Whether you are having a new home built or are planning to remodel your existing one, you would always need to buy bathroom hardware and fixtures. As small as they are, bathroom taps are some of the most important fixtures you need to procure.
Given the abundance of choices, it can be tempting to just go with whatever the salesperson recommends for you. Still, it is important to look beyond the products you are being offered.
In this endeavour, listening to advice from the professionals is your best bet at finding the right hardware for your bathroom. This article lists the things your trusted Melbourne CBD plumber would want you to learn about first before buying a new bathroom tap.
Understanding Tap Differences
When you go to the local hardware store, chances are, you’ll be greeted by a wide array of tap selections that differ in appearance and function. With all these choices, you might find it overwhelming to pick just one.
To help you decide, below are the different kinds of taps based on style and the type of mechanism used to control the water pressure.
In terms of style, there are three options available to you: pillar, monoblocs, and mixers.
A pillar tap is considered the most traditional style of bathroom tap as it separates the hot and cold water with individual taps called “pillars.”
A mixer tap, as the name implies, mixes hot and cold water before dispensing through a single nozzle. It has two handles, each controlling the amount of hot or cold water in the mixture.
Monoblocs, on the other hand, are single-handled taps which combine hot and cold water inside. The temperature and flow of the water can be changed by twisting to one direction.
Types of Mechanism
Aside from the style, you also need to consider the kind of mechanism each bathroom tap has.
For instance, some monoblocs come with a disc tap mechanism. This tap is cylindrical and contains two ceramic discs with one hole each that serves as the tap’s on/off mechanism.
Once these discs align, water passes through. Because of their simplicity, disc taps don’t require too much turning to unleash full water pressure.
If you want to go for more traditional mechanisms, washers may be just what you’re looking for. Considered the oldest mechanism type available, compression washer taps always come in pillar style. These can be controlled by twisting the handles, which makes a washer move up and down.
Other tap mechanisms include:
- Ball taps: Rounded monoblocs with a hollow ball that controls water
- Cartridge taps: Can be used for both mixers and monoblocs
- Pressure taps: Use a lever to control water flow (two, if used in mixers)
Check for Compatibility
Not all water taps are created equal. In fact, how your chosen tap performs will depend on its compatibility with the other fixtures in your bathroom as well as your home’s water pressure system.
Both bath and basin taps can be used in houses with a high-pressure water system. But if you have lower water pressure, you probably need to match it with the right kind of tap to ensure optimal water flow of hot and cold water.
When choosing a basin tap, you must first take a look at your existing bathroom basin and answer the following questions:
- How many holes does it have?
- How far away are the holes from the basin? What is the actual size of the basin?
- Are there obstructions, like shelves or cabinets, that might make it hard to lean over it?
In case there is only one tap hole, you can choose between a monobloc and a single-lever tap. As you already know, the latter has a mechanism that controls the water flow and temperature using one lever. The same goes for monoblocs, except you would have more options in terms of finishes and styles of the handle.
If there are two tap holes, you would need to install two pillar taps for cold and hot water. This style of tap also comes in several varieties, including ones with cross-shaped handles, a lever, or a knob.
The size and position of your bathroom basin will also serve as a factor in your tap choice. In this case, you would also need to consider the tap spout. Start by looking at the depth and overall size of the basin. You must also consider how you plan to use it to determine the perfect position of the tap’s spout.
For instance, compact basins may require a shorter spout. In this case, find a tap with a spout that extends up to the plug hole only.
If the area is tight, you can choose a lower spout for cloakrooms to avoid splashing water on any hanging clothing. But if you plan to shave or wash your hands in the basin, it would be best to choose a tap with a higher spout for optimum washing comfort.
Before You Head to the Checkout
Choosing bathroom fixtures can sometimes be the last thing that comes to mind during a home construction or bathroom remodelling project. Often, homeowners make mistakes in the process because they haven’t planned beforehand what tap they should buy, and only realize they need to decide when they’re already in the hardware store.
To be sure, consult an expert plumber and trusted provider of plumbing service and repairs to help you pick the right one for your bathroom. Get in touch with our team at Blue Diamond Plumbing today for more information.