“What is the best shower, tub, vanity faucet to buy?” is one of the most common questions I receive with almost every bathroom remodel we do.
Having worked extensively with many clients and plumbers over the past 18 years on thousands of bathroom remodels; I’ve quickly learnt some handy tips that I feel can help you as you go through the bathroom remodeling process.
So I’ve put together this brief guide to help you pick out your faucets for your own project; without sacrificing quality.
It can actually be quite a fun process once you realize what’s out there so let’s get straight into it!
Faucets Are Art
Okay, the first thing I want you to keep in mind is to realize faucets – whether for your shower, tub or anything else and whether they are single or double handle, wall mount, etc. are unlike other things on the market.
Usually, the more you pay; the better something is. Not quite with faucets. There are some exceptions of course like those with motion sensors, advanced droplet technology, LED lights, etc. but by and large, faucets are art.
A special order $2,500.00 solid, cast iron tub faucet imported from Europe is not necessarily better than a $250.00 alloy one. In fact, it’s a royal pain in the ass trying to source parts for the more exclusive pieces so direct your attention to your well known brands that have service and parts centers all over the country.
The other thing to keep in mind is what are you looking to create?
Just a nice looking, simple bathroom that has the basic necessities or your own oasis that you want to splurge on? All faucets essentially perform the same primary purpose of turning water on and off with temperature control. So it really gets down to how fancy you want to be.
Best Bang For Your Buck
Ok with so many options, it’s overwhelming – so where do you start?
Look, it’s actually really simple: If you want great quality and a good selection then you are going to be very happy buying faucets for your shower, tub or vanity from the following brands:
- American Standard
These brands are what most of the clients I work with buy because they have served this need for many decades. They’re reliable and a safe go-to option whether you’re a seasoned remodeler or if you have absolutely no idea where to start. So stick with these four and don’t confuse yourself! They all usually have every faucet type at an affordable price; from lower to higher end.
Best place to buy them?
Sure, you can buy them from speciality stores, local retailers or through a designer (don’t do that) but the overwhelming majority of clients I work with order them from Amazon because:
- They ship super fast – This is very important since your plumber needs to rough in the shower valve after demolition and prior to your walls going up. You don’t want them to be waiting around because of backorders, shipping delays, etc. Your entire project will be delayed.
- Have detailed reviews from others who purchased the same faucet. This is key since you can usually gauge how good it is from client feedback. Browse them and see which shower faucet and head work for you.
- It’s Amazon – exchanges/returns are quick and easy.
Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to those four brands but the vast majority do for the reasons cited above. You can explore other brands if you like a specific look the others don’t offer. Just make sure you ask your plumber beforehand if he has experience with the brand you’re looking to get because many plumbers don’t have experience with the lesser known products and hence, could well not install them correctly.
Are There Unique Options?
Okay, so now you narrowed down the type and brand; what if you want something a little more eye catching than the standard shower faucet/head combo? Something more than selecting between black, chrome, oil rubbed bronze, etc. Lucky for you, there are a couple of really nice options that have a wow factor which you can customize to your needs:
Rainhead & LED
One of the fastest growing segments is waterproof LED shower lights.
Having worked with them, I must admit they do look super cool 🙂 Just something about water coming out in a certain color from a shower head that makes them fun for kids and adults alike! If this is for you, then you can get just about every type of shower faucet with an LED light option these days.
Rainhead/rainfall/ceiling mounted shower heads have been popular for many years and still are. As the name indicates, it’s installed from above; either the ceiling or wall whereby the water ‘rains down’ straight over you instead of spraying on an angle.
Users say it gives them a more complete shower faster, thereby conserving water than wall mounted ones.
They definitely give your shower a unique vibe and they also come in many different sizes, from your regular sized 12-inch squares and circles to the monster 20-inch ones (pictured) apparently designed to bathe mammoths.
You can browse different styles of rainhead shower heads here.
Another increasing trend is the sleek looking shower tower which you can browse here.
They are handy because they come in rainhead formats with LED lighting if required and they offer you the convenience of controlling everything from a central panel. So for example, the temperature, pressure and hand held can all be selected with one touch.
Customers like these because they’re visually appealing and give you all the functions you need but in a different look than conventional shower set ups. Many come with their own jets and sprays so these do particularly well in larger showers. Plumbers also love them because they’re actually quite easy to install.
So there you have it – a quick and painless way to simplify your shower faucet quest.
Remember to go with what works for you and not necessarily the most expensive option. These are essentially art so spending extra won’t mean a superior product in this case.
Quick tip: When selecting the color/finish of your shower faucet, ask the shower glass company to color match the hinges and door handle with it for that extra touch. It’s a minor detail but one that’s often missed.
There is no “best” shower faucet per se; only the best in its respective category. Be sure to check out the product reviews on Amazon to get an idea of it’s overall quality and satisfaction.
Stick with the proven quadrant of Moen, Kohler, Delta and American Standard since their combined product lines are more than enough for most folks to select from. Finally, be sure to get a qualified and competent plumber to install your new fixtures and you’ll enjoy them for many years to come.
I hope this has been helpful.
Please reach out to me should you have any questions; I’m always happy to help!