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What do I need to know about bathroom taps before I buy?

Choosing the perfect bathroom suite poses many questions, and although the choice of tap may not be the first thing you decide on, it is important all the same. It’s the finer details that can really add to your space and so choosing the right tap that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional is crucial when perfecting those finishing touches.

There’s a wide variety of styles on the market, from traditional right through to contemporary art-deco designs, and everything in between. From functional basin taps to floor standing bath fillers, the perfect tap is out there to complete your bathroom. Our handy guide points out everything you need to consider before you choose.

Check your water pressure

Before you begin perusing the various designs available, you will need to determine the type of water pressure system you have in your home. Most UK households operate from a low pressure gravity system, which consists of a water tank filled with cold water (usually stored in the loft) and a hot water cylinder (usually stored in the airing cupboard).

The level of pressure the water outlet has is determined by height and gravity – in short, the higher your tank is stored, the greater the pressure. The majority of taps will work just fine from this kind of system, but if you are after a powerful showering experience, you will most likely need to explore other options.

A combi-boiler will heat cold water from the mains supply as soon as the tap is turned on, meaning a powerful burst of hot water can be achieved without the need for a separate tank. A cold mains supply is ideally suited to electric showers, as the heat of the water and pressure is determined by the choice of shower unit. The higher the kilowatt, the more powerful your water flow will be.

If you need some help and advice as to what type of water system you have installed then you can contact a local plumber, the Water Board or get in touch with us here at bathstore and one of our experts will be happy to help.

Which style – pillar or mixer?

Choosing the right style of tap is important, so you must first of all determine your budget to help make a decision. Traditional baths and basins tend to come with holes in the ceramics for two separate taps, whereas more contemporary styles are more likely to have a single hole for a mixer tap.

If you haven’t chosen your basin just yet, take a look at our guide to basins here – there are plenty of styles to choose from!

The method by which your bath or basin is plumbed can help narrow down your search for the right tap. A bath or basin with two pre-drilled holes will require a pair of pillar taps, whilst those with just one hole will require a basin mixer that runs both hot and cold water.

Traditional, pillar style taps can operate in a household with only a low pressure system in place, whereas mixer taps tend to require higher pressure, meaning this is something you need to consider when planning your design.

Material wise, most basin or bath taps on the market today are made from brass then finished off with a chrome polish. All bathstore taps are built to last, constructed with sturdy, premium brass and are chrome plated, giving them an elegant mirrored finish.

The majority of modern taps come with ceramic disc technology which prevents dripping. This technology is far superior to the old style rubber washer taps which are often found in older properties. Rubber washers tend to be effective for a limited time and once they begin to age and the rubber cracks, you will find you have to screw the tap tighter to prevent dripping.

A tap which incorporates ceramic disc technology will simply require a ¼ turn to immediately stop the water flow. Dripping taps are not just a great source of annoyance but have a negative impact on the environment too – they can waste as much as 15 litres of water per day, which can also have a significant impact on your annual water bill.


Whether you opt for pillar or mixer, both types have a number of styles, ranging from Victorian chic right up to more striking art-deco looks. Getting the right style of taps is important to completing your space and will help emphasise the look you want to achieve.

There are traditional designs of both pillar and mixer taps, some of which are perfect if you’re going for a vintage style, whereas others combine old and new styles.

Browse our range of traditional bath taps and see if there’s anything that catches your eye.

For a contemporary suite that’s going to be real feature in your house, you are spoilt for choice as there are a number of designs on offer, from sleek minimalist looks to more unusual, avant-garde styles to get that off-the-wall look.

For a spot of inspiration, take a look at our complete range of contemporary bath taps.

If money is no object and you fancy that home spa feel, then you might want to consider the luxury of a waterfall bath tap, which adds a touch of class to your suite for the ultimate indulgence.

If you or any members of your household have problems with mobility, then you might want to consider a thermostatic tap. Available in a whole host of styles, they allow the user to carefully monitor the temperature of the water, making them safer than most other taps as it minimises the risk of scalding.

Now that you know the basics when it comes to bath and basin taps, it’s time to get the wheels in motion and decide which style will add the all-important finishing touches to your space. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out our articles for bath taps here and basin taps here [insert link to: I’m looking for a basin tap, what are my options?’ article here] to find the right taps for your space.

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