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Bathroom fixture opinions (brands)

KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 4,424
edited January 2016 in Plumbing
So the wife and I are in the planning stages of a bathroom remodel. I have been looking at all the fixtures until my eyes pop out. Anyway I wanted to get opinions about brands. What do you all think is a good brand for faucets, shower valves and toilets. I have been looking at Symmons and Kohler for faucets and Toto for toilets. I am open to any and all suggestions. I want quality above anything else. Thanks!
2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78

Comments

  • HillyHilly Member Posts: 412
    I like Delta shower stuff, great customer service for replacement parts and easy to install. Local reps here are great and when they don't have parts the 1-800 has always been top notch on both sides of the border for me.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 7,205
    edited January 2016
    I have replaced two of my 4 Eljers (1994 3.5GPF, square front) with American Standard 1.6, the earlier one flushes well but has a burp of air as the water comes into the bowl. The later one doesn't have the burp and seems to flush better than the first. The first one is made in Brazil and next one in Mexico, so you see I buy American....either North or South. They are elongated fronts and I would never want to go back to round front. Better target when standing and others like the elongated bowl for "front end maintenance" if you follow me. :|

    Simple replacement parts also.

    I was lucky that in 1993-4 a major plumbing wholesaler was having a close out sell. I did score 3 Moentrol early shower/tub valves, with stops and the large pressure balancing spools. Haven't opened them in 22 years. That was when Moen was good, you couldn't buy Moen in any big box stores then, things have changed in the race to the bottom as many say.
  • GordyGordy Member Posts: 9,523
    I like Kohler. Elongated, and high profile.
    danitheplumberZman
  • SteamheadSteamhead Member Posts: 13,999
    The Gerber Viper works well:

    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
    ChrisJ
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 4,424
    edited January 2016
    @ChrisJ has those and loves them. Wife said she wants something more modern looking with the clean smooth sides. I just want it to flush well. I may have to work on her a little bit more. I edited my original post, I forgot to mention shower valves. lol
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • vaporvacvaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    edited January 2016
    Speakman for shower valves. 100 yr old American Co. that mainly used in high-end hotels which should say enough. I can still get parts for their ancient stuff as well... no planned obsolescence. Elegant. Their showerhead is amazing, so well though out for cleaning, although mine is the 100 yr old model pictured on the website.
    I see they have a line at HD, Not sure if it's to the same standards.
    I've been happy with anything Grohe I've ever bought as well, but not American.
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF
  • GordyGordy Member Posts: 9,523
    KC if your wife is like mine. You want quality/longevity. Wifey wants the look....which of course does not come in the brand you like.......
    KC_JonesZman
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,268
    edited January 2016
    I want T&S Brass faucets and the wife said no way in hell because they're ugly. I'm so and tired of metal veneered plastic garbage. :(
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,268
    Kc I like how I've been telling you to get a viper for years and it's ignored but steamhead says it and all of a sudden it's a possibility. BTW typing this on one ;)
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 4,424
    edited January 2016
    That's only because I don't like you Chris. ;). Chris it's not that, I never said I didn't want one I said she didn't. You have a wife this isn't rocket science. Lol. Oh and surprised I haven't heard any votes for Symmons. I had heard a lot of good things about them.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,268
    KC_Jones said:

    That's only because I don't like you Chris. ;). Chris it's not that, I never said I didn't want one I said she didn't. You have a wife this isn't rocket science. Lol. Oh and surprised I haven't heard any votes for Symmons. I had heard a lot of good things about them.

    Yes, see my comment above about T&S Brass.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    KC_Jones
  • AbracadabraAbracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
    edited January 2016
    Gerber Flushmate for the toilet. Sounds like a Sloan valve or airplane toilet when it flushes.
    Grohe and Speakman for the shower
    Chicago Faucet stuff is pretty good too but bland design.
    Some Kohler stuff for faucet too, but you have to check because some Kohler stuff is bigbox store quality and other lines are full brass.. no plastic.
    ChrisJKC_Jonesvaporvac
  • Harvey RamerHarvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,215
    Just put up an outhouse. It'll last longer.
    Ramer Mechanical
    ramermechanical.com
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,268

    Just put up an outhouse. It'll last longer.

