Most bathroom and kitchen faucets, including faucets, toilets, and bathtubs, have a lifespan of about 15 to 20 years. But even with proper care, these fixtures usually age over time, requiring an upgrade. But how do you upgrade old plumbing fixtures in the bathroom or kitchen?
Well, there are many ways to update your old bathroom or kitchen plumbing fixtures, such as installing high-efficiency toilets. Another way to upgrade the fixtures is to replace the shower heads with more eco-friendly ones. You can also install new faucets, bathtubs, and sinks.
How then do you know when to upgrade your old plumbing fixtures, and what are the benefits? Stay here to find out this and much more.
When To Upgrade Old Plumbing Fixtures in The Bathroom or Kitchen?
Apart from old age, below are other signs to help you know when it’s time to update your plumbing fixtures.
1. Persistent Leaks
Plumbing fixtures like showerheads and faucets may develop issues like leaks as they age. However, if the leaks persist even after repairs, that’s when you know it’s time to update the fixtures.
2. Low Water Pressure
Old plumbing fixtures can be a potential reason behind persistent low water pressure issues in the showers or kitchen. So, to fix this problem, you might want to upgrade various plumbing fixtures in your bathroom and kitchen.
3. Frequent Repairs
If you keep repairing the same plumbing fixture periodically, it’s a sign it needs an upgrade. This is because constant repairs can be costly. However, investing in a new and improved fixture can save you a lot of issues.
4. Outdated Look
Over time, your plumbing fixtures may become outdated or old-fashioned. This is because new faucets and showerhead styles keep coming up every day. In this case, you should definitely upgrade the fixtures.
How To Upgrade Old Plumbing Fixtures In The Bathroom Or Kitchen?
The common bathroom and kitchen plumbing fixtures to update include faucets, sinks, tubs, toilets, and showers. But how do you upgrade them? Let’s find out.
1. Replace the Toilets
Older toilets may use more gallons of water per flush. Therefore, you can upgrade your toilets with high-efficiency toilet models.
For example, you could install dual-flush toilets. These toilet models feature a button, allowing you to control the amount of water volume you use to flush.
Alternatively, you could replace your old toilet with a tankless, smart, or wall-hung toilet if space is an issue. Smart toilets also use less water and ensure more comfort by warming the seat.
While upgrading your old toilets, you can get models compliant with the ADA guidelines. Such toilets should be taller with enough toe clearance and an easy-to-use flush handle or button.
2. Change the Shower Heads
Changing the shower head is one of the easiest bathroom upgrades you can make. This is because of the many modern showerhead options available.
For instance, you could replace your old shower head with a multifunction one that offers many spray options in one fixture. Multifunction showerheads offer spray options, such as massage, soft aerated, wide-coverage, or cleansing.
Additionally, you can install eco-friendly shower heads to help you save on water bills. Such models usually come with a WaterSense certification. Another excellent upgrade would be to install smart shower heads if you are looking to customize your shower experience.
3. Install New Bathroom and Kitchen Faucets
To upgrade your old bathroom faucets, you could install brass or bronze faucets. These can give your bathroom a classic and charming appeal. Stainless steel faucets are also an excellent choice as they give your bathroom or kitchen a streamlined appearance.
You can also upgrade the faucets by installing new styles. For example, you can install sensory or touchless faucets in the bathroom as they are easy to operate, more hygienic, and help conserve water.
Conversely, an affordable and practical kitchen upgrade would be to install pull-out faucets with multiple spray options. These faucets allow ease of operation with one hand. You can also replace your single-handle faucets with two-handle models for a more elegant look.
In addition, you can opt for gooseneck faucets which boast a high arch, allowing ease of washing oversized dishes. While upgrading the kitchen faucets, consider models with water-saving features like aerators to help save on water bills.
4. Replace the Bathtubs
A new bathtub can give your bathroom a modern appeal while improving comfort and functionality. A nice upgrade would be to install a deep soaking or clawfoot tub.
Deep soaking tubs boast extra depth, allowing for a more immersive bathing experience. On the other hand, a clawfoot or freestanding tub made of durable cast iron can add a touch of elegance.
Additionally, you could upgrade the bathtub by adding accessibility features, such as built-in seating and grab bars. Alternatively, you can consider upgrading to walk-in tubs, especially if you or your loved one has mobility issues.
