Q: Dear Ed: In the past I read one of your articles on modern medicine cabinets for the bathroom. I’m thinking of remodeling my bathroom and would like to know if there are any modern features available for bathroom lighting in general.
— Kim, Massachusetts
A: On top of modern options available with new medicine cabinets, bathroom sconce lights have now gone high-tech as well.
Many wall-mounted sconces not only brighten up a bathroom, they can also be used for mood lighting when you install a dimmer switch. Sconces that use dimmable LED lights are becoming very popular.
There are a few more recent options for sconce lights that you might want to check out. These include specially chosen materials for damp environments, the ability to mount the sconce horizontally or vertically to personalize the look you want in your bathroom, and finishes that can even match your showerheads and faucets.
Q: Dear Ed: We’re planning to remove our existing bathtub to install a walk-in shower stall. Since it’s a full remodel, what high-tech plumbing item should we include to be future-ready?
— Fred, Washington state
A: Along with trendy hand showers and showerheads, don’t forget about the shower mixing valve. Many homeowners overlook upgrading this item when planning a shower stall.
One new upgrade for a shower valve is to go high-tech with a digital shower mixing valve. These sleek push button electronic control valves offer easy-to-read LCD displays with multi-zone install options. Water-saving features are also included on many of these valves. A second digital control can be even added outside the shower stall to start and set the water temperature before you step into the stall.
So if you’re looking for a shower that brings you into the future, I suggest you add up the advantages, run the numbers and go with a digital shower mixing valve.
Master Contractor/Plumber Ed Del Grande is known internationally as the author of the book “Ed Del Grande’s House Call,” the host of TV and Internet shows, and a LEED green associate.