Thursday, February 28, 2008

Doing Up Your Home: Bath Fittings

I’m finding that there’s a tonne of stuff you have to think about when you’re doing up a house from scratch, that you don’t even think about otherwise. If you’re on rent, you can walk into the bathroom and expect to have things like towel hangers and shower caddies and toilet paper holders where they need to be. Not so if you’re moving into a new apartment. That’s when you need to go bath fitting shopping. I just finished doing that, and it wasn’t the most exciting of events, but I guess it was nice to be able to choose the basics. Basically, here are the things you need to think about buying:

- Towel racks
- Hand towel stands
- Toilet paper holders
- Soap stands
- Shower caddies
- A shower panel (optional since most apartments come fitted with the basic faucets and showers)
- A shower console (optional)
- Curtain rods for your shower curtains (if you’re not getting a full console)
- Jet sprays for the toilet (funnily, but aptly named)

This is again one of those things that you can spend a lot or a little on depending on your budget and your taste and priorities. For instance, you can go to a place like the Kohler showroom in MGF Mega City Mall, which is incredibly nice and fancy and also really expensive. Or you can go to Sikanderpur, where you have a choice of some good mid-range fittings – there are several small shops there that you can walk into and choose between collections offered by companies like Jaguar as well as some local, relatively unheard of companies such as Max. The other choice you make is between brass fittings and stainless steel ones. The stainless steel fittings look nicer, and are better in quality, and also about twice as expensive as the brass ones. However, the brass ones are the most common and recommended by the shop owners because they look the same, they’re pretty good, and they don’t rust or otherwise turn ugly.

As far as the cost is concerned, we ended up spending about Rs. 4000 per bathroom minus the shower console and shower panel, i.e., for just the small fittings (mostly brass and some stainless steel stuff). We haven’t bought the console and shower panel yet, but it looks like you can get a proper console from a place like Home Town (in Noida, but one is coming up in Gurgaon next to the Genpact office in DLF Phase V) for Rs. 20,000 and up and a shower panel from the same place for Rs. 8000 and up. You can get slightly cheaper but more than slightly different quality ones from Sikanderpur, but I wouldn’t recommend that. The other option is to get a sliding screen door on an aluminium frame put up to block your shower area. This costs anywhere between Rs. 8000 – 12000 depending on whether you use PVC, acrylic sheets, fibre glass, or glass for the screen. This is a good option since it’s custom made and you can optimally use the space in your bathroom, but it doesn’t look as nicely finished since it’s locally made. The key is to find a good guy to do this for you.

I didn’t think I could write this much about bath fittings, but there you have it :-). Feel free to leave a comment if you have something to share!

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