Bathroom taps buying guide

Bathroom Taps Buying Guide

While bigger items such as your bath and shower are important to overhauling a bathroom, smaller fittings should never be neglected, especially bathroom taps.

The appeal of a room can be defined by the finer details rather than the big and expensive fittings like showers and baths. That’s why items, such as bathroom taps, shouldn’t be a second thought. That’s why there are a huge number of design choices available.

Choosing the right taps for your bathroom can be difficult because of the options you have. To help make things easy, Plumbworld has made this buying guide to take you through the types of bathroom taps and what you need to know when choosing.

Read on to find out the best type of bathroom taps for your space and what you need to consider when buying the perfect basin taps…

What are the types of bathroom taps?

types of bathroom tap

Basin taps come in a range of sizes and styles, with many modern choices being monobloc as opposed to two separate pillar taps. Many options include pillar taps, wall-mounted taps, mixer taps, waterfall taps, and high-rise basin taps.

Pillar Taps

Park Lane Winchester Basin Taps

The traditional model of taps in UK homes, these are usually supplied in pairs for two tap-hole sinks and split into hot and cold taps.

Pillar taps feature two separate taps and are often seen on traditionally designed basins. One tap will draw hot water while the other draws cold water. The hot and cold water flows separately into your basin.

Bathroom pillar taps will often feature two styles - crosshead and levers. Crosshead taps will often come with rounded spouts and traditional lines for a classic look. Levers can come in a range of designs. Traditional styles will feature ceramic handles whereas modern designs could have chrome levers that can be pulled upwards or sideways or sharper lines.

Mixer Taps

Architeckt Malmo Basin Mixer Tap

These taps combine your hot and cold taps into one pillar. They have separate controls for hot and cold water.

Simple and minimalistic, bathroom mixer taps are a more modern alternative to pillar basin taps. They do the job of two separate bathroom taps effortlessly and look great while doing it. The mixer ensures flow and temperature are easily controlled using a single lever. 

Mainly available in modern designs, either rounded or with sharp lines, but you can still get traditional-looking mixer taps to match your decor. If you have young children, these taps are ideal for controlling the temperature and avoiding burns, scalds, and even damage to your basin.

Waterfall Taps

Architeckt Dakota Basin Mixer Waterfall Spout Tap

Visually stunning, these taps are a type of mixer tap. An open-top spout sees water cascade to look like a waterfall.

Read more: Design Inspiration: Waterfall Taps

Extremely stylish, this evolution of the tap sees water cascade from a single, open-top spout, unlike other mixer taps, to look like a waterfall. Waterfall taps come in a range of widths and sizes and are often controlled by a single, easy-to-use handle.

High-Rise Mixer Taps

Architeckt Dakota Chrome High Rise Basin Mixer Waterfall Tap

Another type of mixer tap that looks like a taller monobloc tap, making it ideal for mounting to a worktop with a counter-top sink.

These stunning bathroom taps look fantastic alongsidecounter-top basins, which have become a popular combination around the UK. Incredibly stylish, you can find rounded and angular designs to match the rest of your bathroom.

These basin taps can also feature open spouts, making them high-rise waterfall taps. This makes for a much more dramatic version of a gorgeous, eye-catching fixture.

Wall-Mounted Taps

Wall-mounted Taps

The most modern and sleek taps available, they provide a contemporary and streamlined look. Attached to the wall, you only see the spout.

Wall-mounted basin taps are a fantastic alternative to a deck-mounted tap - those that sit on your basin - as it gives you more flexibility with your design. If you’re looking to have a counter-top basin, then these are an alternative to high-rise taps.

A statement fixture, wall-mounted bathroom basin taps can create a feature aesthetic in your bathroom, as well as providing an on-trend minimalist feel. Wall-mounted taps will match perfectly with other fittings and help to clear the space around your basin.

What do I need to know when buying bathroom taps?

what to know when buying bathroom taps

Besides aesthetics, there are some key considerations when looking to buy new bathroom basin taps, and we’ve outlined them below...

Basins and Taps

This is all about how many holes are in your basin, which will directly impact the type of bathroom taps you can buy.

If you have one tap hole, you can choose between monobloc and mixer taps. As the names suggest, these sink taps use a single lever to control the flow of both hot and cold water from one spout.

Monobloc bathroom taps will also have one spout but can feature two handles to independently control the hot and cold water. Mixer taps will have a mixer fitted in the system to safely mix the hot and cold water to avoid burns or damage to the ceramic sink.

Read more: Contemporary Bathroom Design Tips

If you have two tap holes, you’ll need to opt for pillar taps. These bathroom taps are available in a wide variety of styles. Both traditional and modern taps may include knobbed handles, lever and cross-shaped handles. Each tap controls either warm or cold water.

Obviously, if you are replacing taps but keeping your basin, you’ll be limited in the bathroom taps available to you.

Think about Spouts

Buying bathroom basin taps

When you’re looking for new taps, always measure your basin and the dimensions your new taps will need to fit. There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to squeeze your hands under the running water. 

You need to think about the depth of the basin - how far away from the edge of the basin are the tap holes? How big is the basin? Do you have any bathroom furniture that could make leaning over a basin difficult? Are you using the basin just for handwashing?

A simple rule for most basins is this: look for taps that extend as far as the plug hole. 

Lower spouts are good for smaller, cloakroom bathrooms where space is tight. Higher spouts make it easier to wash and shave. Longer spouts are suitable for larger bathrooms and basins where space isn’t an issue.

If you hear the term ‘statement tap’, this means they are a luxury fitting, such as waterfall taps and wall-mounted taps - your eyes are instantly drawn to them.

Water Pressure

Another consideration you need to have when buying bathroom taps is water pressure. You want your new sink taps to perform properly with your water system.

Low-pressure water systems are often gravity-fed and have less than 1.0 bar. Just as an example, one metre of vertical distance between the tap and the bottom of your cold water storage tank will give you 0.1 bar of pressure. If you have this type of water system at home, you will need basin taps specifically designed for low pressure.

Many homes in the UK feature a low-pressure water system, many without a pressure-boosting system. They are gravity-fed, with water coming from a tank in the loft.

If you have a high-pressure water system, you’ll be able to choose almost any basin tap. Mains-fed, pumped and combi boilers are all referred to as high-pressure systems. Each bathroom tap will state its minimum requirement for water pressure. It will say so on the packaging or in the brochure.

Rule: low pressure is usually up to 0.5 bar. 0.5 bar to 1.0 bar is classed as medium pressure. Anything above 1.0 bar is classed as high pressure.

Claire Davies

Claire has a Journalism degree and loves writing about all things relating to bathroom and kitchen design. In her spare time, she enjoys photography and following the latest home styling trends on social media.

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Don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog for more bathroom and kitchen advice…

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