Plumbing Fixtures 

A Glossary to Plumbing Fixtures

Sinks - There are number of options and finishes when it comes to sinks

  • Sizes - Generally measured by its interior bowl dimension, but can include overall size or cabinet size recommendation

  • Materials - Kitchen Sinks for most manufacturers come in either 16 gauge or 18 gauge stainless steel.

    • Other finishes include

    • Cast Iron

    • Sil-Granite

    • Ceramic

    • Glass

    • Copper

    • Corian

  • Install type

    • Top Mount - Sink installed with lip of sink above the countertop

    • Flush Mount - Lip of sink is flush with countertop (required counter to have router detail around rim)

    • Under Mount - Sink is installed under the counter with the inner bowl aligned with the counter cutout

    • Apron Sink - Also known as a farmers sink, has exposed front edge. Can be made from ceramic, cast iron or stainless

    • Vessel - Bathroom sink that sits above the counter and has high sides (similar to a bowl)

    • Pedestal - Sink has integral stand and may come with counterspace

    • Wall Mount - For small spaces with mounting for faucet

    • Trough SInk - Elongated or linear bowl


  • Single Side Lever

  • Widespread

  • Top Lever

  • Pro Style

  • Goose Neck

  • Pullout Spray

  • Side Spray

  • Wall Mount

  • Pot Filler

Tub - There are many types and styles of tubs, as well as materials in which they are manufactured from. . Acrylic, Cast Iron, Volcanic Stone, Solid Surface and Stainless Steel.

  • Freestanding - Has finished sides all around and requires more floor area. Some sit directly on floor while others have feet or base surround

  • Top Mount - Tub sits direct on tub deck

  • Undermount - Similar to a sink installation, requires a solid surface material in which the tub is mounted from below.

  • Alcove - Most popular tub as it requires the least amount of space. Generally has walls on 3 sides, with either a skirt or tiled wall to finish the one exposed side.

Showers - Comes in a number of different configurations. Standard shower sizes are based on kits that include a acrylic base and framed glass. Some come with either hinged or sliding glass doors.

Frameless - Refers to the glass not having a metal frame. Instead the glass is custom fitted to walls, ceilings and shower curbs. Small metal brackets are used to reinforce weak areas.

Framed - Usually a kit based glass installation. However in recent years, framed showers have become popular again, especially with black finishes or with a mullion design.

Shower pan - The base in which comprises of a sloped floor and drain. It can either be an acrylic base, stone base or a custom base.

Custom Shower Base - Require either the construction of a shower curb and sloped base or a sloped floor for curbless shower.

Shower Drain -  Can come in round format, square or linear.

Shower Fixtures

  • Shower Head - Round or Square, some have different spray options

  • Shower Arm - Can either be wall mounted or ceiling mounted depending on brand

  • Handshower - Separate hand held showerhead on hose. Can be used as standalone shower or as a secondary rinsing shower.

  • Supply - Also know as an elbow, is the joint that connects the shower hose to the water source.

  • Slidebar - A vertical bar in which a handshower can be mounted to. Allows the handshower to be mounted at various heights.


  • Pressure Balance Valves - The most popular type of valve due to its simplicity and cost. It mixes hot and cold water supply to create desired temperature, however is sustible to temperature changes depending on the flow of hot water.

  • Thermostatic Valves - This valve has a thermostatic system, which maintains the temperature of water. This type of valve system allows the user to have a greater control over the water temperature than the previous type of valve.Users can choose the temperature even before turning on the water.

  • Volume Control - Controls the flow rate of water

  • Diverter - A valve that redirects the water from one fixture to another

  • Stack Control - Typically a thermastical valve stacked above a volume control

  • Electronic Diverter - A 3 in 1 system that electrically controls, temperature, volume and diverter. Some even have a steamer module.

  • Exposed Shower System - Usually consist of showerhead, slidebar, handshower and shower controls that are externally mounted to the wall.

Tub Filler - Generally refers to a tub spout that is wall mounted above the tub. For freestanding tubs, a floor mounted tub filler is required.

Shower Jets - Individual shower nozzle that are either wall or ceiling mounted.

Steamer Unit - Self contained motor and heater unit that injects steam into your shower.

 Toilets - Toilets are generally offered in two configurations, one piece and two piece designs.

  • One piece - offer an integrated tank and bowl, eliminating the crevice between the tank and bowl that can often get dirty. One piece toilets are generally more upscale and are available in low profile, low height styles.

  • Two piece - (also known as “close coupled toilets”) are the most common type of toilet available due to ease of manufacturing and low cost.

  • Standard Height - Typically 14” to 15”  from the floor to the seat.

  • Comfort Height - A taller height from 16” to 17” from floor to the seat

  • Elongated Bowl - The depth of the bowl is deeper, allowing for a larger seat area

  • Round Bowl - Shallow depth bowl for smaller or tighter spaces

  • Wall Mounted - Uses a tank system that is mounted in the interior of the wall. The flushing lever, bowl and seat are the only parts exposed.

  • Tankless - These toilets use a small electric motor to flush the toilet. Usually have other tech features like mood lighting, seat warms, bluetooth integration etc.

 Bidet - A toilet like fixture that sprays water upwards for cleansing