Having redone a number of bathrooms over the years and having re-fixtured, remodeled, and updated a number of bathrooms lately, I have a lot of thoughts about bathroom hardware.
The quality of the hardware and the installation can vary wildly from one manufacturer to another, so I wanted to put some thoughts down before you bought something that looks nice, but didn’t work well, sagged from the wall, or lost its mounting after a few weeks.
These aren’t exhaustive lists, these are manufacturers that HelpAtMyHome.com has experience with and thoughts about.
We won’t be getting into aesthetics here. This is about quality of the hardware, quality of the finish, how good the installation is, and how well the hardware holds up over time. Price and value aren’t a consideration here.
And, by bathroom hardware, we are talking primarily about:
- towel bars
- towel rings
- toilet paper holders
Best Bathroom Hardware
These are manufacturers that make great quality hardware that installs well.
Rejuvenation Hardware make great stuff. It’s never the cheapest option but it’s consistently very good and always installs well.
Rejuvenation Hardware is part of the William Sonoma/Pottery Barn/West Elm family, but it has remained at the very top end of this group and quality has stayed high over the years, so we buy from them with confidence regardless of how I may feel about those other brands.
Middle Tier Bathroom Hardware
This is respectable stuff that is always good and is sometimes very good, but has some shortcomings.
Having installed a lot of Restoration Hardware stuff lately, including a bathroom full of new hardware, I can say that the company is going a very nice job with they towel racks, toilet paper holders, and towel bars. They include mounting hardware that is easy to use and installs well. Their hardware lasts and the mounting lasts, even with kids and guests who aren’t always the most gentle.
RH has adopted some cost-cutting measures, like plastic toggle anchors, but I haven’t found these to have a negative effect on the bathroom hardware.
What keeps Restoration Hardware from being in the top tier is that their fit-and-finish isn’t quite as good as Rejuvenation, their packaging is a bit behind, and their installation instructions are just OK. Still, RH is a great pick for any bathroom.
Low Tier Bathroom Hardware
This is hardware that I’ve had specific problems with and have had to return some (not all) items to the manufacturer citing quality concerns.
CB2 hardware tends to look quite nice and to feel good when you first pick it up, but I’ve had some major problems with their installation and mounting. The company sometimes pairs heavy hardware with light duty mounting, clearly saving pennies and turning nice hardware into bad stuff.
We’ve purchased sagging towel bars from them as well as a toilet paper holder that wouldn’t stay level because poor mounting hardware.
CB2 remains tempting because of their attractive, modern designs and some great sales, but we avoid their bathroom hardware.
Pottery Barn has a nice selection and fair prices, but quality is hit and miss. I recently encountered a lightweight and sadly constructed train rack from them (a $200 or so piece) that looked nice but was not built to last. Comparable Restoration Hardware pieces were about $300, but some models were $200, and were all much nicer.
Simple hardware from Pottery Barn, like hooks and pulls, is totally fine and I’ve been happy with all of it, despite some minor issues with consistency from one part to another.
These are big, well-known brands that we don’t have enough current experience with to make comments. For example historically we’ve known Moen to make nice hardware, but I haven’t worked with anything of theirs in some time.
Usually a safe pick, Kohler hardware was very good for a long time. Lately I have seen them migrate to the tiny hex screw other similar annoying, poorly working mounting hardware that has plagued other brands (here is a good example of 1 star reviews and poor mounting in a $100+ toilet paper holder). These reviews and this hardware change makes me cautious, but we worked with a lot of older Kohler hardware that has held up great.
Others (Without Notes)
- American Standard
- Ballard Designs
- West Elm