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Remodeled bathroom with new tub, sink, and toilet
January 28, 2012

Reinventing Your Bathroom with a Splash On emotional, practical, spiritual, and financial levels, a remodeled bathroom can be a very good thing. Maybe you’re thinking that colorful new wall tiles will lift your spirits when you walk in there each...

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A shower with multiple settings

Standing Room Only: Selecting a Shower Unit

Today's showers range from basic shower enclosures to custom-designed systems that stand alone as the centerpiece of a bathroom. You can see examples of some of these not-so-ordinary showers in the color insert. The custom units are best installed by a bathroom design firm and their fabricators, because they’re familiar with installing those systems. 

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A bathtub with fancy faucet and accessories

Flippin’ over Faucets

If you think that choosing the name for your firstborn child was difficult, just wait until you see the choices you're confronted with when choosing a faucet for your bathtub. There are three basic types of faucets for wall-mounted installation:

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Bathtub in well lit bathroom

Rub a Dub Dub! All About Tubs

Now this is where remodeling a bathroom gets really personal. Are you a tub person or a shower person or both? Shrinks probably have theories about what people’s personal bathing preferences disclose about their personality, but we want to leave that one alone. We do know that most people have definite preferences, and if you’re a tub person who delights in soaking in bubbles or steaming in hot bath water, you have a whole lot of options. Even if your space is limited or odd shaped, you can probably find a bathtub or whirlpool to fit your space and satisfy your desire for bathing luxury. 

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A white porcelain bidet

Bathing in a Bidet: Personal Hygiene

A bidet, a sit-down wash basin with faucets used for partial bathing, is installed in some luxury bathrooms and master suites. As a small wash basin for personal hygiene, a bidet provides convenient, gentle cleansing for those with conditions such as hemorrhoids, rashes, or incontinence. The user sits astride the bowl, facing the faucet, to control the spray or fills the bowl with water. You can also use a bidet as a foot bath.

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A low seated, black toilet

Reinventing your bathroom with new fixtures

Decisions, decisions, decisions- that's what you'll face when you begin looking at toilets. Fortunately, the major manufacturers of plumbing fixtures have done some of the work for you by offering eye-catching suites or collections of fixture styles. You'll find toilets and bidets, sinks, tubs, and faucets in a variety of styles that include contemporary, traditional, country, Victorian, and retro, just to name some of them.

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Toilets with fancy red commodes and ribbon designs

Shopping for la toilette

Depending on where you live, you can shop for bathroom fixtures in several places. Many of the large chains of home centers have design centers within their stores, where a wide selection of toilets and related fixtures is installed in showroom settings. Kitchen and bathroom design centers feature large displays of bathrooms and a selection of fixtures and cabinetry. The more sources you can visit, the better. That way, you'll be able to preview different types, styles, and colors of toilets, along with their related fixtures.

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Toilet with special features

Considering features and comfort

Never use a toilet without thinking about why it's comfortable or why it's not. When you begin doing your personal survey of toilets, you'll be amazed at the differences and nuances you'll discover. Here are some things to notice in your quest for the perfect toilet for your remodeled bathroom:

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A low flow Kohler toilet

Getting the lowdown on low-flow toilets

In the early 1990s, a national law was passed to conserve water. It mandated that all new toilets sold in the United States require a maximum of 1.6 gallons of water per flush. The thinking was that by reducing the water from 3.5 gallons used by the old-style tanks, a lot of water would be saved. However, these early low-flow toilets were flawed in design and required two or sometimes three flushes to empty the bowl. This, of course, gave credence to complaints of many homeowners, builders, and remodelers that low-flows nullified any water savings.

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Unique toilet aquarium

Getting a good fit

The typical height of a toilet is 14 to 15 inches, a convenient and comfortable height for most people. For tall or large people, elevated toilets are available that are up to 18 inches high, which are more comfortable for them. These elevated toilets are also convenient for anyone who is physically challenged and has difficulty sitting down or rising. There are ADA-compliant toilets that meet the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act for wheelchair accessibility, as well. And if parenthood is in your future, you may be interested in knowing that you can get a small toilet that’s scaled down for a little kid and designed for potty training.

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A quiet flush toilet

Considering flushing mechanisms

That whoosh you hear when you press the flush lever of any toilet is caused by the rush of the water through the toilet to remove the waste. The water rush can be caused by good old gravity, water, or air pressure. Depending on where your toilet is located, one flushing method is better than the other. Here are the types of flushing mechanisms:

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