Whether you’re building a new home or remodeling your current abode, you’ll come across plenty of options to make your bathroom functional and attractive. But how do you know you’re getting a good deal? Use the following principles to make smart buying decisions.
Sinks—or "lavs" as they are called in the industry—can range from white and utilitarian to colorful and artistic. They can be undermounted, or dropped into or perched on the countertop. Whether attached to the wall or placed on a pedestal, they can get the job done economically or make a boldly stylish statement.
Your sink should be selected in conjunction with your countertop and faucet since they must all work together in the bathroom.
BASIC vitreous china sinks drop into the countertop and their faucets are mounted on the sink either 4 or 8 inches apart. Pedestal sinks can be economical choices, especially in small spaces. Shapes include round, oval and rectangular.
INTEGRATED sinks and countertops can be all one piece for a uniform look. They are easy to clean and usually come in solid surfacing, stone or cultured marble.
VESSEL You can express yourself with a vessel sink made of metal, glass, pottery or other artistic option. Add a sleek wall-mounted faucet for a distinctive look.
ADEQUATE For less than $250 you can get a simple drop-in, self-rimming vitreous china sink, such as Kohler's oval Tresham model ($219) in a neo-traditional style.
MID-RANGE For $250 to $800, you can get a lav with a bit more style, such as the Porcher Lutezia 24-inch rectangular pedestal sink ($560).
HIGH-END For more than $800, your sink can be a focal point. Consider one of the Alchemy vessel sinks in the Burnished Fossil line, handcrafted in glass with bursts of color (starting at about $2,200).
Mid-priced Porcher Lutezia lav kit, from $570; .
Your tub selection should be predicated on how you want to use it. Trending now are freestanding soaking tubs instead of oversize jetted models that are rarely used.
Length, width and depth are all factors, as is the space available. Fiberglass and enameled-steel tubs are more economical; cast-iron, while more expensive, retains heat better.
ADEQUATE $250 to $500 buys a basic fiberglass or enameled-steel tub that fits a standard 5' opening. A Kohler Villager cast-iron tub is a good choice at about $480.
MID-RANGE For $500 to $2,000 you can add style to your bathroom. A Barrett cast-iron Roll Top Tub on Pedestal in a 60" length costs about $1,400.
HIGH-END For $2,000 to $10,000, you can have contemporary or traditional glamour in a freestanding soaker tub. Consider the PureScape Aquatica line of modernist freestanding resin tubs (starting at about $2,900).
High-end PureScape Aquatica resin tub, about $2,900; .
Toilets are made of porcelain or vitreous china so that they are durable and easy to clean.
Round bowls are standard; elongated bowls offer more seat space but add to the cost. Consider a comfort-height toilet which is about 2" taller and easier to stand up from.
ADEQUATE $450 or less will get you a standard toilet. Consider an American Standard Champion for about $425.
MID-RANGE $450 to $650 will get you a better toilet. The Duravit Starck 3 toilet has syphonic jet action for about $495.
HIGH-END You will pay $650 or more for a toilet with more features. The Kohler San Raphael Comfort Height toilet, $967, is a one-piece model with twin-touch flushing options.
Base-priced American Standard Champion toilet, from $490; .
Showers can be designed in almost any shape, using almost any type of material, and can add personality to your bath.
Since you shower every day, you will want to put significant thought into this decision. The most basic versions are made of an acrylic surround; next are ceramic tile. At the other end of the spectrum is a walk-in custom stone shower with multiple sprayers, seating and glass enclosures.
ADEQUATE Prefabricated acrylic shower surrounds can cost less than $1,000. The Accord Seated Shower by Sterling is a
module that comes in pieces that snap into place and starts at $659. A shower set (faucet) and doors add to the cost.
MID-RANGE AND HIGH-END Custom showers with tile or stone walls and floors can range from less than $10 per square foot for basic ceramic to more than $50 per square foot, for granite or solid surfacing. Deluxe showerheads and doors will add to the cost.
Base-priced Accord Seated Shower by Sterling, from $659;