Types of Bathroom Taps

A really useful guide all about taps!
mixer basin tap flowing water

When it comes to choosing the perfect taps for your bathroom design, things can sometimes get a little confusing! Because taps can make or break the overall look and feel, our experienced team has created the ultimate guide to bath and sink taps to help you through the process.

From the different types of bath and basin taps to the number of holes each tap design has, our tap guide covers everything you need to know – you may even find your dream tap too!

What’s the difference between bath and basin taps?

One of the first things to notice when you’re looking at taps is whether they’re designed for baths or basins. While some taps are technically interchangeable, there are several issues with picking from the wrong range. For example, the hole and thread sizes to connect the taps to the water main and the bath or basin itself will be different. Tap connectors are also tailored to either bath or basin sizes, so there’s a certain degree of uniformity in the tap industry.

We strongly recommend that unless you are a plumbing expert, you should always buy the correct type of tap for either a sink or a bath! This will save any problems later down the line.

When it comes to choosing the perfect taps for your bathroom design, things can sometimes get a little confusing! Because taps can make or break the overall look and feel, our experienced team has created the ultimate guide to bath and sink taps to help you through the process.

From the different types of bath and basin taps to the number of holes each tap design has, our tap guide covers everything you need to know – you may even find your dream tap too!

3 hole mixer tap for sink

What’s the difference between bath and basin taps?

One of the first things to notice when you’re looking at taps is whether they’re designed for baths or basins. While some taps are technically interchangeable, there are several issues with picking from the wrong range. For example, the hole and thread sizes to connect the taps to the water main and the bath or basin itself will be different. Tap connectors are also tailored to either bath or basin sizes, so there’s a certain degree of uniformity in the tap industry.

We strongly recommend that unless you are a plumbing expert, you should always buy the correct type of tap for either a sink or a bath! This will save any problems later down the line.

pre-drilled 1 hole basin diagram

Tap Hole Types: What you need to know

For baths and basins that come complete with pre-drilled holes for the taps, it’s vital to check how many holes there are as this directly impacts the taps you buy! For example, a basin with 1 pre-drilled hole is only suitable for a tap design with 1 hole.

If you have purchased a bath or sink without pre-drilled holes, you have the freedom to choose from most tap hole styles. However, depending on the plumbing set-up in your bathroom, some tap styles still may not be suitable, for example, wall mounted or floor standing.

Taps are available in styles with 1, 2, 3 or 4 holes, so be sure to choose one that works with your bath or basin. Although this might seem limiting, each hole type has many different tap designs to chose from. To remember tap hole types, think of holes as ‘points of contact‘ with the a bath or sink – this will save you from buying a tap design that is not compatible with your suite.

diagram of 1, 2 and 3 hole tap styles

Types of Bath Taps

Often, the type of bath taps you choose will be closely intertwined with the style of bath you opt for in your bathroom. For instance, there are some bath styles, such as bateau baths, which can’t be drilled into, so that removes the option for deck mounted taps.

In addition, the design of your bathroom might be geared towards one type of tap over another due to plumbing or space limitations. For example, if you already have little space, you’re unlikely to choose floor mounted taps over something more compact.

There are 5 bath tap types that are most commonly found in UK homes – they include…

  • Floor Mounted – attached to bathroom floor
  • Deck Mounted – attached to the bath itself
  • Wall Mounted – attached to a wall by the bath
  • Bath & Shower Mixers – shower head attached
  • Bath Spouts – luxurious bath fillers
deck mounted shower bath tap flowing water

Types of Bath Taps

shower mixer deck mounted bath tap

Often, the type of bath taps you choose will be closely intertwined with the style of bath you opt for in your bathroom. For instance, there are some bath styles, such as bateau baths, which can’t be drilled into, so that removes the option for deck mounted taps.

In addition, the design of your bathroom might be geared towards one type of tap over another due to plumbing or space limitations. For example, if you already have little space, you’re unlikely to choose floor mounted taps over something more compact.

There are 5 bath tap types that are most commonly found in UK homes – they include…

  • Floor Mounted – attached to bathroom floor
  • Deck Mounted – attached to the bath itself
  • Wall Mounted – attached to a wall by the bath
  • Bath & Shower Mixers – shower head attached
  • Bath Spouts – luxurious bath fillers

Floor Mounted Bath Taps

floor mounted bath tap example

As the name suggests, floor mounted bath taps are fixed to the floor and are notable for prominently displaying pipes following concerted efforts over the decades to hide them from view.

Also known as freestanding taps, these are best suited to use with freestanding baths in larger bathrooms that have space around them. A major benefit of these types of taps are that they allow the bath to be placed away from a wall, just as long as the plumbing extends to wherever the bath location will be.

This means that you’re not tied to designing a luxurious bathroom with a bath situated against the wall, nor do you need to choose a bath that has tap holes when some, like luxurious roll top bathtubs, can’t accommodate them.

Deck Mounted Bath Taps

deck mounted bath tap example

Deck mounted taps are secured to the surface of the bath, so this is where those all-important pre-drilled tap holes come into play.

This type of tap fitting is what we likely think of when we think of a bathtub with taps, but while these might be seen as old fashioned bath taps, they come in a variety of styles and can be positioned at either the ‘tap end’ or in the middle of a bath, depending on your tub style.

Deck mounted bath taps are the most common bath tap in the UK as they conceal all the pipework behind or underneath the bath and do not require specialist plumbing.

