Bathroom Fixture Guide: Don’t Get the Wrong Bathroom Fixture

Bathroom fixtures are both functional and decorative. Consider the following factors in determining how to buy bathroom fixtures that are right for you.

>> Consider your need for new bathroom fixtures

As you consider how to choose bathroom fixtures, first identify the project that you will be working on and determine why you are making your purchase. You may be remodeling a preexisting bathroom, replacing broken fixtures or choosing items for a new construction.

In the event that you are remodeling a fixture in your existing space, you will have some freedom as to the style of your purchase. However, you will still want to consider the unchanged items in the room, as well. For example, if you are replacing your bathtub, then you will want to coordinate the new fixture with the preexisting hardware, sink, toilet and flooring. This is also true when replacing a broken fixture since you will need to consider the style and colors of the other items in the room. On the other hand, with a new construction, you will have the flexibility to choose every detail for your space, from bathroom fixture sizes, to shapes, to colors. You will be able to choose from simple designs to designer bathroom fixtures that reflect your personal taste and style.

>> Consider the types of bathroom fixtures

When determining how to choose bathroom fixtures, you will want to consider exactly what items you will need, as well as their desired accessibility and usability. You may need larger items such as a sink, bathtub or toilet. In this case, you will want to measure the space that you have and keep in mind who will be using it to ensure accessibility and usability. For elderly occupants and younger children, the best bathroom fixtures will be those with safety features, such as bath faucets with anti-scald protection and grab bars.

You may also need smaller hardware items such as a faucet and drain for the sink, showerhead, tub faucet, toilet handle or toilet seat. In the event that you are changing out a preexisting faucet, you may need to replace it with the same type depending on how the original was installed. The plumbing location, bathroom fixture dimensions and size of the space will all be important factors in determining the best bathroom fixtures for your situation. Showerheads are another smaller hardware purchase that can help to create a convenient and luxurious bathroom experience, especially if you purchase a rain showerhead or a dual model with multiple heads. This bathroom fixture's size varies, as does its output pressure, spray patterns and finishes. Some are energy-efficient and have the option of being handheld or wall-mounted. Another recommended option is a body sprayer, which is built into the wall and allows your entire body to be sprayed from different angles simultaneously.

There are also other types of bathroom fixtures available, such as window treatments, shower hooks, lighting options, towel racks and toilet seats. Window treatments are a fixture that can really customize the decor of your space, whether you want to create an elegant or playful ambiance. Lighting can also contribute to the mood of your bathroom, and it serves a practical purpose, as well. Lighting styles can be installed over the bathroom mirror or on the ceiling, depending on the amount of light that you desire in your bathroom.

>> Consider styles and colors

Styles and colors are also important factors to consider when determining how to choose bathroom fixtures. The best bathroom fixtures for you will ultimately depend on your personal preferences and style. Bath hardware comes in a variety of materials including chrome, brass and colored materials for fixtures such as sinks, bathtubs and toilets. You can also choose between a matte finish and a polished finish, although a matte finish might be easier to keep looking clean and spot-free. There are also a variety of styles to choose from, such as antique, modern and traditional.

>> Consider coordinating items

When considering how to choose bathroom fixtures, you will want to evaluate the overall design scheme of your bathroom and how each fixture fits into your decor. Some like an eclectic look in which each piece is unique and stands on its own, while others opt to use coordinated items for a uniform, streamlined appearance. Whatever your preference may be, there are endless choices of unique bathroom fixtures, bathroom vanities and accessories to make your space one-of-a-kind. Whether you give your space a fresh coat of paint or you purchase new towels or a shower curtain, keep in mind the overall style and color scheme of your bathroom. Maybe you want to get his and hers mirrors or new window curtains to complement the color of paint that you have chosen. A rug is also a functional item that can help to pull your design scheme together. Furthermore, although designer bathroom fixtures may cost a bit more, they should not be overlooked as they are often well-made and one or two well-cho sen pieces could be just the finishing touch that you need.

Bathroom Lighting Guide: Don't Get the Wrong Bathroom Lighting

Bathroom lighting is an excellent investment because it allows you many opportunities to change the ambiance of your room according to your personal taste. With a wide variety of lighting options, you can eliminate shadows to illuminate your personal care with ease and comfort. Think about the following points when looking at how to choose bathroom lighting.

>> What do you want to light?
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When deciding how to choose bathroom lighting, consider that your bathroom is the room in your home or work space that needs the most light because many detail-oriented tasks such as makeup application, shaving and reading medication prescriptions will happen here. So when considering the best bathroom lighting, choose fixtures that will allow you to effortlessly carry out different activities.

