Bec from The Plumbette answers a great question about cheap plumbing fixtures and where to purchase them.
I was recently asked on Facebook about where one could buy cheap vanity units and which bathroom supply places would supply a cost efficient fixture.
Most home renovators turn to the big home and hardware stores like Masters and Bunnings, which can stock cheap fixtures and taps with a limited warranty. They can also supply quality brands like Caroma, but I have found that what they supply doesn’t always look on trend and can often be a bit more expensive.
My suggestion is always to buy fixtures and taps from a reputable plumbing supplier like Reece or Tradelink. The reason I say this is because they often stock brands that are cheaper than anything Masters or Bunnings can supply but you get the warranty and most often the cheaper fixtures they supply have been manufactured from a quality brand’s factory.
I don’t recommend bathroom warehouse type retailers as often their products have been manufactured with inferior materials.
An example of this, was years ago a client supplied their own vanity unit that dad and I had to hook up in a newly finished bathroom reno. While putting the vanity in place, the glass window in the vanity cupboard door smashed into jagged pieces and sprayed on the floor. We felt bad, but also knew that it must have been cheap glass to have not withstood moving it into place. A glazier was called and he immediately said that the glass in the vanity wasn’t up to Australian standards and shouldn’t have shattered the way it did. The glass should have been toughened or tempered glass. Toughened glass can chip and if broken will shatter into blunt like granules, but normal glass breaks into sharp shards and will fall out of it’s enclosure, and this can be dangerous in a wet area like the bathroom. For this reason, shower screens and any type of glass in the bathroom must be toughened/tempered glass.
If you’re going to be using your bathroom for a long time, I don’t recommend you purchase the cheapest fixtures and taps. Middle of the range is the best way to go to ensure it endures for a long time. But if you are only doing up the bathroom to eventually sell the property, using cheap fixtures is a cost effective way of doing up the bathroom to a budget without overcapitalizing the property. No one is going to add $800 to the price of a property because you installed an $800 toilet suite.
Where have you gone to buy taps and fixtures in the past or have trusted your plumber to supply them for you?
Thank you Bec, that is sound advice. Another point I would like to make, is often the less expensive or in fact the imported fixtures can take so much longer to install, which then creates an extra cost for the home owner. Certainly something to be considered, and perhaps consult your professional prior to purchasing.
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