Vintage Bathroom Fixtures

Get all the info you'll need on vintage bathroom fixtures, and prepare to create a bath space with classic retro charm.
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DP_Coddington-Design-Traditional-Master-Bathroom_s4x3

Her bath is a luxurious retreat contrasting classic tilework and fixtures with vintage lighting and saturated color. The centerpiece of the room is the oval Jacuzzi tub with stunning chandelier overhead. Tile, counters and flooring are crema marfil marble with honey onyx accents. Wall color is amethyst with an accent wall of metallic cool bronze. Photo by David Duncan Livingston

By: Sean McEvoy

Vintage bathroom fixtures can enliven the visual interest of any bath space, especially those with a retro or traditional design approach.

The first thing to decide if you're considering vintage bathroom fixtures is whether you want to source them as true period pieces, or if replicas of vintage styles will do. In general, the replica route will cost less, but if authenticity is important, there are many local, national and online retailers of vintage fixtures you can explore.

Bathroom Design Trends

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The Spa Shower — Let It Rain!

Body sprays, rain showerheads and hand showers will give a bath loyalist a reason to stand up and relish the latest in shower fixtures. The master shower is gaining more square footage in the overall bathroom floor plan — it's a shower room, not a stall. And the area is completely tiled and often features a bench and nooks for storing soaps and towels. Image courtesy of Lori Carroll & Associates

A Private, Practical Bath Vanity

Double vanities gain storage and give him and her some personal space when a tall cabinet is installed between the two bathroom sinks. Outlets installed inside drawers and doors mean appliances can be plugged in and ready to use, yet concealed to avoid cluttering the countertop. Image courtesy of Collaborative Design Architects

Radiant Heating for Tile Floor

Low-energy radiant heat mats warm up specific floor spaces in a bathroom, such as near a tub or shower entrance, or in the toilet area — anywhere bare feet frequent. This technology allows you to pick and choose spots to heat. Traditional radiant heating requires a more sophisticated house system. Image courtesy of Viega

Photo By: Viega

Tucking Away the Toilet

Who wants to get a gaping view of the commode when walking into the bathroom? That's exactly why hiding the loo wins points in remodeled bathrooms. You don't need a large space to privatize the toilet. In fact, you don't even need full-wall coverage. Fogged glass, a half-wall or a decorative screen can provide enough of a hideaway without making the space feel claustrophobic. Design by Shane Inman

Photo By: Designer, Shane Inman

Cabinets With Furniture Appeal

The basic vanity cabinet gets a sophisticated overhaul with sculpted legs and paneling that helps the piece look like a piece of furniture rather than a bathroom cabinet that holds a sink. Design by Linda Maglia

Photo By: Designer, Linda Maglia

Splashing the Wall With Subtle Color

Neutral bathrooms evoke a mood of relaxation, but that doesn't mean having a blah backsplash. Work recycled glass or metallic mosaics into the tile design, using specialty tiles as the "jewelry" — this will also keep the project from sabotaging your budget. Take the tile from floor to ceiling for a seamless look that's also easy to clean. Design by Amy Bubier

Pick a Vessel Sink

The powder room is an ideal bathroom for a vessel sink, which can serve as the focal point of the space. Explore the range of materials available in this sink design today, from clear glass to cast stone. Design by Trish Beaudet

Photo By: Designer, Trish Beaudet

A Right-Sized, Deep Jacuzzi Tub

Rather than the corner Jacuzzi tub, which takes up valuable square footage in a master bathroom, opt for a smaller, deeper tub that is large enough for two people but will slide against a wall or next to a shower room. Tubs aren't essential in the master bath. In fact, some people are choosing to expand the size of their shower stall instead and leave the tub for the family bathroom. And as for tub bubbly, check into heated water jets that are essentially self-cleaning and won't cool down the bath by shooting air into the water. Design by Shane Inman

Photo By: Designer, Shane Inman

Jazzed Up Bathroom Lighting

Go ahead — indulge yourself with a chandelier above the soaker tub. Amp up the ambiance in your bathroom by installing backlighting around a mirror — it's not functional light, but it provides soft, warm lighting. Toe-kick lighting underneath cabinets serves as a handy nightlight. And do install a dimmer on your central ambient light (the fixture that fills the room with light). Image courtesy of Kohler

Photo By: Kohler

Think Accessible

Design a bathroom that allows you to age in place by focusing on aesthetically pleasing yet highly functional features: a curbless shower, a shower bench, grab bars that can also hold towels, slip-resistant tile (and larger grout lines on shower floors) and proper lighting. Image courtesy of Kohler

Photo By: Kohler

Save Water

You can save water and still get a powerful flush with today's water-conserving commodes, available in a range of prices from economy to luxe (with bidet functionality — a bonus). Image courtesy of Gerber Plumbing Fixtures LLC

Photo By: Avalanche

In general, vintage fixtures will call to mind a specific era in bath design. A common example is midcentury modern. Midcentury modern bathroom fixtures are sleek and minimalist in design, featuring sharp angles and flowing curves.

Lighting fixtures are another option if you're considering vintage style in your bathroom. Gleaming metals, curves and sharp angles in light fixtures can work well in a vintage bathroom design.

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