    I've got a map showing where the one behind our house was. :)

    I'm now looking at Chicago Faucets as well, maybe I can talk the wife into one of those. :(
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 4,424
    edited January 2016

    Gerber Flushmate for the toilet. Sounds like a Sloan valve or airplane toilet when it flushes.
    Grohe and Speakman for the shower
    Chicago Faucet stuff is pretty good too but bland design.
    Some Kohler stuff for faucet too, but you have to check because some Kohler stuff is bigbox store quality and other lines are full brass.. no plastic.

    The woman at the local custom kitchen and bath store told us to only buy Kohler from a plumbing supply as that is made in USA and a lot if not all the big box stuff was imported. Apparently several of the contractors she deals with have toured the Kohler factory and got that information directly from Kohler. I always take with a grain of salt, but that is 2 people saying the same thing now.

    Just put up an outhouse. It'll last longer.

    I think my boys already think the bathroom is an outhouse. Still working on their aim...or just simply paying attention.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,268
    edited January 2016
    I have a Kohler strainer in my kitchen sink, an Insinkerator I bought online because the ones in lowes/Homer weren't the same and a Delta $200 faucet that I bought on Amazon that turned out to be a "Home Depot exclusive" which, how Amazon had it is beyond me. I want to throw the Delta faucet in the garbage. I've had endless problems with it and it's near impossible to mix the water to the right temp. It's either ice cold or I'm burning the skin off of my hands.

    Maybe it's just me, but it seems like anything that says "Home Depot exclusive" seems to really mean "Garbage".

    Except for Cree LED lights. I have no idea how they got the exclusive rights to sell them. Unless they're garbage too and I just don't know it yet but the Cree name is well known.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 4,424
    I was on the Delta mobile site last night, and they list right on their site which items are exclusive to some store. In the back of my mind I was thinking, "thanks for marking all the items I won't buy". Keep the comments coming it is appreciated, gotten some ideas I hadn't even thought about.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • GordyGordy Member Posts: 9,523
    edited January 2016
    What's fun to watch is buying a high profile toilet with a short wife using it the first time. Like the stainless fridge.
  • FredFred Member Posts: 8,440
    I like the Kohler toilets. I have a kohler and a couple Gerbers. Kohler has a lot nicer style on their upper end products. Both are good quality.
    WSe have a Kohler articulating kitchen faucet. All Brass. Been good but only about three years old.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,268
    edited January 2016
    Fred said:

    I like the Kohler toilets. I have a kohler and a couple Gerbers. Kohler has a lot nicer style on their upper end products. Both are good quality.
    WSe have a Kohler articulating kitchen faucet. All Brass. Been good but only about three years old.

    I have a Kohler 1.6 gal flush in the downstairs bathroom and my parents have two 2007 Kohler toilets with the huge flapper and all 3 are awful compared to a Gerber Viper.

    Gerber Viper, almost anything you throw in it goes down effortlessly. We've lived there since 2011 and the Viper has never clogged from anyone.

    Kohler, hold down the flush handle to force it to use more water otherwise good chance it won't go down. My Kohler clogs often, my parents less often, but still struggles with stuff a Viper won't even notice. I've also found those Kohlers don't rinse the bowl very well and leave skids and smears more often than not. Gerber is always skid free.

    Kohler toilets, because only looks are important to some.

    I've heard Toto makes a great toilet.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,268
    Sorry @Fred but that's a touchy subject for me. I used to be a 100% Kohler man from tubes, sinks, everything. Even was happy my house has Kohler radiators from the 1920s but those toilets ruined it for me.

    Sink strainers though, Kohler makes the best IMO. :)
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • FredFred Member Posts: 8,440
    I've not had any problems with my Kohler. I'm sure design plays a big role in how well they flush. Depends on which model you have.
  • FredFred Member Posts: 8,440
    ChrisJ said:

    Sorry @Fred but that's a touchy subject for me. I used to be a 100% Kohler man from tubes, sinks, everything. Even was happy my house has Kohler radiators from the 1920s but those toilets ruined it for me.

