New Fixtures: The Easy, Affordable Update You’re Not Making to Your Bathroom


Every year, the Cost Vs. Value Report from Remodeling magazine lays out an array of remodeling projects and their associated return on investment (ROI). A bathroom remodel always makes the list of popular projects, but the typical cost—more than $20,000 for a midrange remodel and almost $65,000 on the high end—can give homeowners pause. That’s why we are always looking for ways to make small changes for big impact in the bathroom. One of our favorites: new fixtures.

“Trading up for a new faucet or showerhead can give a bathroom a whole new luxurious feel and it’s one of those cheap bathroom ideas,” said Family Handyman. “It’s especially fun to update those fixtures that you use every day.”

If you have older cabinets and countertops that are in need of updating, you may think a new faucet or bath fixtures won’t make a dent. But you may be surprised. “These items may seem insignificant, but updating them can make a big difference in your bathroom’s look,” said Money Crashers.

These small updates may be enough to make an older bathroom look freshened up, which is important if you’re trying to sell your home. But they may also help you enjoy your space more, even if you have no plans of moving anytime soon. These improvements are affordable, easy, and quick, yet they will give the room a fresh new look.

NEW LOW FLOW SHOWER HEADAesthetics are obviously important. But, depending on how old your fixtures are, updating them might also save you money, and improve your footprint. “When you install new plumbing fixtures that are designed for improved efficiency, you can reduce water usage,” said Termine’s Plumbing Supply. “This change is not only responsible conservation, but it can also lower your monthly water bill. Saving money and water doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Replacing an old shower head with a new model designed for lower flow or installing an aerator in your current faucet can make a positive difference.”

A word on finishes

If you don’t have a personal preference, you might choose a finish for your new sink fixtures to match what’s in your bath or shower, assuming you’re not changing those as well. Or maybe you’re making your decision based on what’s on sale. Here are a few things to consider if you’re not sure which way to go:

Price—Budget is obviously a driver here, especially if you’re looking for an affordable update. Our pro tip is to check with local building supply warehouses, where you can often find overstock and clearance items for a great price. We also recommend signing up for Lowe’s and Home Depot’s daily emails so you’ll be alerted to their Special Buy of the day. Bathroom fixtures are in the regular rotation.

Cleanliness—If you’re a neat freak, the fact that shiny chrome fixtures are more likely to show water spots and fingerprints may be a deal breaker. A more matte finish may be a better option.

Trend factorMATTE BATH FIXTURESMatte black is the latest trend when it comes to fixtures, but you’ll have to weigh whether you want to go super current and risk your fixtures being out of fashion quickly. The good news is that because this is a relatively inexpensive update, you can always change them out again when another new finish catches your eye!