Bathroom Renovations: Choosing the right plumbing fixtures
Times change and so do styles. Those orange fixtures that were so swank in the 70s may not look so good now. You decide that you finally want to get rid of them and upgrade your bathroom.
In this article we will discuss what it takes to get the results you want and what you should look out for before starting a project.
Sit down and figure out a reasonable budget
The bathroom – one of the most important rooms in your home. For most people their days begins and ends there. Eventually you may want to spruce up your bathroom with new fixtures or design ideas. Whatever the case may be, dollar for dollar, a bathroom renovation can be one of the more costly projects in your home to upgrade. You need to sit down and figure out what kind of bathroom renovation you can afford before any planning can be done.
Choose the right plumbing fixtures
Go online and see what’s out there and familiarize yourself with the various brands on the market.
As with everything these days, there is a vast array of options to choose from ranging between the ultra cheap to the ultra expensive. If you look carefully you will find will almost always find less expensive replicas of expensive name brands. Of course, if you can afford the top of the line for your bathroom renovation then go for it!
Choose from well established manufacturers for your bathroom renovation.
Don’t go for the dirt cheap brands that no one has heard of. You’ll save money now, but in the long run they won’t perform as well and when they do break you can forget about repairs down the road. Your plumber will not stock parts for that obscure bargain brand toilet you bought online. Most likely you would have to contact the manufacturer directly and order parts through the mail.
Use a reputable plumber and their network of suppliers when choosing plumbing fixtures.
Name brand tubs, toilets and basins will be higher quality, better warrantied and parts will be available locally if they need repair in the future. A plumber will also have previous hands on experience installing these products and will be able to tell you why certain brands are better than others from an installation perspective.
Choose CSA approved
Above all, ensure that the products you choose are CSA approved.
Recommended plumbing fixture brands
Some of the better known and recommended brands of showers and tubs include Maax, Fiat and Hytec. For toilets and basins consider brands like American Standard, Crane, Eljer, Kohler and Toto. When looking at faucets you can’t go wrong with brands from Moen, Delta, Grohe, American Standard and Pfister. These do cost more but the superior build quality and functionality will pay off in the long term.
Hire a qualified plumber to do the bathroom renovation work.
Qualified plumbers will be familiar with plumbing code requirements and will know how best to adapt your existing plumbing infrastructure to your new fixtures.
They will also be experienced in the difficulties inherent in renovating a bathroom and will be able to suggest ways to save unnecessary costs. For example, putting new plumbing fixtures in the same position as the old ones is much cheaper than re-arranging the layout of the bathroom and moving fixtures to new locations, which would necessitate altering the existing drains and venting. If you are just replacing fixtures and not moving them there is no permit required whereas altering the location of fixtures requires a permit and rough-in/final inspections by a plumbing inspector.
Under no circumstances would we recommend that a homeowner do their own plumbing drain and venting alterations. Without knowing code rules you can easily mess up the functionality of your plumbing system which can affect not only the bathroom, but other parts of the plumbing system as well.
A bathroom renovation has a lot of moving parts. You will likely have to hire other trades as well including a drywall installer and an electrician. As always, be wary of a person who claims he/she can do it all. No one is an expert at everything.
With a little planning and the right people on the job you will have a gorgeous new space to enjoy for years to come.