What is the best bathroom remodeling faucet

Faucets: types and functions

Diversity is the program: bathroom fittings - not just a matter of taste

How hot does the water come from the tap - this is set by the user of the washbasin, shower and bathtub on the mixer. Because they are so technically important, the fittings deserve a lot of attention when planning and renovating bathrooms. The selection is not easy because there are functional differences and many different designs. They are used more than in the past as design elements. So the choice is really difficult.

Exposed or concealed fitting?

This question really only arises when renovating the bathroom on a large scale or when building a new house. With the concealed fitting, the entire technology for mixing the water disappears into the wall, more than the spout and the two regulators cannot be seen. The advantages of the concealed fitting are that it saves space and usually also looks more elegant.

But what is needed is the space where the mixer tap is located. There are mostly so-called pre-walls in bathrooms, in which pipes, cisterns of toilets and other things are built. There is also space for a concealed fitting in the cavity behind the wall. If there is no pretext, a larger piece has to be broken out of the actual masonry - this is not always possible, but always a lot of effort.

In such cases, the exposed fitting has to remain. It doesn't have to be a problem aesthetically, there are a variety of models for every taste and budget. Incidentally, the distance between the pipes coming out of the wall is standardized so that these fittings can be exchanged without any problems. It is obvious that this is much easier in the event of technical defects in the surface installation.

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One regulator or two?

Everyone knows how a mixer tap, also known as a two-handle mixer, works: You turn on the cold water and gradually add more and more hot water until the desired temperature is reached. You shouldn't do this the other way around, you burn your fingers far too quickly. The downside of the system is definitely that a lot of water has flowed away until the correct temperature is reached. This is faster with the so-called single-lever mixer. The amount of water and temperature are regulated with one handle.

Everyone for whom saving water is an important issue opts for this option. The single-lever mixer is the standard solution for the washbasin today. The two-lever mixer, on the other hand, dominates, especially for those who want a nostalgic component in the bathroom. It looks perfect, especially with the classic cross handles. By the way: The variants described so far and below are also available for bidets when it comes to fittings.

Thermostatic valves offer security

The thermostatic valves are particularly convenient - the amount of water and temperature are preset. That saves water and energy, but is a little less flexible. Thermostats are also available with a hot water lock set to 38 degrees - this ensures reliable protection against scalding. This is an important consideration, for example with children in the household. A thermostatic mixer keeps the water temperature constant over the long term - this is of course convenient in the shower.

Thermostatic faucets are also popular today in medical practices or hospitals, while in the private sector they are not yet as widespread as one could wish for reasons of resource conservation and safety. By the way, there are also so-called safety fittings that always deliver cold water first, regardless of the position of the one-hand controller.

Convenient: the electronic control

Finally, the highest level of comfort are fittings with electronic controls. Here the remote control or a touchscreen replaces the conventional controller. In this way, not only the amount of water and temperature can be set, but also the various showers, if available, for showers. Some remote controls also regulate the light in the room and are control elements for the MP3 player. Individual presets for individual family members are also possible.

From the point of view of water and energy consumption, hydraulically controlled fittings can also be useful, depending on the place of use. Self-closing valves, mixers and thermostats shut off the water supply after a set time. This is not the right solution for most private households, but it is often a good solution for sanitary areas in public spaces.

One, two, three or four hole fittings

This is a distinction that arises from other characteristics. As the name suggests, it's about how many passages there are through the wall. The single-hole faucet is practically only possible in the form of a single-lever mixer, which is placed in one piece with the water pipe on the washbasin, for example. The two-hole faucet is a classic two-hand faucet in which the amount of water is dosed with two regulators directly on the hot and cold water pipes. The three-hole fitting is usually a concealed installation with two separate regulators and a drain pipe. The classically chic bathroom is the right home for this variant. In the case of the four-hole fitting, there is also the handle for the outlet lock.

How does the water get into the tub

The range of fittings for the bathtub is practically the same as for the basin fittings. One- or two-hand controls, exposed or concealed fittings, combined with a thermostat or not, two-, three- and four-hole fittings, everything is available. In most cases, bath fittings have an additional connection for a hand shower.

There are also free-standing fittings that are installed on the floor next to the bathtub, but which only make sense with free-standing bathtubs. If you are into it, you have to take this into account at the planning stage because of the lines. Faucets are also offered that are not installed on the wall, but on the edge of the bathtub. This special solution also requires planning in good time. If the space is particularly tight, a bathroom fitting for vertical installation can be the right choice.

So-called waterfall fittings are a stylish solution. But that's not the most original variant. There are also systems that allow the water to flow into the tub through the overflow or even through the drain. There is then no longer any conventional tap with a spout.

What type of shower are you?

When it comes to shower fittings, a factor comes into play that does not play a role in washbasin fittings, for example: How would you like the water that comes from above? Rather bundled and powerful, right up to the massage jet, or rather mild like a warm land rain. It is best to choose a fitting that allows everything. However, special specialties such as side showers do not fit into every shower - here you have to choose carefully.

More recent developments include shower panels. They move optically between the board and the column, which are mounted on the wall of the shower. At the upper end there is a kind of bracket with the shower head, preferably large in size, to enable rain-like showering. The controller is located on the vertical component, as well as connections for the hand shower hose, massage nozzles, utensil shelf and other items, if applicable.

As a rule, safety thermostats with temperature locks are installed. However, preset temperatures are not for everyone who wants a healthy and quick alternation of hot and cold water in the shower. The example shows that you should also consider your own habits and preferences when choosing a fitting.

Whether shower panels or conventional solutions, there are all kinds of specialties and special shapes available. There are lighted shower heads that make the water look colored, and this color even changes occasionally. There are also showers that are not installed on a shower arm on the wall, but on the ceiling. Anti-limescale technology and integrated dirt filters are possible technical features.

The look also plays a role

Functionality is of course the top priority when it comes to bathroom fittings - but not the only one. The more bathrooms are seen as oases of well-being, the more important it is to look. From the classic-traditional models to timeless designs to avant-garde versions, everything is on the market. It's then just a matter of taste - and of course a question of your wallet. The faucet should of course also match the overall style of the bathroom. Many would like all the fittings in the bathroom to have the same design - it is not mandatory. The proportions also have to be right: If you can only fit a small washbasin due to lack of space, you should also be careful when choosing the mixer.

Of course, the material has a significant influence on the appearance. The chrome-plated faucet is the classic par excellence, and you can't go wrong with it. Stainless steel with its rather matt sheen exudes a certain individuality - but only until every second person has it. But stainless steel is now also available in a high-gloss finish or, for example, in black. Gold- and brass-colored fittings are also available - certainly something for individualists. A wide variety of materials are now used in the design of handles and knobs, which also allows for a variety of color combinations.

You shouldn't buy faucets just because of their appearance - you should rather touch the part you are looking for at the retailer and simulate usage. You quickly notice when something doesn't really fit.

Below: angle valves

Finally, a few notes on fittings that are usually not seen and, if they are, ignored. The angle valves are used to block and open the inflow of the outlet fittings, especially at washstands and wash basins. They are therefore also among them. When repairs are carried out, the water is turned off at these valves, so the entire apartment does not have to be "drained". However, they can also be used to regulate the inflow of cold and hot water separately from one another, which can be necessary if the water pressure on the two lines is different.

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