When it comes to choosing the best bathroom taps, whether you have a contemporary or traditional bathroom, there are far more tap choices than just classic chrome taps, and you can now find a range of bold materials and colours that will make your bathroom really stand out.
What to consider when buying bathroom taps
When considering which bathroom taps are best for you, it’s not all about style, but practicality, too. If you’re completely renovating your bathroom or creating an ensuite bathroom then you’ll be able to start from scratch and choose whatever faucet type you’d prefer, but if you’re just replacing your taps to spruce the place up, the easiest way to do this is to pick the same installation type as the existing faucets.
A centre-set tap is the most traditional. This has a centre unit with two taps to control hot and cold water. A single-hole faucet is a single unit and handle that controls both the hot and cold water from the tap. Finally, a wall-mounted faucet is, as the name suggests, installed into the wall. These are commonly found in baths or wider sink basins rather than a standard sink, because they tend to have higher arching spouts.
Whatever style you’re considering, take a look at our round up below to see what might be the best suited to your bathroom. We’ve picked out a range of styles, installation types and finishes to give you plenty of bathroom ideas to explore.
- Designing a bathroom from scratch? Be sure to check out our information page.
- New to taps? Jump down for everything you need to know on how to choose the best bathroom taps.
This wall-mounted bathroom tap features one-handle control of both hot and cold water and a single horizontal tap for water that flows directly downwards. This type of faucet would be best suited to a bathtub or a larger basin as the exit height is non-adjustable. This is a minimalist design with a polished chrome finish and round edges which are favoured by those with contemporary bathrooms, and the flexible tail pipes are designed for quick and easy installation. If you’re looking to make some subtle changes to your bathroom, this wall-mounted faucet could be the feature you’re looking for.
If you’re more of a fan of traditional bathrooms than of minimalist modern fixtures and fittings, then these Georgian-style bathroom taps could be the finishing touch your bathroom needs. This is a centre-set faucet with two small and elegant taps which allow you to control the hot and cold flows separately. The chrome is polished and finished with white handles and indicators of which is hot and which is cold. The tap has a slight arch with an anti-splash spout and the curvaceous features only add to the aesthetic appeal of this bathroom tap. One thing to note is that customers found the instructions a little lacking for these taps, so you may require a professional to install them, or a lot of patience at least!
Bathroom fixtures and fittings don’t always have to be chrome, and this brushed nickel tap is the perfect example. It is a single-hole faucet with a high-arching spout; a design which would work well with bathtubs or custom sink basins. Customers say this bathroom tap was a breeze to install and the handle transitions smoothly from hot to cold when needed. Users have commented that due to the colour and finish of the taps they retain fingerprints quite easily, which may be a deal breaker for those who hate cleaning the bathroom. Some have suggested a wax to finish these taps would help retain their looks for longer.
If you have low water pressure in your bathroom then this tap is for you. The centre-set faucet is designed to accommodate low-pressure systems and it is also loved for its elegant Victorian design. The high arching tap, china handles and smooth, polished edges are a popular choice for both contemporary and traditional bathrooms, so if you’re always changing up your style, you may find this tap is a timeless feature that will blend with your changing interiors.
If you have a smaller cloakroom-style toilet then this small chrome tap may be a practical choice of installation. It is a single-hole unit with varying water pressure and a short spout which stops splashes in smaller basins. It may not have any specific aesthetic features, but the polished finish completes the smart and modern look and it is an affordable choice if you just need something reliable for your guest bathroom, for example.
The Delta Lahara Faucet comes in three different finishes which cater to different interior styles, making this tap a popular choice for both modern and traditional homes. The high arching spout means a seamless water flow that allows baths to be filled with ease, and two handles to control the temperature of the water. Customers have said they take a little bit of assembly but it’s worth it for the finished look, they do tend to get a little noisy when running on cold after a while, which isn’t such a problem if you’re installing them in your sink as opposed to the bathtub.
Perhaps you’re sick of that leaky tap in your downstairs bathroom or you want to find a quick way to update an old-fashioned bathroom. If so, then these traditional bath taps are basic but reliable. The handles are clearly marked with hot and cold and the chrome is polished for a smart finish. The tap has a low arch with a short spout which means they can be fitted to any size and style of basin without risk of splashing. You can expect varied water pressure and no leakages with this bathroom tap.
