Updated: Jan 10
One of the most common questions I get asked when I first meet clients is about selecting tapware. With so many suppliers, styles and finishes available, it can be hard to know what is the best option for you and your project. That is why I have put together this blog post to help you make the right selections!
It's important that the style and shape of the tapware suits the overall look you are wanting for the space. For example, in a more traditional looking bathroom, laundry or kitchen, I would consider something more decorative than a typical pin lever mixer. It is also important that everything follows the one theme, so I recommend selecting all tapware from the one range. If you are not sure what style would suit, I would consider the style of the tapware in the other wet areas in your home, and keep them all within a similar theme.
With so many different finishes available, it can be overwhelming knowing which one to select. A lot of people are also worried about selecting a finish that will date, but I actually think that most finishes are here to stay so I try not to let this affect the finish we select! Some of the most common finishes are:
Chrome: this is of course the most popular finish which makes it an obvious timeless choice. It has the most options in terms of style and is generally a cheaper option. However, it can sometimes lack character where another finish might enhance the overall theme.
Brushed nickel: similar to a stainless steel look, brushed nickel is also a very timeless finish. It is easy to work with and looks great with any style. I like to think of brushed nickel as a more contemporary alternative to chrome.
Matt black: over the last few years, this has become an incredibly popular option, and works perfectly in modern or industrial style bathrooms.
Gunmetal: if you love the look of matt black tapware but you are looking for something with a little less contrast to suit a lighter scheme, then gunmetal is the perfect option for you.
Brushed brass: brushed brass works beautifully for more traditional spaces, but also works great to add some warmth to more contemporary styles.
Rose gold or champagne: similar to brushed brass, but a little more unique in colour. The rose gold finish can also help to create a more feminine appearance.
Brushed bronze or copper: again quite similar to brushed brass, but with a darker tone which creates more contrast. Also works well for both traditional and more contemporary homes.
White: this is a relatively newer finish which is becoming more and more popular. I love the use of white tapware to create a 'white on white' look or to create contrast against a darker colour scheme.
There are also many organic / living finishes available which will change and patina over time. If selecting a living finish, you will need to consider the maintenance required to keep this finish looking nice for as long as possible, and how this will look as it wears.
Understanding the type of tapware you need for each area is vital to selecting the correct pieces. Some of the things to be aware of include:
Mixers vs 3-piece sets: Tapware comes either in mixers (combined spout, with a hot and cold lever) or in 3-piece sets (separate spout and hot and cold taps). Mixers are the more popular choice as they are easier to use, but 3-piece sets can look and work better in more traditional styles.
Basin style: If selecting a vessel or above mount basin, you will need to select either a wall mounted tap or an extra tall bench mounted mixer in order to reach the basin. With any basin spout, it is important to consider the length so that it is not too long or too short for the basin size and location.
Shower heads: There are a few options for shower heads. This includes larger overhead roses that can be wall or ceiling mounted, smaller handheld pieces that can be mounted on a bracket or rail, or a combination of both. If having two types of shower heads, you will either need two mixers or a mixer with a diverter to swap between them. A dual or twin shower set includes both the overhead and handheld showers in the one unit and comes with a diverter so you only need the one mixer.
Bath spouts: for baths that young children will be using, I always recommend to go with a swivel spout where available so that it can be moved out of the way. For a master ensuite with a freestanding bath, a floor mounted bath spout really adds to the luxurious feel of the space.
Kitchen / Laundry taps: There are also a few options to upgrade your kitchen and laundry taps. This includes having a tap with a pull out and/or spray feature, having a touch on/off sensor or including a filtered water, chilled water or boiling water tap.
Once you have the tapware style, finish and type selected, I like to make sure that there are matching accessories. This includes things like towel rails and hooks, toilet roll holders, shower screens and even shower grates. Where possible, I recommend to purchase all your tapware and accessories from the one brand, so that the finishes are an exact match.
I hope this has been helpful! If you are looking to build or renovate and would like some help, you can get in contact with us using the link below:
Have a wonderful week,