A Quick Guide to Tap Technology
Taps are possibly one of the most complex elements within the bathroom. You may think this is because of the multitude of styles available, however, the majority of taps are packed full of evolving technology to set them apart from the rest.
Taps are usually made from cast brass that can then be plated in the desired colour finish. Chrome is popular due to its classic look and durable finish that can withstand the daily rigour of the bathroom. Within the brass casting of the tap used to be a rubber washer, yet today you will most commonly find ceramic disc cartridges. Seen as a vast improvement on the easy-to-wear-out rubber washers, ceramic discs simply stop the flow of the tap/shower with a quarter turn. Affording the purchaser, a more comfortable and long-lasting experience, ceramic discs are of benefit for every member of the family and even the plumber!
Flexible Hose Connections
A godsend for creating a tap installation that is long-lasting and easy to maintain. Flexi-tail tap connections are used to connect the hot and cold water feeds to the tap. Made from durable corrosion-resistant braided stainless steel over a rubber inner, they are able to withstand high flow rates to deliver a satisfactory amount of water. A cost-effective option due to its durability and can be easily hidden out of sight. Available in a variety of sizes to suit the installation.
Being more environmentally friendly is at the forefront of everyone’s lives in the modern day. Cold-start taps are one way of reducing energy usage within the bathroom. With these taps, the central position of the handle is for cold water instead of equally mixed water found in the majority of taps. Turning the lever in one direction, gradually introduces hot water until the desired temperature is reached. This means the use of energy is reduced as the boiler is only activated as you choose to include hot water. A very simple but effective way to save energy and avoid the unnecessary wastage of hot water.
All water systems deserve the ability to have beautiful taps. However, for low-pressure systems, you have to ensure you are picking a tap that is specifically suited for low water flow. Many UK homes still run off low-pressure systems (minimum 0.2 bar pressure), this means there is a range of low-pressure taps on the market that spans from traditional to modern styles.
Low Flow Taps
In certain installations, such as business and new builds, building regulations have to be met around the consumption of water per person. One method of cutting water usage is through the use of tap aerators. These restrict the water stream without reducing the overall pressure and performance of the tap. One brand that has done this effectively is Hansgrohe. Their LowFlow technology is provided through LowFlow cartridges that reduce the water flow of the tap to 3.5l/min. They have been able to do this while still ensuring precise temperature control of water.
Infra-red taps or electronic taps are mainly found within commercial properties but can be used within the home environment. Water flow is activated by the detection of movement, removing the need for touching the tap thus decreasing the chance of bacteria being spread. For use in the home, installation within a cloakroom where water temperature does not require constant adjustment and is only being used for washing hands. This is due to the fact that the temperature coming out of the tap is set. Available in both battery and mains-operated versions, this increases the adaptability and installation possibilities for these styles of tap.
Possibly more of a style element than a technological one. Waterfall spouts allow you to create a focal point around your basin or bath. The open spout design is a dramatic feature that allows for the cascading of water to be watched while washing your hands or filling up the bath. Available in a range of sizes to fit with free-standing baths and basins, there is an option to make every bathroom that little bit more special.
At James Hargreaves Bathrooms, we stock a wide range of taps, including ones with these technologies within them. If you have further queries or would like help selecting a tap best suited to your bathroom, feel free to contact us.