Plumbing Fixtures - Creating a stylish bathroom
Trendy and stylish plumbing fixtures
Plumbing fixtures are the basis for your bathroom design. If you buy neutral fixtures you can update the look of your bathroom many times while still keeping the fixtures in place, but that doesn't mean that choosing your bathroom plumbing fixtures is easy.
You're looking for something classic and timeless, something that will go with several different themes (some of which you haven't even thought of yet). That makes it harder, not easier, to choose. If your new plumbing fixtures are roughly the same size as your old ones, you may be able to use your present plumbing system and cut down on costs.
However, many people feel that it's worth the cost of re-plumbing to have the bathroom of their dreams. If you're splashing out on a Jacuzzi, you're probably prepared to pay for the plumbing too.
Trendy plumbing fixtures: showers
The latest trend in showers is hydrotherapy. It's all part of a wider trend to bring the luxury of the spa into our homes. The principle behind a home hydrotherapy system is that you have multiple jets in your shower. Systems can be as sophisticated as you can afford. At the simpler end of the market, it's possible to buy standard pre-plumbed panels that you fix to your existing shower, using the existing plumbing. If you're looking for something more sophisticated, you can buy customized systems that require separate plumbing for each jet and showerhead. It's also possible to vary the pressure and temperature in each jet, as well as turning off the top jets if you want to keep your hair dry. A top-of-the-range system could set you back more than $100,000. The effect of being in a multi-jet shower is rather like being in a car wash for humans, but it's very relaxing all the same. Remember that multi-jet systems use more water per shower than regular shower systems, so make sure your hot water system can cope with the extra demand.
Standard and stylish plumbing fixtures
In the world of toilets, innovation takes longer to trickle down to high street stores. Most innovative designs end up in public places such as trendy bars. Although water-saving measures have led to the creation of half-flush features as standard, the biggest trends in toilet design for the home are superficial and aesthetic. One example of this is the fashion for interesting toilet seats. It's possible to buy toilet seats that seem to have fish swimming in them, or seem to have nails sticking out of them.
However, Kohler (www.us.kohler.com) is one company at the cutting edge of interesting toilet design for the home. Kohler designs include the Purist Hatbox Toilet, an electric, tankless model resembling a sleek, small garbage can. Also in the collection is the Peacekeeper Toilet, designed to stop arguments about whether to leave the seat up or down by having a flush that activates only when you close the lid. Kohler also make other plumbing fixtures for the bathroom, such as bidets and baths.
Plumbing fixtures for disabled people
Many regular plumbing fixtures can be made more disability-friendly by adding a few modifications such as grab bars and benches. This process is known as retrofitting - in other words, adding features onto the existing structure. However, it's better to purchase fixtures that have been specifically designed for your needs; a specially designed product is usually easier to use than something that has been retrofitted. Having said that, there are some good modifications on the market. For example, the Tubcut (www.tubcut.com) is a bath modification that creates an opening in the side of your bath to turn it into a walk-in bath. It's available in kit form, and the manufacturers say that it can be installed in half a day. However, if you're replacing all the plumbing fixtures in your bathroom anyway, it's better to just install a ready-made walk-in bathtub, especially since there are so many kinds to choose from.