    Sink strainers though, Kohler makes the best IMO. :)

    I can't argue your experiences @ChrisJ . Just sharing mine.
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    The current generation of 1.28 GPF Kohler Wellworth (inexpensive) toilets will flush just about anything. Watch your kids.
    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,268
    SWEI said:

    The current generation of 1.28 GPF Kohler Wellworth (inexpensive) toilets will flush just about anything. Watch your kids.

    This may be a dumb question (maybe not?)
    Are the 1.28GPF toilets a good match for 4" piping or is it completely irrelevant?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • FredFred Member Posts: 8,440
    I would doubt that it matters?? The toilet flush is to get it out of the toilet. The waste is actually going to be carried out to the main sewer line by all the other waste water leaving the house. At least that's the way I've always percieved it.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,268
    edited January 2016
    Fred said:

    I would doubt that it matters?? The toilet flush is to get it out of the toilet. The waste is actually going to be carried out to the main sewer line by all the other waste water leaving the house. At least that's the way I've always percieved it.

    I'm asking because I recall something about 1.28gpf toilets being intended for 3" pipe with a 1/8" per foot pitch. And I thought this had something to do with more pitch causing the water to run quicker and leave waste behind where less pitch tended to allow the water to stay with the waste and carry it out.

    But fact is, I don't know, which is why I'm asking. :)
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • GordyGordy Member Posts: 9,523
    edited January 2016
    Chris you must have more than sausage fingers. My two Kohlers never have plugged.


    I often wonder how low gallon flush units fair on long cast iron sewer pipe runs to the street.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,268
    Gordy said:

    Chris you must have more than sausage fingers. My two Kohlers never have plugged.


    I often wonder how low gallon flush units fair on long cast iron sewer pipe runs to the street.

    Negative and I'm not the only sample in this study.
    How old are your Kohlers? The 3 I'm talking about are probably from the mid 2000s. I say that because I know my parents 2 are from 2007, but mine not sure but it's no newer than 2011 for sure.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • HillyHilly Member Posts: 412
    I've read a study on long 3 and 4" runs with regards to low flow toilets and they had very minor differences. This simulation was to deal with long run 3 and 4" in commercial and high rise situations and they noted that residential should have next to no performance differences.

    For modern, My last 4 personal toilets have been Gerber Avalanche, Viper, and Viper and Avalanche 1-piece in the newest home and renovation. The 1-piece is very nice looking at a higher price of course but it is uninsulated so you will want to have your humidity under control as it will sweat quicker than an insulated 2-piece version.

    In the kitchen I have gone with Delta Pilar touch or Pilar Bar faucet for my main and prep sinks on this house and the last one. I will never 'choose' to not have a touch faucet again. I have installed a few Moen's also but they all have the 'sensor/touch combo and I fine the sensor to be a pain in the butt. But I have not lived with it and I'm sure once the learning curve has passed it may be a charm to have.

    The Kohler stuff I have installed is all solid material but we have no rep and no local suppliers of repair parts (even the two places selling them don't have the repairs parts). So every time I had an issue with one I have to wait 5-10 business for a part to show up. Does sit well in the customers mouth really. I've never personally supplied Kohler for a job for that reason. Only installed on customer supplied items and I am up front about the companies lack of regional support with it comes to repairs. But to talk Kohler and get help/parts they are very helpful even to a plumber calling on behalf of a product owner. It's just my geography that makes them a bad choice for me. It's the same reason I've only installed one Toto ever.
  • BobCBobC Member Posts: 5,129
    The only problem with outhouses is having to shovel the path in the winter, they also can be a tad chilly when they sit on the edge of a cliff.

    This one is from 1969 and 7,000 miles from here -

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,268
    edited January 2016
    BobC said:

    The only problem with outhouses is having to shovel the path in the winter, they also can be a tad chilly when they sit on the edge of a cliff.

