An Important Update Regarding Orders & COVID-19

A year ago, we never would have expected the COVID-19 pandemic to wreak total havoc with our normal way of life. From stay at home orders and business shutdowns to the undeniable toll on health and lives, this pandemic has completely changed things for many across the country.

Unfortunately, those same disruptions continue to this day. Even with the introduction of an effective vaccine, we are continuing to see COVID levels spike across the country. While our own problems may pale in comparison to those who have lost jobs or loved ones, Kitchen & Bath Authority has been affected and is continuing to be impacted by the virus.

Here is what you should know regarding where things stand (for now) in regards to your online orders in light of the current pandemic.

Disruptions Throughout the Supply Chain

shipping containers

COVID cases are spiking throughout the country, as well as internationally. This is resulting in major disruptions in almost every stage of the supply chain. For example, an outbreak in a factory could cause shutdowns that temporarily limit stock of select items. While this aspect isn’t as extreme as when widespread manufacturer shutdowns caused massive shortages at the beginning of the pandemic, it is still a recurring issue.

What has become far more common in recent weeks and months are outbreaks and disruptions at other stages of the supply chain. Many products are manufactured internationally, and then shipped overseas via containers. However, increased demand for a wide range of products, combined with the pandemic, has led to record delays in container shipments. 

In fact, one recent study found that less than one in three ocean shipments arrived on time to the United States in November 2020. The study found that delays weren’t just getting more frequent — they were also getting longer. The Chinese New Year holiday period is expected to result in even greater delays in getting shipments across in a timely manner because of the seasonal closure of factories.

Once products arrive in the United States, they aren’t immune from pandemic-related disruptions, either. We’re seeing warehouses and distribution centers suspend operations due to COVID outbreaks among workers. UPS actually suspended its Service Guarantee at the start of the pandemic because of COVID-related disruptions and an increased number of people placing online orders from home.

Needless to say, as much as we would like to guarantee a fast and timely delivery, these circumstances beyond our control have made it so this isn’t a possibility. While we are doing everything we can to get orders processed and sent out in a timely manner, there is no telling what issues might come into play along the way.

What Comes Next?

bathroom vanity

Here at Kitchen & Bath Authority, we understand how frustrating order delays can be. We’re doing everything we can to ensure as timely of a delivery as possible. All orders placed on our website are processed upon receipt, after which we perform credit verification and send info to our distributors to get the order shipped out.

Normally, this means that orders are shipped within 24 to 48 hours of receipt, as long as the items are in stock. Items shipped via UPS should receive a tracking order from UPS. We email tracking orders to you as soon as they become unavailable. 

If you haven’t received a tracking number five business days after you placed your order, you are welcome to email [email protected] for updated order status. While this is a rarity in normal times, COVID is making such delays increasingly likely.

From what we’ve seen firsthand, an order could have a tracking number created by UPS, but then spend several days sitting on a truck without going anywhere due to COVID issues with available drivers or the distribution center.

Unfortunately, at that point, there isn’t much we can do to expedite your order. It all depends on how quickly our shipping partners can resolve their COVID issues and get back on the road.

While we can’t control what happens during the shipping process, one way to avoid extended delays is to check stock availability on our website when you are placing your order. No matter what item you’re interested in — whether it be a barn door or a bathroom vanity — you’ll see the number of units currently in stock highlighted in green on our site. 

Items that don’t have a stock number listed have low stock or are out of stock. Before attempting to place an order, we recommend that you call our support staff to confirm whether stock is available, as well as how soon additional items will be ready. Double-checking that an item is actually in stock will help ensure expedited arrival of your order, even if there is still the potential for delays while in-transit.

Getting Through This Together

Here at Kitchen & Bath Authority, we have always prided ourselves on our ability to provide timely shipping and quality service, while still delivering discounted prices that help you create your dream home.

While the pandemic may be keeping us from getting orders delivered as quickly as we would like, our commitment to quality products and service remains the same. You can continue to find discounted prices on bathroom and kitchen products from leading manufacturers throughout our site. Special discount codes, our exclusive membership program, and available financing combine to make your purchase even more affordable.

We understand how it can be frustrating when your order doesn’t arrive as quickly as you expected. Our support team is always standing by to help address your questions and concerns. 

Most of all, we hope that the vaccine rollout will help life get back to normal for all of us sooner rather than later. 

Transform Your Grilling Experience With Tagwood

As anyone experienced with barbecuing would be quick to tell you, not all grills are created equal. The right grill with the right fuel can make it that much easier to cook your food to perfection, creating a distinctive flavor that everyone will love.

While typical American BBQ grills are certainly serviceable, grilling traditions from other parts of the globe have become increasingly popular in recent years. This is especially true of South American grilling techniques from places like Argentina and Brazil.

Now, genuine Argentine grills — also known as Santa Maria grills — are available right here from Kitchen & Bath Authority. Tagwood BBQ grills are designed to deliver the ultimate grilling experience, and are sure to completely transform your next gathering with friends or family. Here’s what you should know about these dynamic, exciting grills.

What is a Santa Maria Grill?

Santa Maria style grill

First, it may help to understand how a traditional Argentine grill differs from what we’re used to in the United States. Santa Maria grills use a deceptively simple design that gives the cook total control over cooking temperature and more. 

Grilling is much more than just a hobby in Argentina — the term “asado” refers to both the style of preparing the meat, as well as the social event associated with the barbecue. Beef, chicken, pork, chorizo and more make up the menu. Each chef has their own technique, adjusting factors like cook time and distance from the coals based on their personal preferences.

These grilling traditions date back to the era of the “gauchos”, or cowboys, of Argentina’s Pampa region, who drew from Italian cooking traditions to prepare the meat that was available to them while on the range. Over time, these grilling customs evolved into a big part of the natural culture, and simple grilling techniques led to the development of more refined Santa Maria grills.

Santa Maria grills feature a flat grill grate mounted over a box or “brasero” that houses the fuel. The grills use either charcoal or wood, though many cooks prefer flavor-infusing woods such as pecan, hickory, or red oak. This creates smoky fires, while allowing cooks to achieve high heat.

Most importantly, the grates used in Santa Maria grills are height-adjustable. A crank wheel raises or lowers the grill grate as needed, giving the user total control over the cooking temperature. Moving the grate closer to the fire sears the meat, while raising the grate away from the coals makes it easy to perform slow cooking. This is paired with a component known as the firebrick, which spreads heat evenly throughout the grill, while reducing heat transmission to the grill’s outside panels.

The Tagwood Story

Argentina

Unsurprisingly, Tagwood BBQ grills grew from a passion for this style of grilling. Founders Juan Vinci and Walter Afonso were born and raised in Argentina, where they and their friends grew up watching family members work at Argentine Santa Maria grills. The asado was a way of gathering together with loved ones — both for enjoying a great meal and participating in the grilling experience.

Even as they went into entrepreneurship, this passion for grilling stayed with them. After many years of successful business experience, Vinci and Afonso decided to use their passion for grilling to design their own Santa Maria grills.

In an email, Vinci explained how Tagwood loves to focus on actual grillers by observing them and understanding their problems to come up with innovative and creative solutions. As grilling fanatics themselves, they want to ensure that each cook who uses their grills has a great experience. 

Rather than taking a “mechanical engineer” approach to designing grills, they put themselves in the shoes of the end user. They use their own knowledge and experiences to consider what would make the grilling experience even better. Quite often, ideas for designs or add-ons come as they use their own products! 

By using high-quality materials and designs, Tagwood aims to help more people grill like a pro, allowing them to achieve the unique, savory flavor that is only possible with Argentine asado grilling. Ultimately, this allows grillers to create their own asado traditions, bringing family and friends together for good food and good times.

Tagwood Grills & Accessories

Here at Kitchen & Bath Authority, we are proud to offer several Tagwood BBQ grill products to help you transform your cooking space.

Tagwood grill

The TAGWOOD BBQ BBQ01SS Ultimate Series 67 Inch Argentine Free-Standing Charcoal Grill with Lid is made from 304 stainless steel. This grill utilizes three separate grilling areas. The main grate uses the Argentine height-adjustable system, while the griddle and secondary grate provide a great space for cooking vegetables and other sides. In total, the grill boasts 871 square inches of cooking space. 

The top lid can be closed to capture more heat for roasting meat. Firebricks on the bottom and right wall spread heat evenly, while the brasero firebox helps light up wood or charcoal that much quicker. Swivel casters allow you to move this grill wherever you want, while added features like a water drain system, side table, and bottle opener provide extra functionality and durability. Backed by a 5-year limited warranty, you can count on this grill to deliver delicious results time and time again.

The TAGWOOD BBQ BBQ03SS Ultimate Series 67 Inch Argentine Free-Standing Charcoal Grill is another excellent mobile grilling option. 731 square inches of total grilling space are spaced across four separate grilling areas. In addition to the height adjustable main grate, the secondary grate, and griddle, this grill also comes with 8 S-shape meat hooks. These meat hooks allow you to smoke or slow cook a wide variety of food — a popular technique in traditional Argentine asado.

This variety of grilling options gives you true versatility for your barbecuing. You could slow-cook a half of lamb over the course of several hours, or quickly fire up some burgers. Rounded grill grates provide an optimal grilling surface that is easy to season and clean. As with other Tagwood products, this grill comes with a UV-resistant grill cover, as well as a steel shovel and coal rake made from 304 stainless steel.

If you prefer a built-in grilling solution, the TAGWOOD BBQ BBQ05SS Ultimate Series 48 Inch Built-In Charcoal Grill is the perfect fit. The smallest of our Tagwood grills, it still offers an impressive 561 square inches of total grilling area, with an interchangeable griddle, height adjustable grates, and 8 S-shape meat hooks. 

As with other Tagwood products, this grill is made from 304 stainless steel for premium durability and functionality. Round grates, a gaucho-style brasero for lighting charcoal or wood, and firebrick integration make it easy to achieve the grilling results you want, whether you’re cooking salmon or a rack of ribs.

Tagwood grill

For the ultimate high-end grilling experience, you can’t go wrong with the TAGWOOD BBQ BBQ02SI Chief Series 63 Inch Argentine Free-Standing Charcoal Grill. This grill boasts six separate grilling surfaces, giving you the versatility needed to let your cooking creativity run wild. In addition to the height-adjustable main grate, this grill also features two swivel secondary grates and griddles, a warming rack, a height-adjustable asador (grilling basket), and 16 S-shape meat hooks. The result is a total 1,384 square inches of grilling space.

