How To Pick The Right Taps For You
How To Pick The Right Taps For You
Table of Contents
- How To Pick The Right Taps For You
- Let’s Begin
- What Is A Tap?
- How Do Taps Work?
- The History Of Taps
- The Importance Of Water Pressure
- What Is The Difference Between Basin And Bath Taps?
- Are Bath Faucets And Basin Faucets Interchangeable?
- The Different Types Of Taps
- Different tap sizes
- The Different Tap Colours
- How To Choose The Right Bathroom Taps
- How To Choose The Right Waste For My Taps
- How Do I Install Basin Taps?
- How Do I Uninstall Basin Taps?
- How Do I Clean And Maintain Basin Taps?
- Stiffening Taps And How To Fix Them
- To Conclude
Taps, the unsung hero of modern infrastructure. From matte black taps to mixer taps, they’re in every home, every office and every pub. They’re everywhere, and for good reason too. But when it comes to choosing and installing your own tap, how do you even choose? There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing taps, but don’t worry, we break them all down in this article.
What Is A Tap?
A tap is a fixture that with a twist or a press allows water to be spurted out. They are typically made of metal and are featured on basins and baths. They can be used to provide water for cleaning, drinking and more and are a crucial element of any building. They come in a variety of designs, sizes and colours, you may think your sins suits a white monobloc tap, but your partner may believe it suits a chrome pillar tap.
How Do Taps Work?
When you activate a tap, it moves a spindle within and opens a partition between the rets of the piping and the tap. Water is stored in the piping at a high enough pressure that when the tap is opened, it comes running out, allowing you to use it for whatever you need. Typically, taps are positioned over basins which catch the water after its and redistribute it back to the sewers.
The History Of Taps
Like a lot of infrastructure, the Romans had their hands in it. Taps can be traced back to the Roman empire and their use in public baths. These taps and their infrastructure were actually brough to the UK by the Romans, but after the fall of the Roman Empire were scarcely used. If they were ever used, it was by the rich.
Much later, in the 18th Century, Thomas Hawksley designed the first constant pressure water supply. He initially introduced it to his home city of Nottingham, giving a tap and a connection to a main pressurized water supply to every household. This did wonders for the quality of life in Nottingham and was soon adopted in others cities and towns, not just in the UK but in many other corners of the world.
The Importance Of Water Pressure
A key part to Thomas Hawksley’s popularization of the tap was the use of water pressure and believe it or not, water pressure is still a pivotal aspect to consider about taps to this day.
Depending on your type of boiler, you will have different water pressure. This will fall into one of three categories: Low Water Pressure, Medium Water Pressure and High Water Pressure. When shopping for taps it is crucial you check which water pressures they can operate with. If you have low water pressure, but get a high water pressure tap, then the water may barely come out of the tap at all. Equally, if you have high water pressure and a low water pressure tap, this will create an incredibly unoptimized and costly situation.
You can check your water pressure by attaching a water pressure gauge to your outside tap. Remember, you must always buy taps that suit your individual water pressure, or else you could be in for an extremely inconvenient experience.
What Is The Difference Between Basin And Bath Taps?
It can be very confusing when trying to tell the average bath taps and basin faucets apart as they look virtually the same. However, there is a crucial difference, the internal pipe size. Basin faucets have to move much less water than baths, which are expected to fill a large space very quickly. Because of this, basin faucets use a half inch pipe for water flow, as any more is seen as unnecessary.
However, bathtubs employ a three quarter of an inch pipe for their water flow. This allows them to transport a lot more water a lot more quickly.
Are Bath Faucets And Basin Faucets Interchangeable?
Theoretically, yes, they are but this is not always advisable. Because of their differing water moving capabilities, issues could be caused by transplanting their environment. By putting a tap meant for a basin on a bathtub, you will cause it to be filled up much slower than normal. While if you install a bath tap on a basin, you may find the water comes out too quickly for your liking. In general, it is not the end of the world to put a bath tap on a basin, but putting a basin faucet on a bath can severely impact its function.
Don’t worry though, as there are often matching sets of basin and bath taps so you can keep the same visuals, without facing any water speed issues.
The Different Types Of Taps
Now you understand the basics of taps, lets look at the specifics, such as the endless variety of tap styles. We will go over their functions, aesthetics and more, so get comfy!
A mixer tap for the bathroom is a type of tap that can summon both hot and cold water through the use of two different handles attached to the same tap. It used to be that you would need two separate taps for different temperatures of water and in fact, a lot of baths still do, to this day. But in the world of basins, mixer taps are popular. Their signature ability makes them extremely useful, especially when trying to save space. So, they are ideal for adding utility to cloakrooms or a clean silhouette to minimalist bathrooms.
Pillar taps are the more classical tap, they are mounted directly on the fixture and only feature one temperature, so you will need two per fixture. They often come in bubblier designs and suit classical, white bathrooms the most. If you’re looking for a throwback, this is the ideal tap for you.
Wall Mounted Taps
Wall mounted taps cut an extremely modern look and have the useful feature of not being attached to the basin or bath. Because of this, you can retain a fixture with no tap hole, for a clean aesthetic and more room on the fixture. These taps suit someone going for an extremely modern vibe and look great in black and chrome.
Monobloc taps are special and not just because their name is fun to say. They combine the best aspects of two different types of taps. Like the mixer tap for the bathroom, they can utilize both hot and cold water, but like pillar taps they only feature one handle, hence “mono”. This can be really useful for the smaller sink and is absolutely ideal for the person looking to maximise both space and utility.
Hands Free Taps
These taps are completely touchless. Once installed, you never have to twist a knob or pull a lever again. This is because there is a sensor positioned in the end of the tap that turns the tap on when something is underneath it and off when something is not underneath it. This can be incredibly hygienic and useful, especially in commercial or public environments that experience a lot of foot traffic, making it ideal for use outside of the home.
