When we remodeled our circa 1880 home several years ago, our initial goal was to reuse as many of the vintage and antique plumbing fixtures and hardware as possible. We were soon talked out of this idea by our old house plumber who convinced us that reusing old plumbing hardware wasn’t always a sound practice. Old plumbing hardware is difficult if not impossible to repair, and in certain cases may not be permitted by current Building Code. As an alternative, our plumber recommended buying reproduction hardware instead.
There is a huge business in reproduction plumbing hardware for old house lovers. While places like Home Depot or Lowe’s may carry one or two styles of reproduction hardware, the best places to search for specialized fixtures is on-line. Here is where you will discover an incredible range of styles for every architectural period, including hardware that is right for the style of your own home:
Mac the Antique Plumber
Mac the Antique Plumber is a Sacramento, California based family business that specializes in reproduction antique plumbing hardware and fixtures. Their inventory visually resembles those old-time fixtures but are outfitted with contemporary mechanical workings. We’ve ordered several items from Mac the Antique plumber in the past and were quite pleased with both the quality of the merchandise and the service. We especially appreciated the incredible assortment of bath accessories available through this company including brass shower rings, soap dishes, and leg tub shower enclosures. Mac the Antique Plumber can be found here. Mac the Antique Plumber also carries authentic vintage fixtures if you’d prefer the Real Deal in your old house restoration.
Renovator’s Supply House
Renovator’s Supply House is another first rate antique plumbing supply house with a wide range of quality reproduction hardware. Catalogs are free and can be requested by visiting Renovator’s Supply House. The catalog contains only 20% of the current inventory, however, which is why it’s definitely worth visiting their web site for the best selection and bargains. This link is where you’ll learn about Renovator’s current specials, factory blow-outs, and free shipping promotions. Also available on-line is the Renovator’s weekly newsletter filled with great tips for home improvements and decoration ideas. The newsletter archives can be found here and is a great resource for the do-it-yourselfer. We’ve ordered a number of plumbing fixtures and hardware from Renovator’s Supply house just in the past year, and were pleased with the quick shipping, excellent service, and the quality of the merchandise.