Bathroom Fixtures

What bathrooms are all about

When you're designing your bathroom, the most important consideration is where the major fixtures will be placed. The toilet, bathtub / shower and sink are essential, so you have to plan around them. The same goes for some of the more luxurious options available, like bidets and Jacuzzis. While you certainly don't want to forget about aesthetics, the main concern when it comes to these major fixtures should be usability.

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Though you may feel confident that you can do any work around the home yourself if you put your mind to it, the bathroom is one room where you may want to enlist the help of a professional. It's best to make safety a top priority in an area of the house where plumbing, wiring and people come within a few inches of each other regularly.

Bathtubs

Years ago, standard-size bathtubs seemed to be built for smaller people. The standard tub was only 5 feet long and 30 to 32 inches wide - you couldn't really have a bath without the tap sticking in your back or your feet practically going through the bathroom wall. Today, bathtubs come in various shapes and sizes. You can get tubs as long as 6.5 feet in corner styles and round models. You can choose between a freestanding tub and a regular fixed-style tub. Jetted hot tubs, otherwise known as spas or Jacuzzis, come in several designs as well, and can elevate your bathing experience from a simple grooming ritual to relaxing and rejuvenating hydrotherapy. Most tubs are made of porcelain, cast iron or acrylic. Many tubs don't include the faucets, so if you want all of your bathroom faucets to match, you should be aware of this.

Showers

Many people prefer a shower to a dip in the bathtub when it comes to routine cleaning. Like bathtubs, showers also come with options that can transform a simple bathroom into the closest thing to a real spa. Showers made of rustic stone materials can make showering feel more like an organic experience than a daily chore. You may also want to consider adding more than one shower head or a hand-held shower wand as a way to make the shower experience more luxurious. Adding a bench inside your shower not only makes it safer, but gives you a larger ledge for storing shower supplies.

Toilets

Though forms of toilets and outhouses have existed for thousands of years, it wasn't until the advent of indoor plumbing and the flush toilet in 1898 that we began to build homes with rooms dedicated to this fixture. Today's toilets are so advanced that they can flush away waste more forcefully with only 1.6 liters of water than older toilets could with 7 liters. The newest toilets are not only becoming more functional, but also more stylish. Bowl shape and seat design are developing into stylistic elements that can speak to your style. You can choose hardware or seats that give an old-fashioned or modern feel, depending on your taste.

Bidets

If you really want to turn your bathroom into a spa and you happen to have a few extra feet of space, you may want to consider adding a bidet. These curious bathroom fixtures were designed in France with the express purpose of cleaning the genitalia. Bidets are traditionally fixtures that only appear in fancier homes, but they are being incorporated into many middle-class bathrooms as a way of adding a touch of luxurious European flair.

Vanities

The vanity is the bathroom storage cupboard that usually incorporates a countertop, mirror and the sink. The vanity is a great place to add some luxury to your bathroom. Sometimes simple is classiest - a simple pedestal sink may be all you need and may help carve out extra space in a small bathroom, making it appear larger and more luxurious than it really is. In other cases, the opulence of a marble or granite countertop topped with twin Mexican glass bowl-style sinks may speak the language of extravagance.

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