Bathroom Fixtures & Furnishings

Parent Q&A

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  • Replacing shower/tub fixtures

    (1 reply)

    We have a bathroom that previous owners half remodeled. They updated the vanities, floor, sink etc and everything looks nice. They however left the original tub/tile and fixtures. We are trying to figure out how to replace the old style 3 handle knobs and the gold colored tub spout and are wondering if it will require extensive work with replacing the tile and making a large hole. Tried contacting one plumber and it sounded like they would either need to make holes in the tile or come in from behind the wall which unfortunately for us is an external wall which would mean they need to make holes from the outside.

    Does anyone have any experience in this kind of small remodel where we aren't really looking to gut the whole bathroom? Hoping to not even really need to disturb the tub itself since it seems to be in ok condition and we can get it refinished. Maybe I'm overthinking this and we have the plumber make holes in the tile and then find someone to patch it? (although not sure how to match the tile at that point either.)

    If you are just looking to update the look, there are lots of three-knob trims out there--I wouldn't say that's "old style" so much as personal preference, since they're still very popular and common. You can find a chrome or nickel spout and handles to match the newer fixtures in the space. If the tub is old enough that you need to replace the valve to update the trim, it can get more complicated, but if not, it is a pretty simple job. If the goal is to get rid of the three-handle setup, then yes, that's more work. But a good plumber should be able to minimize damage to the tile. One option to fill the space if you can't find tile that matches is to get an accent tile to fill the gap and then strategically place in other areas of the tilework to make the design appear intentional. Friends did this when remodeling a vintage bathroom that they didn't want to retile completely, and it looks beautiful.

  • Bathroom remodel - quality fixtures

    (6 replies)

    Hello, we’re ready to remodel our 1960s bathroom and are searching for good quality fixtures such as tub, vanity, etc. I like the look of some of IKEA’s products but question the quality. Can anyone recommend good showrooms for fixtures? Or, can anyone recommend a quality line of IKEA bathroom products? Thank you!

    We got an ikea bathroom vanity and then got walnut fronts from semihandmade to replace the drawer fronts from ikea. It looks great and once you know the look yoy will notice so many who did it. The drawers all open and shut nicely, they are roomy and overall looks nice! The only downfall was the drawer dividers are super cheap and fall over a lot. Also there was some issue with the fitting (I cant remember but maybe something with the pipe fit) the GC had to work around.
    We did RH for our master vanity and had more issues with that one then our Ikea one. So, Id recommend it personally, especially with some custom door fronts (they have occasional sales too on their already reasonable prices at semihandmade).

    I 100% recommend that you DONT buy from RemodelMe Showroom in Martinez. Weve had a nightmare experience! She has big upcharges, the tub she recommended is terrible, its been a year and she still hasnt provided us some product. Worst experience ever!

    We're a few years in to a DIY remodel of our entire house and bathroom fixtures is something I spent a lot of time on. has the best selection online. You can request an account and they will give you contractor pricing. Excel Plumbing in SF has what I think is the best showroom that I've been to in the Bay Area.  They also have great pricing and have given me quotes better than I could find online. I purchased most of my non-fixture materials (pipe,fittings,etc.) from them.

    Three places I have purchased good quality bathroom fixtures are: Ashby Lumber on Ashby Ave in Berkeley as well as two locations in Oakland-Moran Supply on 40th St and Sincere Home Decor on 11th St. in downtown. Best of success with your remodel.

    We fully remodeled two bathrooms a couple of years ago. For the common full bath, we wanted something inexpensive so we went with an Ikea Hemnes series vanity that had a ceramic sink. No complaints so far, it has served us well. Ikea sinks have a special P-trap design to allow full-depth drawers underneath. Requires a bit of extra work to connect the plumbing in the back, but nothing a plumber or GC can't handle. For the upstairs master bath, we wanted a more luxurious feel so we went with a custom vanity made by a carpenter and quartz countertops. The Blum hardware that the drawers slide on are way better than the Ikea ones, of course... at a price. We used a MAAX bathtub and Decolav sinks - both have been good quality so far. Nearly all the plumbing fixtures are by Hansgrohe - again, pricey but the quality shows. We used a Euro-style showerpipe, which is a great one-piece fitting that integrates temp control with a tub spout and shower/hand shower - highly recommend this. I second the recommendation for Ashby Lumber which has a great plumbing showroom and has good contractor prices too. We did buy a lot of things from Amazon as well. Good luck!

    For our kitchen remodel, our interior designer recommended we pick out fixtures at Jack London Kitchen and Bath.

    They have an excellent selection, from basic to very high end.  

