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10 Tips for Finding the Perfect Faucet

September 26, 2017

Does shopping for a bathroom faucet make you feel like a fish out of water? Expert tips simplify the selection process.

By Marie Proeller Hueston

 

  • The Perfect Faucet

    Bathroom facuet bhg

    “Changing a faucet can give a whole bathroom a new look,” says Delta Faucet product manager Allison McKinney. Though seemingly innumerable options exist on the market today, you can find the perfect design by focusing your search on three criteria—style, function, and fit.

    Photo: Better Homes & Gardens

  • Shape and Style

    Kohler revival widespreadbathroomfaucet scroll leaves

    When choosing a faucet style, shape is usually the first consideration. Whether curvy and traditional or angular and modern, designs can be found to suit every taste. Here, Kohler’s Revival collection boasts scroll lever handles and a silhouette of smoothly rounded details.

    Photo: Kohler

  • Finish Considerations

    Delta widespreadlavfaucet champagnebronze.tif copy

    Having settled on a shape for the faucet, you must next decide on a finish. While polished chrome and brass are perennial favorites, the old standbys are now sold alongside luxury finishes, such as brushed nickel and champagne bronze, shown here.

    Photo: Delta

  • New Technology

    Delta lahara touch2o singlehandlefaucet

    Among the innovations in faucets today is touch technology, which uses motion sensing to automatically turn water on and off—a plus for families with young children who tend to leave the faucet running!

    Photo: Delta

  • Matching Accessories

    Moen wroughtiron bathroomsinkfaucet accessories

    If you fall in love with a particular sink faucet that showcases an eye-catching shape or an unexpected finish (like these wrought iron designs from Moen), check to see whether matching accessories are available before making a purchase.

    Photo: Moen

  • Practical or Pretty?

    Americanstandard dazzle two handle bathroom faucet

    Select a style based on the amount of traffic the bathroom is likely to see. Chic silhouettes and fanciful finishes are well-suited to powder rooms or master baths, while high-traffic kids baths warrant something sturdier.

    Photo: American Standard

  • Period Influences

    Americanpatriot two lever bathroomfuacet porcelainhandles satinnickel

    Porcelain handles, a high-rise spout, and a beautiful satin nickel finish give Victorian flair to this design from Kingston Brass. If you are creating a period bath, there’s no shortage of historically influenced fixtures available to complement your vision.

    Photo: Kingstonbrass.com

  • Flow Options

    Sumerain led waterfall widespread bathroomfaucet fixtureuniverse

    Eco-conscious homeowners may seek out a specialized low-flow bathroom faucet, some of which feature a luxurious “waterfall” effect, like this one by Sumerain. Saving the environment never looked so good!

    Photo: Fixture Universe

  • Vessel Sinks

    Newportbrass astorcollection englishbronze bathroomfaucet

    A tall, single-handled faucet is the prefect accompaniment to a vessel sink. Shown in English Bronze, this graceful faucet design from Newport Brass is available in 26 additional finishes.

    Photo: newportbrass.com

  • Lasting Quality

    Pfister santiagowidespread bathroomfaucet tuscanbronze

    Faucet models with lifetime warranties may cost more, but considering that your faucet will be exposed to water and wear on a daily basis, insurance might be a worthwhile expense.

    Photo: Pfister

 

Outdated Bathroom Fixtures: What You Need To Replace ASAP

July 10, 2017

A bathroom is a necessity in the home. With age and frequency of use, it can become outdated and not work properly. If you have an older bathroom, you may start to notice fixtures not quite functioning like they once did. Faucets become leaky and toilets don’t flush property. Additionally, with new bathroom innovations, these old fixtures could be costing you money.

You don’t need an entire bathroom remodel to bring your room up to date. A few simple changes can make your bathroom more efficient and even increase your ROI. If you’re wondering where to start, here are a few outdated bathroom fixtures you should replace.

Bathroom Fan Replacement

Bathroom Fan Replacement

You may not think of it often, but you might certainly hear an old bathroom fan when you use it. A noisy bathroom fan is the first sign it needs to be replaced. An older fan may also be using more energy than intended, which is why an update can be helpful for your electrical bills.

Bathroom Sink Replacement

Bathroom Sink Replacement

If you have an outdated bathroom, chances are, your sink is too. Take a look at your sink. Pink, green and yellow hues are one indicator that it’s making your bathroom look outdated. Any visible cracks or damages are another reason you’d want a bathroom sink replacement. You’ll instantly transform your look.

Replace Bathroom Faucet

Replace Bathroom Faucet

If you’re not ready to replace your entire bathroom sink, then consider replacing your bathroom faucet. This can be an easy upgrade that gives your bathroom a new look, not to mention could save you money in the long run. An older faucet may not have water-saving features like new bathroom faucets do. When choosing a new faucet, look for options with a WaterSense, so you know that product has met EPA standards.

 

Replace Your Toilet

Replace Your Toilet

Older toilets don’t function well. They are prone to clogs and flushing problems. Of course, there are temporary solutions you can utilize to mitigate these issues. But, they are not long-term solutions. In addition, older toilets can use up to seven gallons of water per flush. Not only is that costing you, but it’s not good for the environment. There’s never been a better time to upgrade your toilet. There are many sleek looking and water-saving models available. WaterSense certified toilets use 1.28 gallons per flush, which is even below the federal standard of 1.6 gallons per flush.

