Bathroom taps define the style of your bathroom theme. They are carefully fitted across sinks, washbasins, tubs and showers in a bathroom. Bathroom taps are complemented by mixers, spouts and diverters that meet the functional requirements of each bathroom. Your choice of bathroom style would majorly depend on these bathroom fixtures. Bathroom faucet designs come with levers or as mixer taps with contemporary and traditional styles. The other nooks where faucets are required to control use of water are at the toilet commodes and bidets. While purchasing, toilet and bidet taps require a different criteria, due to the change in utility. Bathroom taps are either wall-mounted with visible levers and tubes or built-into the wall with just the necessary levers available for use. These taps come with single or multiple handles with supporting functionalities like an aerator, electronic, thermostatic and hydro progressive features.
Types of bathroom taps
As mentioned earlier, bathroom taps are used for different purpose within the bathroom and hence you need to evaluate features of different taps.
Shower mixers and taps
Shower mixers for bathrooms come in as manual or thermostatic taps. While the manual taps are built with levers, thermostatic shower mixers are built to automatically heat water up to not more than 46 degree centigrade. Shower tap deck could be wall-mounted or built-in into the wall.
Wall - mounted manual shower mixers and taps come with single and double lever systems to adjust water flow and pressure. Depth adjustments are allowed in wall-mounted units.
Thermostatic shower mixers also come with potentiometer to set the water running speed and are built with diodes to monitor functionality.
While choosing bath taps, you need to decide on the number of tap holes required. Modern bath tap providers offer bath taps that support one to four tap holes. There is a also other variety that supports more number of tap holes.
Also, if you are installing a bathtub with a separate bath unit, then you need to consider different bath taps to accommodate a common style of your bathroom. Bathtub taps come with and without shower handles. Bath taps could be deck-mounted, wall-mounted or could be independently installed as a standalone unit.
The different features you would have to choose from for a bathtub tap are single handle, double handle, hydro progressive bath tap, thermostatic bath tap or waterfall bath tap.
Basin and sink taps for bathrooms are also determined by the number of tap holes. They come with a single and double handle with mixers, self-closing taps, electronic and waterfall taps. They also are supported by touch-sensor technology. Washbasin taps can be wall-mounted, deck-mounted or floor mounted.
Though most bidet tap basins come with a single hole, bidet tap mixers are built to accommodate in a single hole. Bidet taps come with a single level, double lever or a pop-up waste function mostly designed to accommodate any kind of drainage system.
Bidet taps could be deck mounted, wall mounted, ceiling mounted or installed on the floor. They are also available in a variety of finish - stainless steel, brushed steel, brass, glass, crystal and ceramic.
Fixtures and Accessories of bathroom taps
Spouts - Spouts add the delicate style to bathroom faucets. They can be wall mounted, deck mounted, ceiling mounted or floor standing variations to choose from. They support the bathroom taps that you choose. They can be used with side bodies, manual valves or thermostatic shower valves with diverters. For large bathrooms, longer spouts are recommended.Manufacturers offer Spouts in colours that complement your bathroom theme. They come in colours like Chrome, Brass, Copper, Gold, Silver, Black, White.
Valves - Replacement valves are quick and easy solutions for repairing dripping taps, leaking taps or for fixing faulty taps that just require new internal parts. Valves need to be carefully chosen to meet the water pressure requirements. Valves need to complement the tap hole configuration and to connect them to the appropriate inlets and outlets.
Valves should also be compatible with the shape of the trim (round or square). They come with either a painted, antique, brushed, matt or polished finish. Ceramic disc valves are more durable than brass valves. They are most common in monobloc taps.
Diverter - Diverters come with a manual or an automated safety lock to moderate the water temperature. Some diverters also come with built-in mixers and hence providing a complete unit for installation. Push-pull diverter makes it easy to switch between bath and shower functions.
For long lasting results, choose a diverter with Dezincification Resistant (DR) brass bodies, which will also help maintain water quality.
Buying Guide of bathroom tap
The choice of your bathroom tap largely depends on the water pressure system at your home. If you have a high water pressure system, it will help you choose from a wider range of faucets. On the other hand, if you have a low water pressure system, you need to pay more attention while choosing taps and mixers specifically. The other critical factor you need to study while purchasing a bathroom faucet is the water disposal and waste system. You may choose to adopt a plug hole for a basin, or a clicker, pop-up or flip-top wastes.
Materials used Bathroom taps are made of chrome, stainless steel, brass or copper. The most durable of them are brass bathroom taps and suit bathroom themes with a traditional look. On the other hand, chrome bathroom taps are prefered as an aesthetic option. They also complement a wide range of colour themes.
Bathroom tap handles Handwheels or capstans - They are built with four small handles to help you turn the tap with grip. This is a traditional style, but is still in demand. There are prefered for easy fitting and handling options.
Moulded grip bathroom tap handles - They are available in metal or plastic with pre-designed moulds that provide a grip to the tap to turn and use. These have less grip than capstans and hence are prefered for basins and sinks instead of bath taps.
Levers - These are the latest type of tap handles prevailing and are used for both basin taps and bath taps. They are easy to use and maintain. They come with many in-built features like thermostat, diverters and so on.
How to fix a bathroom tap?
Most bathroom taps come as assembled units that would help in fitting the tap unit easily into a sink or a bath tub. In other cases, use the instruction guide to assemble all units of the tap.
Attach the flexible tap connectors by screwing these into the base of the tap, including in case of lengths of copper tube with a brass thread fitting with an O ring instead.
Place the new taps into the hole, making sure that you place the correct seal between the tap and the sink. Connect the cold water connection on the left and the hot water one on the right hand side.
Secure the tap from underneath. Place the washer first, then the securing plate and finally tighten in place with the locking nut. Tighten the locking nut using a box spanner or ratchet with extension bar and deep socket. (refer to the list below)
Connect the hot and cold pipes using adjustable wrenches. If the existing pipework does not fit with your new tap, use flexible connectors to join your tap with the pipework. When making a compression joint, apply a small amount of jointing compound over the surface of the olive before making the joint. During this step, ensure that there is no scope for leakage or over-tightening.
Step 6 Check if the water supply across all valves are functioning well. In case of a leakage, use a PTFE and thread seal tape.
Step 7 If there are no leaks, then test the tap system for any air bubbles or other issues. If you need a supplier, service provider or plumber who can do this for, visit the list of suppliers for water works available in your city.
To fix a bathroom tap, gather information about the following:
- No.of tap holes
- Type of prefered bathroom taps
- Water pressure in your home
- Need for any wiring or electrical connection
- Colour scheme of your bathroom
- Are you choosing a wall-mounted, deck mounted, standalone or ceiling mounted tap?
Things you need to fix a bathroom tap
- Sink taps
- Masking tape
- Flexible tap connectors, with isolating valves if required
- Tap brace, if fitting a heavy tap
- Compression fit check valves, if required
- Limescale remover
- Jointing compound
- Plumber's tape - also known as PTFE and thread seal tape
- Slotted screwdriver
- 2 x 250mm adjustable wrenches
- Water pump pliers
- Basin wrench
- Box spanner or ratchet with extension bar and deep socket
- 15mm pipe cutter
- Olive splitter or Junior hacksaw
Bathroom faucet technology and features
1. Aerator are preferred to save water, especially in automated systems of bathroom taps. Aerators are an in-built component of high-end bathroom taps.
2. Touch sensors are mostly found in washbasin taps to avoid clumsiness and to encourage use of measured water.
3. Thermostatic is a feature in bathroom taps and especially prevalent in mixers. They help in moderating and maintaining a preferred temperature.