Taps and Mixers
Well, OK, this isn’t exactly a major property development project, but the idea of replacing a bathroom sink sends some DIY-ers into panic. Anything that involves water seems to mean only one thing, ‘Get a plumber.’ Except it doesn’t, this is a project any practically minded person can pull off. First of all, check that the wall is solid, because a basin screwed into a dry wall is just asking for trouble. You may have to remove an area of plaster and secure a horizontal wooden stud in place to take the weight of the sink. This will mean a little additional painting, decorating and plastering, of course, but it’s not heavy-duty building work.Put the taps on before you place the sink on the wall. If the new taps don’t meet the copper pipes, use flexible tap connector pipes and remember to use the washers and gaskets supplied with the new taps to ensure they’re water tight.Check that the sink is level, using a spirit level, but before you screw it to the wall, connect the sink trap to the waste pipe with the fixings supplied. Use adjustable spanners, you’ll need two, to tighten the nuts on the tap connectors; you might also want to add a couple of isolating valves to the hot and cold supplies, they’ll enable you to turn the supply off to the bathroom sink without shutting off the mains. Apply a bead of sealant around the lip of basin where it meets the wall. No rocket scientists, no architects and no plumbers will be needed for this job.
Showers come in all shapes and sizes. Although most households tend to opt for an electric shower, there is no reason not to choose one of the alternatives on offer.A mixer shower utilizes a simple shower valve to mix hot and cold water to the exact temperature you find most comfortable.They operate by drawing on both hot and cold water from your domestic supply and are therefore ideal for homes that have a ready supply of stored hot water. Most products can also be employed with a combination boiler or multipoint water heater, although it is always a good idea to first check with the manufacturer.Mixed showers are available in either a manual or thermostat model, with the thermostat maintaining an exact and even temperature – even if the water used is drawn from another point in your home.Similarly, most manufacturers offer models with either one or two control levers. This allows you the freedom to control the temperature and water flow either simultaneously or independently.Although mixed showers generally offer a stronger water flow than electric showers, the power shower is the strong man of appliances.Power showers combine a mixing valve with a pump, all stored in one unit placed over the shower enclosure or bathtub.The valve mixes both hot and cold water, whilst the pump boosts the flow of water to give a powerful, invigorating shower. Power showers are ideal if you have a ready supply of stored hot water, but are unsuitable if your house runs a combination boiler.
Basin taps come in a wide variety of styles that are certain to suit any taste. If you are designing and fitting your own bathroom suite, there will be an abundance of styles for you to choose from at your suppliers. Modern fittings are proving as popular as ever, and it is in this category that you will find the most options.Single-hole basin taps are always a popular choice, especially if you are looking to save a bit of space around the area of your bathroom sink. However, easily amongst the most highly sought after are the wall-mounted styles, which not only have a more discreet presence, but are ideal for saving space. Also, when it comes to cleaning, they will save you scrubbing around the base of the tap.Breaking away from the sleek modern designs, you will find many famous styles that are a common sight in more traditional bathroom suites. Romsey and Kingsley basin taps are just two popular fittings that will add a touch of class to your bathroom. Sinks with marble bases will be complemented particularly well by these two styles.Of course, a golden rule is that your basin taps match your bath taps, so it’s important not to rush out and buy a set for your basin, only to find yourself without a similar style for your bath. It can be quite confusing with the variety of styles on offer from different manufacturers, but what you must never do is mix two different brands of tap in your bathroom suite as this will never give it the look you hope for.
When faced with the range of bath taps on offer it can be hard to choose the right one that will suit your bathroom. More modern-style bath taps are easily the most popular on the market, but there will only be a certain few that will be a suitable choice for your suite. Firstly, you must decide whether you want a single-bloc mixer (one tap providing hot and cold water) or the standard two-tap set. Also becoming a common sight in the latest modern bathroom suites are wall-mounted bath taps that will provide a more sleek finish and will save space around your bath. The majority of modern bath taps come in a chrome finish, with over-arching taps and helix handles a popular combination. If you do not have a power-shower installed in your bathroom, there will be plenty of tap-shower mixers on offer, but, of course, these will come at an extra price. For traditional bathroom suites, bath tap styles tend to be categorized by the time periods from which they are designed, such as Edwardian and Victorian. It is well worth your while researching the style of your current bathroom furniture and accessories to see what bath taps will complement the current setting. Also an important factor to take into consideration is the style of your basin taps. It is best to go for a complete match with the bath taps but this will not always b e possible if you wish to use antique items.
If you are designing a new bathroom there is no doubt that a traditional style will give your bathroom a touch of class and charm that will never go out of fashion – unlike perhaps the abundance of modern suites that are available. Of course, each component will highlight the style that you are trying to achieve, but the bath taps, basin taps and accessories are what will define the mood of your bathroom. The first thing to watch out for when choosing traditional bath taps is that they match the style of the rest of your bathroom furniture and fittings. Three of the most popular traditional styles on the market are Victorian, Edwardian and Georgian – all of which may look the same to the untrained eye, but when combined will not give your bathroom a finished look. Victorian bathroom taps will give your suite a much older feel, while the Edwardian style is proving to be a popular choice in showrooms and new houses and flats. As always, there will be the option to buy original Victorian and Edwardian taps, but as they can be looked at as being antiques you can expect to pay a high price. Most replica taps can easily emulate their older counterparts, and will also have the option of coming with a showerhead. If you were unable to fit a shower into your bathroom, this would be seriously recommended. For anyone wanting to keep strictly in character with the style they are looking for a showerhead will be best avoided.