Fixtures and components


It is beyond the scope of this document to provide extensive style ideas or discuss specific fixtures. We suggest that you visit your local home centre's show room, contact a designer or architect, and consult how-to books such as Sunset's Bathroom Remodelling Handbook.

Once you have a general idea of the style you want to incorporate into your new bathroom, the next step is to decide on the fixtures.

  1. The first place is to start is the bathtub. A standard builder's bathtub is 30" wide, 60" long, and typically about 15" deep. But you can go up from there, to soaking tubs 36" deep, square or sunken tubs, whirlpools, or even free-standing claw foot tubs. Tub surrounds range from one-piece folding fibreglass units to five-piece assemblies, and doors may swing, slide or fold.

  2. The simplest sinks are wall-hung; they are also the least expensive. Vanity sinks may be deck-mounted - in other words, set into a hole cut in the countertop - or part of an integral bowl and countertop (typically a cultured marble top). There are three types of deck-mounted sinks:

    • Self-rimming sinks have a molded lip that rests on the countertop, around the edge of the hole. They are the easiest to install, and there are a wide variety of styles available.
    • Flush or frame-rimmed sinks have a metal frame that is attached to the rim of the hole in the countertop. The sink is then fastened + to the frame. This is an older style, typically used with laminate countertops.
    • Unrimmed sinks are recessed below the surface of the countertop and held in place with metal clips. They are often used with ceramic tile or synthetic marble countertops.

    You may or may not have room for a small storage closet in the bathroom; if so, it can be used for towels and other accessories. Your vanity cabinets will provide the bulk of the storage.

  3. Combination units are also available, with drawers on one side and a false drawer front and door on the other, to accommodate a sink.

    All modular vanities are about 30" high and either 19" deep or 21" deep.

    There are three basic types of base cabinets.

    • A modular (as opposed to custom-built) sink base is typically 24" to 36" wide, with false drawer fronts and doors below.
    • A drawer base may range from 12" wide to 18" wide; it generally makes the most of the space, with three or four drawers.
    • A standard vanity base has one drawer, with a door below, and also comes in 12" to 18" widths.

  4. The most common type of toilet is a two-piece unit - a bowl and a tank. One-piece toilets are also available, in both a standard configuration and a low-profile model. What differentiates toilets (aside from color and style) is the flush design. The most common design is called a reverse trap. A siphon jet design is more efficient - and, of course, more expensive.