Bathroom tap buying guide
Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter175 guides
Sink, bathtub and shower taps are essential to any bathroom. Choose the efficiency that goes with a thermostatic mixer or the aesthetic qualities of a single flow mixer, modern or waterfall, with a spout or aerator to dispel the water! Here’s a guide to choosing your bathroom faucet!
- Single flow
Bathroom taps: why replace them?
When it comes time to refurbish the bathroom or finally stop that leaky faucet, it is sometimes necessary to repair or even change the faucet of the sink, also referred to as a basin, shower or bathtub.
Bathroom tap: What is the difference between single flow and a mixer?
Bathroom mixer tap
The mixer is distinguished by its two handles dedicated to hot water and cold water. To obtain the right temperature , you twist the two water valves: adjusting the flow of cold and hot water. The handle of cold water is recognizable by the blue indicator, whereas the hot water by the red indicator.
Bathroom mixer taps have two heads, hot and cold water, which can be of two different types:
- The jumper valve closes the water circuit by means of a rubber seal placed at the end of the mechanism. The valve head seal is a spare part that can easily be change. At the first sign of a leak, disconnect the water supply, disassemble the screw hidden under the color indicator to remove the head cover and unscrew the valve head. You will recognize the seal as its is mounted on a disc. Be sure to replace it exactly the way you found it.
- The ceramic disk is more comfortable to use because it does not require the handle to be tightened all the way in order to close the water circuit, a half turn is sufficient. The ceramic head has a longer service life, however, it is still replaced when a lead is detected.
Single flow tap
The single flow tap only has one controller, operated from left to right to adjust the temperature and from top to bottom to get the right flow of water. The single flow tap is more practical because it requires only one hand and is more efficient due to it's memory effect in respect to temperature.
Some mixing valves are equipped with an anti-scald valve - limiting the ouput of hot water thanks to a ring. Anti-scald valves are especially practical for infants and the elderly - however, your best bet is still the thermostatic mixing valve.
Optionally also the flow controller. This a notch, installed about halfway up the tap's handle,which reduces the flow of water by 50%. Simply add pressure to adjust it and benefit from a normal flow.
Thermostatic bath mixer
- A first one for adjusting the temperature;
- The second to set the flow rate.
A thermostic mixer's handle is graduated. By simpling setting it once, you will benefit from the temperature selected at each use.
A thermostatic mixer is not recommended when the hot water is produced by an instantaneous water heater. The best use of the thermostatic mixier is with storage water heaters such as cumulus heaters.
Bathroom tap: which tap to choose for what use?
Besides its water distribution technology - single-flow and mixer - a bathroom tap can offer different sanitary elements:
- sink, washbasin and handwasher;
The tap can be placed directly on the sink, washbasin or bathtub, in which case they are pierced or pre-cut. Taps can also be installed on a toilet tank, wall or shower enclosure.
Sink and washbasin tap
The tap must take into account the ergonomics of the sink or washbasin and its height should allow to wash your hands without straining. The depth of the spout is directly related to the drainage of the sink or washbasin, in order to prevent the spilling of any water.
Bathroom tap: installation advice and accessories
The water intake on shower and bathtub faucets can be either male or female and is often 15 x 21 (½ ’’) in length. Choose a faucet that is adaptable to your configuration or obtain the necessary connections.
Bathroom tap: what quality difference is there between two single flow and two mixers?
As with any product, single flow and mixers are no exception to the rule, the difference between the basic and the top level product is based on on the choice of materials and level of finish.
These two criteria directly affect the life span of the tap, the comfort of use and more often than not, the warranty.
Other than the NF standard, the brand and the length of the warranty - 2 years, 5 years or 10 years - you should also consider the following when comparing:
- The joints and the connection hoses are of good quality, prolonging the time in use without leaks;
- The availability of joints and, in particular, valves for jumper mixers and replacement heads;
- To obtain the best results, it is highly recommended to routinely maintain chrome or any other surface of the heads and the spout;
- The parts are molded with a high degree of quality, which limits the formation of deposits on the assembly, provides a better seal and reduces the pressure on the tap's nozzle - essentially on the mixers;
- The guarantee that no harmful materials such as lead or other heavy metals were used;
- The quality of the temperature probe, when dealing with a thermostatic mixing valves, and the availability of optiosn such as the flow controller on the mixers.
Guide to Bathroom Taps
Type of bathroom taps
Ideal standard, Alexis Robert
Rousseau, Ideal standard, Jacob Delafon, Roca, Anconetti
Grohe, Axor Hansgrohe, Jacob Delafon, Porcher, Roca, Anconetti
Bathroom tap: What's an aerator used for?
Located at the end of the spout, the aerator is a screwable part consisting of a sieve. It's purpose is to aerate the water and to direct the jet in a fixed point thus avoiding any unwanted projection of water.
The aerator also has a filtering action and will prevent pebbles from showing up in your drink when the water line is being worked on.
If you ever notice a drop in pressure in your tap after work on the water line, first thing to do is to unscrew the aerator: it may simply be partially clogged.
Bathroom tap: what are the different styles of faucet?
From the classic bathroom tap we all know to the retro bathroom tap through to the modern and sleek tap, there is a faucet for every bathroom.
Bathroom tap: advice to properly maintain and choose your water works?
Maintenance of valves
Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter 175 guides écrits
Redo a roof with wooden beams? Check.
Advise Mister everybody in the DIY shop? Check.
Redo the bathroom plumbing? Check.
Fit together, build the walls, paint a partition, throw my hammer in a rage thinking that it will fix the problem? Check.
The DIY motto ? Learning is better than delegating… well, it's also a question about your wallet! The satisfaction? The beer at the end of the job!
What do the best have in common? The influence of Gyro Gearloose, Mac Gyver and Carol Smiley depending on your generation, a good dose of curiosity, a average hand-eye coordination and a taste for risks… and if it doesn't work, try again! Advise you? I'll do my best!
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