Digital taps sound like a thing ripped from the future and in a way they are. They feature an LED screen that tells you the exact water temperature of the water you’re using and allows you to adjust it to the nth degree. This is ideal for someone who may have reactions to different temperatures of water and need specific heats. As well as this, they can be useful in clinical settings where water temperature is vital to some procedures.
Instant Boiling Water Taps
The name gives it away somewhat, but instant boiling water taps have the capability to boil water instantly. This can be fantastically useful in the kitchen as it is faster and more cost effective than a kettle, but should absolutely be kept out of the bathroom, lest someone accidentally burns themselves.
Bubbler taps have a key difference to the average tap, instead shooting water down, they shoot it up. They do this because bubbler taps are used for drinking instead of cleaning. They also feature a ball in the tap that causes the water to bubble up when it collides with it as it shoots out of the tap, hence the name bubbler. These taps are often seen on drinking fountains and don’t have much use in the home, but are must haves for a lot of public settings.
Different tap sizes
There are various tap sizes out there and you should always measure your area beforehand so you know whether specific taps will be useful to you, but as a general rule of thumb, most basin and bath taps feature diameters around 47mm. These 47mm taps should comfortably fit most basins and baths.
The Different Tap Colours
So, you’ve decided on your tap type and size, but what colour should it be? Colour can be one of the most key aspects of decoration, especially in the bathroom, as it features so many customizable fixtures. So, let’s break down the best tap colours for you.
Matte Black Taps
Matte black taps for the bathroom are great for the modern look. They lend a certain professionalism and stoicism to a space. They can also pair well with earthier tones and biophilic design. As well as this, they work well as both a complimentary and contrasting colour, making them extremely versatile. Black is the perfect tap colour for someone looking to bring a bit of modern chicness to their space.
White taps for the bathroom are the classic design, they contribute to the bouncing of light and they work well for complimenting seaside and biophilic themes because of this. Due to their prolific use in the past, they can be associated with retro designs and definitely the perfect choice for anyone looking to go for the classic look.
Chrome is a fantastic choice as a contrast for a white sink. The shared similarities of the shining properties mean they only subtly contrast, rather than starkly, so you can use it as a nice compliment to your classically designed bathroom. On the other hand, it can be paired with more metallic fixtures to create an industrial look.
Outside of the realm of the typical options, you can also find lots of alternative, special colours. For example, you could have your taps painted matte pink or have them speckled like a Jackson Pollock. This is the option for the person looking for complete customization and that personal touch. The good news is, you can even make these yourself by painting existing taps to make your ideal creation.
How To Choose The Right Bathroom Taps
So, you understand all the different options you have for taps, but how do you pick the right ones for you? It’s simple! First of all, analyse your needs. Decipher what exactly you need from your bathroom and from your taps specifically. Once you have that, pick a theme. This could be anything, from classical to modern, from minimalist to maximalist.
Now you have your needs and theme in mind, simply find the taps that best suit those and you’re off to the races.
How To Choose The Right Waste For My Taps
Similarly, you may find yourself suffering from analysis paralysis due to the number of wastes to choose from. Worry not, there is an easy solution. Think about your water pressure. If you have strong water pressure, you may want a free-flow waste that allows you to slow down or speed up the draining of water for example.
Equally, think back to your needs and theming, will you need to fill your basin at any point? Do you want a concealed waste or an exposed one? Do you want the waste colour to compliment or contrast your tap? Once you’ve answered these questions, the right waste for you will become clear.
How Do I Install Basin Taps?
Luckily, tap installation is one of the easier elements of bathroom installation. We will specifically look at basin tap installation today, but the exact same process can be applied to installing taps for bathtubs.
To install, you will need to thread the hoses of the tap through the hole in the basin. Then you need to position the tap on the surface and above the hole. Use the clamp to tighten it into it place from underneath and then connect the hoses to the water inlet pipes. Once you have done that, use silicon to seal the tap to the surface, turn the water back on and run the tap to check for leaks.
How Do I Uninstall Basin Taps?
If you’re putting a new tap on an existing sink, you’ll have to uninstall the previous tap. To do so, make sure the water is off and then detach the tap hoses from the water inlet pipes. then, cut the silicon seal and loosen the clamp holding tap in place. You can now carefully lift it out of the hole and just like that you have uninstalled a tap.
How Do I Clean And Maintain Basin Taps?
When it comes to cleaning basin taps, use warm soapy water and a nonabrasive cloth to clean them down. You should do this at least once per week to keep them in tip top condition.
Stiffening Taps And How To Fix Them
Have you ever wondered to yourself “why is my tap hard to turn?”, then you have unfortunately encountered the common tap issue of tap stiffening. No need to worry though, as we know exactly how to solve it.
What Causes A Tap To Go Stiff?
A common type of tap is known as a compression tap. Compression taps are unique because they contain components called O-rings. O-Rings are what allow the handles of your tap to be turned, however overtime they can harden due to exposure to air or heat. As they harden, the introduce more and more friction to the handle, making it increasingly harder to turn until it simply cannot be turned anymore.
How Do You Loosen A Stiff Tap?
So now you understand the problem, how do you fix it? With ease! All you have to do is disconnect the tap from the basin, so you can see inside it and then swap out the existing and now exposed O-ring for your new one, by sliding the old one off and sliding the new one on. Once you’ve done that, you can reinstall your tap and it’ll be as good as new.
The world of taps is a varied and interesting one and hopefully now, a little less complicated. Whether you’ve just moved home and are kitting out a new bathroom or looking to inject a bit of life into an old, faithful sink, new taps are a great way to add that finishing touch to your bathroom.