The grill also features a spacious area beneath the cooking surface for storing firewood or charcoal, as well as a vent hood for funneling smoke away from the cooking area. This attractive design is, of course, made with 304 stainless steel, and includes all the add-ons found in other Tagwood grills, such as a side table attachment, firebrick bottom, gaucho-style firebox, round grates, and more, all backed by a 5-year limited warranty. It’s the perfect addition to your backyard.

In addition to the grills themselves, Tagwood also produces several grilling accessories to further improve your cooking experience. The TAGWOOD BBQ BBQ10SS 35 Inch Stainless Steel Working Table gives you a spacious, mobile prep area. This heavy duty countertop with a height-adjustable lower shelf makes it easy to transport food out to the grill, or to cut and season your meat. This prep table provides a total of 835 square inches of workspace, giving you all the space you need to get things ready for the grill.

Though they are also included with each Tagwood grill, you can also purchase the TAGWOOD BBQ BBQ11SS Stainless Steel Shovel and Poker separately. At 35 inches long, these handy tools allow you to work at any part of the grill without getting too close to the fire. Manufactured with 304 stainless steel, you can have confidence that they will last just as long as the grill itself.

Get Your Grilling Supplies From Kitchen & Bath Authority

If you’re ready to shake up your standard grilling experience, Tagwood BBQ grills are a great place to start. Argentine asado could easily become your new favorite method of grilling meat, vegetables, and more!

As with all other products sold on our site, you can have confidence that these grills will meet — and exceed — your quality expectations. Our customer support team is also readily available to answer any questions you might have about these BBQ products.

Of course, we strive to make these and other purchases more affordable with free shipping, as well as available financing to break your purchase into more manageable monthly payments. Deals and promotions are regularly offered on items throughout our store, with additional exclusive deals being made available to those who join our membership program.

No matter what your future BBQ plans look like, Kitchen & Bath Authority makes it easy to turn those grilling dreams into reality. Place your order today so you can start grilling!

How to Pick the Right BBQ Grill For You

Few things can help turn your backyard into the ultimate retreat quite like a BBQ grill. A grilling area can become the ideal gathering place for family and friends at almost any time of year. Whether you’re getting ready for the big game or having some friends over for a summer party, the grill offers the perfect place to gather round and prep hamburgers and other favorites.

While some grills may look fairly similar to each other when you are shopping online, there are actually a wide range of differences that you will want to be aware of. Before you make your purchase, understanding which type of grill best fits your lifestyle and cooking preferences will ensure that you make a selection you will be happy with.

There is no “right” or “wrong” grill to buy. But knowing some basic factors that differentiate grills from each other is an absolute must for finding the right fit for you.

Fuel Type

One of the biggest considerations when choosing a BBQ grill is the type of fuel it uses. There are five main types of “fuels” that can be used for a BBQ grill, and your selection will have a big impact on your cooking experience and future maintenance needs.

charcoal for grilling
  • Charcoal: Charcoal briquettes are considered the “classic” fuel for grills. You place the briquettes in the grill, light them, and once they heat up, you cook your food. Charcoal is considered to impart a more distinctive flavor that electric or gas grills. However, cooking with charcoal can be a bit more complicated, especially when it comes to achieving the right cooking temperature. It is generally recommended to arrange charcoal in a pyramid shape on the charcoal grate (beneath the surface where you’ll be grilling your food). You’ll also need lighter fluid and a lighter to start the fire. The coals generally need to heat up for 10 to 15 minutes before you can start grilling. Though charcoal requires more patience, it rewards users with a rich, distinctive flavor. Keep in mind, however, that you’ll also need to empty out cold ashes and clean the grill after use to keep it running properly.
  • Electric: Electric grills are less common than other fuel types, but they are still worth mentioning. Electric grills tend to be smaller, and use a heating element to provide current resistance that turns electricity into heat. Though not the most efficient source of energy for cooking, it still heats up the grill quickly. Grill purists argue that electric cooking doesn’t add any flavor to the foods. If you don’t plan on grilling super frequently, however, this can be an easy, low-maintenance solution.
  • Propane: Propane gas provides a lot of power, allowing the BBQ grill to heat up rather quickly. All you have to do is connect a can of propane to the tank, and your grill is ready to go. Propane grills are also quite easy to use, as you can adjust the heat simply by turning a dial. Many propane grills feature multi-zone cooking or indirect heating, allowing you to cook different items (such as meat and veggies) at different temperatures at the same time. Propane grills are generally low-maintenance, making them a great choice for someone who plans on using their grill on a regular basis. Propane tanks are also relatively affordable, and safer than in the past (though you should still try to keep them away from other heat sources).
  • Natural Gas: Natural gas can be a bit pricier to set up, but it can make managing your fuel needs much easier in the long run. Natural gas grills connect to the natural gas lines already running into your home. This fuel isn’t sold in tanks like propane. This makes it a great choice if your home already uses natural gas, as you would just need to extend the current gas lines. If you don’t have natural gas already, you’re probably better served by another option. Plan carefully before installing your natural gas BBQ grill, as this will be a permanent installation. However, this fuel is easy to use, as you’ll never need to worry about buying replacement fuel after your grill has been set up.
  • Wood: Finally, there are wood pellet grills. Those who use wood pellet grills swear that this fuel provides the richest, most distinctive flavor of any grilling method. Various types of wood pellets are available, with different wood species imbuing different flavors to your meat. Wood pellets burn slowly and at a high temperature, making them flexible and easy to use, even for smoking meat. Though wood pellets are generally more expensive than charcoal, they tend to last longer, making them a great choice for a true grilling enthusiast.

Number of Burners

grilling

Size matters — and this is especially true of your BBQ grill. The number of burners you have on your grill will directly impact how much food you can cook at the same time. Most grills have two or three burners, but there are also smaller models with a single burner, and larger grills with as many as five.

Unsurprisingly, the more burners you have, the more food you’ll be able to cook at the same time. For most grills, each burner is controlled individually, meaning you could set one burner to higher heat for grilling burgers, while setting another burner at a lower temperature for slow cooking — all simultaneously. With multiple burners, you have more flexibility in your meal prep.

Of course, if you only plan on cooking for yourself and one or two other people, a one or two-burner grill will generally be sufficient. There’s no need to invest in a lot of extra grilling space that will simply sit unused.

On the other hand, if you plan on regularly hosting get-togethers with medium or large groups of people, err on the side of getting a BBQ grill with more burners. Three or more burners will give you the space and flexibility to get everyone’s food ready in a timely manner.

In addition to the burners that are included with the base grill, some grill masters also buy BBQ side burners to further expand their cooking space. Side burners are generally attached to propane gas grills. With a smaller surface, they generally aren’t suited for cooking your main dish. Instead, they provide a convenient place for preparing sauces, vegetables, and other sides. 

Side burners come with their own control settings and are heated separately from the main grate, allowing users to adjust the temperature without interfering with the main course. Side burners can even serve as a “backup” option if your main grill gives out at the last minute. As an attachment, the side burner can still work independently, even if the main grill is off or not working.

Installation Type

BBQ grill

How you plan to use your BBQ grill can also play a role in determining the type of grill installation you get. 

Most people are used to the idea of portable grills. Sleek and stylish, this installation style is suited for charcoal/wood pellet grills or grills that use propane tanks, which do not require utility hookups. A portable grill can easily be moved to any location in your backyard, making it a great choice if you plan to rearrange your porch or patio later on. Portability also allows you to bring the grill into storage for winter or when a severe storm is on the way.

For a more permanent installation, you can choose between built-in or drop-in grills, as well as post grills. Built-in and drop-in grills are typically installed as part of a larger outdoor kitchen. The grill itself may be added on to an outdoor island area that also provides counter space and houses additional items like a sink or storage drawers.

Because built-in and drop-in grills are attached to a sturdy patio installation, you don’t have to worry about them getting knocked over or damaged during severe weather. The permanent nature of the installation also means you can use electricity or natural gas as a fuel source, if desired. 

Finally, post grills offer a permanent grill installation that can work well when you don’t have the space for a full outdoor kitchen setup. These grills typically have small cutting boards to either side, while the post is mounted securely to the ground. The grill isn’t going anywhere, even if the installation doesn’t seem quite as robust as a grill that has been built in to an outdoor countertop. Most post grills use natural gas.

For the full outdoor kitchen experience, you can’t go wrong with installing a BBQ grill island. In addition to the grill itself, these high-end installations also include a side burner, refrigerator, and doors and drawers for additional storage. Aluminum counter surfaces provide the perfect location for prepping food before placing it on the grill. Additional matching products, such as vent hoods and beverage centers (complete with water hookups) can turn your grilling area into a fully functional outdoor kitchen. Some islands, like the Fire Magic IL660-FOD-116BA 116 Inch L-Shape Reclaimed Wood Island System, French Barrel Oak, Medium Pantry, even include space for seating or an umbrella!

Extra BBQ Grill Features

BBQ grill

Most people are understandably focused on the burners and fuel source when buying a grill — and for good reason! However, many BBQ grills offer extra features that can make your outdoor cooking that much more enjoyable.

For example, a glass viewing window can allow you to peek in at the progress of your meat without opening the lid and releasing that precious heat. Lighting options available on some grills allow you to continue your cookout well into the night, even if you don’t have the best patio lighting.

Other grills come with a C-smoker box or a griddle to further expand the ways you can cook on your grill. Grill covers are another common extra included with many grills. A polyester or vinyl cover will offer extra protection against the elements when your grill is not in use.

While such features are hardly a “make or break” part of the grill-buying decision for most, they do serve as nice extras that will help you get even more out of your cook space. Many of the grills available at Kitchen & Bath Authority come with such extras, allowing you to create the ultimate grilling experience on your property.

Find Your Next BBQ Grill at Kitchen & Bath Authority

While Kitchen & Bath Authority may not be the first name that comes to mind for your next BBQ grill purchase, we’re proud to offer a varied selection of grills that are perfect for your home. With products from top brands like American Outdoor Grill, Fire Magic Grills, Broilmaster, and more, you’ll have no trouble finding the right fit for your property.

These high-end grills don’t just deliver the lasting quality that you want from your next BBQ grill. Many of our grills, including BBQ islands, are available at significant discounts off MSRP, allowing you to save hundreds of dollars on this exciting purchase. Each of our grills is shipped for free, and available financing can help you break your expense into more affordable monthly payments.

No matter what type of grill you feel is right for you, you’re sure to find a quality match here at Kitchen & Bath Authority. Check out our entire selection of outdoor products so you can start transforming your yard!

