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  • Writer's pictureElla

A Consumer Guide to Basin Wastes

A small part of the overall bathroom, selecting a basin waste is often left down to the very last moment. However, choosing the correct basin waste can make or break the usability and look of the whole basin area. In this guide, we will talk you through all the different types of waste and their suitability for different styles of basins and bathrooms.


The Purpose of Basin Wastes

Basin wastes take basins from being beautiful to functional. From being a stylish way to cover the main drain of the basin, they also allow you to fill the basin by closing off the drain. To choose your basin waste, you must first understand your basin style and the main purpose of your basin space.


Basin Overflow

The first step in selecting a basin waste is choosing the style of the basin it will be used in. For this, you must be able to identify whether your basin has an overflow or not. An overflow is seen as a small hole within the basin that is linked to the waste and allows for excess water to escape if the basin gets too full. On most basins, they are situated on the back wall of the basin underneath the tap hole.

The majority of basins come with an overflow hole, for these basins you will require a slotted basin waste. These wastes have slots within them, this allows for water to flow out through the overflow hole and directly into the waste pipe even when the waste is closed. Basins without overflow holes require unslotted waste and these are generally free-flowing waste. Universal wastes can be used as either slotted or unslotted waste, but it is key these are correctly installed for the basin type.

It is important to select the correct waste type to prevent damage to other parts of the bathroom due to unnecessary flooding. For example, if an unslotted waste that closes is fitted to a basin without an overflow hole and the tap is left running, there will be nowhere for the water to go only over the rim of the basin.


Types of Basin Waste

At James Hargreaves Bathrooms, we endeavour to supply basin waste to suit every basin and bathroom style. Our compressive range includes everything from the more traditional plug and chain wastes to the sleek and modern waste covers. Each has a unique style and different features that make it suited for different uses.

Plug and Chain

The classic and timeless design of the plug and chain waste has made it a firm favourite in the bathroom. For some, its overall functionality may seem basic, but its simplistic nature in use means it is universally adored due to its fast draining and usability for the whole family. The majority of plug and chain wastes available today have a modern look and feel to them. However, for ultra-traditionalists, porcelain options offer that touch of grandeur within the smaller details of the bathroom.

If you think a plug and chain waste is for you, then it is worth looking more

closely at your basin. Plug and chain wastes require a small hole

(‘chain stay’) in order to keep the chain in place, these are usually found on traditional basins. A lot of modern basins do not have this extra hole and so are not suitable for use with a plug and chain waste.

Click Clack Waste

Arguably the most popular style of basin wastes, Click Clack wastes boast an attractive style and easy-to-use design. The click clack name refers to the sound the waste makes during use, however, you may see the same style of waste under different names such as push open, sprung and clicker waste.

The push-down mechanism of this waste is used for both opening and closing and its ease of use has made it a firm bathroom favourite. Lending itself to almost every style of basin, many click clack wastes come in both slotted and unslotted versions or universal designs. Due to its popularity, brands such as Flova and Hansgrohe have started to produce the waste in matching colours to their brassware, meaning style doesn’t have to compromise for functionality.

Pop-Up Waste

A popular choice for those who are hygiene-minded, pop-up wastes are operated by a bar or lever at the back of the basin tap. Usually included with the basin tap, this type of waste requires no need for submerging your hand in dirty water. Operated by a small lever behind the basin mixer, this pops up the plug allowing water to drain and also closes the plug too. The hidden mechanism can be difficult for younger members of the family to use and might mean having to show guests how to use your basin.

Free Flow Waste

Designed mainly for use with basins without overflow holes. Free flow wastes are most commonly seen in commercial settings, they are slowly appearing more frequently within the home. Again, another type of waste that is quite self-explanatory it is free-flowing and cannot be closed thus the basin can never be filled. An ideal setting for this type of waste would be in a cloakroom or with a basin that is not intended to be filled.

With a style similar to that of click clack wastes, free flow wastes look effortlessly modern and are easy to fit. Keuco offers an unslotted version in a variety of colour finishes to perfectly match across their range of brassware for that overall polished look.

Bottle Traps

Not a type of waste per-say, bottle traps are a seal between the basin and the external drain. Designed to minimise odour and prevent wastewater from re-entering the basin, they can either be on display or hidden behind a pedestal or vanity unit.

Those manufactured from plastic in several finishes, these waste traps aren’t appealing to the eye, but they get the job done and are usually hidden behind pedestals or within furniture. Space-saving versions are perfect for maximising the space within vanity units. For a more decorative look, bottle traps also come in both modern and traditional stylings. From sleek black rounded versions from Flova to the more ornate chrome stylings of Vado, they add a splash of minimalistic grandeur to the overall look of any basin.


So, while the majority of basin wastes may look almost the same, it is vital that you choose an option that will suit your bathroom perfectly. The wide selection we offer at James Hargreaves Bathrooms is all selected to add that finishing touch of luxury to your bathroom.

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