When considering buying kitchen and bathroom taps or mixers, it’s always best to think about not only how the design compliments your bathroom, but also the functionality that the tap or mixer will bring. With the wide range of taps to choose from, it’s important to keep practicality in mind to gain the right balance between great design and ease of use.
The first step before considering the taps that will suit both your design and practical needs is to check your water pressure. Whilst the majority of taps for sale are suitable for low or standard pressures, a lot of kitchen and bathroom taps need a higher pressure in order to function. Examples of taps that need a higher water pressure are a lot of waterfall taps and shower mixers. If you are unsure about the water pressure in your household, it’s always best to contact a plumber. You can read more about water pressure here. Knowing the water pressure in your household before you set upon fitting a new bathroom or kitchen is fundamental as it is a lot easier to make the necessary plumbing adjustments before any fitting takes place.
With so many kitchen and bathroom tap styles to choose from, getting the correct one for your bathroom can seem like a mammoth task. Generally speaking, it’s best to choose your tap or set of taps based upon the size of the sink, basin, bidet or bathtub that they will be attached to, but there are lots of other factors to think consider.
Pillar taps are one of the most common on the market today. Suitable for 2-hole basins, baths and kitchen sinks, pillar taps consist of a pair of taps, each with their own handles – one for hot water and one for cold. The majority of pillar taps are available with single lever handles or the more traditionally styled crosshead handles and levers.
Monobloc kitchen and bathroom taps are perfect if you’re looking to save space or just make things a bit simpler in the home. On a lot of monobloc styled taps, a single lever is used to control the flow of hot and cold water through the mixer, so there is no longer a need for hot and cold handles. However, if you’re looking for a more traditionally styled taps, there are a lot of mixer taps out there with both hot and cold handles.
If you’re looking for something a bit more unique and modern, then LED bathroom or kitchen taps might be for you. Each tap contains a series of LED lights that illuminate when water passes through. In a range of single colours, or colour changing options, there is a vast choice for your bathroom and it’s sure to be a stunning talking point for any guests you may have.
If you’re looking for taps with a stylish and contemporary design, then the waterfall tap is likely to be suited to you. Waterfall taps have a semi-exposed, longer length spout that projects water out of the tap in a flowing motion, much like a waterfall. A lot of waterfall taps will require a higher water pressure to operate so make sure you check both your home water pressure and the pressure needed by the tap before you purchase.
Bath Shower Mixers
A bath shower mixer is perfect if you’re looking to save space by using a shower bath in your home. Bath shower mixers come with a diverter to separate the flow of water between the shower head and the bath tap when needed. Bath shower mixers come with two options of either having the shower head mounted on the tap itself in a telephone style which is perfect for replicating that traditional or Victorian look or hung from a bracket above the bath.
Pull Out Spray Mixers
Pull out spray mixers feature an extendable hose, attached to a mixer. This type of spray tap is ideal for use as a kitchen tap to help to wash dishes more effectively or also as a space saving shower tap. The hose itself gives great control to make it ideal for rinsing and washing food over a sink.
Wall Mounted Taps
Wall mounted taps offer a minimalist option for your basin. Usually containing one spout and either one or two valves, wall mounted taps conceal the majority of the tap mechanism within the wall to create a cleaner looking bathroom space.
Often overlooked, when buying a kitchen or bath tap, there are a lot of matching wastes that can be used as an alternative to the dated look of a traditional plug and chain method. Pop-up wastes use a rod control on a mixer tap to raise or lower the waste in the basin or, for a simpler solution, clicker wastes require only a quick push on the plughole to raise or lower the waste.
Nowadays, a lot of taps come with a water saving option to help you reduce waste on a day to day basis. Usually, this is in the form of an ‘eco-cartridge’ within the tap that reduces the flow rate by up to 50%. A lot of the time, this addition can be turned on and off with a click of the tap for when full flow is needed.
Advice on fitting taps
When fitting taps, there are two options to choose from. The first is to mount the taps on an existing sink, basin or bath using the holes provided. The second is to mount the taps behind the fixtures using freestanding or wall fittings to give a cleaner and more uncluttered look.
When fitting kitchen or bathroom taps, it’s always advisable to have a plumber do the work for you.
To keep your taps gleaming, clean them using a soft cloth and warm soapy water whenever necessary. Rinse and wipe dry with a clean cloth. Do not use abrasive compounds such as bleach, harsh cleaning pads or creams as these will damage the surfaces and finish of the taps.