The Bathroom Taps Buyer’s Guide

wall mounted bath tap

On the hunt for some new bathroom taps, but don‘t know where to begin? In this guide we cover everything you need to know about taps, from how they work to how they’re made and the different types, so you can choose the right style to suit your requirements. Read on to discover more…

Complete the look with some stunning new bathroom taps.

All kitchen taps and bathroom taps are made from cast brass that’s either been plated in chrome or gold. Chrome plating is by far the most popular finish and is extremely durable. Taps can also feature a black, nickel or brushed steel finish. The brass casting has a ceramic disc cartridge or standard valve screwed into it, and a handle is fitted to the valve or cartridge spindle to complete the tap.

What is ceramic disc technology?

The majority of taps use a ceramic disc cartridge instead of traditional rubber washers. Taps that use ceramic disc technology means an end to annoying drips and only a 90-degree rotation to turn the tap on and off.

A few years ago, taps used rubber washers to prevent dripping, which does work well until the washer begins to wear out and the drips would then start. Ceramic disc technology is the answer to this problem. With taps that uses ceramic disc technology, all that’s needed to switch the tap off is a quarter turn and the water instantly stops. Ceramic discs do not wear out and will keep on going.

A ceramic disc cartridge is made with two ceramic discs, each with two holes for mixer taps or a single hole for a tap with two handles. One disc is fitted in place, whilst the other disc moves with the tap handle. When both discs are aligned, the water can flow through the tap, and when they aren’t aligned the water stops.

Check your water pressure before choosing new taps

Before deciding on bathroom taps, it’s important to check the type of water system you have. The level of pressure the water outlet has is determined by the height and gravity, so the higher the tank is stored, the greater the water pressure.

For low pressure systems, you will need to choose taps that are designed to operate at this pressure, this ensures a steady flow of water. For high pressure water systems, you can choose from a wider range of taps.

How to clean taps

We strongly recommend that your taps are cleaned with warm soapy water and rinsed afterwards; if needed they can be polished with a soft cloth. Plated products are vulnerable to acid attack, so avoid using any household cleaning products as they can have a varying effect on the surface, from black spots and streaks to pitting of the surface, neither of which can be removed.

Choosing the perfect bathroom taps

If you’re considering creating a new bathroom from scratch or just want to update it, your choice of taps is an important decision to make. Before purchasing new taps, you should take the style of your bathroom into consideration, as the right taps can really help to enhance the overall look. It’s essential to check your water pressure to ensure the taps you want will deliver the best possible performance. Some taps are only suitable for high pressure systems, and therefore won’t deliver a great flow rate if you have a low pressure system.

Types of bathroom taps

Bathroom taps fall into various categories:

  • Standard pillar taps – usually supplied in pairs for two tap-hole sinks and baths.
  • Monobloc taps – designed for one tap-hole basins and also available for bidets and baths.
  • Three-hole basin taps are also available.
  • Non-concussive taps – also known as self-closing taps, these are ideal for commercial applications such as schools and public toilets.
  • Wall mounted taps – designed to create a sleek, streamlined look.
  • Bath taps are available as bath fillers and bath shower mixers.
  • Three or four tap-hole bath fittings are also available.
  • Freestanding bath taps – designed for use with freestanding baths.

Basin pillar taps

traditional basin taps

Designed for use with two tap-hole sinks, basin pillar taps are available in a range of styles including modern and traditional. These are supplied as a pair – one tap for the hot water and one tap for the cold water.

Advantages:

  • Easy to fit
  • Wide range of styles to take your pick from

Basin mono taps

Basin mono taps are designed for one-tap hole bathroom sinks. Available in an array of designs, basin mono taps feature an easy to use single lever handle that controls both the flow and temperature of the water. They allow the water to mix whilst flowing into the basin allowing for better temperature control.

Basin mono taps are also available in high rise, cloakroom and waterfall designs. High rise taps are for use with countertop basins which don’t have any tap holes, cloakroom taps feature smaller dimensions than standard making them ideal for small spaces and waterfall taps have an open spout that creates a river of water for a relaxing spa-like effect.

Advantages:

  • Creates a modern look
  • Wide range of designs
  • Easy to use single lever handle
  • Improved temperature control

Wall mounted taps

wall mounted basin tap and countertop basin

Wall mounted basin taps and wall mounted bath taps create a neat, streamlined finish to the bathroom. They have been designed for use with countertop basins and baths without tap holes.

Advantages:

  • Creates a sleek, streamlined look
  • Great for use with baths and countertop basins that don’t have any tap holes

Bath pillar taps

traditional bath taps with white lever handles

Standard bath pillar taps are supplied as a pair – one for hot the water and one for the cold water. They are available in a variety of styles ranging from the modern to the contemporary.

Advantages:

  • Easy to fit
  • Wide range of styles

Bath mixer taps

chrome bath filler tap with waterfall spout

Available in an array of designs, bath mixer taps provide a more modern alternative to a pair of bath pillar taps. They allow the water to mix in the tap body before it goes into the bath – this allows for better temperature control.

Advantages:

  • Great choice of styles to choose from
  • Provides a neat finish and a more modern look
  • Improved temperature control

Bath shower mixer taps

bath shower mixer tap with waterfall spout

Bath shower mixer taps combine stylish looks with excellent functionality. Available in a range of designs, bath shower mixer taps are supplied with a shower handset and hose, which allows you to shower in the bath. The handset and hose also provides a quick and easy way to rinse and clean around your bath.

Advantages:

  • Great choice of styles available
  • Supplied with a shower handset and hose
  • Improved temperature control

Three/four hole bath taps

traditional three tap hole wall mounted bath tap

Available in a variety of designs, three/four hole bath taps feature two handles; one to control the hot water and one to control the cold water, the third hole is for the water spout and where there’s a fourth hole, this is for a shower head on a retractable hose.

Advantages:

  • Wide range of styles
  • Stylish and practical
  • Mixes the hot and cold water for the ideal temperature

Freestanding bath taps

traditional freestanding bath shower mixer tap

Freestanding bath taps are fitted to the floor and are designed for use with freestanding baths. Available in various styles, as well as with and without a shower kit, freestanding bath taps provide a great way to create a designer look.

Advantages:

  • Creates a contemporary look
  • Great for use with freestanding baths

Fitting your new bath taps

The above video explains how to install bath taps, so instead of calling out a plumber, why not try fitting them yourself if you’re an experienced DIYer? We strongly recommend hiring a plumber if you are not experienced at DIY.

Removing your old bath taps – things to consider

  • Before fitting your new bath taps you will need to remove the panel from the bath, as well as part of the supporting framework – this is to ensure that you have enough space to reach under the bath.
  • Check the tools you have are strong enough to bear firmly on the tap back-nuts. You can use either a universal tap tool or an adjustable tap wrench.
  • You may find the tap tails are covered in dirt and grime, so make sure to clean them with a wire brush. It’s a good idea to use a penetrating oil around the back-nuts and tail threads.
  • Prevent the old bath taps from turning by using a piece of wood that bears against the nearest wall. The bath tap will turn in the same direction as the nut.
  • To soften the old sealant, pour some boiling water over the base of the bath taps.

Fit your new bath taps in 10 steps with the help of our DIY step-by-step guide.

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