, if you're simply purchasing a replacement faucet, remember that it must fit the holes drilled into your existing sink deck or countertop.

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Symmons
$129.31

SYM1730 Features Identity collection Ceramic cartridges Lid not included Country of Manufacture: United States Material: Brass Dim...ensions 0.5" IPS inlet connections standard 1.0 gpm (3.8 L/min) Overall Faucet Height: 4.5" Overall Faucet Width: 9.5"... read more

Design House
$96.66

The Design House 523134 Torino Roman Tub Sprayer Kit has a satin nickel finish and enhances any roman tub experience. Relax and ma...ssage your muscles with this beautifully designed sprayer. read more

PULSE ShowerSpas
$39.02

PULSE ShowerSpas introduces the Island Falls Stainless-Steel Rain Showerhead collection! These showerheads are easy to install and... add an elegant touch to any style of decor. Available in 150mm, 200mm and 250mm sizes with brushed matte or polished finish. read more

Bathroom Sinks

A bathroom sink's material affects how well it functions and for how long. Materials include cast iron, stainless steel, stone, vitreous china, fireclay, porcelain, solid-surfacing, glass, wood, and concrete. Think about how your bathroom will be used -- a children's bath might benefit from a sink made of tough, easy-to-clean solid-surfacing, while a less-used powder room might be the place for a showy glass vessel sink. Think, too, about maintenance. Sinks with deep basins contain splashing water; drop-in sinks, with their self-rimming lip, are harder to keep clean but often cost less. Some manufacturers apply special surface treatments to make sinks easier to clean. And wall-mount sinks are good choices for wheelchair users. Keep in mind that a vessel sink requires either a taller deck-mount faucet or a wall-mount faucet for water flow to hit the basin's center, and faucet handles should be placed where they are visible and easy to reach. Where space is at a premium, pedestal or wall-mount sinks work best; where ample storage and countertop space are needed, an enclosed vanity is best.

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Bathroom Tubs

Tubs come in a variety of materials: acrylic, porcelain-coated cast iron, marble, solid-surfacing, and fiberglass. Materials vary in ease of maintenance and price, so know your needs before choosing. Likewise, consider tub types -- corner tubs can save space when installed next to a run of cabinetry, drop-in tubs installed at floor level make entry and exit difficult, and undermount tubs that require replacing necessitate tearing out the deck surface surrounding it (a big job). Deep soaking tubs hold a lot of water, so your water heater and floor joists might need an upgrade. Whirlpool tubs can be therapeutic, offering programmable temperatures and water-pressure controls. And some tub models offer music -- and lights that synchronize with it for a relaxing bathing experience.

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Shower and Bathtub Faucets

Shower and bathtub faucets come in endless styles and finishes. But how they function is the most important consideration. Make sure your faucets have a diverter that allows you to divert water from faucet to showerhead. And anti-scald, pressure-balancing, and thermostatic valves make your bath experience safe, so look for these features as well.

shop Shower and Bathtub Faucets
Hardware House
$93.36

A blend of curves gives the Hardware House Single Handle Tub/Shower Faucet a simple look for today's contemporary baths.

Hardware House
$76.97

A blend of curves gives the the Hardware House Single Handle Tub/Shower Faucet a simple look for today's contemporary baths.

Hardware House
$87.97

A blend of curves gives the Hardware House Single Handle Tub/Shower Faucet a simple look for today's contemporary baths.

Showerheads

Showerheads offer a variety of spray patterns that provide different pressure levels and sensations. Water usage is increasingly important, and low-flow showerheads use even less water than the government mandates, saving you money on your utility bills. If you have low water pressure, choose a showerhead that adjusts accordingly. And consider installing a cut-off valve that allows you to stop water flow while lathering up.

