How do I find the right bathroom fixture when planning an update?

Once you have decided to remodel your bathroom, choosing the right bathroom fixture to complete the home improvement project can be a confusing prospect.  There are so many different types and styles out there, how do you know which to go with to create the effect you are looking for?  Hate to say it, but the answer is research, research, research. That's the only way you are going to learn what's available to you.  Here are some thoughts to get you started. 


  • Space:  The very first consideration when choosing the right sink for your home improvement project is the amount of space you have to work with.  A small area may be benefited from a pedestal sink, although this limits storage.  An old dresser may make the perfect cabinet for a drop-in sink and fit a particularly large, bare area.
  • Style:  The style of the sink is limited only by your imagination.  Floating sinks give the illusion of more space to a tight area and make moving around a little easier, while basin sinks add an attractive focal point to the room.


Toilets aren't just the basic round, whites any more.  They come in many shapes, heights, and colors from old fashioned chain pulls to the floating wall mount.  When it comes down to it, however, you have to find a toilet that will fit in the space provided, and fits your budget.
  • Size:  The standard area given (the distance from the wall to the center of the toilet drain) for toilets is 12 inches, although some spaces can go as small as 10 and as large as 14. 
  • Comfort:  Bowl shape and height play an important role in how comfortable a toilet is to sit on (and let's face it, this IS important).  The elongated bowl seems to be the most comfortable for most people than that old standard round.  You may want to consider a model that stands a few inches higher than the 14 inch standard for your home improvement project.  These are more comfortable for taller people and those with disabilities.
  • Gravity-assist versus pressure-assist:  Newer toilets use less water than older models and the cheaper ones that rely only on gravity tend to have problems getting rid of waste.  Instead of bootlegging a model from Canada that uses more water, consider a more expensive model that uses both gravity and a pump to push the water through.

Baths and Showers

  • Space:  The bathtub you choose is mostly limited by the space that you have to work with.  From free standing, to sunk in, it built in, take your measurements carefully so you can shop knowledgeably. 
  • Comfort:  When choosing your bathtub make sure that it is one that is easy for you to get in and out of.  Because the selection is so wide, you may actually want to try out the tub before purchasing it.  If you are on the taller side, look for a tub with extra length.  If you love to read in the bath, try a soaker with lots of jets and a seat. 
  • Special considerations:  If you despise baths, or have a disability that makes getting in and out of a tub difficult, consider doing away with it altogether and create a walk-in shower.  Walk-in tubs are also available that still give you the relaxing effects of a soak, without the sometimes dangerous proposition of getting in and out of a traditional tub.

Choosing the fixtures for your bathroom home improvement project can be fun.  Really.  Take your measurements carefully, go try out a few of the models you are considering, and then enjoy you new bath. 

For more information on simple ways to improve your home - and the equity in it - click here

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About Author

Bill Burpeau
Bill Burpeau

Bill Burpeau is a relationship manager at Hanscom FCU. As a Credit Union Certified Financial Counselor, he is an enthusiastic advocate of financial literacy and education. He constantly studies and is up to date with the latest financial management concepts and technology. Bill is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a BBA in Business Management and served in the U.S. Navy as a Supply Officer.

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