Trick out your bathroom with cool products you can try before you buy

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by Lisa Fuller Magee, 'Good Morning! Arizona' producer

azfamily.com

Posted on June 23, 2012 at 8:55 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 20 at 10:16 AM

Map: Central Arizona Supply showroom

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PHOENIX -- Many retailers will tell you that the "best bang for your buck" when it comes to remodeling is to redo your kitchen or bath. In the last two years, bathrooms have become the most remodeled room in the house.

USA Today just did a story on how a recent survey found that 31 percent of Americans want to redo their bathrooms.

While we'd all like to live the "lifestyles of the rich and famous," many people are opting for inexpensive and practical solutions.

Central Arizona Supply is the Valley’s largest supplier of waterware, lighting and hardware. It has 10 showrooms statewide including one rather unusual showroom in Central Phoenix.

In that showroom, there's a bathroom where you can try all kinds of showerheads, as well as bathtubs, sinks and toilets. And we're not kidding. They say bring your swimsuit!

They'll even put your towel on the special bathroom warmer while you give them all a try.

Showroom director Jeremy Smith says it gives you a chance to try different shower heads like ones that mimic rain or a waterfall.

Maybe you'd prefer a long row of jets that spray out at you or one that simply hangs on the wall behind you.

The demo bath even has a steam shower where you can see , feel and smell -- yes, smell -- what it's like to program your shower with various scents and have mood lighting. There's also various types of wiring and speakers so that you can play your iPod safely outside the shower but hear it inside the shower.

There's also the newest type of bathtub. It infuses oxygen into your skin and is similar to an oxygen facial but for your whole body.

While you're there you can also see a remote-controlled "TOTO" toilet. You can raise the lid, close it, turn on the heated seat, flush the toilet, clean it, set up the bidet feature, even turn on a toilet night-light -- all from the remote control.

If you're looking to upgrade but working with a budget, the folks at Central Arizona Supply can also offer a few cost-saving tips on how to change your bathroom for the better.

• Replace your showerhead. Pick out a new and invigorating multi-spray showerhead that helps save water, too (some up to 2,300 gallons of water a year). To replace your old one: unscrew the old showerhead (you may need pliers or a pipe wrench), remove the plumber's tape, apply new tape (available at hardware stores) to the threads and twist on the new showerhead. Done!

• Dress up your mirror. A frame mirror adds personality and style. It's much easier than you think. Remove your plank mirror by undoing the pegs at the top. Sand and paint the wall behind and hang the new mirror just like a picture. Voila!

• Swap out your toilet seat. Having a pristine seat in place is just nice (and inexpensive, too – as little as $15). Unbolt the old one from the rear of the bowl and attach a new one. Opt for a soft close seat that doesn’t bang shut. Those run just under $100.

• Update your cabinet hardware. An easy and fun way to trick out your bathroom is to upgrade your cabinet hardware. From $5 to $125 per knob, you can really personalize the space.

Central Arizona Supply is located at 4750 N. 16th St., Phoenix.

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