Overwhelmed... Remodeling 3 bathrooms at once
The resolution of a plumbing problem we encountered a few months ago has us in the throes of three bathroom remodeling projects at once, and my head is spinning. I know there's a lot for me to read on these boards in order to make informed product choices, and I've begun to do that, but some of what I've read is adding to my confusion.
Let me start with the toilets. I thought I had them selected -- the Kohler Santa Rosa (K-3323) for a very small powder room, and the Kohler Cimmaron (K4309 and K4421) for the other two (also small) bathrooms. But then I read about the MaP testing. And I saw a mention of Class 5 vs Class 6 flushing technology. And I really don't know if I want/need 1.6 GPF or 1.28. And now I'm not even sure I should get Kohler toilets.
I live in a mid-sized, mid-priced home; my renovations are not intended to be top-of-the-line, only updates for 35-year old bathrooms. I'd like to keep the cost of these renovations "reasonable" although, truth be told, I don't even know what "reasonable" means. I'm not working with a bathroom designer because the layouts of the bathrooms will remain unchanged. In an ideal world, someone who is knowledgeable and unbiased, with no vested interest in my purchases would tell me exactly what products to buy and where to buy them. My plumber sent me to a large plumbing supply house where I spent almost a whole day choosing products -- everything from tub/shower units to toilet paper holders. But when I got the itemized cost breakdown and did some follow-up online price comparisons, I saw that the supply house's online prices were, in some cases, lower than the quote I received, and that those prices were still higher (by about 35%) than comparable prices on Amazon and other websites.
The enormity of this job has immobilized me. Can I/should I negotiate with the plumbing supply house? Should I place my order through my plumber or on my own? Is it okay to order items like toilets and sinks online? How can I save money on things like vanities, vanity tops and medicine cabinets without sacrificing quality? I should mention that I do have a general contractor, too, but he's a "worker" not a decorator, so I can't rely on him to help me with product choices.
What's the best (most sane) way for me to proceed? Thanks!!!