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Bathroom taps, showers and fittings

Bathroom taps, showers and fittings

When selecting taps for the bathroom, look for a shape that complements the style of the basin and is in proportion to its size. You will need to check that the tap/spout combination matches any pre - drilled holes in the basin since this will dictate whether a single mixer tap or a wide-spread set, consisting of a central spout with separate hot and cold handles, will be required.

Take into consideration any fittings you will need for other bathroom fixtures so that there is visual continuity throughout the room. It can sometimes be unclear how a single-lever tap should be turned to control the water temperature and flow rate. This is not usually a problem for adults, but it could be a safety hazard for young children or anyone with a visual impairment. Look for clearly marked "hot" and "cold" indicators or choose one with a thermostatic limiter to prevent the water from becoming too hot. You will also need to decide between a conventional plug and chain for retaining water in the basin, or a modern pop-up plug.

The style of the taps should help decide which is more appropriate, but the flush finish and simple operation of a pop-up system look neater and less obtrusive than a trailing chain and plug, which have to sit at the edge of the basin when not required.

Tap finishes

Most quality bathroom taps are made from cast brass, which can then be plated in a range of finishes ranging from chromium to 24 carat gold. Powder - coated taps give the greatest choice if coloured finishes are preferred since they can be matched to the bathroom fixtures. Satin stainless steel and nickel finishes have become popular recently for contemporary basins, but, if you are looking for an antiqued look suitable for traditional bathrooms, there is a good selection of bronzed and antiqued copper finishes with rich patinas to instantly create an aged and interesting character.

Bathtub & shower fittings

There has never been a more varied range of contemporary fittings to choose from. Innovative designs and finishes will transform the simplest basin, bathtub or shower in bathrooms, while technology has made the latest fittings easy and safe to use. Ceramic-disc mechanisms are widely used to eliminate problems such as dripping taps and difficult-to-turn handles. Single-lever mechanisms and remote sensors are possible features on offer when a hi-tech, minimalist look is sought.

Some traditionally styled taps and shower fixtures also incorporate ceramic disc technology. The addition of thermostatic shut-offs makes them a practical choice for families with young or old members. Make sure that you select the right size of the tap with the right number of components to fit a single, two- or three-hole bathtub. For single-hole bathtubs, choose a monoblock tap; for two holes select a pillar, twin-flow, or combined bathtub/shower mixer. Three-hole bathtubs are designed for three-piece pillar units with a deck - mounted spout between the taps.

Shower systems

Mixer showers use a special valve that blends hot and cold water to give a powerful shower that is easy to operate and switches the water flow from off, through cold, too hot with a single-lever control. Bathtub/shower mixers combine taps with a handset and a rigid or flexible shower hose that can be used for showering or washing hair. Depending on what mode you want, the diverter can be switched to direct the water to the taps er te the handset at the rate ef flew and the temperature that you require. Advanced mixer showers have individual controls to adjust the temperature and flow rate: once you select, the control will maintain it. In the event of a hot or cold water supply failure, automatic safety shut- offs will stop the flow in an instant.