The kitchen is the heart of the home while the bath plays a vital supporting role. Outfitting each requires sinks, faucets, and casegoods. Kitchens also require appliances like ovens, cooktops, dishwashers, refrigerators, and range hoods; while bathrooms need the extra infrastructure of bathtubs, showers, and toilets. Commercial venues have specialized needs like toilet partition systems and urinals.
Beyond style and finish options, bathroom faucets are available in single-hole, center set, widespread, or wall-mount faucet type.
While porcelain may be the most common material, contemporary bathroom sinks are available in stainless steel, concrete, quartz, and stone composite, as well as unconventional materials like resin, bronze, glass, and wood. Shapes and styles vary as well, with large rectangular slab style sinks popular in public restrooms and square, circular, or farmhouse sinks found in homes. Installation options include above-counter, drop-in, wall-mounted, and freestanding pedestal sinks.
Bathroom cabinetry, vanities, and console tables range from solid, storage-driven solutions to delicate, lightweight forms. From traditional to classic modern and utilitarian, bathroom furniture spans all styles. Consider space, storage, and style.
Ranging from freestanding objects to sunken or enclosed basins, bathtubs come in a vast range of styles and sizes. Material choices include typical porcelain or poly-composites, copper, cast iron, brass, stone, wood, acrylic, and Cristalplant.
Gone are the days of the conventional combo-style shower/bath. Contemporary faucets offer a seemingly unending choice of shape, style, finish, mounting type, and water performance features. Overhead rainshower styles are de rigueur for showers and waterfall spouts are popular for tubs. Mounting options include ceiling mount, wall-mount, deck-mount, and floor (tub filler). Detachable spray faucets are versatile and convenient. There are various choices for water delivery as well, including pressure balance or thermostatic valves, fast and slow massage, aerated spray, whirl, and soft drench.
Bidets need faucets too! While they may be under-appreciated in North America, bidets are a staple feature of bathrooms throughout Europe, Asia, and Spanish-speaking America. Faucet options include thermostatic and pressure balance valves, single or dual-handle, and a variety of stylish finishes.
Watch water disappear from sight with a variety of drain plates and drain assemblies. For sinks, choices include pop-up drains (for basins with overflow) and simple grid styles (for basins without). Shower drains have become increasingly stylish and functional, with easy-clean options in square, circular, or linear styles, as well as materials to match the shower pan like Teak, ceramic tile, and stone.
Used in commercial venues, flushometers enable efficient, high-pressure flushing for tankless toilets. They include the handle as well as a mechanism (often concealed behind a wall) housing low and high-pressure chambers with a piston or diaphragm between the two. The flushing action equalizes the pressure and allows incoming flow from the water supply. Flushometers are used on urinals and toilets. Options include push button, touch-free sensor flushing, and eco-friendly modelsusing a turbine powered by water flow.
Garbage disposers work by directing food waste to a rapidly spinning plate that propelsit against the wall of a grinding chamber, breaking it up into tiny bits that get washed away. While the basic design hasn’t changed in some time, advancements include higher torque for superior grinding, sound insulation, and drain boost technology to help remove jams.
Traditional kitchen faucets have been outnumbered by contemporary, tech-savvy, functional kitchen faucets with innovative spray mounts, touch solutions, and water-saving features. While stainless steel and brushed aluminum remain popular, matte black and white offer trendier options.
Scale, depth, location, materiality: from simple single bowl, stainless steel undermount sinks to granite, porcelain, and fireclay options with drainboards and preparation zones, double bowls, and even innovative color ranges, there's a broad range of kitchen sink options.
A broad category encompassing the many ways we bring water in, consume it or use it for heating, cooking, and cleaning, and then dispose of it in the form of waste water. Subcategories include water heaters (traditional models as well as “instant” heaters that don’t require tanks), water filtration systems, heat exchangers that transfer energy from wastewater to freshwater, and eco-friendly use strategies like graywater systems and rainwater catchment and storage.
Shower Systems are all-encompassing water delivery strategies for a spa-like experience in an enclosed shower space. They include a mix of several components including the showerhead, hand-held sprayer, body sprays, wall brackets, valves, and trim. They may also offer luxury features like programmable lighting and incorporated sound systems. Available finishes include chrome, steel, onyx, nickel, copper, and brushed brass.
Fundamental for establishing a sense of privacy and safety in public restrooms. Styles include simple wall-mounted panels for urinals, ceiling-hung booth styles, and fully-enclosed closet styles for luxury environments. The material should reflect the demands of the venue. Good choices for high-use environments (schools, stadiums, and parks) include metal and high-density polyethylene. Luxurious louver-style enclosures made of wood are an attractive option for upscale hospitality venues.
Options abound for both toilets and bidets. Available shapes include elongated, compact elongated, and round; different heights from standard (low) to ADA compliant to relaxed (chair height) are offered; and tankless, water-saving toilets are common in commercial venues. Upscale features include tornado flushing systems, integrated personal cleaning wands, ion-barrier surface treatment for bacterial control, and heated seats. Most toilets are made of porcelain but different materials are available. Both toilets and bidets may be specified in nearly any color.
We can thank Marcel Duchamp for bringing the urinal to the forefront. Despite its seemingly standard shape and form, it's been slimmed down and redesigned in recent years -- leading to new options for new (and old) spaces.
A quick look reveals the many accessories in any bathroom: towel rings, towel bars, and grab bars; soap dispensers, TP dispensers, and towel dispensers; shelves, hand dryers, and miscellaneous hooks. Common materials for public venues include stainless steel and high-density plastic, while residential bathrooms may contain a mix of wood, tile, brass, bronze, and polished nickel.