Taobao product recommendation – bathroom fittings

If you’re doing home renovation, besides LED lighting, bathroom fittings is probably the next category of goods that will save you a large sum of money if you sourced from Taobao. Let me warn you upfront though, that there is the risk of receiving malfunctioning or damaged products, which may delay your renovation for a few weeks if you decide to re-purchase the replacement. This actually happened to me, and unbeliveably, the replacement that was shipped also malfunctioned. i had to ship the item for the third time before i finally got a replacement that was working properly. Hence, proceed with buying from Taobao only if you’re willing to put up with such a risk.

All my bathroom fittings, except the toilet bowl and water heater, were sourced from Taobao. Only one out of three wash basins was slightly damaged during shipment, so if you’re worried about whether it is safe to ship these items, I would say it is quite safe.

Actually, besides the cost, I bought from Taobao because I wanted to use stainless steel products exclusively. I’ve become weary of using chrome plated bathroom fittings, which develop permanent watermarks after some time, and becomes rusted in the long run. Stainless steel bathroom fittings are still not so common in Singapore. I reckon it will take years before Singapore catches up with China in this respect.

Here are some products I think are worthwhile buying from Taobao.

Racks

I like the ones from 中克 (Chungo).

I discovered that nowadays, almost all these fittings can be installed using no-drill glue. I tested and found out that these can indeed bear my entire body weight. Whether you want to use no-drill glue or stick with the traditional method of drilling a hole, well, I would say no-drill glue has a slight advantage, but not much.

In the unlikely event (and it is really unlikely) you want to change the positioning of the bathroom fitting, you can with no-drill glue. You can easily install them yourself too, without having to engage a contractor. Nevertheless, if your renovation package already includes the labour for installing bathroom fittings like it normally does, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t want the contractor to just install them for you using the drilling method (the glue method requires time to dry and a contractor wouldn’t have the time to wait for this to happen).

Matte stainless steel towel rack. Comes in sizes that are compliant to international standard, so you could also get them to replace existing ones.
Matte stainless steel toilet roll holder
Hand towel holder. Installed myself using no-drill glue.
Rack by the brand 图恩 Thun

Mixer and rain shower

I was attracted to Viborg, which is supposedly designed in Hong Kong. All the other stainless steel options on Taobao didn’t suit my taste. I would think such an item is hard to find in Singapore, where probably 90% of the products sold are still chrome plated ones with a copper/brass mixer.

This item, unfortunately, was the malfunctioning one I mentioned before, but I think mine was a really exceptional case. Customer service was responsive, and they would really settle all reported problems. For me, despite the hassle and additional shipping cost involved (even then i believe it is still much cheaper than buying locally), it was worthwhile.

Matte stainless steel rain shower

Spray gun and angle valve

I like the ones by 九层 (Ninecen). The angle valve follows the international standard dimensions, so it will work fine in Singapore.

Full stainless steel set except for the flexible tube. No-drill glue provided for the spray gun holder.

Tap

Bought this one which goes by the brand 康德 “Condor”. Doesn’t sound obnoxious. Beware that some taps may have brand markings in Chinese, which is unacceptable to me.

I dislike the way the label “Sus304” (the truly stainless steel grading) is applied to most of the bathroom fittings, especially on the tap. It is quite unnecessary to inform the user what material the tap is made of. Alas, it can’t be helped.

Quite solid construction. Watermarks form rather easily but are also quite easily wiped off

Basin outlet

The ones used in China is actually different from the ones used in Singapore, but the contractor was able to adapt it. This one comes with brand marking in Chinese wordings, but it can be removed by abrasion.

Full stainless steel basin outlet

Unfortunately, there is still one item in my bathroom that is not made of stainless steel – the glass door hinge. It will probably be quite a few years before stainless steel is adopted by local contractors. Thankfully though, this is one item that does not get splashed with water that often, so my guess is it will stay rust-free for ten years without any maintenance. And nope, i don’t have the time to do maintenance for such things.

Chrome plated hinge. I don’t intend to remove the plastic cover.
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11 thoughts on “Taobao product recommendation – bathroom fittings”

  1. hi, i really like your idea of using all s/s items in the bathroom. But how heavy are they when you ship them? I mean they are small compared to lights and furniture, but they are heavy metal…..

    1. Hi Sarah, bathroom racks are very light, but glass is heavy, and the mixer and tap are heavy, easily 3kg. To save time I had to ship a mixer by air and it cost close to $30 if I remember correctly. But to me size and weight is not a concern at all, since overall I think i saved a lot by buying from Taobao. I shipped all bulky items through 86of sea freight, so it was pretty cheap anyway. The cost of GST is often times more than the shipping fee itself.

  2. Thanks for the reply, yenkai. I’ve just shipped some lighting from taobao and tried a couple of the shipping options (including 860F as you recommend and their default overseas Lazada sea freight) to test the services. Will have to see which one is good for me to use for future orders.
    Thanks again!

  3. Hey Yen Kai, I’m also looking to buy bathroom products (mainly faucets and basins) from Taobao to save money. How did you find out if the products’ specifications are compaitible to Singapore’s standards?

    1. Hi Kay, i was able to find out from the product details page measurements that tells me things like tap mixers and angle valves conform to international standard, and you can safely assume they all do. I would think faucets are also compatible with those in Singapore (but don’t take this as guarantee).

  4. hi yenkai. i’m also thinking of buying accessories from taobao as they are so much cheaper! it’s quite unbelievable that glue can hold it for so long, despite it being in contact w water daily. do you rly think it can hold on for at least a couple of years? how isit now?

    1. Hi Karin, i used the glue on the towel holder which doesn’t come into contact with water. It’s working fine. I would think the glue will work fine even if it comes into contact with water daily.

  5. hi babe. i wanted to get the no drill glue as well, but was told that it’s a prohibited item and hence unable to ship over. did u face this issue? May i know which forwarder did u use?
    thanks!

    1. Hi Gym, I shipped everything via sea freight through 86of. I still have 3 brand new tubes (one tube is probably more than enough for all bathroom fittings) of no drill glue that I will let go at $4 each, postage included. If you’re interested, you can pm me at yenkai@yenkai.net.

  6. Hi, Can I check with you how to install the tap from Taobao without water efficient mark? I was told by my contractor it is not allowed to install any tap without water efficient mark in Singapore.

    1. Hi Amy, how did I do it? Secretly. Shhhh. Actually I had no idea about such a rule, and I doubt it can be enforced. Maybe your contractor just wants to earn more by having you purchase the tap from them.

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