How to Choose Bathroom Fixtures and Accessories

When it comes to designing a bathroom, selecting the right fixtures and accessories is crucial for both functionality and aesthetics. Discuss ideas with your professional plumber, as they will be able to help you with what will work best for your bathroom.

And in this guide, we will provide advice on choosing bathroom fittings that meet your needs and ensure longevity and energy efficiency. From faucets to bathroom storage and everything in between, we will cover all aspects of selecting the perfect fittings for your bathroom.

man choosing taps for bathroom fixtures

Things To Consider

  1. Timing: When to Choose Your Fittings The ideal time to choose your bathroom fixtures is during the planning stage. Preparing ahead allows you to consider the available space, positioning, and any necessary waterproofing requirements. By planning ahead, you can ensure that your fixtures seamlessly integrate into the bathroom’s overall design.
  2. Making a List: Essential Fittings for Your Bathroom Before making any purchasing decisions, create a list of essential fittings required for your bathroom. Consider items such as shower heads, towel rails, taps, lights, door handles, drains, soap dishes, and electrical fittings. This list will help you stay organised and ensure you don’t overlook any necessary components.
  3. Budget Considerations: It’s important to choose quality fittings for longevity. While budget is essential, it is crucial to prioritise quality when choosing bathroom fittings. Opting for high-quality fittings ensures longevity and reduces the need for frequent replacements. By researching various brands and products, you will know if they will fit within your allocated budget, but remember to focus on construction, finish, and durability.
  4. Energy Efficiency: Environmentally Friendly Fittings: Manufacturers increasingly emphasise energy efficiency in bathroom fixtures. By incorporating energy-efficient faucets and shower heads, you can reduce your water usage by up to 40% and heating costs by up to 50%. Consider installing water-efficient showerheads and aerated taps, which can lower water consumption by up to 70% without compromising water pressure or quality.
  5. Waterproofing and Maintenance: Ensuring Longevity: Proper waterproofing is essential to prevent leaks and maintain the integrity of your bathroom fittings. Hiring a professional plumber who specialises in bathroom fittings is advisable to ensure a watertight installation. Regular maintenance is also crucial to preserving the quality of seals and joints, preventing leaks and potential damage.
  6. Cleaning Tips: Maintaining Clean and Unblocked Fittings Keeping your taps and spouts clean is essential for maintaining optimal functionality and preventing drains from becoming blocked. An effective natural cleaning method involves dissolving two cups of baking soda in four cups of boiling water and one cup of vinegar. Slowly pour this mixture down the drain to eliminate buildup and maintain a clear passage.

What Fixtures Are Needed for a Bathroom?

Choosing the right fixtures and accessories can be overwhelming with so many options available. Therefore, this comprehensive guide will explore the most popular bathroom fixtures and their various styles, helping you find the perfect fit for your home.


Of course, faucets are essential bathroom fixtures that are for both functionality and style. And you can consider these popular faucet varieties:

  • Single-Hole: these faucets are sleek and easy to operate. And feature a single handle, lever, or knob design.
  • Wall-Mounted: wall mounted faucets create a modern and clean appearance.
  • Bridge: Characterised by a horizontal connector pipe, bridge faucets offer a classic and sophisticated look.
  • Vessel: Designed for vessel sinks that sit on top of the countertop. Some vessel sinks sit entirely on the surface, while others are slightly recessed into the countertop. Vessel-style faucets are tall faucets that add elegance and convenience.
  • Widespread: widespread faucets offer flexibility, with separate hot and cold handles and spouts, allowing for customisation. They can be mounted on the countertop or the sink. Widespread faucets come in a wide range of styles and finishes.
  • Centerset: Compact and easy to install, centre set faucets, which combine the handles and spout into one central piece.


Sinks not only serve functional purposes but also contribute to the overall aesthetic of your bathroom. Consider the following sink styles:

  • Wall Mounted: Perfect for compact bathrooms, these sinks maximise floor space.
  • Countertop: With a sink basin placed on a counter, these sinks offer height and a spacious design.
  • Freestanding: Standalone sinks create a unique focal point and are ideal for smaller spaces.
  • Under-mount: under-mount sinks are installed beneath the counter, offering a seamless and clean look.
  • Ramp: Featuring a sloped interior, ramp sinks provide a sleek and modern appearance.
  • Marble: Classic and elegant marble countertops provide a luxurious touch to your sink area.


Bathtubs are bathroom fixtures that come in various styles to match your personal preferences and the space available in your bathroom:

  • Drop-in: Drop-in tubs are installed within a platform or existing structure and provide a customised look. This style of tub requires support structures and an anchor point to the ground.
  • Walk-in: With accessibility in mind, walk-in tubs feature easy entry and exit for individuals with limited mobility.
  • Freestanding: These large tubs can stand independently, offering placement flexibility but do require extra space.
  • Corner: Corner-style tubs are designed to fit into corners. These styles of tubs optimise otherwise unused areas and are great if you don’t have the space for a rectangular-style tub.
  • Alcove: Ideal for smaller bathrooms, these tubs fit within three walls, maximising space.
  • Whirlpool: Equipped with multiple jets, whirlpool tubs provide a therapeutic and relaxing experience similar to a spa pool.