Setting Up Your Throne: A Guide to Toilet Selection

While they may not get as much focus during a typical bathroom renovation, there is no denying the importance of your toilets. After all, they are called “the throne” for a reason! As a place where you will be sitting and “conducting your business” on a daily basis, this is certainly one part of the bathroom that cannot be overlooked.

Believe it or not, not all toilets are created equal. There are several different designs and features that can make a difference for your bathroom space. The right toilet can make each trip that much more enjoyable. Here are some factors to consider that will help you make the right pick for your bathroom.

Toilet Shape

square toilet

Let’s start with the basics: your toilet’s shape and the general “theme” or style that it offers. Most toilets are available in either an elongated (oval) or round shape. However, some contemporary designs also use a square shape, such as the Swiss Madison SM-1T106MB Concorde One-Piece Square Toilet with Dual Flush in Matte Black, 0.8/1.28 GPF. Keep in mind, though, that it might be hard to find a replacement toilet seat if you buy a square toilet! Still, there is something to be said about the stylish, contemporary statement such a design could make.

The shape and style of your toilet is generally a matter of personal preference more than anything else. That being said, round toilets are generally considered the best option for more compact bathrooms, as they fit well in small spaces. Round toilets tend to use a more traditional design, while elongated and square toilets are more likely to feature a contemporary look. 

Overall, many people find elongated toilets more comfortable and easier to clean. These toilets also tend to have a more forceful flush than round toilets. As such, the vast majority of toilets produced today feature an elongated bowl.

Toilet Type and Mount

wall-mounted toilet

It used to be that you only had one option for the type of toilet you bought: a two-piece design that was mounted to the floor. Now, however, advances in bathroom design have also resulted in new options being introduced for those interested in a modern, contemporary look.

Two-piece toilets feature a separate tank that is mounted onto the body of the toilet. Having two separate parts can make it somewhat easier to install the toilet in your bathroom by reducing the overall weight you have to carry. This will also make it easier should you ever need to move the toilet for repairs in the future.

However, a one-piece design offers a sleek, distinctive look that bolsters the contemporary feel of your bathroom. Toilets like the Toto MS604114CEFG#01 Ultramax II One Piece Elongated 1.28 GPF Toilet with Double Cyclone Flush System and SanaGloss – SoftClose Seat Included, Cotton, Polished Chrome are a great example of this. With a one-piece toilet, you also don’t have to worry about the tank screws coming loose over time.

In addition, there are also bowl-only toilet designs. Rather than using a tank, these toilets typically use a flush valve, such as in the American Standard 3351.101.020 Afwall Millenium 1.1- 1.6 GPF FloWise White Elongated Flushometer Toilet with Everclean. Though most typically associated with high-use commercial restrooms, bowl-only designs are becoming more common with sleek, contemporary wall-mounted toilets.

Examples of this wall-mounted bathroom option include the Swiss Madison SM-WT449 Sublime One Piece 0.8/1.28 GPF Dual-Flush Elongated Wall-Hung Toilet in White, which features a concealed carrier tank that makes it easy to connect the toilet to your home’s plumbing system while still maintaining a clean, modern look.

Flush Placement and Type

flush lever

Few parts of a toilet are more important than the flush lever (and the flushing mechanism itself)! As with other toilet components, there is no real “right” or “wrong” answer for the type of flush you should get. It mostly comes down to personal preference.

Traditionally, most toilets featured a flush lever on either the left or right side of the tank (though most often on the left). This allowed for easy access to the flush lever on whichever side of the bathroom had a wider opening. 

More recently, however, top-mounted levers have become increasingly common — especially for toilets which include a dual-flush feature. Rather than a standard lever, toilets like the Toto CST446CEMG#01 Aquia IV Two-Piece Elongated 1.28/0.8 Dual Flush Skirted Toilet with CeFiONtect, Cotton White use a button push. The push button system actually utilizes two buttons, which allows users to select how much water to flush. For liquid waste, you can select the flush that uses less water.

Toilet manufacturers are also going the extra mile to make each flush more efficient and forceful than in the past. For example, many Toto products use the company’s “Dynamax Tornado Flush” system, which projects water from the entire rim to provide a 360-degree clean. American Standard toilets feature a similar system called PowerWash.

While the flush lever placement is more a matter of personal preference, these dynamic flushing systems will ensure that all waste is efficiently removed, and can even reduce your cleaning burden. Not having to scrub the toilet as frequently is nothing to complain about!

Water Usage

bbling water

The amount of water that goes down the drain with each flush has become increasingly important to homeowners and business owners alike in recent years. After all, reducing how much water you use doesn’t just help lower your utility bill. It also lessens your impact on the environment.

As previously noted, many toilets have implemented dual-flush systems to better accommodate this preference. When less force is needed to expel waste from the toilet bowl, you can use less water for a more eco-friendly approach.

Toilet manufacturers make it easy to find how eco-friendly their toilets are by listing the number of gallons used per flush. While older toilets would sometimes use as many as 5 gallons of water per flush, newer toilets have drastically reduced that number.

At Kitchen & Bath Authority, we carry a wide selection of WaterSense Certified toilets, many of which feature a dual-flush option of 0.8/1.28 gallons per flush. Sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency, toilets that are WaterSense certified meet the government’s efficiency criteria, meaning they use at least 20 percent less water than standard toilets.

The amount of water that is flushed when you use your toilet may seem trivial, but it can quickly add up over the course of the day. The average person flushes the toilet several times a day, and if you have a large family, that results in a lot of water going down the drains. Upgrading from an old toilet to a more water-efficient model will have a bigger impact than you might expect.

Specifications

ADA compliant toilet

Now it’s time to get into some of the details that are less immediately apparent, but are still important when it comes to your toilet selection.

The specifications, or measurements of height, depth, and width should be double checked before you order a new toilet for your bathroom. For starters, it’s a good idea to compare these measurements with the size of the space you currently have. If you are simply replacing an old toilet rather than investing in a full-scale bathroom remodel, you’ll want to make sure the new toilet is roughly the same size. That new toilet won’t do you much good if it is too big to fit your space!

If you are planning to age in place inside your home, these measurements become even more important. As mobility declines, the bathroom becomes an increasingly hazardous place. While many slip and fall accidents are associated with showers and bathtubs, toilets can also be made more safe with ADA compliant specifications.

Sometimes referred to as “comfort height” toilets, these toilets are compliant with guidelines from the Americans with Disabilities Act. These toilets typically have a bowl height of 17 to 18 inches, which is taller than normal toilets. A raised toilet seat is also used to make it easier for users to sit and stand.

In addition to the toilet itself, bathroom renovations in homes where mobility may become an issue should also install grab bars near the toilet for ease in standing and sitting. Such adjustments will dramatically improve the bathroom’s safety and usability.

Rough-In

measuring tape

Another not so glamorous, but important, element of a new toilet installation is the rough-in measurement. The rough-in measures the space between the wall behind the toilet and the bolts that hold the toilet into the floor. This measurement can take place before you even remove your old toilet, and should be a key consideration when narrowing down your options.

The standard toilet rough-in measurement is 12 inches. However, some homes will have toilets with different rough-in measurements, with 10 and 14 inches being relatively common alternatives. 

Double check your current measurements and the rough-in measurement of the toilet you are interested in buying. Though some toilets actually come with an adjustable rough-in, purchasing a model with the wrong measurements might just leave you with a fancy new toilet that doesn’t fit in your space.

Additional Features

TOTO washlet

A toilet is a toilet, right? Though toilets have never seemed like a particularly “advanced” or tech-centric item, innovative brands are continuing to implement new features that make your bathroom trips better than ever before.

Without a doubt, one of the biggest trends in bathroom toilets has been the increased integration of bidets. Products like the TOTO MS920CEMFG#01 Washlet with Integrated Toilet G400 – 1.28 GPF and 0.9 GPF, Cotton integrate a bidet seat directly into the toilet design. Front and rear warm water wash sprays are available, with the option for users to adjust the water temperature and pressure according to their preferences. An air deodorizer and dryer function further streamline your bathroom routine.

This is far from the only fancy feature this top-of-the-line toilet has to offer. Toto Washlets also include features like auto flush, an auto open/close lid. It even pre-mists the bowl before use. The entire unit (including the heated seat) can be operated by a remote control. 

The Toto Washlet also uses a specialty glaze that keeps waste from sticking to the toilet’s ceramic surface. This keeps your toilet cleaner longer, meaning you won’t have to clean as often or spend as much money on cleaning supplies.

Of course, you don’t have to invest in a brand new washlet to enjoy some of these exciting features. The brand also offers bidet seats like the Toto SW2033R#01 Washlet C100 Electronic Bidet Toilet Seat with PREMIST and Round Front, Cotton. These bidet seats can be configured to attach to your current toilet, allowing you to enjoy features like pre-misting spray and a self-cleaning bidet wand. A “soft close” function even keeps the lid from slamming shut!

As these products prove, your toilet can just as easily become a luxury feature as the rest of your bathroom. 

Time to Pick Your Toilet!

With all this information in hand, you should be well on your way to knowing which type of toilet will look best for your space. And whether you’re interested in a contemporary washlet or a more traditional design, Kitchen & Bath Authority has you covered. We offer a wide selection of toilets from leading brands like American Standard, Toto, Duravit, and more.

Not only do we carry toilets from the top brands, but we also offer many of them at significant discounts to help you save big on your bathroom upgrade. Special coupons and offers, free shipping, and additional discounts that are unlocked when you sign up for our membership program make your purchase even less expensive.

Financing is also available for purchases from our site, and many buyers can actually qualify for interest-free financing. Needless to say, upgrading the “throne room” may be more easily accomplished than you might initially expect.

What You Should Know About Installing a New Walk-In Shower System

Few things can take your bathroom from ordinary to luxury like a new shower system. Of course, a walk-in shower involves a lot of plumbing, which can make an upgrade significantly more complex than other home renovation projects. 

With that in mind, here is a closer look at some of the things you’ll need to take into consideration when installing a new shower system inside your home.

A Walk-In Shower or a Shower/Tub Combo?

walk-in shower

Before you even begin your project, you should consider whether you want a walk-in shower or a shower/tub combination. There’s more to consider than just how these installations will make your bathroom look — they will also impact what you can use the bathrooms for.

A shower/tub combination is generally recommended in any bathroom that is going to be used by children. This allows you to give your children baths when they are younger, while still offering the flexibility for them to transition to showering when they are older. These models can also help you conserve space if you have a smaller bathroom, as you won’t need separate floorspace for a shower and a soaking tub.

