It's time to choose a new plumbing fixture, whether it's for a new home, a remodel, or a fixture replacement. But there are many characteristics to consider. How do you decide which product is best?

You may be most interested in appearance and cost and decide to simplify the process by relying on those qualities. If you're working with an interior decorator or designer, they may look for style and functionality. If you ask a plumber, you're going to get suggestions based on ease of installation, frequency of replacements, and overall quality.

Ultimately, you alone will have to consider the characteristics you'd like in your fixture. You will need to consider type, finish, style, size, usability, and special features as well as quality.

Let the following advice guide you when it comes to quality-and cut your list down by one very important element.

What Plumbers Expect from Quality Fixtures

While advice from individual plumbers differs, there are a few standard characteristics to look for when choosing a fixture, including:

  • Certification. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers tests products for safety and reliability. To ensure a product is suitable for use, always look for certification markings on the product or in the manual. Some companies might not certify their products because the process is costly. Avoid fixtures that have not been certified.
  • No plastic. Plastics are not suitable for use in plumbing fixtures. They are not as durable as their metal counterparts. With faucets and similar fixtures, mineral residue naturally builds as water passes through the fixture. Metal fixtures endure the grinding mineral residue causes, but normal wear and tear will damage plastic.
  • Appropriate pricing. The price of a product reveals a lot about its quality. When considering your options, take note of the average cost of a quality fixture. For products like faucets, aim for $100+. More affordable faucets cost less because they use inferior plastic parts. Faucets in the $100-$300 range will likely be reliable for many years.
  • These three elements are the most important to consider when choosing a quality plumbing fixture. Many popular brands, as well as lesser-known or boutique brands, meet these qualifications.

    Another thing to keep in mind: brands that are familiar to your plumber are simpler and quicker for him or her to install. This may save you from additional cost in labor hours. But unfamiliar brands and fixtures accompanied by adequate instructions should make the process smooth and simple.

    A Closer Look at Plumber Preferences

    Each plumber will have his or her own opinions about particular brands based on individual experience. And some brands are more suitable for specific regions with particular plumbing considerations. However, plumbers recognize that most product lines include both high- and low-end products.

    Most plumbers will make suggestions about a manufacturer overall, not the individual hardware. Don't forget to research the particular product you are considering before purchasing.

    In the end, plumbers are interested in two things: installation and repairs. Plumbers prefer installing fixtures that are simple to install. And most importantly, plumbers favor brands that make repairs simple. Plumbers cringe when a manufacturer changes the product numbers often, which makes finding the right part much harder and more time-consuming.

    When you're choosing plumbing fixtures for your home, look at the necessary qualities first. Check for certification, compare prices,and avoid plastic components. But also remember that your plumber isn't just around to help when things break down. Ask your plumber his or her experience with particular brands and models. You'll know what to expect when it comes time for repairs-and hopefully choose a product that doesn't need much repair in the first place.