Basin taps, an essential yet often overlooked part of your bathroom design, are available in so many styles, so it’s no wonder that choosing the right type can be a little challenging. From monobloc taps to pillar taps, we uncover all there is to know about basin taps in this handy buying guide so you can choose the right type for your bathroom.
What to consider before buying new taps
Basin taps are used on a daily basis, so it’s definitely worth taking your time to find out which type will suit your requirements and what will enhance the design of your bathroom. Whether you are planning on renovating the entire bathroom or just updating the space, the taps you choose for your basin will make a big difference to the overall look and feel of the room. It’s a good idea to spend as much as you can afford on new taps to ensure they last you for years to come.
You should also take the style of your bathroom into consideration. Is it modern or traditional? Cross-head taps are perfect for creating a timeless and elegant look, while waterfall taps are a great option for adding a touch of chic, designer style.
Taps and water pressure
To ensure the best possible performance from your new taps, it’s important to check that they have the correct pressure for your home’s water system. Low pressure water systems tend to be gravity fed, and less than 1.0 bar (1 meter vertical distance between the tap and the bottom of the cold water storage tank will give you 0.1 bar of pressure). If you have this type of system, then you will need to choose basin taps that are specifically designed to work off low pressure.
Mains fed, pumped and combination boilers are all high pressure systems. If you have a high pressure system you can choose from a wider range of taps.
As a general rule, low pressure is up to 0.5 bar, 0.5 bar to 1.0 bar is medium pressure and anything above 1.0 bar is high pressure.
What types of basin taps are available?
As well as modern and traditional styles, there’s also various different types of taps including monobloc, mixer and pillar. Each type of tap is explained below.
Designed for use with a one tap-hole sink, a monobloc basin tap features a single spout that delivers a mix of hot and cold water. The flow and temperature of the water is controlled by a single lever handle, which is easy to use. This type of tap comes in a variety of styles to enhance any bathroom.
Typical Cost: £28-96
Basin mixer taps
Bathroom basin mixer taps are very similar to a monobloc tap, but have separate controls for the hot and cold water. They come in both modern and classic designs, as well as two-hole and three-hole styles. Traditional basin mixer taps are perfect for adding elegance to any bathroom, these typically feature cross-head or lever handles and more ornate detailing compared to modern designs.
Typical Cost: £32-£125
Basin pillar taps are the most affordable type and the easiest to fit. They are supplied as a pair; one controls the hot water and the other tap controls the cold water. Pillar taps are available in modern and traditional styles, and are a great budget option. If you are choosing pillar taps, then you will need to ensure your basin has two tap-holes.
Typical Cost: £15-£71
Wall mounted taps as the names suggests, are designed to be fitted to the wall, but can be more challenging to fit as the pipework is concealed within the wall itself. This type of tap is a great option for creating a neat, streamlined finish and is suited to contemporary bathrooms. A wall mounted tap is typically teamed with a countertop basin that doesn’t have any tap holes.
Typical Cost: £84
Available in various styles, a high rise basin tap mimics a monobloc tap but is much taller in design, which makes this type ideal for mounting to a worktop so it can be used with a countertop sink. For an ultra-chic look, opt for a waterfall design.
Typical cost: £37-£85
What are ceramic disc taps?
The majority of bathroom taps incorporate ceramic disc cartridges rather than rubber washers. This ensures no leaks, and only a 90 degree turn of the handle is required to switch the tap on or off.
Years back, taps and shower fittings used to use rubber washers to prevent dripping, and although this is a simple method that worked well, the washer would eventually wear out and the dripping would start.
Ceramic disc technology is the solution to this problem, and it has various benefits. Ceramic discs are more hardwearing than rubber, and more resistant to erosion caused by water seepage; this means they have a long lifespan before they need replacing. Plus, as the water flows between the two discs, the discs erode rather than the valve metal.
A ceramic disc cartridge is made with two ceramic discs, each one featuring two holes for mixer taps or one hole for a pillar tap. One disc is fixed in position, and the other disc moves with the tap handle. When the discs are aligned, the water flows through the tap, and when they are no longer aligned, the water will stop.
What finishes are available?
At BigBathroomShop basin taps come in a range of finishes including chrome, white and black. Chrome is the most popular choice as it blends seamlessly in with other chrome fixtures within a bathroom such as accessories and the shower. If you’re after something a little different, then why not opt for a matt white or matt black finish? White is perfect for creating a cool, chic look, while black adds a bold, designer touch. You could even coordinate your black or white taps with a black or white framed shower enclosure.
What basin waste do I need?
The type of sink waste you need will depend upon the type of basin you have. If your basin has an overflow, then you will require a slotted waste, and if it doesn’t have an overflow, you will need an unslotted waste.
Update your bathroom with new taps
If you’re looking for ways to give your bathroom an upgrade without having a complete overhaul and spending too much cash, replacing the sink taps is a fantastic solution. It’s surprising how new taps can breathe a new lease of life into your bathroom or en-suite. If you want to add a timeless elegance to the space, then consider cross-head taps in a black and chrome finish. For something more contemporary, choose a basin tap with an open spout or one with clean, geometric lines.
How to keep taps sparkling clean
Keeping your basin taps sparkling clean isn’t as difficult as you may think, but make sure to avoid harsh cleaning products, as they could damage the surface of the tap.
- For a quick, everyday polish, use a soft mircofibre cloth and water or a mild cleaning solution.
- Lemon juice is a great natural cleaning solution. Take some cotton wool and soak in lemon juice, and then place around the base of the tap where limescale builds up. Leave to soak for an hour, then scrub with an old toothbrush and rinse clean. Vinegar also works well.
- The tap spout tends to attract a lot of limescale too. Again, soak cotton wool in vinegar or a special limescale remover, wrap around the tap spout and secure with an elastic band. Let it work its magic, then remove and rinse.
- Warm soapy water provides a simple yet effective way to clean your taps too.
Hi, I’m Liz, an interiors blogger. My main focus area is the bathroom, where I aim to inspire anyone who’s planning and designing a new bathroom – you’ll find plenty of tips, how-to guides and a wealth of ideas!