Walk-in showers provide a more luxurious look for your bathroom, and glass shower doors in particular can help the room feel larger by reflecting light sources. Walk-in showers can be a good choice for individuals who plan to age in place, as the installation of a shower bench and non-slip flooring will greatly reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents in comparison to a normal tub.

A lot of the decision to install either a walk-in shower or a shower/tub combination piece comes down to personal preference — what you think looks best and how you plan to use the bathroom. Still, this is a decision that should be made well in advance, as it will directly influence which parts you need to buy to complete the installation.

Rough-Ins Valves and Stops

rough-in valve

A commonly overlooked — yet extremely important — part of any shower installation is the rough-in valve. This component is installed inside the wall, and is the valve the connects the hot and cold water lines. Essentially, it controls the mixture of hot and cold water so when you turn the handle on your shower in the morning, you can get the right temperature.

The type of valve fixture you should choose will depend in part on whether you have a walk-in shower or a shower/tub combo. Rough-in valves typically have two inlet ports (for hot and cold water), an outlet for the shower head, and an outlet for the tub spout. For a walk-in shower, you will need a rough-in valve that has a shower-only function, which plugs the tub outlet.

Some rough-in valves also have stops. Shut-off stops are devices that are built into the shower valve and are accessible after removing the shower trim kit. Stops allow you to turn off the water flow with a screwdriver. While this isn’t a necessary installation, this can prove useful should you ever need to conduct repairs for a leaky shower head. A rough-in with stops allows you to only turn off water to the individual shower, rather than needing to shut off the water supply for the entire house. Stops are typically considered something that is “nice to have” for a single-family home, but in a multifamily apartment building, are an absolute necessity.

While not every shower upgrade will require that you replace the rough-in valve, it may be a good idea to check the condition of your current valve when beginning the work. Items like the Kubebath ASV142 Aqua Piazza by KubeBath 2-Way Rough-In Valve With Cover Plate, Handle and Diverter will have you well on your way to taking care of this essential part of a shower installation.

Bases and Drains

shower base

Shower bases and drains also play an important role in many new shower installations by helping direct water out of the shower enclosure. Proper installation of these parts will keep water from leaking into other areas that could be damaged by water or experience mold and mildew growth as a result of excess exposure.

Not every shower installation will use a shower base, as many homeowners prefer the look of tile. However, acrylic and polyurethane shower bases do have some advantages that are worth considering.

For starters, these shower bases tend to be more cost effective than a tile installation. After the shower walls have been installed, the base is quick and easy for a qualified plumber to install. Acrylic or polyurethane bases are also easier to clean because they do not have grout lines. These shower bases are also quite waterproof, and are generally less likely to have issues with water leaks along the edge with the shower door.

A variety of shapes and drain configurations helps shower bases better fit your space — including if you are working with a relatively smaller bathroom. The DreamLine DLT-2038380 SlimLine 38 D x 38 W x 2 3/4 H Neo-Angle Shower Base, White is a great corner shower solution. On the other hand, models like the Swiss Madison SM-SB514 Voltaire 32 x 60 Inch Acrylic Single-Threshold Shower Base with Right-Hand Drain, White and the DreamLine DLT-1036481 SlimLine 36 D x 48 W x 2 3/4 H Double Threshold Shower Base, Left, White are well suited for a standard rectangular space.

Regardless of whether you will use an acrylic shower base or tile flooring, you will want to be mindful of the type of drain you choose to go along with it. The shower’s “floor” should always slope toward the drain so that water doesn’t leak outside of the shower enclosure. Typically, you won’t need to install new drain lines, as these should already be in place. If you are planning to move the drain lines, you should work with a professional plumber.

Once the shower base has been put in place, you can install a drain cover that best matches the base design and your personal preferences. Drains like the Infinity Drain RKD 5-2P SS 5 x 5 Inch Strainer-Link Pattern and 2 Inch Throat with Drain Body with 2 Inch Outlet, SS, PVC Body work well with acrylic or tile, while options like the Watermark LD6-48-PC Linear Shower Drains Trim Kit with Height Adjustable Grate, Polished Chrome offer a unique look that works well with tile.

Shower Heads

shower head

For many homeowners, the shower head is going to be one of the main points of emphasis during a shower enclosure upgrade. After all, the shower head’s design and features will have the most notable impact on your experience when you bathe in the morning!

Overhead shower heads like the Isenberg HSB.10SCP Universal Fixtures 10 Inch Solid Brass Showerhead / Rainhead, Chrome have become especially popular in recent years thanks to the sleek contemporary look and “rainfall”-type spray.

Many shower heads offer multiple spray settings to better match each user’s preferences. Models like the Grohe 26457000 Euphoria 260 Shower Head 3 Sprays, 2.5 GPM, Starlight Chrome also offer hard-hitting jet sprays and water-saving “smart” sprays. The integration of an anti-lime system in this particular shower head also prevents hard water buildup for easier cleaning and maintenance.

Of course, overhead “rainfall” shower heads aren’t your only option. You can choose more traditional shower head options like the Moen 3638 4-3/8 Inch 4-Jet Showerhead, Chrome if that’s your preference.

Regardless of the type of shower head you want to install for your updated shower enclosure, don’t forget about the shower arm! The shower arm extends from the wall and connects to the shower head to provide water at the right angle for when you are bathing. Without a shower arm, the shower head wouldn’t stick out far enough to spray you with water.

While some shower heads come with a standards shower arm or a ceiling mount arm, this isn’t always the case. When placing an order for your preferred shower head, double check to see if you will need to order an additional shower arm. If your current shower arm is in good shape, you may not need to replace it (though you may want to replace it anyway to match the new shower head). 

Shut off the water before unscrewing the old shower arm. Wrap plumber’s tape around the threaded portion of the new shower arm and screw it into the wall, and you should be ready to add on the new shower head of your choice.

Shower Doors

shower doors

Last, but certainly not least, are the shower doors. Shower doors are generally installed at the end of the project, after the walls and base are finished. You must take careful measurements of the space to ensure that the new doors will fit properly and form a watertight seal when they are closed. 

In addition to measuring the surrounds and the height, width, and thickness of the door, you will also need to be aware of any space that the door needs for opening and closing. To keep the shower door from taking up as much space, many homeowners prefer to install a bypass (or sliding) shower door, such as the Dreamline SHDR-1660760-01 Encore 56-60 W x 76 H Frameless Bypass Sliding Shower Door, Chrome. Because the door panels slide past each other rather than opening outward or inward, you have more available floor space for the rest of the bathroom.

Another space saving option is an open entry shower door like the Dreamline SHDR-3234721-89 French Linea Toulon 34 W x 72 H Single Panel Frameless Shower Door Open Entry Design in Satin Black. Be mindful of the spray provided by your shower head if choosing this style of door — you don’t want the shower spray to go past the area “shielded” by the door.

If you prefer a more “traditional” approach to shower doors, pivot shower doors function essentially the same as a standard door, swinging out into the bathroom, or inwards toward the shower enclosure. Neo-angle shower doors like the Vigo VG6063CHCL47W Gemini 47-5/8 x 47-5/8 Inch Frameless Neo-Angle Shower Enclosure with Base, Chrome/Clear Glass are specifically designed for corner enclosures.

Another thing to consider is whether you want a framed or frameless shower door. While both use tempered glass for added durability and easier cleaning, they do have differences to be aware of. Framed shower doors are cheaper and easier to install, though the metal frame may be more susceptible to corrosion over time. Frameless doors offer a minimal, contemporary look and are typically easier to maintain. However, they require more precise installation with the metal clips that keep the door level. As such, frameless installations should generally always be left to a professional contractor.

Get Everything You Need For Your New Walk-In Shower at Kitchen & Bath Authority

Whether you’re simply upgrading your shower head or going for a full-scale walk-in shower renovation, you’ll find the parts and components you need right here at Kitchen & Bath Authority. With top-quality items from brands like Dreamline, Kubebath, Kingston Brass, TOTO, and more, you can have confidence that you’re getting quality parts that will stand the test of time.

Better yet, when you buy from Kitchen & Bath Authority, you gain access to exclusive deals that you won’t find anywhere else. You can find discounts on everything from shower doors to rough-in valves, helping you save big off MSRP to stretch your remodeling budget that much further. All items are available with free shipping, and those who sign up for our membership program can unlock additional discounts on shower parts and other items throughout the site.

Not sure which parts will work best for your installation? Contact our in-house experts, who can answer your questions and use their product knowledge to help you find the right fit. Place your order today so you can start building the bathroom of your dreams.

What Types of Bathroom Vanity Materials Should You Use?

When it comes to bathroom remodeling, few upgrades can have a bigger impact than the bathroom vanity. In addition to providing a functional space for shaving, putting on makeup, brushing your teeth, and taking care of other daily tasks, the vanity serves as a visual focal point for the bathroom.

While you should certainly consider the look of your vanity when planning an upgrade or remodel, it may also be helpful to consider the materials that are being used in the construction of the vanity cabinet.

The most common materials used for bathroom vanities are solid wood, particle board, MDF (medium density fiberboard), and plywood. While most materials can be suitable for your new vanity installation, they also come with their own set of pros and cons you should be aware of.

By understanding the differences between these different bathroom vanity materials, you can select the option that will work best with what you have in mind for your bathroom.

Solid Wood

solid wood vanity

As with other furniture products, solid wood is generally going to be considered the most durable option for a traditional vanity. Solid wood vanities actually cover two categories — 100 percent natural wood, and solid hardwood. The greatest distinction ultimately lies in the type of wood that is used in construction. 

Oak is generally considered to be the strongest wood for bathroom vanities, and is commonly used in vanities like the Vinnova 755048-GR-WH-NM Pavia 48 Inch Single Vanity in Grey with Acrylic Undermount Sink without Mirror or the Water-Creation CH72A-0300GK Chestnut 72 Inch Double Bathroom Vanity in Grey Oak.

However, options like poplar or teak, such as in the Avanity COVENTRY-V60-NT Coventry 60 Inch Vanity Only in Natural Teak also provide quality results. Solid wood vanities bring a traditional, timeless look with a natural finish or a stain that cannot be imitated by other materials. Of course, these materials can be painted in any color you desire.

The strength of solid wood also ensures that you aren’t limited in terms of countertop materials. Whether you prefer marble or acrylic, you can have confidence that the vanity will have the structural support necessary for the weight of your countertop.

While solid wood vanities are very durable, it is important to remember that bathroom conditions can still create problems for this material. Wood can expand as heat increases and as it absorbs moisture. In extreme cases, this expansion could cause some warping of the wood or cracks in a painted finish. A veneer or sealant may be necessary to prevent these issues.