Archived Q&A and Reviews



Where to buy Craftsman bathroom fixtures

March 2007

we are planning to remodel our bathroom in our 1917 craftsman home and would like advice as to where to look for craftsman style bathroom vanities/fixtures. also any suggestions on type of flooring we should or shouldn't put in. nn

We remodelled our bathroom a couple years ago in our 1912 Craftsman and I think it looks pretty good - modern, but in keeping with the period. The best thing I did was to spend some time looking at magazines and books for ideas. There is a lot out there for Craftsman style because it's really popular right now. This ''research'' helped me understand what I wanted and didn't want, and also I had photos to show the contractor. There is no substitute for that! My two best ideas came from somebody else's idea that I found in a magazine! Here are some ideas for you: I bought an antique bathtub at Omega Salvage that I still love love love after 4 years. I'm so glad we didn't get a modern one. We did get a modern toilet though - I really like my Toto toilet and they have a big variety of styles including several that fit well in a Craftsman style house. You won't have any trouble finding sink/vanities that fit the period, either. Just look around. We have a small bathroom too that we upgraded, and I got a nice pedestal sink, a reproduction, from Sunrise Specialty - I think they carry them at Omega. They have a lot of reproduction bathroom fixtures - look at their website. Also I got a freestanding cabinet and towel racks, etc. from Pottery Barn, which blend right in. For the floor, we used 1'' white hex tiles, with a double line of black hex tiles for a border. It looks really great, and the tile guy just copied it from a photo I found in a magazine. The ''subway tiles'' are often used in showers and on the walls - they are in the period, and these are the hex tiles are readily available. Have fun. Ginger

Where to buy bathroom furniture?

Feb 2007

We want to do a minor face-lift on our bathroom (repaint walls and replace the furniture -- vanity, mirror, and storage cabinets). Our problem is finding the furniture. One one end of the spectrum is Home Depot/Lowe's where the style is more like what we want (wooden furniture) but the selection isn't there. At the other end are the ''galleries'' where either we would blow our entire budget on the mirror alone, or where all they have is those vanities that are marble planks with a fish bowl on top. My question: is there a place out there where can we can find a decent variety of bathroom furniture that won't break our budget? Tori

The cheapest way to go is Ikea - they have a lot of bath furniture but we aware that you may be locked into Ikea fixtures (faucets, etc.) because of non-standard sizes, so if something breaks, it's back to Ikea. Online shopping is fun - I bought a bathroom cabinet and large mirror from Pottery Barn, and I'm still happy with them 4 years later. They have great deals when things go on sale. Also look at Restoration Hardware's website which is a little pricier but has some nice things you can browse online. Waterworks has really nice bath furniture but that is the budget breaker you are talking about. For in-person browsing, Omega salvage and Omega Two are great for period tubs, vanities and reproductions. I got my bathtub and fixtures there. Ashby Plumbing has a nice selection of bath furniture in a range of prices. Also Jack London Square Bath Gallery. These last two places are set up to deal with contractors, though, although they do both have public showrooms. This can mean that customer service is not so great, or that you buy something and bring it home and then the plumber can't install it because you have the wrong kind of pipes in the wrong place. I really recommend talking to a plumber before you spend a lot on a tub or sink or toilet to make sure you are on track with what your plumbing will support. Plumbers are really good at recommending brands that are sturdy and don't take a lot of maintenance, especially toilets. Ginger

Where to Buy Bathroom Fixtures

Nov 1999

We are doing a partial remodel of our kitchen and installing a second bathroom (Joy of joys!). Does anyone have recommendations for places other than Home Depot to shop for kitchen/bathroom sinks, toilets, shower stalls, faucets, and all that. Any brands, types to stay away from or that you are particularly happy with? Thanks all.

In response to this mail, I would offer The Plumbery in the San Francisco Design Center and The Kitchen Source (somewhere in SOMA).

Regarding bathroom and kitchen fixtures, if you are doing any kind of restoration (and even if you aren't, I suppose) you might want to check out Omega Salvage 2 and the Sink Factory, both on San Pablo. Both have heaps of new and used hardware and sinks, generally much more interesting than what you find at Home Depot. Restoration Hardware may also carry some bathroom hardware.

I highly recommend Moran Plumbing Supply in Oakland (on 40th Street just east of Telegraph). It is a family-run business that deals primarily with contractors but they have a small showroom for retail clients. I dealt with Matt Moran and he is just a dream! He's extremely personable and sorted out a problem with a faucet set I had purchased more than a year before but never opened up to discover it was dented. In other words, you can get some personal attention and problem resolution if you need it. They carry several lines, including Kohler, which is what we purchased for two bathrooms we were redoing. Kohler is a very high quality line with a range of styles and prices. We had redone the baths in our previous home with Kohler and were very satisfied (performance- and appearance-wise). In fact when we sold our last house, everyone who came through the house remarked on how nice the new bathrooms were, even though we had used them for six years! Good luck with the remodeling!

We re-did our kitchen about a year and 1/2 ago and I bought all of our faucets, etc. at Purves Supply in San Francisco. They were really helpful, somewhat reasonable, and took returns without alot of hassle, They are at 351 11th st., south of market.

We are just embarking on a bathroom remodel, and I was delighted with the service I got at General Plumbing Supply, right off North Main in Walnut Creek. Lainie was very helpful in advising me about what would fit our very small space.

I would like to second the recommendation for Moran Plumbing supply on 40th in Oakland. They carry Kohler fixtures at the same price that Home Depot does, but you get knowledgeable, friendly service to boot. Ohmega Salvage and Urban Ore are good options for old-style fixtures, but I think the already-renovated stuff is way overpriced, and the renovate-it-yourself stuff is too much work for the savings you realize. Unless you want a particularly special, authentic piece, modern fixtures are a better deal, and you can now get styles that look like the old styles.