Plumbing Selections Advice: A Q&A with Crawford Supply

Tips for picking your kitchen and bath plumbing fixtures.

bathroom plumbing fixtures

Crawford Supply has been our trusted supplier of kitchen and bath plumbing fixtures for many years. Today we have Brendan, from Crawford, here to share some tips and tell us about some exciting new products. Welcome!

If this is your first addition or remodel, you may not have been to a plumbing supplier before. Brendan, what are the advantages of working with a plumbing supplier like Crawford as opposed to going to a big box hardware store or online retailer?

As a family owned business of 70+ years, we are heavily involved in the community via our 4 Chicagoland showrooms. More importantly, we have experienced, high level associates focused on the customer’s needs and wants. We provide showroom consultations by appointment and now offer virtual consultations due to the current times. We have relationships in the marketplace with high level builders/remodelers/plumbers such as Leader Builders. From plumbing fixtures to cabinets to pipes valves/fittings to water heaters; Crawford Supply is here to offer professional guidance and support.

There’s a lot more that goes into shopping for a whole kitchen or bath than you might realize. What are some common misconceptions and mistakes someone might make when shopping on their own for plumbing fixtures?

It is important to work with a licensed plumber for all of your plumbing needs. Depending on the size of your project, an organization like Leader Builders provides peace of mind as there are many layers to building/remodeling kitchens and bathrooms. There are often multiple trades required (plumbers/electricians/HVAC techs/tile proffesionals/cabinet installers) and timing is critical. High level builders/remodelers such as Leader Builders know how to specify, schedule, order, receive and install to suit the end user’s needs in a timely fashion.

Every January, new products are introduced at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show. What are some new technologies and designs that you’re excited about this year?

Touchless products are taking off. Touchless faucets in the kitchen and bathroom are in high demand. Furthermore, sanitizing bidet toilet seats have become a hot item. Technology continues to inspire the plumbing community. From your shower to your steam shower to your kitchen faucet; it is possible to control them all by apps or verbally via Alexa/Google/etc.

Crawford is running a promotion on touchless kitchen faucets and cleansing toilet seats through this June. This is perfect timing as we’re all trying to make our homes as hygienic as possible. Can you tell us more about these products?

See attached. Besides the obvious sanitary need for more touchless products due to COVID-19, these products allow the homeowner to function at a higher level in the kitchen/bathroom. Example: if you’re a cook; you’ve likely marinated chicken breasts. After marinating, waiving your hand under the kitchen faucet to turn the faucet on allows you to avoid touching the faucet with soiled hands.

Let’s talk shower systems. These tend to be confusing because there are so many options, between different types of shower heads, valves, and add-ons like body sprays. What features do you always recommend? And if you want the full luxury experience, what else should you consider?

Regardless of space, it is vital to use quality products/installers. Crawford Supply offers top tier products with brass parts rather than plastic parts. Our manufacturers support our efforts to handle any reasonable request. When it comes to the “human car wash” shower system, it is imperative to use an experienced designer to assure the correct valves are installed. From overhead rain showers, handhelds, steam systems and body sprays; an experienced designer is crucial to design the rough and finish aspects of your project.

Mixing metals is really popular these days. What advice do you have when it comes to picking the finish of your plumbing fixtures?

Crawford Supply offers just about any finish you can imagine. Matte black and gold are VERY popular right now while chrome is timeless. We recommend to use the least amount of brands possible especially when using abnormal finishes. For example, Kohler’s brushed nickel will not be the same as Hansgrohe’s brushed nickel. Our showroom offers all finishes in swatches even if they’re not on display.

Last but not least, once a homeowner is ready to meet with you, what information should they bring with?

See attached for current Phase I of COVID-19. Otherwise, we recommend a homeowner does their homework. Research our website and research our vendors. Drawings/blueprints and ideas will always help the process. Anything you can share with our showroom staff prior to the meeting will allow our team to analyze and plan accordingly.

Brendan, thank you so much for your plumbing selections advice! If you’re planning a kitchen or bathroom remodel, don’t hesitate to contact Leader Builders and we will put you in touch with our trusted suppliers including Crawford Supply.