If you choose a solid wood vanity, it is important that you keep the bathroom’s humidity levels under control with the help of a vent fan. This will keep the solid wood vanity from absorbing too much moisture, retaining the stunning look of its natural finish for decades to come.

Particle Board

particle board
CC BY-SA 3.0 by Rotor DB at Wikimedia Commons

In terms of bathroom vanity construction, particle board is generally considered to be on the opposite end of the spectrum from solid wood. Particle board is a composite sheet material using wood particles that are glued together, heated, and pressed into thin sheets. 

Particle board can vary in strength based on the size of the particles and the density of the sheets, however, it is generally considered to be too weak to support the weight of solid surface materials like quartz or granite. Over time, the weight of the countertop can actually cause particle board vanities to sag. Particle board vanities should use lighter countertop materials like acrylic.

Particle board is also more vulnerable to water, heat, and steam than other bathroom vanity materials. While coverings of wood veneer or laminate can offer some protection, the fact remains that the steamy conditions of your bathroom will likely cause a particle board vanity to break down over time. 

Yes, these vanities tend to be less expensive than those built from other materials — but in the long run, they could end up costing you more if you need to replace them due to water damage. Because of this, it is generally recommended to avoid vanities using particle board. You won’t find this material in the top of the line bathroom vanities carried here at Kitchen & Bath Authority.

MDF Bathroom Vanities

MDF bathroom vanity

MDF (medium density fiberboard) is a good “middle of the road” option for a bathroom vanity. Though it is engineered in a similar manner to particle board, it is much denser and stronger. The bits of wood used to create MDF are compressed for a longer time and at higher temperatures.

MDF bathroom vanities tend to be less expensive, and offer a smooth surface. Unlike solid wood, you don’t have to worry about contraction and expansion of the materials causing paint layers to crack. As a manufactured material, however, MDF cannot be stained like solid wood. However, it works well with lacquered paints, such as in the Kubebath BSL60D-GW Bliss 60 Inch Double Sink High Gloss White Wall Mount Modern Bathroom Vanity.

Because it shares some similarities to particle board, it also shares a few similar weaknesses. Exposure to water can cause MDF to swell, so the surface must be protected with a good sealant or a quality lacquer paint. MDF is also more difficult to repair if it is cracked or chipped. Stress cracks could make it easier for water to penetrate the material, and weaken it over time.

Though MDF can work well in a bathroom and is less expensive, its vulnerabilities to water mean it is often used in conjunction with solid wood. In vanities like the Legion Furniture WLF7040-36-CW 36 Inch Antique Coffee Vanity with WLF7040-37 Top, No Faucet, MDF is used in addition to solid poplar in areas that are less likely to receive frequent water exposure, while solid wood is used for the main “skeleton” of the vanity.

Plywood

plywood

Though not as high-end as solid wood, plywood can serve as a sturdy and reliable option for bathroom vanity materials. Plywood is comprised of wood veneers that are glued together in several layers to form a sheet of plywood. 

As with other manufactured wood products, the quality of the plywood may vary based on thickness and the quality of the materials used. While lower-grade plywood will use softer woods or contain voids between layers, higher-quality plywood will be solid and durable.

Remember, plywood is used as the underlayment for most residential roofing! This means it is quite sturdy, and far less likely to experience the performance problems associated with particle board. Finished plywood is water-resistant, meaning it is less likely to be damaged by steam or the occasional splash of water. Of course, if you have a pipe leak behind the bathroom vanity, you should still try to address the issue as soon as possible to avoid water damage.

Even more importantly, plywood actually resists the expansion and contraction that can occur in solid wood due to changes in temperature or humidity. This means that in many cases, it could last even longer than a solid wood vanity. 

Vanities like the Ariel A055SCWRVOWHT Cambridge 55 Inch Single Rectangle Sink Vanity, White and the Avanity MODERO-V36-NB Modero 36 Inch Vanity Only in Navy Blueuse plywood construction to deliver attractive, yet durable results.

Stainless Steel

Fresca vanity

Metal may seem like an unusual choice for a bathroom vanity material, but it is getting used more often in contemporary designs like the Fresca FVN1060 Attrazione 28.75 Inch Modern Glass Bathroom Vanity w/ Frosted Edge Mirror. Stainless steel provides a sleek, modern look that stands out in any bathroom.

Stainless steel is naturally waterproof. You don’t have to worry about exposure to moist, humid conditions deteriorating its appearance over time. Stainless steel is also resistant to mildew and rust. The elemental makeup of stainless steel also makes it resistant to heat and scratches — which is why this material is also commonly used for kitchen appliances.

While stainless steel is extremely well-suited for the bathroom environment, it does have a few drawbacks worth noting. Stainless steel tends to show smudges like fingerprints and water marks. This may require more frequent cleaning to keep them looking their best, which could prove to be quite a hassle in a child’s bathroom.

Because stainless steel is relatively new in the bathroom vanity world, it is primarily still used for pedestal vanities. Such vanities typically only have a towel bar — no extra storage areas. As a result, this slim and sleek design is great for a guest bathroom, but it might not be the best fit for your master suite.

How Can You Care For Your Bathroom Vanity Materials?

luxury bathroom

Other than particle board, any of the bathroom vanity materials listed above can serve you well, as long as they come from a quality manufacturer. While materials like solid wood and MDF can be vulnerable to water damage, many manufacturers use laminate coatings or specialty sealants to prevent such issues. This way, you get sturdy construction, as well as protection against water damage.

You’ll also want to pay attention to pricing and consider your countertop options. If you want a heavier countertop like granite or quartz, solid wood or plywood are your best bets — though a mixture of MDF and solid wood is also suitable. Double check the product specifications before making a selection so you can have confidence that the vanity you’re buying is made of your preferred materials.

Regardless of the type of bathroom vanity material you choose, however, you must take steps to minimize water exposure. The bathroom is naturally going to be humid and steamy. You can’t stop every drop of water from splashing on your vanity while washing your hands or shaving.

So, what to do? First, make sure to turn on the bathroom exhaust fan every time you take a shower. These fans draw in the moist, humid air that is being generated by the shower, helping to control humidity levels. It is generally recommended to leave the fan running for several minutes after your shower is over to help return humidity levels to normal.

You should also periodically check the area around your vanity for leaks. Don’t forget to look beneath the sink! The longer a leak goes undetected, the greater potential it has to cause significant damage to your vanity. With more durable vanity materials, catching a leak in its early stages shouldn’t result in any lasting issues.

Finally, wipe up any large water spills on the vanity surface. The longer water is allowed to remain on the surface, the greater chance it has of penetrating the vanity materials, where it can cause additional damage. When cleaning your vanity, always wipe the surface dry after you’re done cleaning.

While these care tips may seem relatively simple, these small everyday things are what will have the biggest impact on keeping your bathroom vanity looking and performing great for years to come.

Find the Right Bathroom Vanity at Kitchen & Bath Authority

No matter what type of bathroom vanity cabinet material you feel is the best choice for your renovations, you can expect high quality and great prices when you make your purchase at Kitchen & Bath Authority!

With thousands of vanities available from brands like Avanity, Vinnova, Fresca, Legion Furniture, and more, you have a near-endless selection of styles and finishes to choose from. Whether you’re updating the master suite or a half-bathroom, you’ll be sure to find the right fit for your house.

Best of all, our products are available at significant discounts off MSRP, allowing you to save hundreds of dollars when you buy a new bathroom vanity. Those who sign up for our exclusive membership program can also access additional discounts on items throughout our store. Toss in free shipping and the ability to finance your purchase, and it’s never been more affordable to update your bathroom vanity.

New sales and discounts are coming through all the time, so be sure to check back often! You’re sure to find the vanity that will help you transform your bathroom for the better.

Everything About the Kitchen Sink: How to Make the Right Pick For Your Home

The kitchen sink may not necessarily be the visual focal point of the room like your cabinets and countertops, but there is no denying just how important it is to your overall kitchen experience. After all, you will most likely be using the sink several times throughout the day. 

Rinsing dishes, washing food, and of course, washing your hands will all be made easier if you have the right type of sink setup. So what things should you look for when updating your kitchen sink and faucet? Here are some of the features you’ll want to consider.

Sink Type

apron front kitchen sink

One of the first things to consider is the type of sink you want for your kitchen. Though each of these sinks is essentially the same in terms of function, they each offer a distinctive look that can complement the rest of your kitchen decor. In addition, some sink styles are more readily available in certain materials and bowl selections than others — another important consideration.

Apron front sinks, also sometimes referred to as farmhouse sinks, evoke a more traditional, rustic look. These sinks are typically under-mounted, with a front “apron” that extends beyond the edge of the counter. This means you may need to cut out a portion of your existing counter to make room for the new sink. Apron sinks have seen a resurgence in popularity as more people try to create a rustic, farmhouse-style appearance in their home. The deep basin also makes apron front sinks a good choice for larger families that have a lot of dishes to clean up. 

—Sample item: Bocchi 1139-001-0120 Classico 33 Inch Farmhouse Apron Front Fireclay Double Bowl Kitchen Sink, White

Drop-in sinks are also sometimes known as top mount sinks. They literally “drop in” to the kitchen countertop, which makes them easier to install than other kitchen sink options. This installation style also results in a “rim” around the sink that is made of the same material as the sink bowl. This rim provides additional support for the full sink, which means you don’t have to worry about the sink becoming too heavy for your countertop. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that food debris can sometimes get trapped on the lip between the sink rim and the countertop, which requires some extra cleaning.

—Example piece: Kraus KGD-54GREY Forteza 33 Inch Dual Mount Single Bowl Granite Kitchen Sink, Grey

Undermount sinks are installed directly underneath the counter. This helps to create a more seamless look between the counter and the sink, providing a sleek appearance that looks especially great in modern and contemporary kitchens. The lack of a “rim” around the sink also makes cleanup much easier. Because these sinks typically use a glue that attaches the sink to the bottom of the counter, heavier materials like cast iron are not recommended for undermount sinks.

—Example sink: Ruvati RVH8356 33 Inch Workstation Ledge 60/40 Double Bowl Undermount 16 Gauge Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink 

Though less common in kitchen setups, Wall Mount sinks are still worth mentioning. In the kitchen, these sinks work well when you want to leave the area beneath the sink open, rather than using standard cabinetry. Wall mount sinks are also a popular selection in laundry rooms. As with apron sinks, wall mount sinks can help create a more rustic ambiance for your kitchen.

