Home & Garden

Updating your home’s plumbing doesn’t all have to be done at once

The Cimarron toilet with Cachet Nightlight toilet seat from Kohler.
The Cimarron toilet with Cachet Nightlight toilet seat from Kohler. TNS

Q: We’re moving into an older home where both the bathroom and kitchen can use plumbing updates. Being on a limited budget, we decided to replace only one plumbing item for now with a high-quality model instead of installing all low-quality plumbing fixtures at once. Down the road we can install another high-quality plumbing fixture, and so on. What do you recommend we replace first?

Betty, Alabama

A: I think you’re wise to choose quality over quantity, though it may take you longer to complete the updates. With that said, I looked at three factors in making my recommendation for installing just one new plumbing fixture.

▪ Getting some sort of payback for your investment.

▪ Ease of fixture installation.

▪ How much use the fixture will get.

I suggest you remove the old toilet and install a new high-quality, high-efficiency toilet with a multi-function toilet seat. A high-efficiency toilet can reduce your water use, and that may put extra money in your pocket while you save for your next plumbing project. Also, a multi-function toilet seat can include features like a built-in nightlight, reminding you every night that if you stay on your present remodeling path, there can be light at the end of the tunnel!

Master contractor and plumber Ed Del Grande is the author of the book “Ed Del Grande’s House Call” and the host of TV and Internet shows. Visit eddelgrande.com or write eadelg@cs.com.