Although your first thoughts when renovating your bathroom are probably about choosing the larger items like your shower, bath, basin, and toilet, it’s important not to overlook the smaller details such as the fittings. You should never neglect your bath taps, as even these small accessories can make an enormous difference to the overall effect of your room.
Your bath is usually the centrepiece of your bathroom, and the taps you choose can turn yours into the most eye-catching feature thanks to the wide variety of sizes, colours, and styles that you can pick from. Whether you need something modern or traditional taps to complement your period property, there’s sure to be some perfect taps out there that will tick all your boxes.
In this helpful buying guide, you’ll learn more about how to choose the right bath taps for your space so you can make a well-informed purchasing decision.
The different types of bath tap
There is a surprising number of different types of bath taps on the market these days. Here, we take a look at the most common models:
Bath Filler Taps
The bath filler tap is the most commonly seen bath tap type today. Simple to fit, they require two tap holes and come with two levers and a single spout. A standard bath filler tap is just used to fill your bath and requires no additional attachments, combining both cold and hot taps into a single pillar with separate controls for each. As a result, this type of tap allows you to fine-tune the temperature of your bath to perfectly suit your tastes by adjusting the hot and cold water separately until you get the ideal mix. A more modern version of the bath filler mixer tap has a single lever rather than two separate controls. This type of tap does the same job as the two separate taps, allowing you to move the lever to achieve the perfect temperature and flow.
Bath Shower Mixers
Essentially, a bath shower mixer tap is the same as a bath filler tap but with an added shower attachment. A toggle or lever on the tap allows you to divert the water to the shower head, while a mixer type cartridge ensures that the water temperature remains consistent. Bath shower mixers are the most popular choice for homeowners with shower baths as they can help to reduce costs.
Thermostatic bath shower mixers
Like regular bath shower mixers, these taps have an added shower attachment but are thermostatically controlled, meaning that the water cannot get hotter than a specified temperature. Most often, this technology is used when scalding is a serious risk, and is often found in care facilities and in landlord-owned properties.
Bath Pillar Taps
A bath pillar tap is an ideal way to create a traditional look in your bathroom. This style has two taps, one for cold water and one for hot. The taps can be controlled separately and the cold and hot water will flow separately into the bath. This is the classic tap model in British homes, and they are typically supplied in pairs and used on two tap-hole baths.
There are two popular styles of pillar tap – levers and crossheads. Crosshead taps come with traditional lines and round spouts in most cases to create a classic aesthetic. Lever taps come in many different designs. The most traditional styles come with ceramic handles, while modern styles often have chrome levers which pull sideways or upwards.
Wall Mounted Bath Taps
You can find both bath shower mixer and bath filler versions of wall mounted bath taps.These taps are very stylish and are suitable for use with most baths. One thing you’ll need to check, though, is the spout reach. You need to ensure the water will fall into the bath and not onto the bath rim.
Wall mounted taps are sleek and modern for a streamlined, contemporary look. Only the spout is seen as they are fixed to the wall. They represent the perfect alternative to deck mounted taps as they give additional design flexibility while also creating an eye-catching bathroom feature. If you’re looking for a way to increase your available space around the bath, a wall mounted tap is the ideal solution.
Freestanding Bath Shower Mixers
Freestanding bath shower mixers are used for freestanding baths. As freestanding bathtubs have become more and more popular due to their stylish elegance, freestanding taps have also become more common. These taps are mounted next to the bath on the floor and come with a handset shower attachment.
2, 3 and 4 hole bath taps
There are various, stylish 2, 3 and 4 hole bath tap options which must be used with a bath that allows you to drill your own holes. 3 and 4 hole bath tap options typically come with shower attachments for extra convenience.
Bath overflow fillers
One of the most modern bath tap options is the bath overflow filler. No physical tap is required to fill the tub as the water enters the bath through the overflow or waste control knob. This type of tap requires a separate valve hidden inside the wall and the effect is very designer and streamlined.
Bath tap styles
Bath taps come in a plethora of styles including modern, traditional and waterfall designs. They come in both square and round shapes, and have a choice of finishes including brushed brass, chrome, and matt black.
Chrome finishes are very popular as they work with all kinds of baths and bathroom styles, whether modern or traditional. However, brushed brass is ideal for period homes, and matt black looks wonderful in a contemporary environment.
Although knobs are a traditional option for taps, cross-head taps are also popular in period properties. Handles are also popular thanks to their simplicity of use and their streamlined look. Levers are child-friendly and are ideal for those with reduced mobility in their hands. They’re also useful for keeping the bathroom hygienic since they can be turned off or on with an elbow for easier cleaning.
Other bath tap features
One bath tap feature that you may need to know about is the low pressure tap. You will need to invest in one of these if you live in a property with low water pressure. Often, this occurs in older properties with gravity fed systems. You’ll need to choose a tap that can cope with the low water pressure and allow you to fill your bath without it taking forever.
Do all bath taps fit all baths?
Not all bath taps fit all baths, and this is where some homeowners can make a costly mistake. The main error that buyers make is choosing taps that don’t match up with their bath’s holes. If you’re replacing existing bath taps, you’ll need to ensure that the new ones you’ve chosen fit into the old holes. If you’re buying a new bath that comes with pre-drilled holes, you’ll need to select a tap that is suitable for use with that number of holes. Some baths come without any pre-drilled holes, so any kind of tap can fit.
If your chosen bath comes with just a single tap hole, you’ll need to choose a single-lever or monobloc tap. This type of tap has one or two handles to control the water flow while the bath fills from one spout. These taps produce a modern, sleek look while also being easy to operate.
If your chosen bath comes with two tap holes, you can choose between a mixer tap or a pillar tap. A pillar tap will allow you to control the hot and cold water flow independently with two separate taps and two separate spouts. There are many styles of pillar tap to choose from, so you can find a style that complements both traditional and modern bathrooms.
Mixer taps, on the other hand, offer excellent flexibility since there are many finishes and styles available to choose from, both without and with shower head attachments. The cold and hot water is controlled individually but gets mixed together to enter the bath in a single spout. Often, there will be a diverter to allow the flow of water to be sent through the attached shower hose.
If your bath comes with no tap holes, you can either choose a wall mounted tap which requires no holes to be drilled, or you can drill the correct number of holes for your chosen taps, assuming that you are opting for a bath that can be drilled.
How easy is it to change bath taps?
It’s actually fairly simple to change your bath taps as long as you can access the bottom of the tap. The job will usually take around an hour, and that time includes both removing and replacing the bath panel. Nevertheless, if you’re concerned about your ability to fit the taps, it’s best to seek help from a professional plumber who can do the job quickly, easily, and affordably.
What is the standard bath tap size?
On bath shower mixers and bath fillers, the centre size of the tap is generally 180mm.
Now that you have all the information you need about bath taps, it’s time to choose the right ones for you. We’re sure to have something in our extensive range to suit your needs and tastes.