How to Change Bathroom Taps
CHANGING BATHROOM TAPS
Changing bathroom taps puts an end to persistent faults once and for all, as well as giving the room a new lease of life. It also presents the ideal opportunity to uprate your taps to modern ceramic disc models, or to fit a bath shower mixer — the simplest form of shower.
There are of course many other tap options, including monobloc and three hole mixers, and remote control fittings (as found on corner baths). These are not covered here, since they can’t normally be fitted as straight replacements to a conventional suite. However, if you’re changing the suite as well, the principles are the same.
What the job involves
Theoretically, changing bathroom taps is much the same as changing kitchen taps, and uses many of the same bits and pieces (see below). The main difference is that bathroom suites tend to be a lot less robust than sinks, which means taking extra care — particularly when removing the old fittings. Where mixer taps are concerned, the layout of your plumbing may also affect the job’s feasibility (see Problem Solver – Bath Mixer Taps).
Bathroom taps come in a huge range of styles. Many of the differences are purely cosmetic, but you have a fundamental choice between older-style washered mechanisms and modem ceramic disc cartridges. Ceramic disc taps are easier to operate and virtually maintenance-free, but tend to be more costly.
The standard sizes (measured by the inlet) are 1-1/2" for basins, 3/4" for baths If you have a tank-fed system, avoid Continental taps with smaller inlets; these are designed for mains pressure systems and may not allow sufficient flow.
Two-hole mixers for baths should have the standard spacing of 180mm (7") between tails. Some models have adjustable tails. Two-hole shower mixers are now available with thermostatic control, though on a low pressure system the flow rate may be poor.
There are restrictions on how and where mixers can be fitted, so check Problem Solver – Bath Mixer Taps first.
For more information, read: Removing Old Bathroom Taps