The Plumber: Intelligent choice for bathroom fixtures

Ed Del Grande
Tribune News Service

 Dear Ed, Read your recent column on "smart" toilets and toilet seats. Since I plan to remodel my bathroom next year I want to use these smart fixtures wherever I can to stay updated for future trends. Any other smart fixtures I can look into?

-- Jeff, New York

Dear Jeff: I did a little reflecting after reading this question and came up with another intelligent fixture choice, a smart bathroom mirror. Yes, even bathroom mirrors are now available with lots of great electronic features. First and foremost these are made to be stylish functioning mirrors with bright built-in lighting just like a lot of standard mirrors. But, that is where the similarities end. On the smart side you can find additional features like voice command operation to control the lights, integrated stereo sound systems, wireless technology, motion sensor lighting for night trips, and even voice control internet access. These mirrors do require power, but in return an electronic smart mirror can keep you current with the latest trends!

Bathroom mirrors are now available with technology allowing for voice control of things like lights and music.

Dear Ed: We're planning to remodel our kitchen. First step is to find deals and buy fixtures. After we collect all fixtures then we'll start designing the kitchen. Do they make a universal mount kitchen sink so we're not locked in to one type?

— Tina, Texas

Dear Tina: When remodeling a kitchen or bathroom, it's a good idea not to get locked into anything. I've seen many plans change just before, during and after construction.

To avoid getting into a pickle, some companies do offer some plumbing fixtures with universal installations.

I've worked with specially designed stainless steel kitchen sinks that offer dual-mounting installations. These sinks are available in different models with nice options, so you're not even locked into just one style. The secret to these sinks is they have a wide, flat, thin rim that can be used in a drop-in or under-mount configuration.

So if you want a sink that can go with the flow before, during and after construction changes, a dual-mount stainless steel kitchen sink can fit the bill.

Master Contractor/Plumber Ed Del Grande is known internationally as the author of the book "Ed Del Grande's House Call," the host of TV and Internet shows, and a LEED green associate. Visit or write Always consult local contractors and codes.