Bathroom Taps: Everything You Need To Know
Arguably the most commonly and frequently used component within a bathroom, taps are often overlooked or left to the last minute. In this guide, we aim to make this task a little easier, by explaining the merits of each tap and where they would be best suited. Modern taps combine both style and functionality to create a piece of brassware that will set any bathroom apart from the rest. However, selecting the right tap can be a tricky and somewhat confusing task due to the multitude of different taps available.
Knowing Which Tap is Best
Each style of tap is designed to suit a different fitting and purpose within the bathroom. To select the correct tap, you must first define where the tap will be situated within the bathroom. Basin and bath taps look similar, but each fits differently with different size pipe connections. From this, the number of tap holes on your basin or bath will help you in further narrowing down your choices. If there are no tap holes, you will be looking at a wall-mounted, free-standing or placing on the countertop. Building on this, once you’ve decided your tap’s positioning, it’s time to get the measuring tape out. For all taps, it is worth getting a spout measurement to ascertain the spout projection is correct for the design of the basin or bath being used. For basins without tap holes and free-standing taps for baths, you will want the height of the basin or bath, this will ensure you pick a tap that will be tall enough to suit them.
One vital stage in selecting a tap is knowing the water pressure within the bathroom. High-pressure taps will only work with high-pressure systems, low pressure taps can usually be used across system pressures. Low-pressure systems are often gravity fed with the pressure being determined by the height of the feeder tank above the outlet. A high-pressure system is a pumped continuous flow or stored hot water that is pumped, generally coming from a combi-boiler or an unvented system.
In terms of style, this can be dependent on your overall bathroom design. Taps can add that magical finishing touch that ties everything together, so it’s worth spending time and thinking about how you want your complete design to look. From traditional to modern styles, each style of tap often comes in various colour finishes to truly help you pull all pieces of your bathroom design together.
The Types of Bathroom Taps
Before looking at types of taps, understanding the difference between the positioning terms is key.
Deck-mounted taps are installed within the tap holes on a basin or bath but also can be used on countertops
Wall-mounted taps are installed into the wall above the basin or baths
Extended height taps are taller than standard taps and designed for use with countertop basins
Floor-standing taps are for use with free-standing baths and often come with hand showers
Possibly the most traditional design of bathroom taps. Pillar taps are designed for use with both baths and basins and require two tap holes for installation. Supplied in pairs, one for hot and one for cold water, they are an easy-to-install and use option. The traditional design is often seen within the styling of these taps and they are more likely found within classically styled bathrooms. Options from Imperial, perfectly showcase this with their coloured indices detailing and pronounced curved designs. Slightly more angular modern designs from Heritage are available for those who just want hints of traditional design.
Designed for singular tap hole installations, monobloc or mixer taps are possibly the most commonly found modern tap. Within the tap itself, the hot and cold-water streams mix together. This makes them perfect for family bathrooms as they are easy to achieve the desired temperature from. Usually controlled using a singular lever handle, contemporary versions with pin or joystick handles are popular with those who want an extra dimension within their bathroom design. Dual control options are perfect for those who want full control of temperature.
Being the most popular style of tap, means monobloc taps are also the most versatile on the market. Basin mounting versions can come in both standard heights and cloakroom heights for those smaller basins; taller versions are also available for countertop and floor mounting. Bath monobloc's are available in floor-standing and deck-mounted versions. Both modular and rounded designs can be seen from brands such as Flova and Cifial, as well as a range of colours to match across the rest of the bathroom brassware.
With a similar functioning to monobloc taps, bath fillers are solely for use with baths and usually require two tap holes. These traditional bridge-style taps are one of the most common styles used with baths. Separate hot and cold-water controls at either end of the bridge allow for effortless control of the temperature and flow of the water. Available in both traditional and contemporary styles, bath fillers are ideal for those who want an uncomplicated way of filling the bath. Modern wall-mounted versions remove the need for tap holes in the bath and create a sense of space around the bathing area, they are also perfect for use with double-ended baths.
Bath Shower Mixers
Combining both the luxury of a bath with the functionality of the hand shower gives you a bath shower mixer. These two outlet systems are becoming increasingly popular within the bathroom and are considered the most used style of bath tap. The functionality of these taps has meant they have been designed in a huge variety of styles. From quite simple deck-mounted versions that require two holes to those that require up to five holes to give the user ultimate control of their experience; with the use of hand showers and diverters. Suiting a variety of installations, including free-standing, bath shower mixers are a must consider when looking for new bath taps.
Bath Spouts and Overflow Fillers
For those looking for an alternative to conventional bath taps, modern iterations include wall-mounted bath spouts and overflow fillers. Bath spouts are a contemporary minimalistic option; in either wall-mounted or free-standing versions. Axor has one of the most comprehensive ranges with both angular and curved options available in various projection lengths. This style of tap requires separate controls, either deck or wall-mounted, which will control the water temperature and flow through the spout.
A far cry from the traditional deck-mounted bath taps, overflow bath fillers sit within the overflow hole of the bath and fill up the bath from there using a concealed spout. Combining the functions of both the overflow and tap into one, this option is very paired back. Requiring separate deck or wall-mounted controls, overflow fillers are effortlessly minimal. Usually rounded in appearance, options from Vado and Hansgrohe will effortlessly match across the brand’s range of brassware to create a cohesive bathroom finishing look.
Bidet taps are no longer super traditional. Slowly re-emerging as an essential within any bathroom, bidet taps are evolving to match the modern bathrooms of today. All bidet taps are of a monobloc design, however, both singular lever and dual control versions are available depending on whether you are looking for a traditional or modern design. Mirroring the styles and designs of the available basin and bath taps helps to create a cohesive look across the whole bathroom. For those wanting more thorough control, Shattaf’s or sets with shower hoses enable the user to feel luxuriously clean.
Selecting the correct bathroom taps could make or break the overall feel of your bathroom. Knowing the options available will help you to understand which type of tap will best suit your installation. At James Hargreaves Bathrooms, we offer an extensive range of bathroom taps and are on hand to help with any further queries you may have.