—Sample sink: Elkay CHS1716C 16-3/4 L x 15-1/2 W x 13 D Single Bowl Wall Hung Handwash Sink Kit with Faucet

How Many Bowls?

double bowl sink

While the style of sink you choose can play a role in its functionality, you should also pay attention to how many bowls, or basins, are available in the sink of your choice. Most sinks either have a single or double bowl, though there are some triple bowl models available.

Double bowl sinks actually trace their origins to the time before dishwashers become widespread. Having two separate bowls allowed one side to be used for dirty dishes and soapy water, while the other side held the clean water that would be used for rinsing. Typically, these bowls would be of equal size, though some double bowl sinks have a “primary” bowl that is slightly larger than the other. 

Double bowl sinks are convenient for hand washing, or for giving washed items a space to air dry in the second bowl without taking up precious counter space. This can also aid in meal prep by allowing you to separate dirty dishes and food in each bowl. Users always have access to the garbage disposal with this setup. Of course, double bowl sinks consume more counter space, while also taking up additional storage space under the counter.

—Example sink: Ruvati RVH9660BL 30 Inch Single Bowl Apron-Front Farmhouse Kitchen Sink in Gunmetal Black Matte

Single bowl sinks often provide a better fit in kitchens where you don’t want to give up extra counter space to accommodate additional bowls. A single bowl design can sometimes be better for washing large pans and pots because they don’t have a central divider taking up space in the middle. 

Deep single bowl sinks are aesthetically pleasing (part of the reason why they are increasingly popular), but they aren’t suited for multitasking unless you make use of additional sink accessories. For example, the garbage disposal would be inaccessible if your sink was full of dirty dishes.

—Example sink: Kraus KHU103-32 Standart PRO™ 32 Inch 16 Gauge Undermount 60/40 Double Bowl Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink

Finally, there are triple bowl sinks. These sinks typically have a smaller central bowl flanked on either side by two larger bowls. If you plan on doing a lot of multitasking in the kitchen, this could be a good option for you.

—Example sink: Polaris P1254-16-ENS 16 Gauge 43.13 Inch Kitchen Ensemple in Brushed Satin

Sink Material and Gauges

stainless steel kitchen sink

The material that is used for your kitchen sink will influence both its appearance and performance. Most modern sinks use stainless steel — but even then, not all stainless steel sinks are created equal.

When buying a stainless steel sink, it is essential that you pay attention to the “gauge,” which is a measure of the steel’s thickness. For the kitchen sink, the thicker the stainless steel, the better. A thicker gauge will make the sink stronger and more durable, particularly making it less vulnerable to dents or bowing. This will also make the sink quieter.

However, the thicker the kitchen sink, the lower its “gauge” number will be. For example, a 16 gauge sink is 60 percent thicker than a 24 gauge sink. With stainless steel, your best options are to choose a 16 or 18 gauge sink to ensure lasting performance, such as the Kraus KWU110-32 Kore Workstation 32 Inch Undermount 16 Gauge Single Bowl Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink with Accessories (Pack of 5)

Of course, stainless steel is far from the only material that can be used for kitchen sinks. Many farmhouse style sinks use materials such as cast iron or fireclay stone. Most cast iron sinks feature a porcelain spray that gives them a white finish. Though the sinks are extremely durable, the porcelain enamel can chip, particularly if abrasive cleaners are used.

Fireclay is even more durable, thanks to a process that fuses clay and glaze at temperatures exceeding 1600 degrees Fahrenheit. These sinks are highly resistant to staining, chipping, and etching, even when abrasive cleaners are used. Sinks like the Bocchi 1138-001-0120 Classico 30 Inch Farmhouse Apron Front Fireclay Single Bowl Kitchen Sink, White provide stunning looks that will stand the test of time.

Though less common, copper provides a distinctive look that stands out in any kitchen sink style. Copper adds a natural warmth that brings an elegant sense of comfort to the kitchen, regardless of whether you are going for a farmhouse or modern style. Copper has natural antibacterial properties, which can prevent cross contamination during meal prep, as well as the musty smells caused by small particles of leftover foods. The Polaris P409 Single Bowl Copper Sink 25 Inch Hammered Copper is just one example of the copper sinks available on our site.

Granite is another less common kitchen sink material selection that has nevertheless grown in popularity in recent years. Most granite sinks use a matte finish that gives this natural stone and resin mixture a classy, elegant look. The use of composite materials ensures a wide variety of styles are available, with carved, smooth, and chiseled finishes. When properly sealed, these sinks are quite durable, and will resist heat, staining, and scratches. Sinks like the Kraus KGD-442WHITE Quarza 33 Inch Dual Mount 60/40 Double Bowl Granite Kitchen Sink, White prove this material is more versatile than you might expect.

Workstations & Accessories

kitchen sink accessories

Maximizing the functionality of the kitchen sink depends on more than just the bowls themselves. There are several accessories that will go a long way in streamlining your kitchen routine — and some sinks come fully equipped in “workstation” setups that include everything you need to get started. Workstation sinks often come with small ledges on the front and back of the sink to provide a track for the accessories you will be using the most.

Colanders make it easy to rinse fruits and vegetables, with holes that allow water to drain away as you prep your food. While many solid wood cutting boards are designed for countertop use, there are actually some that are specifically designed to sit on a sink’s interior ledges, helping you make the most of your kitchen space.

A dish drying rack can likewise rest on the sink ledges so you can use the space above one of the sink bowls to dry dishes and cooking utensils after washing them. These drying racks pair perfectly with kitchen sink bottom rinse grids, which provide separation between drying dishes and the bottom of the sink. Because these items are constructed in stainless steel, they can even be washed in the dishwasher for easy cleaning.

Even if you have a garbage disposal, you don’t want to overlook the value of a strainer drain assembly. These additions help keep large food waste out of the drain, which can be especially beneficial when working with non-garbage disposal friendly foods like celery or rice. This seemingly minor addition can help you avoid major plumbing repair problems later.

Finally, there are several accessories that can be integrated directly into the sink to streamline your kitchen routine. Air switches provide control of the garbage disposal unit, while sprayers and soap dispensers will make it even easier to clean dishes or wash your hands. 

Best of all, many of these accessories are included with the workstation sinks sold here on our website. You’ll be able to start off with much of the equipment that will make your daily kitchen routines easier than ever.

Making the Most of Your Kitchen Sink

When the time comes to update your kitchen, you simply cannot overlook the kitchen sink. Choosing a design and material that best fits how you use your kitchen will have a significant impact on how much enjoyment you are able to get out of this space in the future.

While updating your kitchen sink can be deceptively pricey, it doesn’t have to be that way when you order your materials from Kitchen & Bath Authority. We offer a wide selection of sinks from leading brands like Franke and Ruvati, many of which are available at significant discounts off MSRP. You could easily save hundreds of dollars on your purchase!

Discounted pricing isn’t the only way we’ll help you save on a kitchen sink. We also offer free shipping on our orders, and financing is available on select purchases to make your new sink even more affordable. If you join our lifetime membership program, you can unlock even more savings on products throughout the site.

These great deals are backed by guaranteed fitment and a team of in-house experts who can help you make the right selection for your remodeling project. Place your order today so you can start building the kitchen of your dreams!

What Materials Should You Use For Your Vanity Countertop?

When it comes to remodeling your bathroom, few changes can have a greater impact than a new vanity. While many people focus on the color or design of the vanity or the number of drawers it has, the countertop should also be an important consideration when making your selection.

The countertop does much more than finalize the aesthetic appearance of your vanity. There are several different materials that can be used for a vanity countertop, and understanding the pros and cons of each option will help you make a selection that looks and performs great.

Here is a closer look at some of the most commonly used bathroom vanity countertop materials that you might want to consider for your home.

Acrylic

Eviva bathroom vanity

Acrylic is sometimes referred to as “plastic,” though in reality, these countertops are made from a mixture of resin and mineral components. The end result is a countertop that is surprisingly resilient and versatile. Acrylic countertops feature invisible seams, which can give any bathroom vanity a more upscale look.

Acrylic is nonporous, which means it won’t absorb water. Unlike natural stone countertops, acrylic countertops do not need to be sealed to prevent staining. They actually repel mold and moisture, making them a great option for the high-humidity environment of the bathroom. When spot damage does occur, it can often be sanded or buffed out.

One drawback to be aware of is that acrylic countertops are vulnerable to heat damage. You may wish to avoid setting a hot hair dryer or curling iron on your counter, as the heat could cause discoloration or burn marks.

Great acrylic countertop options: 

Ceramic & Porcelain

ceramic vanity countertop

Though ceramic and porcelain generally associated with tile, many modern vanities also use a solid ceramic or porcelain top that can bring a touch of elegance to any bathroom. Though ceramic and porcelain are very similar, porcelain uses finer clays that are baked at higher temperatures. This makes them harder and more water-resistant.

The fire glazing process that is used to produce ceramic and porcelain helps them stand up against stains and moisture penetration. They are also available in a wide variety of shades and patterns, including the option to imitate more expensive natural stone variants. However, ceramic is softer than natural stone, which makes it more vulnerable to chipping.

Popular ceramic countertop options:

Composite Stone

Kubebath vanity

Sometimes also referred to as engineered stone or manmade stone, composite stone options include materials like quartz, silicone, and engineered marble. Unlike natural stone, which is quarried and polished, these countertops are made by combining a natural material (such as quartz crystals) with a resin binder to create a durable material in a repeatable design.

With composite stone, what you see is what you get. The variances in patterns that occur in natural stone are not present, so you can be confident that the countertop you order will look exactly like it did in the picture. Of course, this means that composite countertops may end up looking more artificial, which isn’t to everyone’s liking. However, the manufacturing process also enables greater customization. A wider variety of colors, grain densities, countertop thicknesses, and more are available based on manufacturing configurations.

Composite or engineered stone does not need to be sealed, with a composition that makes it resistant against chipping and scratching, as well as spills. However, the cost and durability of these countertops will vary based on how they were manufactured.

Popular composite/engineered stone countertop vanities:

Glass

glass counter

Glass countertops can give your bathroom a stylish contemporary look that works great in the master suite or a guest bathroom. Because glass is recyclable, it is also surprisingly eco-friendly, making it a great choice if you want to reduce the impact your remodeling has on the environment.

Glass is well-suited to the rigors of the bathroom. Glass is durable, and generally won’t experience visible wear or discoloration over time. It is heat resistant and non-porous, so you don’t have to worry about water spills causing stains or a hair dryer damaging the surface. This also makes it harder for bacteria or dirt to get trapped in the countertop. Glass is easily cleaned with soap and water, and various colors and designs are available to help you find the perfect look.

