Copper pipe has long been the preferred pipe material in many homes. It is very corrosion-resistant, it can be used for both hot and cold water supply, it is very light. But it is expensive.

Galvanized steel has been used for years for water supply, but it is more difficult to work with than plastic and it is very susceptible to corrosion and mineral deposits. If this is what you have, you might want to use your remodel as a good opportunity to replace it with copper or plastic.

You might also find brass pipes, especially in the Northeast. It is more corrosion-resistant than steel and can be used in many of the same ways as copper pipe.

Plastic pipe is sometimes preferred today because plastic is light, easy to work with and can be joined to several types of metal pipes. The downside of using plastic pipes is that they are noisy. If you use plastic you might want to wrap them to reduce the noise. Your plastic pipe options are:

ABS (acrylonitrite-butadiene-styrene) is used for drain, waste removal and venting. Some localities prohibit use of this type of pipe.

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) can be used only for cold water and is most commonly used to carry water from the supply source into the home. You will need to choose a PVC pipe approved for drinking water.

PEX can be used for both hot and cold water and is commonly used for interior water pipe in residential plumbing.