The Must-Have Guide For Bathroom Fittings
Designing your private sanctuary can be mind-boggling when faced with a myriad of choices in the market. Unlike furniture that have distinct styles and characteristics, bathroom fittings and wares often comes in similar designs and functions and more often than not, we leave it up to the price to decide.
So before you start shopping around for your sanitary items, here's a quick guide on the factors you should take into consideration, so that you will not end up with an incompatible item for your bathroom.
There are a few types of basins in general (see image below). Homeowners today prefer the countertop as they fit in with the modern décor. Due to space constraints however, many opted for wall mounted ones instead.
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The choice is pretty much a personal decision and preference for the general design and outlook and well, budget. Some things to take note of are:
- The available space
- The profile of your bathroom users
- Where your basin connections are:
- Water supply pipe locations
- Water discharge to main sewage location – if they are on the wall, you will have to skip some freestanding basins. Take note of the measurements before shopping for the basin.
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If you have young kids or living with elderly parents, always go for function and safety first. In such cases, the wall mounted and semi-recessed basins are much more practical as it puts the useable bowl area closer to the user. If they have to sit or stand on a stool to use the bowl, they don’t have to stretch too far.
Also, consider installing sturdy grab bars on the areas around the basin for surer support. Select bars that can double up as towel bars too.
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Homeowners should select the basins first before buying the basin taps. The design of both the basin and the tap have to go well together.
Basins typically pose more restrictions due to the size. The specific characteristic of the basin may also pose requirements for the tap. For example, if a countertop basin is selected, then the basin tap will need to be a taller one.
There are two kinds of shower mixer systems – exposed and concealed.
Before deciding on the type of shower mixer system, first bear in mind the building regulations, as some of the older buildings do not allow water supply piping to be concealed. As such, you can only go with the exposed shower mixers. Newer BTOs all come with concealed pipings within the wall, but homeowners need to check if they can install concealed shower mixers due to certain waterproofing issues. When in doubt, check with your interior designer/contractor.
There is a common misconception that all toilet bowls are the same and we just need to select a design we like. Here are some factors you should pay attention to:
Location of existing waste pipe and trap distance
Trap distance refers to the shortest-straight line measurement between the finished wall to the centre of the waste discharge outlet.
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Ceramic bodies should not sit on the hole or block the pipe connection to the hole. It's also important to know the difference between “S” trap water closets and “P” trap water closets. The former is suitable for sewage outlet on the floor only, while the latter can be for the floor or the wall, depending on the connection pipes.
Location of existing water supply points
Some newer designs of toilets feature what we call a back-to-wall design. In these sorts of designs, the water supply point will have to be located within the water closet’s ceramic body.
The space available
Always take note of swing doors (bathroom entrance door, shower screen door, vanity unit door) that may be impeded if the water closet is too long. Water closet typically ranges from 500 to 700cm in length.
When choosing the water closet, let the sales consultant know your preference and situation so that they can recommend an ideal one.
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Grohe, Hansgrohe, and Crestial are what we would immediately identify as sanitary fittings and accessories brands - basin taps and mixers, shower taps and mixers and accessories like towel bars, shower shelves etc. Duravit, Kohler and Toto are known as sanitary ware manufacturers - basins, water closets and bathtubs.
Each brand has a different product range focusing on different aspects, such as design and function, with a unique philosophy that underlines their overall designs. For example, Crestial emphasises form followed by function, with sleek, minimalist styles that are easy to install.
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There are some brands score well in their specialised range of products - Toto, a Japanese brand, is recognised as a forerunner in bidet washing technology.
Upmarket consumers look to brand association when selecting their wares. Brands like Duravit appeal to them as they can be found in luxurious residential and commercial developments both locally and overseas.
Storage is a very neglected aspect of bathroom designs. There will always be a need to store the toiletries and other personal items that you are using, including your stock-ups.
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Without proper planning, you’ll end up adding “stick-on” shelves or crowding out whatever surface area is possible. So very often, the literal avalanche of products has cancelled out the desired design effect.
A solution to this, get a bathroom cabinet that can store and organises your items. Otherwise, declutter!
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