Stylish taps will add the finishing touch to your new bathroom
Types and Styles
The body of a tap is brass, but its finish is typically chrome, which can be shiny or brushed. As a rule, the better the brand, the thicker the coating. Ritzier coatings include pewter, nickel or gold plating. Tap handles usually match their spout, but other choices are ceramic, crystal or wood. Pillar taps come in pairs and need to be fitted to a ‘two-hole’ bath or basin, making them suitable for a traditional look. A contemporary choice would be a ‘one-hole’ basin, which requires monobloc mixer taps with spout and controls in one piece, delivering blended hot/cold water through a single spout. ‘Three-hole’ mixers have separate hot and cold handles and a central spout. Above: This illumini basin mixer has a LED light inside the tap that shines red or blue according to the temperature. From B&Q.
Where to fit them
Wall-mounted taps have water coming in from the back, ideally with concealed pipework. Panel taps are also wall-mounted, but have two water controls and a spout. Deck-mounted taps are on the bath/basin or an adjacent surface. A single lever can control temperature/water flow, but check the mechanism is easy to use before you buy. Above: The Crosswater Stream Basin Monobloc is from
Quality taps may have ceramic discs inside instead of washers; these open and shut with just a quarter or half turn and are long lasting. The latest techno taps are turned on and off by radar, which detects hand movement. Alternatively, infrared sensors detect body heat and these controls can be mains or battery operated. Right: This floor standing bath and shower mixer tap is from
Always check that your chosen taps will work with your home’s water pressure as some mixers and many continental taps require high pressure.