The finishing touch
Taps are often referred to as the crown jewel of a bathroom design, but selecting the right taps can be tricky as there are so many options on the market to choose from. Before you start it’s useful to be aware of the different types of taps that are available.
Bathroom taps can be broken down into three main categories.
Pillar taps have two separate taps, one for hot and one for cold water. Although these taps have a quaint old-world feel, they are not as practical as their modern counterparts and are often used when budget is an issue. The main reason that they lack in practicality is that you can’t run warm water, as the water streams don’t mix. They also take up a lot more space than mixers.
Mixer taps are the most popular choice as they are extremely functional. They draw water from both the hot and cold water pipes and mix the two flows before they emerge at the selected temperature from a single spout. Mixer taps come in a range of configurations, ranging from the use of a single lever to control the temperature, to a more traditional two-tap version, and the high spout options commonly used to complement above-counter or vessel basin installations. Bath mixer taps often have the functionality that allows the user to switch the water flow from the taps to a shower attachment.
Intelligent taps are the future of faucet control. Although still at concept stage, these futuristic designs will allow the user to control water temperature and flow digitally. Offering the ultimate personalised bathing experience, the top-of-the-range designs will be able to recognise the user by means of face recognition software, and will automatically adjust to the user’s specific settings.
There are four ways of mounting bathroom taps – these include:
Deck-mounted taps are attached to the actual basin or bath itself by means of preformed holes in the sanitaryware. Pillar taps and mixer taps can both be deck-mounted.
Wall-mounted taps are a good solution for baths and countertop basin installations. Because the taps are mounted on the wall, they free up a lot of space around the bath and vanity areas. The disadvantages of these taps is that they are comparatively labour intensive to install, as the plumbing has to be chased into the wall behind the taps. Also, if there are problems with the pipes later on, plaster and tiles will need to be removed to access them.
Counter-mounted taps are a popular mounting choice if you’re using an abovecounter basin or vessel sink. The fitting is installed on the vanity surface, so you have the flexibility of choosing a position that best suits your basin design and personal usage preferences. Pipes usually run down through the bathroom cabinet below, making them easy to access if there are any problems down the line.
Floor-mounted bath mixers are standalone units used when the bath cannot accommodate a deck or wall mounted tap, in the case of a freestanding baths that is situated in the middle of a bathroom for example. They are very in-vogue at the moment, and come in various designs and sizes, and most offer a built-in shower mixer as well.