Bathroom tap buying guide


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From classic to contemporary and mixer to pillar, there are lots of different taps to choose from. This guide is packed with expert advice to help you decide on the right taps for your bathroom.

What’s your style?

Taps add the finishing touch to the look of your bathroom. Whether you’re buying for a basin or bath, there’s a great choice to suit all tastes, from traditional cross-head taps to luxurious, waterfall-effect bath fillers.

Choose traditional taps for a vintage twist and timeless appeal, or go for something more contemporary.

What type of water pressure do you have?

When you’re choosing taps it’s important to know what your water pressure is like, as this determines the flow of water from the tap. Gravity-fed water systems are the most common and these are low pressure systems. Other systems include combination boilers and unvented hot water systems – these are less common.

What type of taps are available?

Pillar tap
Pillar tap

The traditional pillar style tap is available in both classic and contemporary designs. Made for baths and basins with two tap holes, it has a pair of separate pillars with one hot and one cold tap. Featuring a traditional cross head or a more modern lever handle, pillar taps tend to be affordable and easy to install.

Shop all pillar taps

Freestanding tap

Freestanding taps rise up from the worktop or floor and are perfect for roll-top baths and countertop basins. Available in a variety of styles from mixers to monoblocs, they can be used to add a traditional twist to any bathroom or contemporary appeal to minimalist and modern bathroom designs.

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Mono- mixer tap
Mixer tap

Mixer taps have either a single or two handles on either side of a single spout. Hot and cold water are mixed in the body of the tap, while water flow and temperature are controlled by the individual/separate handles. When considering a mixer tap, it’s important to check your water pressure, as some mixers may require relatively high pressure to work properly.

Many mixer taps feature a practical pop-up waste mechanism, where the traditional plug and chain is replaced by a discreet control on the tap, which opens and closes the plug. The mechanism is hidden behind the bath or basin to create a convenient and stylish feature for both traditional and contemporary taps.

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Shower mixer tap
Shower mixer tap

Great for washing your hair in the bath, or to use as a standalone shower, a shower mixer tap features a diverter that directs water from the bath filler to a shower fitting. Offering a cost effective alternative to a separate shower, without the need for additional plumbing or a shower pump, it also makes bathing children a little easier too. Depending on the style of your bathroom, the showerhead can be placed telephone-style over the tap for a traditional look or hung over the bath via a wall bracket.

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What finish should you go for?

When choosing your ideal design, pick a finish that suits the rest of your suite and the overall style of your bathroom.

When it comes to the material and finish, gold or brass-effect taps add warmth to your bathroom. They’re ideal for creating Victorian style or for adding a touch of traditional luxury. 

Popular chrome taps are available in a wide range of contemporary and classic styles to suit most bathrooms. Choose a matt or shiny finish to complete the look you’re after.

It’s worth bearing in mind that shiny chrome taps need frequent cleaning to keep them looking their best. Stylish brushed or matt chrome finishes are much easier to maintain.

How should you clean your taps?

Whichever taps you choose, they’ll need regular cleaning to keep them looking their best. Use a soft cloth, gentle cleaning product and warm water to make sure your tap sparkles. Rinse the tap and wipe it with a dry, clean, soft cloth to remove smears. Avoid abrasive compounds, pads, cloths or creams, as they can scratch and damage the surface of your taps.

What about fitting?

Traditionally, taps were always mounted on basins and baths with built-in tap holes, which is still the case for many styles today.

However, there are many contemporary designs developed to offer sleek styling for a clean, uncluttered look. From freestanding to wall-mounted taps, many models require fittings to be concealed behind bathroom fixtures, which can make installation more difficult.

To make sure you get the perfect finish, we recommend having your bathroom taps fitted by an experienced plumber.

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