Why buy floorstanding bath taps?
There are lots of choices when it comes to buying bath taps. However, if you are buying a freestanding bath, your choice is generally narrowed to wall-mounted taps or floorstanding taps. Whatever the style of your bathroom, whether traditional or contemporary, floorstanding taps will give the room a smart, hotel appeal.
Which taps to buy to complement the bath?
If you are buying a contemporary freestanding bath, shop for angular, modern-looking taps; traditional roll top baths are better matched to bath taps with a period feel, so look for fittings with curves and character.
Where possible, try to choose taps that are in proportion to the size of your bath, and before you buy floorstanding taps, ensure the bath you are buying comes without tap holes.
Choose the right finish for your taps, too. Shiny chrome will suit both contemporary and traditional baths. Brushed, matt or satin chrome taps are better for modern bathrooms. Antique-style brass taps are more suited to period-style bathrooms.
Which type of floorstanding taps to buy?
Floorstanding taps come in a range of combinations: mixer taps; dual flow; monobloc; shower mixer and pull-out spray mixers. Here are the differences:
Mixer taps have two handles but combine hot and cold water in the spout of the tap making them a good choice for families because temperature can be easily controlled. These can be both contemporary and traditional in style. Generally need quite good water pressure to function well.
Shower mixer taps work like mixers with the addition of a showerhead that either sits over the taps like an old-fashioned phone or, for a more contemporary feel, is attached by a bracket to the side of the tap. An ideal choice if you don’t have a separate shower, it also makes the bath easier to clean and rinse out.
Monobloc taps have a single handle but, like mixer taps, combine hot and cold water in the spout of the tap. These tend to be very contemporary in style. Water pressure of hot and cold feeds needs to be equal to function well.
Dual flow taps dispense water in a single flow, but keep hot and cold separate in the body of the tap. Consider these if you want the look of a mixer tap but have unequal hot and cold-water pressure.
Cleaning your bath taps
Floorstanding bath taps have lots of chrome on show, so bear in mind that they will show up splashes and smudges more quickly than wall-hung taps or pillar taps. The best way to clean your bath taps is to use warm soapy water, applied with a soft cloth, then rinsed off and dried with a clean, lint-free cloth. Abrasive cleaners will scratch and dull the chrome, so avoid these.
Checking your water pressure
Before you buy taps for your bathroom, check the product details carefully to ensure they will be suitable for your home’s water pressure. Not sure what yours is like? Here’s a rough guide:
Older properties that have not been updated recently probably have gravity fed systems. This means your drinking water will come from the mains, and there will be a cold-water tank (probably in the loft) and a hot water storage cylinder (in a bedroom, hallway or bathroom cupboard). If so, your system is likely to have low to medium pressure.
New homes or newly renovated homes are more likely to have high pressure hot and cold water supplies – in other words, the water flow will be equal and strong from all taps, both hot and cold, all over the house.
If in doubt, ask a local plumber for advice.