Toilets are available in various styles to cater to different flushing needs. They are available in different types of material, including porcelain, steel or vitreous china. Vitreous china is made up of several different types of clay and is considered to be stronger and longer lasting than porcelain. Most toilets are made from porcelain which is more cost-efficient. Steel, on the other hand, although less popular, is strong, sturdy and lightweight.

Toilet Sizes

Toilets come in various sizes, and choosing one that fits well in your bathroom is crucial. Round toilets have a bowl length of around 50 cm and are suitable for small bathrooms. Elongated toilets have a bowl length of around 56 cm and are better suited for larger-style bathrooms.

Normally bowl height typically ranges from 36 to 48 cm, with the latter being considered “comfort height” toilets. A bowl height of 48 cm or higher may be more suitable for taller individuals or those with mobility issues. Wall-hung toilets offer flexibility in setting the desired height.

Types of Toilets

  • Wall-Mounted: Ideal for maximising space, these toilets are anchored to the wall, creating a streamlined look. The cisterns are usually buried behind the drywall, therefore taking up less space.
  • Close coupled toilets: Close coupled toilets are compact toilets that feature a closely-positioned pan with a cistern. It is considered a traditional toilet and a reliable choice that has been popular for decades worldwide. And in most households in New Zealand, the existing toilet is close-coupled.
  • Gravity: The most common toilet type, gravity flush toilets, use water flow to remove waste effectively.
  • Dual-Flush: These toilets offer separate flush options for solid and liquid waste, saving water and reducing costs.
  • Waterless: Environmentally friendly, waterless toilets utilise composting to break down waste naturally.
  • Double-Cyclone: Innovative flushing system with two separate nozzles for a thorough and efficient rinse.
  • Pressure-Assisted: This style of toilet utilises air pressure in addition to gravity, providing a powerful flush.

Installation of Your Toilet

Naturally, when choosing a toilet, it’s essential to consider the installation costs. Different types of toilets have varying installation expenses. Traditional close-coupled toilets are typically the least expensive to install since they don’t require mounting or concealed water tanks. On the other hand, wall-mounted toilets tend to be the most costly to install due to the need for structural supports and concealed storage tanks.

Also, when installing a toilet, it’s important to consider the plumbing configuration. The two most common types in New Zealand are P-trap and S-trap toilets. A P-trap toilet has a waste outlet connected to a curved pipe resembling the letter “P,” which extends down into the floor. Because it is suitable when the waste outlet needs to be positioned at the end of the bowl.

And in comparison, an S-trap toilet has a straight or slightly curved pipe for the waste outlet, extending into the floor. This type is preferred when the waste outlet needs to be located toward the centre of the bowl.

Lighting for Your Bathroom

Lighting is another bathroom fixture to consider for your bathroom. As lighting plays an essential role in setting your bathroom’s ambience and functionality. Consider these lighting options:

  • Ceiling Lights: Ceiling Lights are hung from the ceiling, offering general lighting for the entire bathroom.
  • Vanity Lights: Vanity Lighting is installed over the sink. These types of lights provide functional illumination.
  • Recessed Lights: Recessed lights are installed flush with the ceiling. These styles of lights save space and provide a clean look.
  • Pendant Lights: Pendant-style lights are suspended by a cord or rod. They are generally more suited to higher ceilings. Pendant lights add a modern and stylish element.
  • LED Lights: LEDs are an energy-efficient and versatile style of lighting. LED lights provide both illumination and accentuating effects.
  • Wall Sconces: Wall Sconces are a classic style of lighting design. Wall sconce lighting adds a touch of elegance and nostalgia, resembling old-style lanterns.

Bathroom Cabinets

Storage is essential in any bathroom. So whether it’s for medicines, toiletries, beauty products, shaving equipment, towels or any other bathroom product, most are best stored out of view. Also, if presented well, there’s an option for open-style storage also. So consider these options for adding storage space:

  • Vanity Cabinet: A vanity cabinet is a unit that houses the sink, storage and bench space in the bathroom. They are customisable and available in many configurations, colours and sizes. Vanity cabinets utilise existing space for storage with anchored or wall-mounted vanities.
  • Wall-Mounted Medicine Cabinet: Perfect for storing toiletries and medications while saving space.
  • Wall-Mounted Cabinet with Glass Door: Aesthetic and functional, these cabinets offer visibility and organisation.
  • Louvred Cabinet: Louvred cabinets provide ventilation as well as privacy. Much like any other cabinet door, a louvred door consists of a frame with a centre insert of several slats of wood (called louvres) inserted into the frame horizontally. Louvred cabinets offer a unique look to a bathroom.
  • Linen Cabinet: Line cupboards are specifically designed for storing linens and similar items, helping with organisation. Some have roll-out linen hampers and shelving for toiletries or can look great with rolled towels presented on them. This style is better suited to large bathrooms as they take up a bit of space.

modern bathroom fixtures design

Bathroom Mirrors

Mirrors are a must-have in every bathroom. For example, take a look at these mirror styles:

  • Vanity Mirror: Vanity mirrors work together with vanity light fixtures that help you complete daily tasks such as grooming, styling your hair, or applying makeup. Vanity mirrors complete your vanity area with a mirror that matches the rest of your bathroom’s design.
  • Frameless Mirror: Simple and versatile, frameless mirrors fit seamlessly into any bathroom.
  • Lighted Mirror:L Lighted mirrors feature built-in lights. These styles of mirrors provide functional illumination as well as visual appeal.
  • Framed Mirror: Elevate the look of your mirror with a frame, enhancing the bathroom’s overall design.
  • Ledge Mirror: Ledge mirrors are equipped with a bottom lip shelf. Naturally, ledge mirrors offer some extra storage space as well as stability.
  • Medicine Cabinet Mirror: Combine mirror functionality with storage space for added convenience. Some can be recessed back into the wall giving the appearance of just being a mirror.


Shelves provide both organisation and aesthetics. Shelving can come in a wide variety of materials. However, consider these materials and styles:

  • Wood Shelving: Choose solid wood, plywood, or medium-density fiberboard (MDF) for a warm and natural look. You should avoid soft wood like cedar and keep in mind that wood, in general, is porous and is not entirely waterproof.
  • Glass Shelving: Opt for tempered glass shelves for a minimalist and easy-to-clean option. Great for that minimalist look if that’s what you’re after.
  • Metal Shelving: Stainless steel or aluminium alloy shelves offer durability and resistance to humidity. This style of shelving can come in different colours, such as black, white, bronze, in fact, practically any colour.
  • Ceramic Shelving: Ceramic shelves add a unique and glossy touch to your bathroom.

Towel Racks

Towel racks keep your bathroom organised while adding style. Consider these options:

  • Wall-Mounted Towel Rack: This is the most popular option for most bathrooms, especially if you need to save space. Opt for a wall-mounted option to keep towels within easy reach.
  • Towel Rack Shelf: Combine storage and towel hanging with wall-mounted shelves, including towel-holding protrusions. These are great for space-saving and provide a more minimalist look for your bathroom.
  • Over-the-Door Towel Rack: Utilise the back of your bathroom door to hang towels and save space at the same time.
  • Standing Towel Rack: Standing towel racks are freestanding and available in various shapes and sizes. These racks offer flexibility but do require space, so they are more suited to a larger-sized bathroom.


Although not currently a standard fixture in New Zealand bathrooms, Bidets are becoming more popular, providing additional cleanliness and comfort. Consider these types:

  • Standalone Bidet: A separate fixture placed near the toilet for targeted cleansing.
  • Bidet-Toilet Combo: Combine a toilet’s and bidet’s functionalities in one sleek unit.
  • Electric Bidet Seat: Attach an electric bidet seat to your existing toilet for added luxury features.
  • Non-Electric Bidet Seat: Add a non-electric bidet attachment for a customisable cleaning experience.
  • Handheld Bidet Sprayer: Install a handheld sprayer for versatile cleaning options.

Bathroom with fixtures


Showers offer customisable options for different preferences. There are many different types and styles of shower bathroom fixtures available to suit your home in New Zealand, including contemporary and traditional designs:

  • Walk-in Shower: Flush with the floor and without doors or curtains, walk-in showers offer accessibility and a modern aesthetic. They generally don’t have a door or curtain either.
  • Rainfall Shower: Mimicking rainfall, these showerheads provide a soothing and luxurious experience. 
  • Prefabricated Shower: Quick and convenient, these pre-assembled showers save installation time.
  • Custom Shower: Tailor-made showers with endless design possibilities for a personalised look. These can be a pricey option compared to most shower options due to their unique design.
  • Rectangular Shower: Versatile and symmetrical, rectangular showers suit various bathroom styles. These are your most common style of showers in older New Zealand homes.
  • Neo-Angle Shower: Neo-Angle Showers are designed to fit into corners. These styles of showers create a unique diamond shape.

In Summary

Choosing bathroom fixtures and accessories requires careful consideration to ensure longevity, energy efficiency, and optimal functionality. You can easily create a bathroom that meets your needs by planning during the early stages, focusing on quality, prioritising energy-efficient options, and helping reduce the environmental impact. Proper installation by a professional plumber and regular maintenance will contribute to the longevity of your fittings. 

With many options available, selecting the right bathroom fixtures and accessories can transform your space into a functional and visually appealing oasis. Consider your personal preferences, available space, and desired style to choose the perfect fittings that suit your needs. Whether it’s bathtubs, sinks, toilets, faucets, lighting, storage solutions, mirrors, towel racks, shelves, bidets, or showers, there’s a wide variety to create your dream bathroom. Also consider things like what hot water cylinder you should choose.


Implementing simple cleaning techniques will help keep your fittings in excellent condition and prevent blockages.

By the way, look for a ‘Plumber Service near me’ when looking for a professional plumber to assist you with your plumbing decisions. Although some small aspects of plumbing can be a DIY project, it’s advisable to hire a professional to make sure the job is done correctly and legally.