While glass is extremely durable, it isn’t immune to chipping and cracking if hit with a heavy object. Glass is not easy to repair, and significant damage could require that you replace the countertop entirely. Fingerprint smudges will also show up more easily on a glass surface, so it probably isn’t the best choice for a child’s bathroom.

Popular glass countertop vanities:

Granite

Avanity bathroom vanity

Granite countertops offer a distinctive natural beauty that have made them a popular selection in both bathrooms and kitchens. Because granite is quarried in locations across the world, there is a surprising variety of available options in terms of color and design. The grain of the stone is unique, ensuring that each countertop is truly one of a kind.

Granite is a durable material that is very difficult to scratch. It is also heat-resistant. Bathroom vanities with granite countertops frequently use undermount sinks, which gives the vanity a higher-end appearance that also makes it easier to clean. Spills can be wiped into the sink, and you don’t have to worry about dirt or bacterial accumulation around the edge of a surface mount sink.

One thing to be mindful of with granite countertops is that they do need to be sealed. Granite is porous, which means it will absorb liquids if they are left standing on the countertop for a long time. Sealing is vital to prevent liquid-related stains — especially with lighter colored granite countertops. Fortunately, modern sealers can easily last 10 years or more, providing resistance against water, chemicals, and other hazards.

Stylish granite countertop vanities:

Marble

marble countertop

Marble is another natural stone countertop option that evokes an incomparable sense of luxury. The gorgeous beauty of marble can completely transform any bathroom, helping give your space a true spa-like atmosphere. As with granite, each marble countertop is truly unique, because the stone was quarried from the earth — not produced in a factory. Black and white may be the most common colors, but other shades and variants are also available.

Of course, that luxury appearance comes at a price. Bathroom vanities with marble countertops tend to be more expensive than other options. Part of this is because marble is much heavier than other materials, which means that the vanity itself needs to be extra sturdy to handle the weight.

Marble also requires additional care and maintenance. Marble is porous and relatively soft compared to other types of natural stone, which means it needs to be sealed for added protection against water stains, scratches, and nicks. Consistent cleaning, polishing, and refinishing are also recommended. Because of this, marble countertops are generally best suited for the low-traffic master bathroom.

Beautiful marble countertop vanities:

Natural Stone

natural stone counter

Though most people think of marble and granite when considering “natural” countertop options, these are far from the only types of natural stone that can be used for a bathroom vanity counter. Materials like slate and soapstone are also commonly used in countertop designs.

Like marble and granite, these natural stone countertops are truly unique, with coloration and veining varying from piece to piece. Soapstone and slate, in particular, are popular choices for bathroom countertops because they are less porous, and therefore more stain resistant.

Stylish natural stone countertop vanities:

Resin

Fresca bathroom vanity

Resin countertops are synthetics, typically crafted from cured acrylic or epoxy resin. Cut to order, these countertops can be easily customized to fit the needs of the vanity installation or overall bathroom design. Various pigments and color tints are available for this affordable vanity countertop.

Resin countertops are surprisingly durable and sanitary — in fact, long before they were used in kitchens and bathrooms, they were used in laboratories. Their manufacturing makes them resistant to impact damage, heat, scratches, ultraviolet rays, and stains from acidic products. Resin is non-porous, making it resistant to water penetration and bacterial growth. This also makes it easier to keep clean!

It pays to do your research when considering resin countertops. Generally speaking, countertops made from acrylic and epoxy resins are considered to be more durable and of much higher quality than counters using a polyester resin.

Popular resin countertop vanities:

Solid Surface

solid surface countertop

For bathroom vanity counters, the term “solid surface” generally describes resin countertops made from a blend of acrylic and polyester. Solid surface counters are easy to form during manufacturing, which means they are often used in “all in one” designs that integrate the sink basin into the countertop. A wide variety of colors and styles are available, including imitation stone. The manufacturing process also ensures consistent coloring and patterns in the design process.

As with other artificial countertop materials, solid surface counters are quite durable and stain resistant. This makes them well suited to heavy use areas, such as a child’s bathroom. Solid surface counters can even be repaired through sanding! However, these countertops are vulnerable to heat — such as from a curling iron.

Great solid surface countertop vanities:

Upgrade Your Bathroom Vanity Countertop Today!

No matter what type of countertop you have in mind for your bathroom vanity, you can find exactly what you’re looking for right here at Kitchen & Bath Authority! We offer vanities in a wide range of styles, sizes, and countertop selections, making it easy to discover the right match for your home. We even offer vanities that don’t come with a pre-installed countertop, allowing you to mix and match styles to create your own custom installation.

Best of all, our products are available at significant discounts off MSRP — sometimes as much as 50 percent off! We know that the cost of bathroom remodeling can add up quickly, especially if you are working with contractors. By offering discounted prices on vanity countertops and other products, we help you stretch your budget further so you can get that much closer to creating your dream bathroom.

To make upgrading your bathroom even more affordable, we also offer free shipping and affordable financing through Bread to break your order into manageable monthly payments. If you sign up for our exclusive membership program, you can unlock even more discounts on products throughout our online store. Place your order today so you can start transforming your bathroom for the better!

Revitalize Your Bathroom With Altair!

When it comes to helping your home feel truly luxurious, few rooms can have a bigger impact than the bathroom. While the bathrooms may not be as immediately visible to guests as your kitchen or living room, they are undoubtedly one of the most-used parts of the home. 

As such, the bathroom should be both stylish and functional. To get the best of both worlds, having the right “building blocks” for your bathroom is an absolute must. From the bathroom vanity to your bathtub and shower enclosure, the right selections will make your bathroom a true joy to use.

Whether you are in the process of building a new home or upgrading an existing space, vanities and bathtubs from Altair Design Inc. will go a long way in helping you create the bathroom of your dreams. With an exclusive range of colors and designs, their products are sure to deliver.

About Altair

Altair Kinsley bathroom vanity

Based out of Ontario, California, Altair Design Inc. specializes in bathroom vanities and bathtubs. However, the company is rapidly expanding its product categories, with new options like countertops, LED and decorative mirrors, shower doors, and more now being introduced. These items will undoubtedly be the perfect complement to the Altair products you can buy right here from Kitchen & Bath Authority.

As with many of the other brands we carry, Altair is committed to delivering products that are built to last. To that end, each Altair product is covered by a one-year limited warranty. This warranty is available to the original purchaser, and covers all material and manufacturing defects that might occur during that period. The warranty is limited to normal residential use.

One thing is certain when buying Altair Design Inc. products — this is a brand that believes in delivering the benefits that every customer deserves when buying a new bathroom product. Design innovations, an attractive style, and lasting workmanship are the difference makers that make this brand’s product line a great fit for your bathroom.

Altair Bathroom Vanities

Altair Georgia bathroom vanity

Currently, bathroom vanities are the biggest product line offered by Altair, with over 75 models available right here on Kitchen & Bath Authority. These vanities are available in several exclusive colors that are sure to bring a one of a kind look to your bathroom: jeweler blue, classic blue, royal blue, royal green, and rust black. All Altair bathroom vanities are pre-assembled, allowing for quick and easy installation.

Altair bathroom vanities do not include the faucet, drain assembly, or P-trap — however, all countertops are pre-drilled to ensure straightforward installation of these plumbing features. This gives you the ability to choose a faucet design that coordinates with the rest of your bathroom decor.

Altair bathroom vanities are available in several sizes and styles, making them ideally suited for everything from a full-size master suite to a small half-bathroom. These vanities are also easy to care for — soapy water and furniture polish will keep the wood clean without risking accidental damage. Protecting the wood cabinet from direct sunlight, hot appliances, and sharp objects will keep it looking like new.

For a full-size bathroom vanity, the Altair Georgia 537072-JB-AW 71.2 Inch Double Vanity Set with Composite Carrara White Stone Top with White Farmhouse Basin with Mirror, Jewelry Blue is a great example of what the brand has to offer. This show-stopping modern design features two ceramic apron-style sinks, bringing a hint of traditional farmhouse style to an attractive contemporary piece. 

The composite Carrara white stone countertop, as well as the solid wood/plywood design ensure that this vanity will stand up to the rigors of daily use. Four soft-close drawers are ideally suited for organizing bathroom necessities, while the open bay-style shelf at the bottom can be used for decorations or for larger items like towels and toiletries. A stunning finish, brushed copper hardware, and dual matching framed mirrors make this an impressive centerpiece for your bathroom.

If you like this contemporary look, but are working with a smaller space, you’re in luck! The Altair Georgia 537036-JB-AW-NM 35.2 Inch Single Vanity with Composite Carrara White Stone Top with White Farmhouse Basin without Mirror, Jewelry Blue offers the same design, but in smaller dimensions suitable for a guest bathroom. A smaller double-sink configuration is also available.

Altair has several other bathroom vanity designs that embrace both rustic and contemporary design styles. The Altair Kinsley 536060-GR-CA 59.2 Inch Double Vanity Set with Carrara White Marble Countertop with Mirror, Gray is a great example of this. The sliding cabinet doors feature a crosshatch motif pair with antique-style hardware to evoke the popular “barn door” style design seen in many furniture pieces today. Three standard drawers further help you keep bathroom necessities organized.

The Altair Maribella 535048-RL-CA 47.2 Inch Single Vanity Set with Carrara White Marble Countertop with Mirror, Rust Black is another distinctive piece that combines both contemporary and traditional design elements. A traditional “cross buck” design on the sides of the cabinet pair nicely with modern elements like a flip-down drawer and a high-quality Carrara white marble countertop.

Of course, if you are interested in a full contemporary look for your bathroom, Altair has you covered there, too. The Altair Morgan 534060-WH-AW-NM 59.6 Inch Double Vanity with Composite Carrara White Stone Countertop without Mirror in White is a distinctive wall-mounted vanity that uses clean lines and subtly integrated brass hardware to bring a sleek look to your bathroom. The Altair Sutton 541072-RG-CA-NM 71.2 Inch Double Vanity with Carrara White Marble Countertop without Mirror, Royal Green is another example of clean, elegant lines in a free-standing vanity style. Rectangular under-mount ceramic sink basins blend seamlessly with the refined polish of this design.

These examples are just a sampling of the bathroom vanities Altair has to offer! With so many designs featuring a mix of contemporary and Americana styles, each available in multiple sizes and finishes, you’ll have no trouble finding an option that will look great in your bathroom.

Altair Bathtubs

Altair freestanding tub

After a long day at work, few things can be more relaxing and rejuvenating than a soak in the bathtub. As with its vanities, Altair Design Inc.’s freestanding bathtubs serve as a luxurious visual focal point to create a true spa-like atmosphere for your bathroom. A mix of contemporary and traditional styles make it easy to find the right fit for your personal design preferences.

