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Bathroom Buying Guide - Shopping for Your Bathroom

A comprehensive guide to shopping for your bathroom renovation.

Perhaps the most exciting step to creating your dream bathroom, the shopping phase allows you to put all your planning and designing into action and see your final space take shape! In this guide, you will learn about how to choose the bathroom fixtures to suit you, how to prepare for your design consultation and what to expect when you visit a bathroom showroom.

How to Choose Bathroom Fixtures & Fittings

Your choice of bathroom furniture and fixtures demands time and consideration.

Choosing Bathroom Furniture

With so many options to choose from, we have compiled a quick guide to bathroom furniture, ceramics, brassware and accessories so you can make an informed decision.

Modular Bathroom Furniture

The most commonplace of bathroom furniture designs, modular bathroom units are an extremely popular bathroom furniture option, due in part to their ease of installation and also the storage they provide. These stand-alone vanity units generally comprise of treated wood or MDF structure, within which sits a basin and often two or three drawers or a single cupboard with shelving. Our modular furniture collections are available in countless styles, from traditional to uber contemporary and can be customised to suit your tastes and practical requirements, right down to your choice of handle. Modular bathroom furniture is available in both wall-mounted and freestanding styles.


Fitted Bathroom Furniture

Custom cabinetry or fitted bathroom furniture is a little different from modular furniture as it takes into account the entire bathroom and is tailored specifically to your space. At Roper Rhodes, our fitted bathroom furniture is available in a multitude of styles, sizes and depths, with coordinating plinths, panels and worktops that allow you to create a bathroom that is unique to you and your practical requirements. Fitted bathroom furniture has the distinct benefit of using every available space in your bathroom, allowing you to create a unified style that makes the most of storage.


Cloakroom Furniture

With many homes now featuring an ensuite or second bathroom, bathroom furniture designers have met the demand for smaller-scale units with compact cloakroom furniture options. Similar in design to modular bathroom furniture, cloakroom vanity units are sized proportionally for smaller spaces and often include clever space-saving features such as corner basins. Smaller brassware options are also available to suit your unit.



Once only a feature of more traditional bathrooms, bathroom washstands have undergone something of a resurgence in the last few years, with lots of styles and sizes to choose from. Evolved from the simple Victorian table and washbowl, washstands are usually constructed from brass or steel and are used to frame and hold your basin of choice, creating a unique centrepiece. The finish and style of the frame will often match your sink trap, which helps to conceal unsightly plumbing and create a cohesive look. The Roper Rhodes washstand can be cut to fit 16 of our basin types, giving you lots of choices where size and style is concerned.


Choosing Ceramics & WCs

The mainstay of bathrooms small and large, sanitaryware is the collective term given for the everyday bathroom sink or basin and toilet or WC. As a bathroom essential, it is especially useful to know the ins and outs of this category to allow you to choose the best and most suitable sanitaryware for you.

WC & Toilet Choices

You will be surprised by the range of choice when it comes to the seemingly simple, everyday water closet! Contemporary toilets can be divided into several types, namely back to wall toilets, close coupled toilets and wall-hung toilets.

Back-to-Wall Toilets - back to wall toilets are toilets where the cistern is concealed either within the wall or housed within a special furniture unit, leaving only the pan on display and all the plumbing hidden from sight.

Close Coupled Toilets - Maybe the most common WC configuration. The close-coupled toilet is a pan and cistern combination that can be installed easily and is ideal for quick bathroom renovations at low budget.

Wall-Hung Toilets- Wall hung toilets are back-to-wall toilets that feature a concealed cistern but are also mounted on the wall, allowing for floor space beneath the WC. Wall-mounted WCs are well suited to contemporary bathrooms or to make the most of smaller floor space.

Basin Choices

We can all agree that the sink is a staple feature of every bathroom. Yet this simple addition can be far from mundane, with so many sizes, styles and even materials to choose from. We have outlined the key types of bathroom sink below to help you to choose a basin that best suits your bathroom.

Wall-Mounted Basins - Wall-mounted basins are fairly self-explanatory and perhaps the most commonly used kind of bathroom sink, owing to their simplicity, low cost and easy installation. This convenient, space-saving option is mounted against your bathroom wall with the waste and trap exposed, allowing you to make a feature of well-finished plumbing.

Vessel Basins - Often spotted in more luxurious bathrooms, the vessel basin sits atop a countertop, adding character and style to your bathroom. A hole is cut into the counter to allow the sink to be plumbed. Vessel basins are commonly seen in square, rectangular and round styles, though more decorative scallop edge or porcelain options are available. Stone and solid surface countertops are often the best choices for a vessel basin as they are completely waterproof and easy to clean.

Pedestal Basins - The traditional pedestal basin is similar to a wall-mounted basin with the exception that the sink is supported by a ceramic pedestal that not only holds some of the weight of the basin but conceals less finished plumbing.

Corner Basins - Generally wall-mounted, corner basins are a common feature of smaller cloakroom bathrooms, and allow you to make the most of awkward space by fitting neatly into the corner of your bathroom.

Underslung Basins - Underslung basins are the opposite of a vessel basin, in that they sit within and below a countertop, giving a swooping, bowl style sink. This basin style is well suited to traditional bathroom styles.

