Some people would argue that there are two types of bathroom tap. The hot kind, and the cold kind. To others, mixer taps are the answer – if that’s the case, there’s only one option. In fact, you could fill a whole catalogue with bathroom taps of all shapes, sizes and colours. Most sinks suit a wide variety of taps, so how do you decide which ones to choose?
Below, you’ll find a basic guide to buying bathroom taps. It doesn’t go into specifications and fittings, but you can follow this guide and use it as a basic checklist for your tap-buying consideration. Consider these four things as a starting point, and you’ll get a clear idea that helps you narrow down your search.
Your initial consideration, when buying bathroom taps, should be the style. Do you want something sleek and modern, smooth and contemporary, or something traditional? Existing bathroom furnishings will usually dictate the style of tap you choose; you don’t want your taps completely looking at odds with the rest of the bathroom. You also need to factor in the type of basin you have: does it have two holes or one? This has become less of an issue these days, as designs have shifted towards mixer taps. In the past, you had separate taps for hot and cold water in almost every home. Now, even if your sink has fittings for a mixer, you can keep that traditional style as there are plenty of traditional mixer taps to choose from.
If your basin or bath doesn’t have space for mounted taps then you’ll have to find a freestanding tap instead. These can either be installed on the floor or attached to a worktop, or you can even get wall mounted taps for that ultra-modern space-saving look. Just be aware that freestanding taps, particularly freestanding bath taps, tend to be more expensive than their mounted counterparts.
As for material, you need to find taps that will last. It’s no good finding an incredibly cheap tap, only to then find out that it’s made from a cheap and shoddy material that’s going to rust within a few months. Brass taps with a chrome finish are a durable and great choice.
Following on from choosing your style, you’ll want to consider the colour. Of course, most taps are silver, though gold taps can create an even better look in certain bathrooms and there’s even the ultra-modern black tap, an example of which you can see above. Gold bathroom taps again can be found in traditional and contemporary styles, and they’ll look particularly good in a bathroom with a rich, red colour scheme. Just be aware that the finish on a gold tap tends to wear out quicker than their chrome counterparts.
In a time when the words ‘carbon footprint’ and ‘eco-friendly’ are on every tongue and in every mind, why not consider saving money and water with your next tap purchase?
Water-saving bathroom taps include taps with flow-restricting devices that minimise the amount of water when they’re on, and taps that stop automatically (usually seen in public restrooms). You should also look for taps that have Ceramic Disc Technology. This is a replacement for the rubber washer and feed pipe that you normally find in taps, and instead you get two ceramic discs that have corresponding slots. These slots will only allow water to flow into the tap when they align, which gives you greater control over the flow of the water and increases the efficiency of the tap. They’re also less likely to wear and tear over time as they are designed to never be replaced.
If you’re not looking to buy new taps, you can convert most existing taps with flow restrictors. If you are, consider whether you’d prefer a reduced water flow, or taps that stop themselves. You’ve probably felt the pressure of saving money when you brush your teeth – water-saving taps make the whole process a little easier.
Be sure to check the water pressure before you buy any tap. You can choose between low and high pressure, with low operating between 0.2 bars and 0.5 bars and high operating 0.5 bar and above. All manufacturers should carry out pressure testing before selling the taps, which is the case with all the taps available at Plumbworld – even the low price taps. A low price tap doesn’t automatically mean it isn’t pressure tested, but be sure to check with the retailer beforehand if you are unsure about the manufacturer of the taps you are interested in.
Once you’ve got an idea about the kind of tap you’re looking for, you’ll want to take some time to think about your budget. Taps can be one of the cheapest bathroom fittings, or you can buy expensive taps if you want a stronger water flow, better features or the ultimate in modern trendy design. You can pick up a pair of taps for about £15 and all the way up to hundreds of pounds.
Found your perfect tap? Remember to check fittings and specifications before you make your purchase. If you’re unsure, it’s an easy job for a qualified plumber. However, installing a bathroom tap is a relatively simple process to do yourself. Check out our guide on installing taps for the step-by-step process.
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