DESIGN ON TAP
An eye-catching roll top bath requires stylish bath fillers to complete the look. Here we offer buying guidance on wall mounted or freestanding bath filler varieties
Freestanding fillers on tall legs are an ideal choice for use with traditional and contemporary freestanding baths. The tap can be positioned at the side or end of the bath and makes an attractive design feature in its own right.
Choose from either a mono bath filler – which is essentially just a tall, single spout mixer tap with a lever to control flow and temperature – or the more traditional filler with separate controls for hot and cold, two spouts or a single mixer spout. Both bath filler varieties are secured to the floor, ensuring there is no chance that the tap can be accidentally knocked out of position. The bath tap should not, however, be used as a support for getting in and out of the bath.
Most freestanding bath filler mixers include a hand shower; either the traditional telephone handset-style that sits on top of the taps, or a modern bath fillers, wet stick microphone shower head that clips on to the fitting.
Wall mounted fillers are a fashionable option for both baths and basins and come available with many different spout designs, including waterfalls. The one drawback of this bath filler, however, is that the piping and valve elements of the tap have to be hidden behind a false section of wall to allow access for servicing. There are two basic styles of this bath fillers – a three hole mixer with a central spout flanked by hot and cold controls, or a mono mixer single spout mounted on a backing plate with a single control lever for flow and temperature. The latter bath filler is easier to fit as only one hole has to be created in the wall to accommodate it.
BATH TAP FINISHES AND QUALITY
Chrome is the most popular finish for taps, and these days it is quite hard to find anything else, unless you opt for a refurbished antique. Gold bath taps did enjoyed a brief revival but did not sell well, so many manufacturers dropped the option from their ranges.
All new taps come with a ceramic disc in the interior instead of the traditional washer. Ceramic discs rarely wear out so it is unlikely that the tap will ever drip. The ceramic disc also allows the tap to be turned on and off with very little effort. If you are buying a lever operated tap, check that the lever moves smoothly and does not feel loose. Also look out for deep, shiny chrome plating with a smooth finish – a sign of quality manufacturing.
BATH FILLERS SUITABILITY
As a final warning, before you buy any bath filler, check the flow rate, which will be described in litres per minute. A filler with a low flow rate can take up to 30 minutes to fill a standard size bath. Check carefully that the tap is suitable for use with your water system. If it is described as high pressure only it will probably not work well on a standard gravity plumbing system (where there are tanks in the loft) – a plumber will advise.
BATH FILLERS CLOCKWISE FROM TOP
Individual hot and cold taps in an ‘H’ Stand, available in brass, nickel or chrome, £954, Drummonds.
Wall mounted bath filler, Silver range by David Chipperfield, £284, Ideal Standard.
Philippe Starck’s ultra modern Starck bath filler, £1,469, Axor.
Alvero wall-mounted, three hole filler in chrome, £369, Crosswater.
Period-style mixer with integral hand shower, £701, Thomas Crapper
We hope that our buying guidance on wall mounted or freestanding bath filler varieties will help you with your bath remodeling!