Semi-Recessed Basins - Set partially within your furniture unit or countertop, semi-recessed basins hang slightly out from the rim of the worktop and work especially well as part of a longer furniture run. Semi-recessed basins are often square or round, and are also available in a slim-depth style, perfect for small or narrow bathroom spaces.

Bathroom sinks are available in a wide range of materials, most commonly ceramic, though new, innovative and more luxurious options are also available.

Ceramic Sinks- The most widely used of basin materials, ceramic sinks are manufactured from clay, fired in a kiln and glazed to create a waterproof, durable surface.

Solid-surface Sinks - A more versatile alternative to ceramic, solid surface sinks are made from a binding and shaping composite minerals to create a single, dense basin that can be easily cut, shaped and sanded.

Acrylic Sinks- Giving a glossy, streamlined surface, acrylic basins are manufactured from a polycarbonate plastic that is low cost and stain-resistant.


Choosing your Bathroom Brassware

Bathroom brassware, commonly known to you and me as taps and showers, can be a fixture choice which requires some consideration. Brassware not only needs to be functional and match your water pressure but equally should reflect the style of your bathroom and add that all-important finishing touch.

Bathroom Taps

There are numerous styles of bathroom tap, and each of these styles is often also available in multiple finishes and sizes. The most widely used bathroom taps include:

Basin Mixer Taps - A basin mixer tap combines both hot and cold water streams into a single spout, allowing you complete control over temperature and water flow. Basin mixer taps are convenient in that they only require one tap hole and save on sink surface space.

Pillar Taps - Separating hot and cold water into two taps; pillar taps are a charming option for a more traditional brassware style. Pillar taps require two tap holes in your sink and make for a pretty and balanced feature in your bathroom.

Wall Mounted Taps - Often seen paired with a vessel basin, wall-mounted taps are set into your wall or splashback to create a waterfall style flow into your basin bowl.

Three Hole Basin Taps - A classic version of the basin mixer tap, three-hole basin taps combine a single spout with two controls. Crosshead or lever tap heads are a notable feature of three-hole taps, evoking a charming heritage tap style.



When it comes to choosing a shower for your bathroom, your choice can be as simple or as singular as you make it. Both contemporary and traditional showers have numerous parts, which allows for a great deal of customisation, from valve choice to showerhead. If you are feeling overwhelmed, we recommend you opt for an out-of-the-box shower system. To create a custom shower, your retailer can guide you to choose the best configuration for your requirements.


Choosing your Bathroom Mirror

Now to the finishing touches! Whether you opt for a simple illuminated mirror, a traditional option or something a little more of-the-moment, a mirror can dramatically elevate your bathroom space.

Illuminated - Depending on your bathroom lighting scheme, you may wish to add an illuminated mirror to your bathroom for convenient additional light. Designed using LED bulbs, illuminated bathroom mirrors often feature a band of light that frames the mirror edge. Many illuminated bathroom mirrors also come with additional features such as touchless sensor switches and light temperature control - allowing you to turn your mirror on and off with just the wave of a hand. Rest assured, Roper Rhodes illuminated bathroom mirrors are all completely safe to use near water but should always be fitted by a professional for the best results.


Traditional - If your bathroom lighting does not suit an illuminated mirror, a simple yet classic non-illuminated mirror may be the best option. With both framed and frameless options, our most popular traditional mirror, Hampton, features a wooden frame in a finish to suit your furniture unit.


Mirrored Cabinets- Combining your mirror with a storage solution is a great way to optimise bathroom space. Our wide range of mirrored cabinets come in a variety of sizes and styles, including recessed mirrored cabinet designs and of course, illuminated mirrored cabinets.


Make a Showroom Appointment

Time to shop? Why not make an appointment with your local Roper Rhodes stockist to discuss your ideas and requirements and find the best fit for your dream bathroom.

Make a Design Appointment
Make a Showroom Appointment

Your Showroom Visit

What to expect from your bathroom showroom visit.

Equipped with everything you need - from inspiration, to design to those key bathroom terms, it is time to visit your local bathroom showroom. We explain what to expect and how to prepare to make the most of your and your stockist’s time.

Finding a Stockist

Use our showroom finder to locate the stockist nearest to you. Each of our stockists will offer a number of different services, from bathroom design to installation or fitted bathroom furniture. These services can be identified by the symbols next to each stockist listing.

Make a Showroom Appointment

In the post-COVID world, unfortunately, it is often no longer possible to make an impromptu showroom visit and we always recommend making an appointment in advance to ensure you get the most from your consultation.

What to Bring to Your Showroom Visit

The more information and materials you can bring to your bathroom consultation the better. We have devised a quick checklist to help with collating this information.

Bathroom Plans

It’s time to gather all the nitty-gritty details that you learned about in our Bathroom Planning Guide, this may include:

  • Your budget
  • Room specifications and dimensions
  • Plumbing points
  • Structural obstacles (windows, doors)
  • A 2D sketch (if possible)

Bathroom Inspiration

Try to hone all those wonderful and inspiring ideas into one place so your designer has a good grasp of your style and desired bathroom look.

  • Pinterest boards
  • Magazine clippings
  • Tile examples
  • Paint swatches

All things considered, please don’t worry if you haven't collected everything- your consultant is there with expert information to guide you.

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