Category Archives: faucets

Do you like low-flow shower heads?

Most people would probably say “Not really!” But it is nice to have lower water bills and if you could get a great shower out of a low-flow fixture, wouldn’t you jump at the chance?

Well, manufacturer’s have been competing with each other to provide the best shower with the lowest gpm’s, so today we are going to look into the state of this technology. A fairly recent development is the air-induced shower head. It pulls air into the shower head, combines it with the water, and shoots it out with greater force, due to the increased volume the air makes possible. Reviews are excellent, and this type of shower technology is available at a great spread of prices, so do your research to be sure you are getting the quality you want.

Some of the manufacturers found with just a brief perusal of the web are:

  • Hansgrohe Raindance Downpour AIR showerhead (this one got rave reviews)
  • Oxygenics Evolution hand held showerhead
  • Kohler Rainhead Collection
  • Kallista Inigo by Michael S. Smith

As stated, prices vary greatly, from under $100 to over $1,000, so do your research to be sure you are getting the quality you expect.

Another showerhead option you might like is the showerhead with a variety of spray patterns. One for each mood you might be in! Shower systems can also come with a hand-held shower; these can be great for bathing children and pets, no comparison intended; and is helpful for scrubbing out the shower stall, kind of like a big giant hand sprayer at the kitchen sink! You know how handy that is.

In addition to the quality of the shower head and water conservation, consider the shower stall itself for creating a great showering experience. If there is room, a larger shower such as about 4 feet by 6 feet is a great investment. Many of our higher end shower remakes include 2 or 3 tiled walls, a tiled floor and frameless glass shower walls and door, for a spa-like shower!


Tiled shower with 2 frameless glass walls/ door.

Don’t forget to provide adequate ventilation and light. A good quality bath exhaust fan, perhaps humidity controlled, would help to reduce or eliminate mold and mildew. Light, either from windows, skylights, or fixtures is important. Wall sconces and other task lights can be selected and located just right to provide the right amount of light where it is needed.

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Home Remodeling New Year’s Resolution

What is that, you say?

What is there about your house that you KNOW needs updating or replacing with something that looks good and works!

Do you have pets? What about that doggy door that you bought from  . . . wherever. Now is the time to have a custom-made door that actually fits the opening, looks good and operates easily.

Custom gate

Archer® lavatory faucet

ADA compliant lav faucet from Kohler

How about the small details that are annoying, but after time has gone by, you no longer see the chips and cracks? Bathroom lav faucets are one: 

This faucet is ADA compliant, but is stylish and easy for anyone to use. The higher than normal outlet is a plus. The design combines beveled edges and curved bases for a style to fit any bathroom.

Antique style kitchen handles

What about Kitchen or bath knobs and pulls: Whether your style is sleek and modern, or antique and ornate, new knobs and pulls can do wonders for a cabinet.

Sleek, chrome pulls on a recently completed kitchen remodel

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How to select a new faucet

Single lever lav faucet

What is important to look for when buying a faucet?  That is, after making a decision on the style and finish you want!

  1. Material the body is made of; that is, the spout and controls.
  2. Solid brass bodies last longest and require least care; these start at about $150. The box should read “all-brass body” and will be heavier than other faucets.
  3. Die-cast zinc-alloy bodies provide good durability and cost considerably less, starting at about $70. The box should read ZMACK for brass or chrome plated fittings.
  4. It is recommended to avoid purchasing faucets with plastic bodies, as they do not hold up well. These can range in price from $25 to $50.
  5. Finish can determine how easy it is to care for and clean the faucet.
  6. Electroplated chrome on a brass or zinc faucet looks good and lasts.
  7. Pewter, nickel and satin finishes are also easy to maintain.
  8. First measure the holes in the sink to be sure to get a faucet that fits your sink. Small lavs typically have 3 holes that span 4 in.; other possible dimensions are 6, 8 or 12 in spreads, although these are less common.
  9. For older users or those who have difficulty turning knobs, a single lever faucet, or blade type handles are best.
  10. For homes with small children, single handle faucets are recommended, as they are less likely to get full hot temperature.
  11. The valves inside the faucet:
  12. Sleeve-cartridge valves are used in one and two handle faucets. These are easy to replace. Cost is between $10 and $20.
  13. Ball valves are used in single handle faucets only. These are durable, but when they do need replacing, use metal with a kit – guess what? They last longer than plastic. Cost is around $10.
  14. Ceramic disk valves. This is considered the best, but the other types work just fine; the ceramic valves cost around $20.

For more information, including tub faucets, you can go to,,214006,00.html

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