The following elements of the bathroom are popular areas to focus on:
• Shower: Light fixtures need to provide enough light to make it easier for you to gauge your progress when shaving or shampooing. Look for unique bathroom lighting that can withstand water and steam.
• Tubs: For a well lit area, consider aiming the light's ray at the outer border of the bathtub to reduce the glow.
• Nightlight: You can brighten up the floor between cabinets and vanities with a linear lighting arrangement.
• Glowing light: Also referred to as cove lighting, this indirect unique bathroom lighting system adds a soft, warm ambiance to your bathroom.
• Mirrors: Lighting in mirrors usually comes in the form of gentle fluorescent or halogen lighting that is necessary for shaving or putting on makeup.
• Vanity: These types of lighting add a soft, personalized appearance to your bathroom; however, avoid placing them near water sources.
• Table touches: These lighting sources add a soft, personalized appearance to your bathroom; however, avoid placing them near water sources
• Ceiling: These types of lighting are versatile in nature. Not only do you have a wide array of choices in decorative fixtures, but they also add a touch of elegance to any room.
• Commode: The best bathroom lighting sources for added comfort and relaxation are halogen fixtures placed above the commode.

>> Consider the size of the fixture and bathroom

When figuring out how to choose bathroom lighting, consider coordinating the lighting selection to the size of the room in order to develop a sense of balance. Smaller lighting fixtures, such as pendants, are suitable for smaller areas whereas larger fixtures provide the best bathroom lighting for larger areas.

As a general rule, the required wattage for home lighting is measured in square footage, with six watts of light per square foot. For example, an 8' x 10' bathroom needs about 500 watts of light. If your bathroom accesses natural light during the day, consider only using vanity lighting.

>> Consider bathroom lighting placement

When determining how to choose bathroom lighting, note that bathrooms benefit from several sources of light. Consider how different light combinations illuminate special areas to remove shadows or to emphasize decorative elements. Other elements that will influence where the lighting should be placed are the various heights of the people who will use the bathroom, so consider placing the lights above the average human height, about 66 inches from the floor.

>> Consider types of bathroom lighting

When figuring out how to choose bathroom lighting, keep in mind that layering your indoor lighting will provide a more ambient, spa-like and flexible space. Consider the following most common layering fixtures and how they might suit your needs:

• Ambient lights: These types of bathroom lighting are ceiling fixtures, usually located in the center of the bathroom ceiling. Although the central lighting provides daylight brilliance, for more effective illumination consider supplementary lights such as triple spotlights or recessed down-lighting. For added functionality, buy bathroom lighting that comes with a fan.
• Task and spotlights: Task lights such as side lights are supplementary lights to ambient lights and are commonly used around the basin mirror for ease of makeup application or shaving.
• Accent lights: Mood lighting will allow you to create a personalized decorative ambiance to specific areas of your room. The strategic placement of LED lighting to shelves or along the skirting board will add flair and sophistication.
• Consider wall lights: These versatile wall fixtures enhance the mood in a bathroom. They usually come with protective covers to unobtrusively allow a soft glow and are best placed on the sides of a mirror, above a tub or in alcoves.
• Recessed lighting: For a clean-lined brilliance from your ceiling, consider recessed lighting. For lights above the shower or tub, consider models that are sealed to prevent condensation. If you prefer to illuminate a particular spot in your bathroom, consider eyeball or tilting models.
• Chandeliers: For unique bathroom lighting fixtures, consider chandeliers. Their overall lighting system is both functional and adds a sense of sophistication. When determining how to choose this type of bathroom lighting, ceiling height and room size is of utmost importance.
• Floor and table lamps: These decorative types of bathroom lighting allow astounding flexibility in bathroom illumination fixtures. While some lamps can be tilted to direct light as needed, other models provide lighting on vanities or other areas needing task lighting.
• Track lighting and pendants: As another unique bathroom lighting fixture, track lighting is ideal for enhancing decorative elements in your bathroom such as plants, artwork or other focal points.
• Bath and vanity lighting: By far this is the most popular variety of stylish bathroom lighting and usually comes in a two, three or four bulb design. They are usually installed directly above the sink and the length of your mirror will determine how many bulbs you will need.
• Sconces: This is the best bathroom lighting to add to the sides of your mirror. The brilliance in their unique lighting system removes shadows to make it easier to carry out grooming activities. >> Consider design and style To create a unique bathroom lighting design, consider coordinating the color and material of the fixtures to existing bathroom decor in, for example, bath sink faucets. Brushed nickel lighting tends to match most decorative elements.

>> Consider energy efficiency and controls

The best bathroom lighting to buy will offer you safety features for maximum enjoyment and greater peace of mind. When considering how to choose bathroom lighting, look for the ENERGY STAR label or Electronic Climate Control (ECC) feature in your light bulbs as it provides guidance on products that satisfy energy efficiency requirements.

When it comes to bathroom lighting designs, note that dimmers will allow you flexibility, making it easier for you to program your preferred lighting level in order to increase or decrease energy usage.

For more energy saving features, consider installing a unique bathroom lighting feature such as a sensor, as it will automatically switch itself on or off depending on whether someone enters or leaves the bathroom.