A toilet replacement could be the perfect way to help the environment, your wallet and really bring your room up to date.

Replace Bathroom Light Fixture

Replace Bathroom Light Fixture

Older bathrooms generally feature larger light fixtures that aren’t in style anymore. A new light fixture can make your old bathroom look like new again. From mirror lighting to overhead track lights, there are many to choose from that will give your bathroom a new look.

A dimmer switch is a great addition to your new light fixture. You then have the freedom to control how much light is in the bathroom. That means no glaring lights when you wake up in the morning, or just enough to apply your makeup.

Replace Your Showerhead

Replace Your Showerhead

You’ll be surprised at what a new showerhead makes in your bathroom. An old showerhead can get stained, rusty and full of build-up. Of course, you can choose to clean it. But, that might not do the trick for an old showerhead. The good news is a showerhead replacement is budget-friendly and a project you can DIY, in just a few hours!

Conclusion

An outdated bathroom doesn’t have to stay that way. There are plenty of budget-friendly upgrades you should be making to not only improve the function of your bathroom, but the ROI as well, including energy-efficient choices. If you have any of these older fixtures, consider replacing them soon.

Water-Efficient Plumbing Fixtures

March 20, 2017

Water Saving Faucet

Photo: allianceforwaterefficiency.org

Save water and energy by investing in WaterSense certified low-flow toilets and faucets.

By Maureen Blaney Flietner

Efficient Products
Managing the country’s water supply is a rising concern, yet many Americans are unaware of how much water they waste. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that each person uses about 80 to 100 gallons of water per day and a lot of it goes down the toilet.

One program raising awareness is the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program created in 2006. The voluntary partnership encourages consumer demand for water-efficient products and services, similar to the way the Energy Star program has created energy-saving awareness. So far, WaterSense has qualified products in two categories—toilets, and bathroom faucets and faucet accessories. The products have started to appear on store shelves with more available online or by special order. In addition, the marketplace offers options, such as waterless urinals.

Toilets
The first category targeted by WaterSense was toilets, the greatest home water consumer. The thought of more “low-flow” toilets may, at first, turn away homeowners. Some early attempts before WaterSense performed poorly as they tried to achieve the federal law of not exceeding 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf). One of their problems was requiring repeat flushes to remove waste.

But WaterSense specifications require both high efficiency and high performance. With new technology and design modifications, more than 60 toilets have earned the WaterSense label. They were independently tested and certified to perform as well as or better than their market counterparts while using an average of 20 percent less water per flush than the industry standard of 1.6 gallons. For those homes still using old toilets with 3.5- and 5-gallon flushes, the savings percentages are even greater.

These toilets accomplish the task using several methods: single flush gravity fed; pressure assist using a tank storage device or water line pressure; power assist using a small pump to force water at a higher velocity; and dual-flush gravity fed.

Kohler’s gravity-fed Persuade® toilet is one example that offers the dual-flush technology. Using a two-button actuator integrated into the top of the tank lid, the user can flush either 1.6 gallons or half that amount, 0.8 gallons, depending on need. According to Kohler, the latter flush option, if used routinely to remove light or liquid waste, could save a household of four between 2,000 and 5,000 gallons of water per year versus standard models. The Persuade features a skirted toilet bowl, which the company notes as significantly more hygienic than other models, and eliminates potential debris buildup around the trapway and bowl-tank connection.

Waterless Urinals
Another way to cut bathroom water use is something not readily considered for a residential setting. However, interest in waterless urinals at home is rising, says Klaus Reichardt, president of Waterless Co. Requests are coming from families with several boys at home, those concerned about water conservation and water and sewer costs, and from builders of large spec homes with his and her bathrooms.

The product does work in retrofits if there is enough space in the bathroom, says Reichardt. Often there is room enough, about two feet, for a urinal between the sink and toilet. The plumber only needs to open up the wall to provide a line to the drain line. There is no need for a water line.

The system is simple. The trap is filled with a liquid sealant that prevents sewer gas and odors from escaping the plumbing below. Urine is temporarily stored in the trap. As it accumulates, it overflows into the drain pipe.

On the assumption that a male resident might use the urinal three times a day, the water savings is more than 1,700 gallons a year, says Reichardt. In addition, products such as the Del Casa No-Flush® Urinal by Waterless are available in a variety of colors, including granite for a high-end look.

Bathroom Sink Faucets
It is estimated that there are 222 million residential bathroom faucets in the country and about 17 million new bathroom sink faucets sold each year for new homes or as replacements. The faucets, depending on age, operate at various flow rates. In homes with pre-1992 bathroom faucets, the water may come pouring out at from three to seven gpm. A faucet from between 1992 and 1998 may flow at 2.5 gpm. In 1998, new bathroom faucets had to meet the 2.2 gpm at 60 psi standard.

Building a new home or remodeling? Contact us today for your plumbing & heating needs!

Jim Lavallee Plumbing
Serving Eastern Massachusetts and the Boston area
Phone: Toll-free (888) 884-4122

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