    This one is from 1969 and 7,000 miles from here -

    Bob


    Seriously Bob? You've never used one have you.

    Let's talk about how gross it is when you accidently look down the hole. Or, the terrible smell most of the year except perhaps in extreme cold. Or, the constant flies in the summer time.

    Having to dig a new hole and mouse the outhouse, having to wait your turn. Having to run out to it during a rain storm or snow storm when you've got the squirts at 3AM.


    Yes, I've used one.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • GordyGordy Member Posts: 9,523
    Mine are from 2011 Chris.
    ChrisJZman
  • BobCBobC Member Posts: 5,129
    I used the one ion the picture for 13 months, it was on a mountain in S Korea. The villagers used to fight for the privilege of cleaning it out (used to fertilize the fields).


    We had almost no flies or mosquitoes up there but we did have hornets. Thes hornets used to set up a nest under the seat (two holer) , you had to be careful about throwing a lit cigarette under there. The funniest thing i ever saw was the door flying open and one of the guys hopping out with his fatigues around his ankle holding on to you know what.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,268
    BobC said:

    I used the one ion the picture for 13 months, it was on a mountain in S Korea. The villagers used to fight for the privilege of cleaning it out (used to fertilize the fields).


    We had almost no flies or mosquitoes up there but we did have hornets. Thes hornets used to set up a nest under the seat (two holer) , you had to be careful about throwing a lit cigarette under there. The funniest thing i ever saw was the door flying open and one of the guys hopping out with his fatigues around his ankle holding on to you know what.

    Bob

    Ugh.
    Sorry, don't want an outhouse, still. :)
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 4,424
    I want indoor plumbing recommendations not outdoor. Lol
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • GordyGordy Member Posts: 9,523
    Last time I used an out house was a fly in fishing trip in Canada. The out house was 50 yards behind the cabins. We went first week of June the ice was gone only a week prior.

    We got our first round of walley, and Gary made his famous fried poatatoes with bacon, and onions, and beer...of course. The next morning seeing my breath as I was laying there in my sleeping bag debating on whether or not the excursion to the out house was needed. Well I debated to long, and the out house ended up with my long johns.

    That was one of those vacations where you need a vacation after the vacation.
  • hot_rodhot_rod Member Posts: 13,865
    ChrisJ said:

    SWEI said:

    The current generation of 1.28 GPF Kohler Wellworth (inexpensive) toilets will flush just about anything. Watch your kids.

    This may be a dumb question (maybe not?)
    Are the 1.28GPF toilets a good match for 4" piping or is it completely irrelevant?

    The smaller the diameter of the pipe, the deeper the water, so to speak.

    Early on when 1.5 gallon flush toilets were introduced there was some talk of maybe needing 2-1/2" lines.

    I think it has been well proven they work fine with 3 & 4" waste lines. Thankfully.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
    ChrisJ
  • MikeL_2MikeL_2 Member Posts: 268
    KC,
    California Faucet makes some great faucets & trim - sturdy & well constructed, and they back their products with excellent tech support - Kohlers tech support is also really good.
    Kohler, American Standard, and Toto toilets seem to be the most reliable of late - I particularly like the American Standard champion 4 and vormax models.
    Water Works & Lefroy Brooks offer stylish solid brass faucets and trim with superior finishes, however, their tech support and shipping / packing departments have trouble with accuracy and timely response.
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 4,424
    Wanted to thank everyone for their input on this. We went to our local supply house on Saturday (APR Supply/Oasis showroom). We spoke with them for over 2 hours about our choices and brands. We have settled on Delta, but it's their Brizo line. From the comments I just flat out asked them who they deal with most and who gives them the best customer support. They steered us to Delta, but said they get similar treatment from Moen. Some of the other brands they deal in weren't even on display so I scratched them off the list. Oh and looks like we will be getting the Gerber Viper toilet as well. Now to finish the project planning and start the work. Woohoo! Again thanks to all for taking the time to comment.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
    Tim PotterGordy
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