Brass shower faucet - bathroom hardware

8 Tips for Easy Bathroom Hardware Hunting

Don’t forget about the bathroom hardware

The process of redesigning your bathroom comes with a lot of decisions. 

It starts with bigger ones, like choosing the right shower or walk-in tub for your space. These are the choices that can feel the most important as we envision a new way of moving about the bathroom.

What follows are decisions that may seem smaller but are actually just as important in making sure your bathroom is comfortable for years.

Those decisions are the ones related to choosing your bathroom hardware and which will ultimately shape how your bathroom looks. Achieving the right look for your bathroom design can be achieved by adhering to a few design guidelines. 

We’re sharing these guidelines with you below in hopes of making this decision process more enjoyable.

How Carefully Choosing Your Bathroom Hardware Can Improve Your Bathroom

Bathroom fixtures or hardware are a way of improving both the aesthetics and functionality of your bathroom. The common types of fixtures include faucets for sinks, showers, and tubs, as well as towel racks, rings, and bars, toilet paper holders, and soap dispensers.

If you’ve been to a hardware store, you know how many fixtures there are to choose from. You’ll be able to make selections more quickly and easily with the following recommendations.

1| Pick An Environmentally Friendly Faucet

Brass shower faucet - bathroom hardware

Before you dive into the internet for research or head to the hardware store, let’s discuss three critical components to choosing a faucet that’s environmentally friendly.

Go With A Certified Lead-Free Faucet

Despite the fact that legally all faucets installed in the United States and Canada must be certified and lead-free, there are still ways to buy problematic fixtures.

When purchasing faucets online from manufacturers outside the United States, you run the risk of buying from those who don’t follow certified manufacturing principles. That can lead to faucets that contain lead or other dangerous substances. 

Since buying and installing uncertified faucets yourself is dangerous, we’re sharing some surefire ways to make a good choice.

U.S. retailers including Lowe’s, Home Depot, and other hardware stores, as well as internet shops, can only sell certified lead-free products. If a product isn’t certified, you’re endangering your family’s safety. Ensure that the faucet is lead-free by looking for this certification.

Check If Your Faucet Has The NSF Seal of Certification

The NSF, or National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), is responsible for the “certification of plumbing products and materials”. It also “helps confirm that they meet applicable American or international standards for a particular use.” 

To be sure your faucet complies with this standard, check for certifications like “NSF 61” (drinking water components) or “NSF pw” (drinking water components and others).

Faucets That Conserve Water Usage

You might also consider a faucet with the WaterSense label. This style of faucet cuts bathroom water use by at least 30%.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that homeowners can save about 700 gallons of water annually by replacing obsolete bathroom faucets. To reduce your water consumption – and save on your water bill – look for this label.

2| Choosing Bathroom Hardware For Its Style

steel shower control

How you choose to decorate your bathroom can depend on the design of your home. 

This in turn determines the type of bathroom fixtures that will best complement your design. Ideally, you’re creating a bathroom design that flows together. You can be sure of a stunning bathroom design that appears to belong together when you choose the suitable hardware or fixtures that match the style of your home.

Traditional, Contemporary, and Transitional Styles

Since traditional bathroom fixtures complement the majority of home styles, they are a popular choice. 

If your home has a more defined architectural style, you may look for transitional and contemporary bathroom hardware styles. Contemporary bathroom fixtures have simple, curved lines that lend toward a more elegant look. We consider transitional styles a mix of traditional and contemporary. 

Choosing Matching Fixtures

Matching fixtures can come down to taste. While some homeowners dislike the matching hardware’s consistent appearance, others would never consider mixing and matching different design eras. 

In order to avoid disrupting the room’s focal point, interior designers tend to prefer the consistent appearance that coordinating fixtures provide. 

The general rule of thumb in terms of design is to use the same metal and finish for all hardware, even if you’re picking and pulling from different styles.

Narrow Down Your Choices By Sticking To A Budget

When making decisions, it’s easy to focus on how the bathroom will look as a whole once these fixtures are installed. The reality, though, is that might not limit your choices enough.

In that case, let your final decision-making be led by your bathroom remodel’s budget. That will help you cut out items that are unnecessarily expensive. 

3| Going With Specific Bathroom Faucet Styles

By keeping in mind your bathroom’s style you’ll be able to eliminate hardware that simply doesn’t mesh well. Certain faucets may be too high for your sink. 

As an example, a vessel-style sink will have distinct faucet design considerations compared with an under-the-counter placed sink with a typical faucet and two levers or knobs.

Types Of Sink Faucets

The categories for faucet styles will also help you choose between contemporary, traditional, or transitional bathroom fixtures.

Vessel Faucets Styles

Traditional sink faucets are typically shorter than a vessel faucet. 

These faucets tend to have a waterfall or spout design. There are some vessel sinks that come with a faucet made specifically for that kind of sink. In that sense, you won’t have to worry about matching the faucet to the design since it’s already a part of the package.

