Taps Buying Guide


Taps Buying Guide

December 12, 2018

Whether you’re after traditional pillar taps or a super-stylish waterfall tap, there are several things you need to consider before you head out and make your purchase.

In this guide we detail all the things you need to think about before you buy to help you choose the right taps for your home.

What water pressure system do you have?

High pressures systems will suit any tap types, but if you have a low pressure water system it’s worth checking out what exactly the pressure is so you don’t end up with an unsatisfactory flow.

As a general guide, low pressure systems are gravity fed and less than 1 bar (10 meter head), while high pressure systems are mains fed or pumped gravity fed.

Pillar taps work well in households with low pressure systems, whereas more modern mixer taps often require higher pressure.

If you’re not sure what water pressure system you have, find out in our showers buying guide.


Pillar and mixer taps

Pillar and mixer taps

The number of tap holes you have will of course determine which type of taps you buy — pillar or mixer. Traditional sinks tend to have two taps holes built into the ceramic, whereas more modern basins commonly have a single hole for a mixer tap.

Tap types for 1 tap hole

Single lever tap – This uses a single lever to control the water flow of both hot and cold from a single spout.

Monobloc tap – This has one spout but two handles for controlling the hot and cold water independently.

Waterfall tap – With this type of tap, water flows along a rivulet and cascades into the basin like a waterfall. Stylish and modern, they’re ideal if you want something with a little more visual impact.

Tap types for 2 tap holes

Pillar taps – These control the flow of hot and cold water independently and come in a variety of styles, with different levers, knobs and handles.

Tap types for 3 or 4 tap holes

Mixer taps – With three tap holes, you’ll have a mixer tap in the middle with a hot and cold water tap on either side. If you have a fourth hole, this is for a shower attachment.


It’s important to think about the size of the spout when buying taps. Will the tap/s be easy to put your hands under? Will they suit other purposes, like washing dishes and filling mop buckets?

Shorter/lower spouts are ideal for small basins or areas where you’re short on space – a closet bathroom for example. If this is the case, look for spouts that reach out no further than the plug hole.

Higher spouts are a better option if you’ll be using your sink for more tasks than just washing your hands.


The durability of your taps partly depends on what type of valves they have. Valves ensure that the water flows in the intended direction only and prevent used or dirty water from re-entering the supply system. They’re most commonly made from brass or ceramic.

Brass compression valves feature a watertight rubber seal to help prevent drips. The wear and tear of this seal can cause the taps to drip but it can be quickly and easily replaced. This type of valve is usually found in taps that require more than half a turn for the water to flow fully, such as pillar taps.

Ceramic disc valves are generally more durable and are most commonly found in singe-lever taps, which can be turned on with a smaller amount of rotation.


Both pillar and mixer taps come in a variety of styles, from classic and traditional to minimalist and modern.

Browse our range of pillar and mixer taps to find the right ones for your style and space.


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