Shopping for fixtures for your kitchen and bathroom is probably one of the most exciting parts of home remodeling. However, you must base your decisions not only on design but also on other factors like usability and material quality.
Remember that time when fixtures in these parts of the house only come in a handful of styles and only two or three colors? Those days are gone. Nowadays, plumbing fixtures come in more options according to material, tap styles, control options, and additional features.
To make sure you choose the best-looking ones without compromising function, here are six tips from certified plumbing experts you must consider before you go shopping:
1. Know Your Family’s Needs
Every home has varying needs when it comes to kitchen and bathroom fixtures.
If you live in a home that often sees dirty hands, you should consider getting a tap that has a hands-free or one-touch control. For homes with many adult guests, highly polished metal fixtures should provide that wow factor for your kitchen or bathroom.
The bottom line is that you need to identify what kind of household you have according to the lifestyle and needs of those residing in it.
2. Take Compatibility into Account
Before you head to the checkout counter, you must first check the compatibility of every plumbing item in your shopping cart. This will help you avoid spending money on fixtures that you won’t be able to use due to compatibility issues.
For example, you have many options when it comes to the kitchen tap, and some of them may not work well with certain designs of the sink. To determine whether a particular tap is a good buy, you should look at the available mounting holes in your sink and see if they match. This also applies to remodel projects that involve the installation of a new sink.
Also, you don’t want a new tub that would be a shade darker than all your other fixtures and a tap that won’t work with your current sink. Not only do these make your interior look amateurish, but it would also affect how the fixtures would function.
Remember that every component of the plumbing system must work as one to achieve optimal function. To be sure, you should call a trusted plumbing service to confirm whether you have the right item before heading to the checkout counter.
3. Consider the Water Lines
When shopping for fixtures, another primary consideration you must think about are the water lines. Kitchen taps, in particular, need to fit the water supply lines as well as the shutoff valve.
Many new tap models come with 3/8 inches of flex lines. If this is the case, you may need to change the older shutoff valves measuring ½ inches into ones that are 3/8 inches so you can use the new tap.
Generally, it is better to replace the shutoff valves altogether whenever you install a new tap. This will also prevent the possibility of the old valve failing due to its age.
4. Compare Quality
As with any other product, bathroom and kitchen fixtures are not created equal. While some offer ease of maintenance and cleaning, others have the advantage of durability.
For your kitchen and bathroom remodeling project, be sure to choose fixtures that are considerably strong and sturdy. Steer clear of those with plastic parts as they tend to break easily.
Aesthetics aside, quality is more about how the material feels rather than how it looks like.
5. Measure Everything First
Size is somewhat related to compatibility, but there’s a reason why it is listed in a separate item. Measurements don’t just refer to mismatching taps with pipes and valves. It also covers the dimensions of a specific item in relation to the area where it would be installed in.
Since fixtures come in various shapes and sizes, you would want to know the exact measurement of your bathroom or kitchen before buying them. This way, you can avoid purchasing toilets, sinks, or bathtubs that are too small or too big for the space.
Keep in mind that, while it is easy to return and have taps or showers replaced, returning a tub, a sink, or a toilet is more prohibitive and problematic.
6. Set a Specific Budget
Plumbing fixtures are often the last things you think about when remodeling your entire house. Even so, this doesn’t change the fact that they may cost a considerable amount, especially when not included in your budget allocation for the project.
Steer yourself away from expensive surprises by setting a specific budget for these fixtures during a renovation. It will also help if you know the prices for different items and research about what works well with the type of home you have.
Shop for Your Kitchen and Bathroom Wisely
Shopping for kitchen and bathroom fixtures may not be at the top of your mind right now, but it still remains crucial to your home remodeling. To make sure you don’t make any mistakes, follow the tips listed in this article and look for more ideas in mixing and matching fixtures online.
Based in South Melbourne, Blue Diamond Plumbing was founded in 1985, working on new homes, repairs and commercial contracts. Over time they have grown to become some of the best plumbers Melbourne has to offer. Since 2001 the company has specialised in Emergency Plumbing and Property Maintenance, Repairs and Renovations for homes and businesses in Melbourne and inner city suburbs. Owner Rod Diamond has over 30 years experience with emergency plumbing in Melbourne’s inner suburbs.