The day of the “sky’s the limit” kitchen or bathroom remodel may be past. But Brian Metcalf of Pacific Coast Kitchen & Bath of San Luis Obispo says that people are working on their homes again — and they’re doing it smarter.
“Yes, they are more budget-conscious than they used to be, but very aware of quality and buying some thing that will last,” he said, adding that people pay more attention to warranties, low-maintenance features and eco-friendly qualities than they used to.
The San Luis Obispo showroom, which opened in 1990, offers a broad selection of designer plumbing fixtures and hardware for kitchens and bathrooms including sinks, faucets, bathtubs, showers, mirrors, towel bars, cabinet knobs, and medicine cabinets.
The upturn in business has allowed Pacific Coast Kitchen & Bath to expand its showroom and add a new outlet area with more budget-conscious products such as faucets, sinks and cabinets.
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“We knew that many locals would rather buy from us than the big box stores if we could supply them with the right quality at the right price,” said Metcalf.
Conserving water is another way customers are saving money. To this end, Metcalf offers toilets that are both water-efficient and aesthetically pleasing. His top pick is manufacturer Toto, which offers cutting edge commodes that are made in the United States.
“Sounds like a funny term, but there is a lot of engineering that goes into making a toilet flush efficiently on one flush with just 1.28 gallons.”
Metcalf noted that Toto is getting ready to launch a new toilet that uses just one gallon per flush.
“We know that makes people really nervous and we don’t blame them, so we’ll have one hooked up and operating here in the store, so we can see it in action,” he said.
Staying on top of design trends has been key to Pacific Coast Kitchen & Bath’s longevity. One surprising trend is the ascent of the shower. Waning in popularity are monstrous, tiled-in tubs that dominate the bathroom. Instead, people are gravitating toward more petite, freestanding tubs and concentrating on creating larger, more luxurious showers.
“I think it’s the nature of our go-go society. We have to shower anyway, so it’s convenient to also make it a place to unwind,” said Metcalf.
Common shower luxuries include drenching ceiling-mounted showerheads, bench seats, and steam generators. Higher-end stalls may include digital controls that allow you to program a customized shower experience, or colored lights that change according to the temperature of the water.
Although some gadgets may be out of reach for most homeowners, other formerly high-end items are coming down in price. This includes freestanding bathtubs in a variety of styles, and vessel sinks made of glass and stone.
“Things that used to be super-high-end are now mainstream,” said Metcalf. “It means you can really individualize your space without spending a lot of money.”
Pacific Coast Kitchen & Bath is at 3974 Short St. in San Luis Obispo, 541-2786.
Reach Rebecca Juretic at email@example.com.