Plumbing fixtures generally refers to parts of a plumbing system that have a distinct use and application. This differentiates fixtures from other types of plumbing parts, such as pipes, which only carry water. For example, a faucet is a type of fixture because it can be turned on to release water. Some of the other most common kinds of plumbing fixtures include toilets, showerheads, bidets, bathtubs, and sinks. The basic aim of a plumbing system is to distribute water to designated areas, for purposes such as cleaning, cooking, and waste disposal.
Most plumbing fixtures for home use can be broken down into three categories: kitchen fixtures, bathroom fixtures, and plumbing system fixtures. In the kitchen, one of the most familiar types of fixtures is a sink, which is generally used for cleaning food and dishes, or washing hands. Many types of sinks are available, from basic models to versions that feature a garbage disposal unit. Other common kitchen fixtures include faucets and taps. A wide range of faucets are available for homeowners, incorporating different designs and materials.
Many experts consider the bathroom to be the focal point for water and plumbing usage in the home. This is because it can have many types of fixtures such as toilets, showers, bathtubs, and sinks. A toilet is a type of plumbing fixture that is utilized to dispose of human waste. There are many brands of toilets available, often made from materials such as porcelain and stainless steel.
Showers and bathtubs can be combined into a single unit. Specific parts of the shower, such as the showerhead, are typically also classified as plumbing fixtures, since they allow water to be released into the shower or bathtub. Bidets are a type of plumbing fixture that originated in France and are used for personal cleaning and hygiene.
Plumbing fixtures are also employed by plumbers to repair or install a plumbing system. For example, a professional may have to replace a leaky faucet or a clogged toilet. Many times plumbers will recommend replacement with one of their own plumbing fixtures, based on factors such as quality of the material and price.
There are many plumbing fixture dealers that supply the marketplace with all sorts of products. Most stores dedicated especially to fixtures will stock anything from toilets to tools that are used in the installation of plumbing fixtures. Usually these stores will feature the products of many different manufacturers from all over the world.