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Bathroom Suites

Design-coordinated collections eliminate the time and guesswork required to perfect a bathroom’s overall design.


Kohler Underscore Bubble Massage Bath with Chromatherapy Traverse Wall-Mount Vanity Traverse Lavatory. Photo courtesy of Kohler.
Kohler Underscore Bubble Massage Bath with Chromatherapy Traverse Wall-Mount Vanity Traverse Lavatory. Photo courtesy of Kohler.


Coordinate Design
Many homeowners have looked at a bathroom’s basic fixtures—toilet, lavatory, basin or sink, shower or tub—as individual products. But the concept of a “suite” of similar designs has been around a long time. Design-coordinated collections eliminate the time and guesswork required to perfect a bathroom’s overall design. For many, it instills a sense of confidence that everything goes together.

Interior designer Diana Schrage of the Kohler Design Center says “plumbing products had similarity of shapes all the way back to the beginning when fixtures first came into the home. Further refinements continued to emerge


Kohler Iron Works® Tellieur® Suite. Photo courtesy of Kohler.
Kohler Iron Works® Tellieur® Suite. Photo courtesy of Kohler.

and distinct styles began being offered.” Kohler Co. is a Wisconsin-based global leader in its four core business groups of kitchen and bath, interiors, global power, and hospitality and real estate. In its product groupings, a bathroom suite includes tub, shower, toilet and one or more lavatories. It also offers bath “ensembles”— design packages with fewer products and without a bath.

Gray Uhl, director of design for American Standard, a leading North American plumbing goods manufacturer, says his company has been providing “complete ‘suite’ solutions for the bathroom for over 100 years. It is one of the few companies that has always provided the necessary faucets and fixtures needed in the bathroom. This allows American Standard to develop components that work well together.”



American Standard’s suites and collections offer many options for a coordinated bath.
American Standard’s suites and collections offer many options for a coordinated bath.

At American Standard, a suite usually includes bathroom sinks, toilets, faucets, accessories and tubs. “It may also include furniture, shower base and enclosures, mirrors and medicine cabinets or lighting. It depends on the uniqueness of the style or design theme to determine if you need to use the total collection,” says Uhl. “The faucet and accessories serve as the ‘jewelry’ that provides the trim and finish accents that tie the whole collection together. This may even include a toilet trip lever in a matching style and finish.”

Getting Started
If you’ve decided to incorporate a bathroom suite, there are several steps to consider. Proper permits and meeting code are foundation basics. Next, determine whether it will be a DIY project or installed by a professional. Almost

all of the components in a suite can be handled by competent DIYers as a weekend project. American Standard offers innovations, like its Speed Connect faucet drain,


American Standard Bathroom Suite.
American Standard Bathroom Suite.

that can make the job go quickly. A homeowner can decide whether to tackle installation of a new tub or shower based on his ability. If he does not feel confident about his ability, these are projects for a local plumbing professional.

Next, set a budget, which will “help to determine how many of the components of the ‘suite’ you can comfortably incorporate into your plan,” says Uhl. Prices for American Standard “suites’ can range from roughly $500 to $2,500. “With what you invest, you save time and the effort it takes to be assured of great performance and a professional-looking result,” he notes.

Schrage says Kohler’s suites range from a “very competitive entry level all the way up to high end.” TOTO bath collections range from the upper-mid to luxury level, says Lenora Campos, Ph.D., manager of public relations for TOTO USA, Inc.,


This TOTO lavatory features an embedded LED light that radiates soft illumination. The temperature and waterfall flow from the elegant spout are adjusted by a responsive knob control positioned closer than traditional tap handles.
This TOTO lavatory features an embedded LED light that radiates soft illumination. The temperature and waterfall flow from the elegant spout are adjusted by a responsive knob control positioned closer than traditional tap handles.

the world’s largest plumbing products manufacturer.

Campos suggests homeowners review bathroom suite products and determine the design statement they prefer. Uhl advises picking “a style that fits your home and lifestyle,” noting that the great thing about a suite is that the individual parts can work great on their own but are guaranteed to work together.

“The age and style of the home should be coupled with the homeowners’ personal taste” in choosing a suite, says Schrage. She notes that homeowners should also keep in mind that the upgrades, such as switching to a high-efficiency toilet, can save thousands of gallons of water a year.

Design Options
There is a large variety of great options available to transform a bathroom into a well-coordinated retreat. From hands-free technology and waterfall cascades to LED

Tips for Your Bathroom Suite Project

According to Lenora Campos of TOTO USA, “studies of real estate buying habits reveal that, next to the kitchen, the bathroom is the area most likely to be closely scrutinized by potential buyers.” Whether your project is for a potential buyer or your own pleasure, here are a few steps to get you started.

•  Know what you have. Measure your bathroom and lay out your floor plan.

•  Consider the possibilities. Decide whether it’s time for better accessibility to the sink or shower, an adjustment in toilet height or elimination of space-gobbling storage. Kohler Co., for example, offers bathroom planning advice online, including tips from designer Diana Schrage on how to make the most of a small bathroom.

•  Review products. From wall, pedestal and furniture mounts to compact fixtures, there are many available options. Most bath product manufacturers have extensive Web sites that spotlight their amenities.

•  Check pricing. A bathroom suite may be surprisingly affordable or at a much higher price point.

•  Know yourself. If you don’t feel confident in your DIY capabilities, turn it over to a professional.

illumination in the TOTO Neorest II Luminist collection and Kohler steam shower options, there are some amazing products.

Homeowners choosing a TOTO bath suite will first have to decide if they prefer a traditional, contemporary or transitional design. “TOTO is perfecting Transitional design, a new aesthetic that merges elements of both Modernist and Traditional design to create products that have the richness of history combined with innovation, new materials and an uncluttered aesthetic,” says Campos.  She says TOTO’s new Aimes Bath Collection and its sister suite, the new Legato Collection, are “prime examples of TOTO’s design prowess in this innovative, eclectic aesthetic that gives homeowners a heretofore unseen ability to develop a unique sensibility for their bath space.”

Kohler’s choices range from the highly distinctive design of its Escale® suite, “conceived from the form of a sail in the wind and Japanese ceramic tableware design,” to the Bancroft®, inspired by the “traditional elegance of early 1900s American design.” Among the choices, homeowners may find such features as wide, double-pivot, slow-close shower doors; a steam option for the shower; overflowing lavatory and bath designs; lavatory size variations on a theme to accommodate space needs; and low-threshold shower entrances.

American Standard’s suite concepts capture design spirits from contemporary to classic. Its choices, particularly the Heritage suite, are suggested to work well in both large and small bathrooms.

Credit: Renovate Your World