Basin taps: they're something most people don't consider when installing a new sink, but they're absolutely an important decision, a subtle piece of style that goes a long way in defining the look of any bathroom. But they can also seem immensely confusing to your average person, especially when plumbing terminology is involved. So what exactly do you need to know?
There are two kinds of basin tap, both of which are extremely common, but aesthetically very different. Which of these you want is probably the first decision you'll make. The two types of basin tap are:
Pillar taps come in the form of two separate taps, one that provides hot water and the other providing cold water. They're the taps that generally sit a few inches apart, offering a little bit of space in the middle for soap or a wash cloth. So before choosing a basin tap be aware if your basin is with one or two tap wholes.
Mixer taps are exactly what they sound like: they're the combination taps that sprout up from the same unit, sharing a single faucet with the result only separated by which tap is turned. One of the advantages to mixer taps is that controlling the temperature of the water is generally a lot easier, allowing you to tweak both taps until you're satisfied.
The way you want to use your basin tap is also something worth considering, and there are quite a few choices. For example, there are traditional taps that turn clockwise and anti-clockwise – on and off – but there are other kinds of activation, too. There are taps with long handles that rotate vertically and taps that you press down and pull up. A tap's handle is something that defines the look of the entire sink.
Another thing that's important is the “look” of the tap – that is, what kind of style it is. When it comes to basin taps, there are a ton of different shapes and styles to choose from. These are often divided into the categories “traditional” and “contemporary”. Traditional units tend to have a curved look, soft and rounded, while contemporary units are often edged and rectangular. The world of basin taps is a lot more complicated than one might think!
The other aesthetic quality you've got to choose is the material the tap is made from. In essence, this boils down to the “colour” of the tap, or the “finish”.
By far the best-selling and most common tap finish is chrome – it's often referred to as silver, though the element is not involved. The advantages of chrome are many: it goes with a huge variety of styles and is comparatively affordable. The chrome finish does not need any special maintenance and taps easily can be cleaned.
Brass taps are another common tap finish, though it's undoubtable their gold-brown colour is a unique look that should be accommodated for. You should be careful with cleaning material and use only those suitable for brass finish.
Other things to consider when it comes to buying basin taps include making sure the size of the taps matches the sink, whether or not you want the taps in the sink or mounted behind the sink and making sure the taps look their best with good cleaning and maintenance practices.