An important, though at first sight unremarkable, element of bathroom fittings are taps – bathtub taps, shower taps, basin taps and bidet taps.
Basin and bidet taps must be able to produce large water jets of under the desired warm temperature, bathtub (and shower) taps are used not only to fill up the bathtub, but they also facilitate the use of shower spray. Bathtub taps consist of spout and valve to connect the shower hose.
The most popular are classic galvanised taps; apart from those, there are also coloured taps – white, black and red. The advantage of coloured taps is that they are easy to clean, all residues and dirt are less visible on their surface.
There are many kinds of taps on the market. Still the most popular are cheap, double-knob taps. Such taps are equipped with two turncocks regulating the hot and cold water jet.
However, single-handle taps are gaining popularity, due to their better comfort, durability and reliability. These taps allow adjusting the temperature and strength of the jet using only one hand, by setting the handle in a desired position. This kind of tap uses both the cold and hot water supply simultaneously, the temperature is regulated by changing the horizontal position of the handle, whilst the water jet intensity – by changing its vertical position. Single-handle taps have no moving parts or internal rubber seals, which are often the sources of leaks.
Another type, namely thermostatic tap, may also prove a cost-efficient purchase. These taps have a built-in thermostat, which stabilises water temperature by the proper mixing of hot and cold water. These taps allow for accurate setting of hot water temperature, which prevents its excessive consumption. Purchasing this kind of tap may prove very profitable if we have a flow meter for hot water; thanks to the precise regulation of water temperature, we can reduce its consumption. Thermostatic taps work well with gas-fuelled water heaters equipped with automatic water temperature regulation, although there might be some problems with manually regulated heaters.
When buying a tap always take into account the price, availability of spare parts and warranty service (especially in the case of thermostatic taps).