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PULSE ShowerSpas
$39.02

PULSE ShowerSpas introduces the Island Falls Stainless-Steel Rain Showerhead collection! These showerheads are easy to install and... add an elegant touch to any style of decor. Available in 150mm, 200mm and 250mm sizes with brushed matte or polished finish. read more

PULSE ShowerSpas
$52.22

PULSE ShowerSpas introduces the Island Falls Stainless-Steel Rain Showerhead collection! These showerheads are easy to install and... add an elegant touch to any style of decor. Available in 150mm, 200mm and 250mm sizes with a brushed matte or polished... read more

PULSE ShowerSpas
$45.62

PULSE ShowerSpas introduces the Island Falls Stainless-Steel Rain Showerhead collection! These showerheads are easy to install and... add an elegant touch to any style of decor. Available in 150mm, 200mm and 250mm sizes with a brushed matte or polished... read more

PULSE ShowerSpas
$52.66

PULSE ShowerSpas introduces the Island Falls Stainless-Steel Rain Showerhead collection! These showerheads are easy to install and... add an elegant touch to any style of decor. Available in 150mm, 200mm and 250mm sizes with a brushed matte or polished... read more

Toilets

Toilets represent 30 percent of residential water use, so government mandates require that they use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush. High-efficiency toilets (with a WaterSense label) use 1.28 gallons or less per flush. Some toilets also offer a dual-flush option, allowing you to save water by choosing a partial flush for liquid waste and a full flush for solid waste. Also, be sure to check the width, depth, and height of the space your toilet will occupy to purchase a model with the correct specifications. Oh, and 85 percent of homeowners choose a white toilet -- because as it ages, it doesn't date the bathroom's look.

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Bathroom on sale

Better Homes and Gardens
$14.96 $13.38

The EZ UP Tapered Decorative Adjustable Rod is easy to install, with a classic look. Simply twist to unlock, pull open to desired ...length and twist other direction to lock into place. It fits standard six-foot showers/tubs. Not recommended for heavy loads, unless rubber tips are supported. read more

Better Homes and Gardens
$14.30 $13.02

Create a designer look in your bath with a quick and easy to install Better Homes and Gardens Jewel Tension Shower Rod set. No too...ls or drilling required. Simply adjust, lock, and twist into place. The tension rod and shower rod hooks fit standard bathtub enclosures from 44 inches to 72 inches. This Shower Tension Rod and Hook Set includes one tension rod and 12 coordinating shower curtain hooks. Coordinate baths throughout your home with matching shower tension rod and hook sets. read more

Better Homes and Gardens
$25.93 $24.18

Better Homes and Gardens Curved Shower Rod, Brushed Nickel:Adds extra space to the showerSecure installation without drillingRust-...resistant brushed nickel shower rodEasy to installNo additional tools neededModel# CP12-007-006-01 read more

Better Homes and Gardens
$28.00 $21.03

Better Homes and Gardens Curved Shower Rod, Brushed Nickel:Adds extra space to the showerSecure installation without drillingRust-...resistant brushed nickel shower rodEasy to installNo additional tools neededModel# CP12-007-006-01 read more

Hudson Reed
$630.00 $385.00

Constructed from durable, non-ferrous brass, with a high quality chrome finish, this towel warmer features three horizontal bars, ...giving an impressive heat output of 253 Watts. 10 year guarantee.Floor mounted, featuring horizontal bars for drying... read more

Hudson Reed
$499.00 $370.00

High quality brass tubing formed into a true contemporary design. Ideal for use in the bathroom kitchen cloakroom etc.Dimensions:M...ax Height: 24.8inchMax Width: 19.9inchMax Projection from wall: 3.7inchPipe centers with valves: 18.7inch, when used with... read more

Hudson Reed
$479.95 $239.95

This flat Ladder Style Heated Towel Rail has a high quality white powder coat finish and gives a heat output of 521 Watts (1,778 B...TUs), enough to dry your towels and heat a small bathroom or cloakroom. 26 horizontal rungs, diameter 0.85 (22mm),... read more

Hudson Reed
$699.00 $430.00

High quality brass tubing formed into a true contemporary design. Ideal for use in the bathroom kitchen cloakroom etc. Supplied wi...th valves as standard.Dimensions:Max Height: 44.9inchMax Width: 19.9inchMax Projection from wall: 3.5inchPipe centers with... read more

Hudson Reed
$829.95 $495.00

Constructed from durable, non-ferrous brass, with a high quality chrome finish, this hydronic towel warmer features three horizont...al bars, giving an impressive heat output of 550 Watts. Floor mounted, featuring horizontal bars for drying towels, this... read more

Hudson Reed
$679.95 $320.00

This Flat Bar on Bar Towel Rail, with a high quality chrome finish, produces a heat output of 460 Watts (1,569BTUs), enough to kee...p your towels warm and heat a small bathroom or cloakroom.Supplied complete with a fixing pack for wall mounting, this... read more

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