Wall Mounted Bath Taps

wall mounted bath tap example

This style of tap is mounted to the wall, hiding the pipework and plumbing behind the tiles in a bathroom, which make them a popular choice for those seeking a minimalistic, modern bathroom style.

Wall mounted taps are suitable for bathtubs without any pre-drilled holes as they are mounted directly above the bath instead of on it.

That said, repairs can be difficult when the pipework is encased within the wall, so bear this in mind when you’re choosing your bath taps. Wall mounted bath taps are traditionally ‘mixer’ taps with one spout and two taps.

Bath & Shower Mixer Taps

bath and show mixer tap example

These mixer taps are a combination of bath filling taps and a handheld showerhead that reaches from the tap and serves as an in-bath shower piece.

As an alternative to having a fully-fledged shower above the bath, these mixer taps are popular in the UK where families need a bath and a shower in a small bathroom.

This type of bath tap is available in both deck mounted and floor mounted varieties, depending on the needs of an individual bathroom. While these are modern and stylish taps, they’re obviously not ideal for use as basin taps!

Bath Spouts

bath spout example

Spout taps are probably the style we first think of when we imagine a luxurious bathtub in a stylish bathroom. Controlled by separate taps located close to the bath, bath spouts are normally wall mounted and can be purchased with or without the necessary mixer taps.

They are the perfect bath tap to add that luxury touch to your design and are suitable for bathtubs which cannot have holes drilled such as freestanding and roll-top designs.

Modern, yet elegant, bath spouts can bring the wow factor to your design!

Types of Basin Taps

Different types of taps suit different styles of bathroom – this is as true with basin taps as it is for bathtub taps. However, when you’re considering your basin taps, remember to look for practicality as well as style. For example, long spouts may look spectacular and add a little flair to your bathroom sink, but will the water simply splash out of the basin?

There are 3 basin tap types that are most commonly found in UK homes – they include…

  • Mixer Taps – water mixed in spout to control the temperature
  • Pillar Taps – two separate hot & cold spouts
  • Wall Mounted – attached to a wall by the sink
basin sink with pillar taps

Types of Basin Taps

cloakroom basin with pillar taps
Different types of taps suit different styles of bathroom – this is as true with basin taps as it is for bathtub taps. However, when you’re considering your basin taps, remember to look for practicality as well as style. For example, long spouts may look spectacular and add a little flair to your bathroom sink, but will the water simply splash out of the basin?

There are 3 basin tap types that are most commonly found in UK homes – they include…

  • Mixer Taps – water mixed in spout to control the temperature
  • Pillar Taps – two separate hot & cold spouts
  • Wall Mounted – attached to a wall by the sink

Mixer Basin Taps

mixer basin tap example

Mixer taps are the most popular type of basin tap, combining hot and cold water in the same to make the water temperature easier to control.

Some basin mixer taps have a single lever that controls both the temperature and the flow. These are known as ‘mono taps’ or ‘monobloc taps’ and are practical in bathrooms where a hot water tap could be a danger.

Pillar Basin Taps

pillar basin tap example

Pillar taps comprise of two sperate spouts and are baffling to some international guests visiting the UK as the idea of having hot water in one tap and cold water in another tap seems a very bizarre design choice.

Pillar basin taps come in both short and long spout styles and are the ideal choice if you are looking to create a more traditional bathroom design.

Wall Mounted Basin Taps

wall mounted basin tap example

Like their bath tap counterparts, wall mounted basin taps are attached to the wall behind a sink and so add an element of sophistication to any bathroom.

Again, one problem with this modern tap type is that they can prove difficult to access if they need repairing, so consider this before installing them in your bathroom design.

Before Buying Bathroom Taps

Before you run off to purchase bathroom taps, be sure to think about the following questions. They will help you to decide the most suitable bathroom tap type for your design and will ensure you don’t waste money and time looking at unsuitable options.

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Tap Finish

What tap finish are you looking for? Gold, ceramic or polished chrome are all options, for example. Some of which are easier to clean than others or might not be suitable for your bathroom design!
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Water Pressure

What water pressure do you have in your home? As mentioned above, pillar taps are often recommended due to water pressure issues and other tap styles might have a “minimum recommended pressure gauge” to take into consideration.
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Tap Hole Type

As mentioned in this guide, basins or baths with pre-drilled holes determine the tap style you need. Ask yourself are you certain about your tap hole fitting and does your tap of choice fit with that?
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Waste Fitting Type

All basin and bath taps need a waste fitting for the water to disappear! What waste fitting type do you want? These are often dependent on the space below the bath or sink and come in several forms – click-clack, pop-up, flip or chained.

We’re Bathroom Tap Experts

Old Fashioned Bathrooms have a huge selection of old fashioned bath taps and basin taps to suit bathrooms of all shapes and sizes. Whether you’re searching for a luxurious floor mounted tap to complement a freestanding bath or you need a deceptively simple mixer tap for your basin, Old Fashioned Bathrooms have something for you and your bathroom.

All our taps are manufactured to an incredibly high standard, making each product last a lifetime. We’re proud to offer a 10-year warranty as standard with most of our bathroom taps. In addition, we have a price match promise across our Burlington tap range – simply find us a cheaper price online and we’ll beat it!

Why not drop into our showroom to see our products before you buy?

Showroom map Old Fashioned Bathrooms
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