Bathroom Fixtures: What Customers Look For
Every homeowner has his or her own unique vision when remodeling a bathroom. And when they come to the showroom floor in search of fixtures, it’s important that you’re able to understand their vision and see it for yourself. That way, you can help your customers find the fixtures and fittings that best bring their vision to life.
To better understand what your customers desire, here are the trends, features and considerations that are top of mind amongst modern bathroom remodelers.
Traditional and Transitional Styles
Depending on the overall look your customer wants to achieve in their bathroom, they may want fixtures that either complement or contrast with the rest of the bathroom.
Design firm Laurel & Wolf explains two main types of room design: traditional and transitional. Traditional is made up of classic, inviting materials and transitional combines both traditional and contemporary styles to create a timeless look.
For customers seeking traditional design, it’s likely they’ll fixtures that match the tone of the bathroom decor. Try steering these customers towards brands that make fixture lines for the entire bathroom, because as GM Roth Design and Remodeling points out, people may become disappointed if they find a singular fixture that doesn’t have matching fittings.
Customers who prefer a transitional style tend to be much more flexible when buying fixtures. As the farmhouse styling blog The Creek Line House exemplifies, you can achieve a transitional bathroom style by mixing and matching traditional faucets and light fixtures with a modern tub and toilet.
It’s also possible that your customer is seeking an ultra-modern feel. Hardware Retailing explains that modern-minded customers are interested in walk-in showers with multiple showerheads. Handheld body sprays and decorative shower drains are also popular ways to make a contemporary shower look polished.
Another feature that creates a modern look is the floating vanity. Haskell Interiors says that floating vanities add more space to a small bathroom and offer versatile height options. Wall mounted faucets are small bathroom space-savers too, and Modern Bathroom writes that they do very well when when minimalism is the overarching theme.
Cohesiveness and Vision
To help customers find fixtures that complement their remodel, it’s important to determine which sinks, showers and other fixtures are remaining in their bathroom. If your customer recently purchased a vessel sink, for example, Riverbend Homesays they’ll be looking for wall mount sinks and high arc or tall mount faucets.
It’s also a smart idea to consider the surrounding wall and floor elements when choosing new fixtures. Custom Mechanical says that homeowners should consider wall colors, counters, cabinetry and appliances when choosing new fixtures for a seamless blend. To see this vision for yourself, consider asking your customers for a photo of their bathroom remodel.
Functionality and Home Improvement
Aesthetics aside, people who are remodeling their bathroom are thinking about space and efficiency. Interior stylist Lauren Keenan says that people are often concerned with dimensions and installation requirements, so these details are important to have on hand.
In terms of functionality, different family arrangements may require different fixture needs. If you’re working with a family that has two growing children, for example, they may be seeking to expand their bathroom to give future teens more space. Double sinks and double showers are a common need amongst growing families, Contractor Connection points out. Known as Jack and Jill bathrooms, these double-duty spaces save time and reduce conflict when getting ready. Keep in mind that these customers usually require double the amount of fixtures, such as a towel rack for each sink and shower.
Innovate Building Solutions adds that growing families may also want to incorporate a vanity or sink into their child’s bedroom. As a result, these customers would be searching for minimal fixtures, like small sinks and non-intrusive hand towel racks, that could accommodate this setup.
Safety and Sustainability
Today’s consumers are more conscious of the products and materials they install in their homes. That’s why so many are seeking to replace outdated faucets, toilets and other bathroom fixtures with ones that are safer and more eco-friendly.
Water-saving faucets, for example, can conserve water and save a homeowner money. In fact, Len the Plumber says that replacing an old showerhead with a high-efficiency version can reduce shower water usage by up to 70 percent.
Shoppers will also be searching for lead-free faucets. Rebecca Williams of The Environment Report says that while a 2014 mandate requires all new faucets to cap their lead count at 0.25 percent, many remodelers live in older homes with sinks and faucets that don’t meet this regulation. The regulations and fine print on fixture packages can be difficult to decipher, she adds, so having a salesperson who can explain these details is a huge plus for health-conscious homeowners.
Quality and Durability
A bathroom remodel is often a large investment, and homeowners want fixtures that give them the most bang for their buck. According to Robert Robillard of A Concord Carpenter, homeowners are looking for fixtures that offer long-lasting materials, sustainability, style, and comfort.
While value does matter, opting for the cheapest fixtures can be a slippery slope. Plumbers 911 says that many low-grade faucets have plastic internal parts, are poorly designed and can break easily. This could be especially problematic in a master bathroom or ensuite that’s used frequently. Narrow Path Plumbing suggests finding out how often the fixture is going to be used, which can help you steer customers towards the right piece.
Another thing to keep in mind is that many homeowners are seeking curbless, walk-in showers and other accessible features that will allow them to age at home. Kitchen Cabinet Kings adds that these customers are likely looking for complimentary fixtures, like adjustable shower heads and ADA-compliant grab bars. Another way to enhance bathroom accessibility is with an in-shower seat. Y Living points out that a wall-mounted seat adds comfort and function along with a spa-like ambiance.
Soap dishes and bathroom caddies are often one of the last considerations during a remodel — but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve attention. Re-Bath and More says that when buying a shower caddy, ample storage space is useful. Versatility is also important, and if a customer is working on a shared or guest bathroom, it’s likely a caddy with adjustable shelves will suit their needs.
images by: bottlein, Tesa Robbins, Allen Public Library