If you are not on a tight budget, you can invest in smart bathtubs as an upgrade. These tubs feature jet pressure, built-in speakers, aromatherapy diffusers, lighting, and adjustable water temperature.
5. Change the Sinks
The best way to upgrade your old bathroom sinks is to replace them with under-mount or vessel models. Vessel sinks are the trendiest style since they are mounted directly on the countertop. They tend to create a visually striking focal point.
On the other hand, under-mount sinks mount from below the countertop, leaving no lip, unlike their drop-in counterparts. As such, they create a seamless and sleek appearance.
For the kitchen sinks, many upgrade options are available, depending on the style of your old fixture. The best upgrade options range from farmhouse sinks to double basin sinks and deep basin models.
Farmhouse sinks add a charming and rusting look to the kitchen with their exposed front panel. Double basin sinks feature two separate compartments, ensuring flexibility, while deep basin models offer more space for handling larger pots.
If you have a porcelain kitchen sink, you could upgrade to a stainless-steel model to give your kitchen a more contemporary feel. But if you don’t like your old stainless-steel sink, you can replace it with a quartz or granite composite model.
Factors to Consider When Upgrading Old Bathroom or Kitchen Plumbing Fixtures
When upgrading your old bathroom or kitchen plumbing fixtures, you must take several factors into consideration. These include:
The first thing you must consider when upgrading your old plumbing fixtures is style. You must choose fixtures that match the overall aesthetic and decor of your bathroom or kitchen.
Additionally, you must assess if the new fixtures will fit into your existing plumbing system. With this in mind, you must consider the fixtures’ mounting requirements and dimensions.
3. Water Efficiency
Another factor to consider is the water efficiency of the new plumbing fixtures. Look for fixtures with features like WaterSense certification, aerators, dual-flush mechanisms, or flow restrictors to help you conserve water.
You need to invest in plumbing fixtures made from durable materials. For example, instead of porcelain, you can choose stainless steel as it is more durable. With faucets, the most durable material is brass and brushed nickel finish.
Consider how the new plumbing fixtures will fit into your daily routine. For example, you can choose a kitchen sink with multiple basins and a faucet with a high arc design. This will ensure easier dishwashing. If you have mobility issues, you can choose a walk-in bathtub.
Benefits of Upgrading Old Bathroom or Kitchen Plumbing Fixtures
There are numerous benefits that come with upgrading your old kitchen or bathroom plumbing fixtures. These include:
1. Reduced Utility Bills
Old plumbing fixtures like toilets, faucets, and showers can use more water and increase water bills. However, most new fixtures boast water-saving features like aerator attachments designed to use less water.
2. Minimizes Plumbing Problems
Additionally, old plumbing fixtures are more prone to failing and causing water leaks. Therefore, upgrading them can help reduce plumbing issues and save money on repairs.
3. Increased Property Value
Upgrading your bathroom or kitchen plumbing fixtures can also increase your home value. This comes in handy when selling the property.
4. Enhanced Aesthetics
New and modern plumbing fixtures come in many styles and finishes. Therefore, they can help improve your bathroom or kitchen’s aesthetics. You can choose from traditional to sleek styles and classic designs.
In this section, we will respond to frequently asked questions regarding how to upgrade old bathroom or kitchen plumbing fixtures.
Can I upgrade my old plumbing fixtures myself?
Yes. You can upgrade most of the plumbing fixtures in the bathroom or kitchen yourself. However, for fixtures, such as bathtubs and sinks, you must hire a professional plumber to help.
Should I upgrade the plumbing system when updating old plumbing fixtures?
Yes, but only if the plumbing system is old and worn out. For example, if your house still uses metal pipes, you can upgrade them to copper or PVC pipes for enhanced durability.
Can I mix different plumbing fixtures styles in my bathroom or kitchen upgrade?
Absolutely. For example, you can mix modern and traditional fixtures as long as the two styles complement each other. It is also possible to combine classic design and contemporary style fixtures.
One of the ways to tell it’s time to upgrade your old bathroom or kitchen plumbing fixtures is if you are dealing with persistent leaks. Another tell-tale sign is low water pressure and frequent repairs. To upgrade your old plumbing fixtures, you can install new toilets, shower heads, faucets, sinks, and bathtubs.
This is because there are many benefits of upgrading old plumbing fixtures. These include reduced water bills and plumbing problems, improved aesthetics, and home value. That said, you must consider several factors before upgrading your old plumbing fixtures. These include compatibility, durability, style, functionality, and water efficiency.