How to choose the best bathroom taps 2020
Your hot water system
Before you shop for bath and basin taps, be sure about what sort of hot water system you have in your home. Gravity-fed systems are lower pressure, and it’s essential to pick taps that are compatible
Type of basin tap
If the basin you’re updating or the new one you’re installing has one tap hole, choose from monobloc and single-lever taps.
Monobloc taps have one spout, but there are two handles that allow adjustment of the flow of hot and cold water. Single lever taps are adjusted with a lever, and by turning it one way or another the hot and cold water can be controlled.
If you've invested in a basin with two tap holes then look for pillar taps. These supply hot and cold water independently. The handles of pillar taps may be lever operated, or have knobs or cross-shaped handles.
Check out the spout of any basin tap you’re considering. It needs to project far enough over the basin so washing your hands under the tap is comfortable.
Think, too, about whether you want a closed spout or a waterfall tap. The latter are open at the top, revealing the water flowing along the channel of the spout and can make a room more spa style.
Types of bath tap
As with bathroom basins, the number of tap holes in the bath you’re revamping or the new design you’ve chosen will determine which bath tap designs are open to you.
Monobloc taps with one spout but two handles, and single lever taps with one spout and a single lever work with baths with one tap hole.
Pillar taps, which supply hot and cold water separately, and mixer taps are on offer for baths with two tap holes. Mixer taps permit independent adjustment of hot and cold water, but the two flows are mixed in one spout over the bath.
A mixer bath tap may also have an attached shower hose, and the water can be diverted to this as required.
Basin and bath-mounted taps, wall-mounted taps, and freestanding taps
Not all taps are positioned on the basin or bath, otherwise known as deck-mounted.
Wall-mounted taps are designed to go above a bath or basin, including countertop basins. The advantage? It allows basin and bath designs with narrow rims, plus positioning the taps above the basin or bath they’re filling looks neat. Wall-mounted taps should make bathroom cleaning quicker as well because the base of the tap isn’t prone to limescale build-up.
Consider spout length and height in any set up. A countertop basin may be set at a little distance from the wall and a tap that doesn’t project sufficiently far is going to splash the counter.
Freestanding – or floorstanding – bath taps are positioned alongside a freestanding bath. As they’re independent of the bath they’re a bigger presence in the room, so can be a way of making your new bathroom look striking.
As a general rule, both bath and basin taps can be separated into contemporary and traditional designs.
Traditional bath and basin taps may have cross or lever handles and feature intricate detail. They can complement period homes, modern country schemes and classic bathroom fittings.
Contemporary bath and basin taps are sleeker. They may be curvaceous or more angular, and have slim or more substantial lines, and there’s a huge variety of choice on offer.
Chrome is an extremely popular option for basin and bath taps, and a sound choice if you want to create a sparkle in the bathroom. These are the other options usually available:
Stainless-steel bath and basin taps aren’t as shiny as chrome, but they’ll still look smart and pristine. They’re easy to clean and hard wearing, so will look good for many years to come.
Nickel bath and basin taps also look clean but with a less high-shine finish than chrome.
Brushed finishes are a further option if you don’t want full-on shine. They’ll stay looking cleaner for longer than chrome.
Gold bath and basin taps may have fallen out of favour for a while, but they’re now once again considered a finish worth considering. The reason? Gold will strike a warmer note than silver-toned metals as part of a bathroom scheme. There isn’t just a single take on gold on offer, though. As well as ‘plain’ gold, which looks as luxe as you’d suppose, consider rose gold, which is a pretty pink-tinged version, or antique-style golds, which have a softer effect.
Brass and copper taps, like gold, can add warmer metal tones to a bathroom, and look sophisticated.
Black bath and basin taps are contemporary and sleek. They’ll work alongside a steel-framed style shower enclosure, or can help tie the look of a home together where black accents are used throughout the bathroom.
Other coloured taps are also available. White is subtle, but you could bring a pop of colour to a family bathroom with a tap finished in green, red, yellow or blue among others.