Faucets For Showers and Tubs

Another important design rule of thumb is having the sink faucet and tub/shower faucet matching as closely as possible. 

The knobs and controls for the tub and shower should be located 33″ off the ground. 

Make sure the hardware you choose is reachable from both inside and outside the tub/shower.


The goal with a showerhead is to have it complement your other tub hardware. The main way to do this is to stick with a finish you’ve already chosen elsewhere. 

A practical note: Make sure you measure the height of the tallest person who will be using the shower before purchasing and installing the showerhead.

4| Picking The Right Bathroom Hardware Metals And Finishes

matte black shower head

It’s preferable to have all of the bathroom hardware in the same finish. 

These two elements guarantee that your bathroom looks uniform and professional.

Still, some homeowners will opt for a more eclectic style, going with different styles in the same finish. 

This decision is subjective, and it’s yours to make. Still, there are guidelines you can follow to pull it off, like making sure to maintain a balanced style mix. Otherwise, your design won’t quite reach that cool, eclectic vibe, looking instead haphazard and mismatched without reason.

A Selection Of Trendy Fixture Metals and Finishes

The majority of metal finishes used in bathroom fixtures are satin, polished, antiqued, and brushed. 

Metal finishes can be high-end and pricey with solid metals, or more affordable plated metals that have been coated with tiny layers of metals such as aluminum, chromium, titanium, and other metals using a process called PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition).

Let’s take a look at some of the common choices.


Copper is a common material used in hand-styled sinks and bathtubs. For this metal, the hammered finish is a preferred look. This metal is known for its special qualities, including being antibacterial and resistant to mildew and mold.

matte gold shower head


Although brass has similar antibacterial qualities, it doesn’t eliminate bacteria and germs as quickly as copper does. It doesn’t corrode quickly, and it is valuable as a recycled metal. A lot of brass bathroom accessories are made from reclaimed brass. Brass bathroom fixtures from the 1980s no longer have their highly polished appearance as time has left them with a more distinguished one.

Stainless steel

Compared to brass and copper, stainless steel has significantly less antibacterial property. Still, it has other visual advantages. This metal adds a stunning look for those designing a modern bathroom. For bathroom faucets, it is frequently mixed with nickel.


Oil-rubbed bronze (ORB) is timeless and very well-liked. Almost any bathroom hardware or design will complement it.


Bathroom hardware made of nickel is available in polished, satin, or brushed finishes.


A metal or plastic surface may have chrome added as a finish. Polished chrome is the most widely used option in bathrooms.

Porcelain and vitreous china

Porcelain is a common material for bathroom fixtures, and the majority of them are coated in vitreous china to give them a shiny appearance. 

As an example, a chrome faucet set with porcelain handles is frequently used in conjunction with other materials.

5| Choosing Towel Racks, Rings, or Bars That Fit Your Bathroom

Towel rings, bars, and racks should always be placed close to bathroom fixtures like the sink and tub or shower. This ensures that towels are accessible anytime those areas are used. 

If you plan on having multiple vanities or sinks, be sure to include a towel bar or ring for each area. 

Before making a purchase, measure the area to ensure that the size you select will fit before attempting to install it.

6| Upgrading Your Bathroom’s Toilet Paper Holders

Often an afterthought in the bathroom redesign process, the toilet paper holder is more than a necessity.

Toilet Paper Holder Styles

For a standalone toilet holder, stick with a straightforward conventional design. 

If you’re remodeling a smaller bathroom, consider an over-the-toilet tank holder that will have space for an additional roll.

The Right Place To Install Toilet Paper Holders

The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) recommends putting a wall-mounted toilet paper holder 26″ from the floor along a wall next to the toilet. Check ahead of time when choosing your bathroom hardware to make sure everything will fit comfortably.

7| Stylish Grab Bars for Toilets, Showers, and Bathtubs

Although many sturdy bars are constructed of plastic, metal grab bars are the best. 

If you decide to use plastic, pick options that match the color of your toilet and shower area.

Follow the ADA (American Disabilities Act) rules for impaired people to help guide the placement and installation. The size of the grab will depend on the installation requirements for your property.

8| Finishing Your Bathroom Hardware With Soap Dishes and Toothbrush Holders

Both the toothbrush holder and the soap dish can be wall-mounted or set atop the countertop next to the sink. 

A countertop soap dish or toothbrush holder can be a nice option for homeowners as they are easily switched out for redecorating. Depending on your bathroom’s style, different soap dishes can be a nice way to reflect the seasons.

The Benefits Of Wall-Mounted Holders

There are a few benefits to choosing toothbrush holders and a wall-mounted soap dispensers that are wall-mounted. One is saving precious countertop space. The other is ensuring that the countertop is easier to clean, and to keep clean.

Want Help Choosing Your Bathroom Hardware?

Even with this guide on picking out the fixtures for your new bathroom, making the final decisions can feel overwhelming.

If you’d like a helping hand in taking on a bathroom remodel, get in touch with the qualified bathroom experts at Winstar today. We serve Maryland customers the best in quality and service.

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