Bathroom Design Essentials: Sanitaryware, Fixtures, and Finishes

Inspiration, Interiors — 23.04.24

In modern home design, bathrooms have transformed from basic utilities to personal sanctuaries, merging comfort with luxury to create spaces where you can truly unwind and refresh. Our guide will help you navigate the essential elements of bathroom design—sanitaryware, fixtures, and finishes—to create a space that combines elegance with practicality. Whether renovating or starting fresh, let’s discover how to elevate your bathroom.


From the humble toilet to elegant faucets, innovative shower systems and stylish brassware, sanitaryware has undergone a significant evolution over the years. The style you opt for, very much depends on achieving a balance of aesthetic and practical preferences, whilst space considerations are a must.  



  • Traditional toilets: Gravity-flush toilets have been a staple for decades. Styles vary and include wall hung, back to wall and traditional high level cistern options.  
  • Smart Toilets: With incredible technological advancements smart toilets have emerged, incorporating features such as heated seats, bidet functions and even music playback.  
  • Bidets: Traditional bidets are separate to the toilet and very much down to space, personal preference and hygiene requirement. 

Flush plates

  • Traditional Push Buttons: Simple and varied designs for a classic flush.
  • Touchless or Sensor-Activated: Hygienic, hands-free flushing with motion sensors.
  • Dual Flush: These larger plates offer water-saving options for liquid and solid waste.
  • Integrated Controls: Modern panels with adjustable settings for a streamlined look.

Sinks and Basins

  • Pedestal Sinks: Timeless and elegant, pedestal sinks are freestanding and often used in traditional bathroom designs. 
  • Over Countertop Basins: These contemporary basins sit on top of a vanity or countertop, and are a popular option for achieving a modern spa like aesthetic. 
  • Under Countertop Basins: These contemporary basins sit under a vanity or countertop, and are a popular option for achieving a timeless elegant aesthetic. 


  • Standard Taps: Lever or knob-operated taps are common and available in a variety of styles and finishes.
  • Mixer taps: Blending hot and cold water, they are modern and easy to use with graceful arcs and ergonomic handles.
  • Sensor-Activated Taps: Touchless or sensor-activated taps reduce the spread of germs and save water.
  • Brassware: Brass has long been used “behind the scenes” for shower mixers and the back end of taps due to its high performance and durability.


Different shower options include digital, electric, mixer and power showers. The majority of these can be separate cubicles or over-bath, depending on the aesthetic, space or practicalities you are trying to achieve. 

Rainfall showers are overhead shower systems that mimic the feel of natural rainfall and a great option for luxurious wet rooms or bathrooms. 

Shower enclosures & screens

When selecting a shower enclosure, factors such as bathroom size, layout, and personal style preferences should be considered to ensure the perfect fit for your needs. 

  • Frameless Shower Enclosures: provide an elegant and modern design without visible metal frames. They are typically made of thick tempered glass for a sleek look and help you achieve a minimalist aesthetic with seamless lines. 
  • Framed Shower Enclosures: in contrast typically have metal frames around the edges of the glass panels. They are sturdy and durable in design and available in various finishes to complement your bathroom décor. 

  • Walk-In Shower Enclosures: are typically used when aiming to achieve a wet room aesthetic. They allow for easy entry and exit and are popular for contemporary and accessible bathroom designs. 
  • Corner Shower Enclosures: are designed to maximize available space in smaller rooms. They are available in various styles, including framed, frameless, and neo-angle. 


The most common types of bathtubs are freestanding, bath/ shower combinations.  Incorporating spa-like features such as hydrotherapy jets, will enhance your bathing experience and help to create a calming and luxurious space. 

  • Freestanding: a popular choice for larger bathrooms and these bathtubs can often serve as a focal point of the room. Styles vary from the modern organic curve of an oval soak tub to a traditional claw foot option.  
  • Bath and Shower combinations: when accessibility is not a concern, this is a good solution to maximise floor space. Screens or curtains are commonly used to contain water spray.
  • Corner bathtubs: as with corner showers, this style is designed to maximise available space in smaller rooms.  

Vanity units

Vanities are a great choice for achieving a minimalist aesthetic and keeping surfaces clutter free. They provide ample storage and help create a contemporary and spacious feeling, freeing up critical floor space.  

Customisable Vanity Units: Tailoring vanity units to specific storage needs and design preferences adds a personalized touch to the bathroom. Many companies allow you to select a bespoke size and shaped sink, in a materiality of your choice.  


  • Framed Mirrors: Mirrors with beautiful frames add a touch of elegance and style to the bathroom space, enhancing the overall aesthetic.
  • Backlit Mirrors: LED-lit mirrors not only provide functional illumination but also contribute to the modern and sleek design of the bathroom.  
  • Storage within a mirror is a great way to achieve both form and function. Not only does the mirrored surface reflect light and enlarge the space but clearing away clutter or personal items at a practical height also has benefits.  

Heated Towel Rails

Heated towel rails blend luxury and practicality, transforming bathrooms into cosy retreats. These fixtures keep towels warm, ensuring they’re dry and ready for use. 

Towel rails can be powered differently offering you another layer of customisation: 

  • Electric heated towel rails allow you to enjoy warm towels all year round regardless of the heating being turned on or not. 
  • UFH-Linked, are linked to under floor heating, which contribute to energy efficiency by sharing the same heating source. 
  • Dual fuel offer seasonal adaptability, allowing users to switch between electric and central heating. 

Technological Advancements


With an increasing emphasis on sustainability, manufacturers are incorporating eco-friendly materials and water-saving technologies into their designs. Water-efficient fixtures, recyclable materials, and energy-saving technologies contribute to the creation of environmentally conscious sanitaryware. 

Water Conservation

With a growing awareness of mindful water usage, contemporary bathrooms are evolving to integrate sustainable practices. The modern bathroom seeks to strike a balance between comfort and ecological responsibility.  

  • Dual Flush Toilets: These toilets allow users to choose between a full and partial flush, promoting water conservation. 
  • Low-Flow Faucets: Designed to reduce water consumption, low-flow faucets maintain efficiency while minimising water wastage. 

Smart Technology

The integration of smart tech in bathrooms is redefining the way we experience personal care and can be linked up to broader smart home ecosystems, resulting in the ability to control mood, light, sound and temperature through voice activation or pre-set controls. 

  • Bluetooth-enabled Mirrors
  • Temperature-Controlled Showers
  • Automated faucets
  • Tech-enabled showers: intuitive controls, mobile app integration, and voice commands. 

Materials and Finishes

The choice of materials and finishes in the bathroom greatly influence the overall aesthetics of the space.  

  • Sanitaryware in porcelain, stone, ceramic, vitreous china, brass and wood are popular choices for durability, ease of cleaning, and a touch of luxury.  
  • Brassware in finishes such as chrome, brushed nickel, antique brass, bronze, copper, matte black contribute to the style and coordination of bathroom fixtures.

When it comes to selecting bathroom sanitaryware, fixtures and finishes, the options available have evolved from basic necessities, to sophisticated elements that contribute to the overall design and functionality of modern, luxury bathrooms.  

At Zulufish, we believe that it is these elements that allow homeowners to achieve both luxury and practicality. 

Our dedicated interior design team, guided by the experienced eye of Caroline Milns, is here to transform your space with layers of luxury and comfort. Get in touch today with us today for a bespoke consultation.