As with bathroom vanities, Altair tubs do not include a faucet, leaving you free to make a selection that best fits with your bathroom decor. While most of the tubs feature an overflow hole, they do not have a pre-drilled area for the faucet. A freestanding faucet will be required. Drain placement also varies by model, with side and center placements available. Be sure to check the drain placement for your desired tub before making a selection, as this will affect how the tub can be installed in the bathroom.

If you’re looking for a contemporary tub design, the Altair 50367-BAT-WH-F Shaia 67 x 32 Inch Freestanding Soaking Acrylic Bathtub in White is a great selection. The seamless, sloped shape gives this oval-shaped tub a sleek, clean look that is perfectly complemented by the chrome-finish brass pop-up drain. The Altair 50671-BAT-WH-F Allegra 71 x 34 Inch Freestanding Soaking Acrylic Bathtub in White is another popular contemporary option, with gentle curves creating a shell-like shape.

If you’d like a tub that incorporates more rustic design elements, the Altair 50169-BAT-WH-C Geneva 69 x 30 Inch Clawfoot Soaking Acrylic Bathtub in White is an excellent choice. Ornate clawed feet, a sloped design, and a wider lip give this tub a classic feel, like something you’d find in a Victorian suite. The Altair 50567-BAT-WH-F Solace 67 x 31 Inch Freestanding Soaking Acrylic Bathtub in White is another great selection, with a wide pedestal-style base and a ridged exterior that helps it stand out from other contemporary options.

Altair tubs aren’t just meant to look great. They are also designed for easy installation with features like a flexible drain hose and self-leveling feet. This makes it much easier to put your bathtub into place (even for a DIY project), so you can use your new tub that much sooner. Just be sure to let the silicone caulking around the base cure for 24 hours before you use the tub.  

Because the tubs are made with durable acrylic, maintenance and repairs are made that much easier. Soap residue can be removed after your bath with warm, soapy water and a wet wash rag. Should small scratches or stains appear in the surface, polish the affected area with Brasso. You can have confidence that your tub will stand the test of time, bringing a luxury look to your bathroom for many years to come.

Place Your Order Today!

As you can see, Altair products have a lot to offer for your next bathroom remodel. Stunning designs and quality construction with high-grade materials ensure that these vanities and bathtubs will bring lasting style to your bathroom, alongside the usability you need for your day to day bathroom routine.

When you order your Altair vanity or bathtub from Kitchen & Bath Authority, you get the best possible solution for upgrading your bathrooms. We offer the best available pricing on Altair and other popular bathroom brands, with discounts you won’t find anywhere else. All orders qualify for free shipping, and 0% APR financing is also available through Bread to break your purchase into more affordable monthly payments. Sign up for our exclusive membership program, and you’ll be able to unlock additional savings on a wide range of bathroom products.

Finally, we seek to provide the best possible service in helping you get the Altair products you need for your bathroom upgrade. Our friendly staff is readily available by phone or web chat, and we keep our product listings up to date so you can see stock levels and review scores for each product we sell. Don’t wait — place your order now so you can see how Altair truly helps you transform your space.

Could a White House Proposal Change Your Shower Head Options?

It’s estimated that about two-thirds of Americans shower every day. Whether it’s part of your morning routine or an essential for after you finish your daily workout, few things can feel more relaxing and rejuvenating than a warm shower.

While taking a shower may not seem to be all that controversial in and of itself, like many other industries, shower heads are actually subject to federal regulations, particularly in regards to water flow.

In 1992, the U.S. government enacted regulations that required shower heads to maintain a water flow of 2.5 gallons per minute or less at 60 psi. Designed to help conserve water (especially in the wake of severe droughts that occurred in the late 1980s), the proposal has spurred many bathroom product manufacturers to produce even more water efficient shower heads.

However, a recent proposal from the U.S. Department of Energy seeks to change that — and it could bring about changes to the way you take your shower.

What is the Proposed Change?

shower head

Under current regulations, the water flow limit of 2.5 gallons per minute applies to the entire shower head. If the change proposed by the U.S. Department of Energy were to go through, it would change this to a per-nozzle restriction. 

This means that a shower head with four separate nozzles could conceivably achieve a total flow as high as 10 gallons per minute. As long as each individual nozzle had a flow of 2.5 gallons per minute or less, the shower head would be compliant with the updated regulations.

The proposed change follows comments made at a meeting by President Donald Trump, who is quoted as saying, “So showerheads – you take a shower, the water doesn’t come out. You want to wash your hands, the water doesn’t come out. So what do you do? You just stand there longer or you take a shower longer? Because my hair — I don’t know about you, but it has to be perfect. Perfect.”

This wasn’t the first time the president had brought up issues with low flow water fixtures. In a December 2019 meeting, he said, “We have a situation where we’re looking very strongly at sinks and showers and other elements of bathrooms where you turn the faucet on — in areas where there’s tremendous amounts of water, where the water rushes out to sea because you could never handle it — and you don’t get any water.”

In effect, the new proposal would serve to roll back the previous regulations, allowing manufacturers to make high-flow shower heads — a move that has already come under intense scrutiny.

Debate Surrounding the Shower Head Proposal

luxury bathroom

While the Department of Energy is still pursuing this proposal, it is expected that there will be court challenges that delay this regulatory change, or could keep it from happening entirely.

Andrew deLaski, Executive Director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP), wrote, “The existing shower head standard has spurred manufacturers to make devices that are more satisfying while using less water. That reduces our water bills, and it also reduces our energy use. Utilities require enormous amounts of energy to deliver water. Even more importantly, because shower heads deliver hot water, reducing the water flow through them cuts home water heating needs — which account for about a fifth of the average household’s energy use.”

The significant conservation efforts that have resulted from current regulations cannot be denied. It is estimated that the average bath uses 35 to 50 gallons of water. On the other hand, a 10-minute shower would use 25 gallons of water — and many low flow shower heads enable homeowners to use even less.

Even a slight increase in a shower head’s water flow — say, to 4 gallons per minute — would greatly reduce the water saving advantage of showering. While a difference of 10 to 25 gallons may not seem like a big deal on a day to day basis, that can add up quickly over the course of a month or year. Bathing doesn’t just use water — it also requires gas or electricity to heat the water. 

Using less water for showering could help households save hundreds of dollars on utility expenses each year. A less efficient shower head might be more comfortable for some, but it could also be more costly in the long run. In addition to the potential impact on homeowners, many are concerned about how such changes could harm conservation efforts, particularly in drought-stricken areas like California.

Of course, complaints about the efficacy of low-flow shower heads aren’t entirely unfounded, either. Some assert that these shower heads don’t provide enough water pressure to take a quick, cleansing shower. This is especially true in states like California, which have stricter water flow requirements than the national standard. Stories of people skirting such regulations have gone on for years.

Such complaints exist for a reason — for many people, a shower is how they de-stress at the end of a long workday. A shower with weak flow hardly delivers the experience they need. 

Shower Heads That Deliver Great Pressure at a Low Flow

Isenberg

Despite complaints and debate over low flow shower heads, the fact remains that in the United States, flow restrictions remain in place for the time being. The good news is that even though there are low flow showers that don’t deliver adequate water pressure, there are many that do. Innovations in shower design — especially improvement in aeration — have drastically improved the functionality of these shower heads.

One of the best brands at achieving this balance is Isenberg. Isenberg shower heads like the Isenberg HS1001WCP Universal Fixtures 8 Inch Solid Brass Showerhead / Rainhead With 12 Inch Wall Mount Shower Arm, Chrome and the Isenberg RHW.6SCP Universal Fixtures 6 Inch Rain Head with 7 Inch Arm, Chrome deliver an eco-friendly flow of 1.8 gallons per minute. Solid brass construction ensures that the shower heads are built to last, while rubber nozzles make cleaning easy.

These ceiling mounted shower heads use rain-style flows to help users achieve the exact pressure they desire. Isenberg “rain head” designs range in size from 6 to 20 inches, and several modern finishes are available to help you complete the look of your bathroom. Some Isenberg shower heads, such as the Isenberg MSS.20SCP Cascade 20 Inch Stainless Steel Flush Mount Rainhead With Cascade Waterfall and Mist Flow, Chrome also feature waterfall cascade and mist flows for a one-of-a-kind luxury experience. Mounting shower arms are also available for compatible rain heads.

Grohe also offers ultra-modern rain flow shower heads, though they manufacture shower heads with a more traditional look as well. Popular rain head models include the Grohe 26570000 Rainshower Mono 310 Cube Shower Head 1 Spray, Starlight Chrome and the Grohe 26457000 Euphoria 260 Shower Head 3 Sprays, 2.5 GPM, Starlight Chrome, which use the Grohe DreamSpray pattern to provide a wide, comfortable spray. The built-in anti-lime system also prevents mineral buildup, minimizing future maintenance needs for your shower head.

A great example of an affordable, yet comfortable shower head is the Grohe 26045001 New Tempesta Rustic 100 Shower Head 4 Sprays – 1.75 GPM, Starlight Chrome. This shower head allows users to easily choose from one of four spray patterns simply by rotating the spray face. This includes the lighter “rain setting,” Rain O2, which offers an air-infused spray, as well as pulsating massage and jet settings. These varied settings help users choose the option that is most comfortable for them, all while maintaining a 1.75 gallon per minute flow.

In addition to offering luxurious style and a variety of spray settings that help you make the most of low flow rates, Isenberg and Grohe shower heads are backed by a limited lifetime warranty. Warranty coverage for mechanical parts and finishes provide confidence that your upgraded shower head will look and perform great for many years to come.

Planning For Your Next Shower Head Upgrade

At this writing, it is uncertain whether the proposal from the Department of Energy will come to fruition. Even if the proposal is finalized, many manufacturers may be reluctant to produce higher-flow shower heads due to concerns about future regulatory changes or the environmental impact of such installations.

Regardless of what the future holds for the industry as a whole, you can count on great deals and great products when you buy your shower heads from Kitchen & Bath Authority. Our wide selection of shower heads will help you get the desired look and functionality for your bathroom. Choose from a range of finishes, widths, settings, and spray patterns to get the right fit for your shower space.

In addition to our discounted prices, we offer free shipping and financing to help make your next home remodeling project even more affordable. Discount codes and other special offers are also available for many products. If you sign up for our membership program, you’ll enjoy even more discounts.

The future can be uncertain, but your need for an enjoyable, refreshing shower won’t go away. Place your order for one of our high-quality shower heads today so you can get even more out of your bathroom experience!