Trade account
Tap buying guide
Buying guides

Tap buying guide

Posted by Adam Chard in Buying guides | 5 months ago 7 min read

With a huge selection of shapes, sizes and styles available, find out which tap is right for you with our expert buying guide.

Whether you’re buying taps for your bath, basin or kitchen sink, this guide is designed to help you find the perfect product. We’ll go through all the things you’ll need to consider and show you examples of some of our bestselling taps too.

To skip to a relevant topic, click on any of the links below.

Short video

This short video will give you a quick and easy overview of the taps available at Victoria Plum.

1. Style

Different styles of basin or bath are designed to accommodate different types of tap. A traditional basin may have holes for 2 separate taps, whereas a contemporary style will more likely have a single hole for a mixer tap.

Basins and baths without space for mounted taps, such as contemporary roll top baths or countertop sinks, require freestanding taps or high rise taps that rise out of the floor or worktop. There are also wall mounted taps for an even more modern and sleek look.

Take note of the tap holes on any basin or bath you choose, as this will determine what style of tap you need.

Tate wall mounted bath taps

A mixer tap offers many great benefits over separate taps, however your choice all boils down to a matter of personal taste.

You can discover more information about basin taps and bath taps in our comprehensive guides.

2. Material

When selecting your taps, you should consider the type of material they are made from. The majority of taps at Victoria Plum are made of brass with a polished chrome finish, making them highly durable as well as providing a quality appearance.

You can find out how a tap is manufactured in our behind-the-scenes blog post.

3. Water pressure

Water pressure varies between UK households, and determines the flow of water from the tap. Gravity-fed water systems are the most common, and are an example of low pressure systems. Other systems, that are less common, include combination boilers and unvented hot water systems.

Handy hint: If you're not sure which system you have, you can find out by reading our shower pump advice.

With Victoria Plum, you don’t need to worry about needing different types of fittings, as all our taps can be used with any type of water system, including low pressure (0.5–1 bar).

4. Ceramic disc technology

This technology replaces the traditional rubber washer and feed pipe of conventional tap designs with 2 ceramic discs with corresponding slots. Water will only flow through the tap when these slots align, giving you much greater control over the water flow, and improving its efficiency.

As well as their water conservation benefits, ceramic discs are also more resilient to wear and tear, and are designed to never need replacing. At Victoria Plum, all our basin mixer taps feature ceramic disc technology. For more in-depth information about basin mixer taps, check out our guide.

Bathroom tap ranges

When buying bathroom taps, it pays to consider purchasing both your basin and bath taps as a complete bathroom tap set, as this will provide you with a more coordinated look.

Traditional basin and bath taps

Combining crosshead handles with rounded spouts and conventional lines, our traditional basin and bath taps are available in numerous configurations. We have both separate bath and basin taps, as well as mixers with a more traditional look. We also have bath shower mixers for a really sophisticated and classic style.

The Dulwich range of bath and basin taps from Orchard Bathrooms epitomises traditional style, but with a wide choice of configurations for modern convenience and comfort.

Orchard Dulwich basin pillar taps

Contemporary basin and bath taps

Tailored for modern bathrooms, our range of contemporary basin and bath taps offers a wide range of designs from waterfall fillers, to open spout taps and square lines.

Waterfall taps offer a luxurious option for basins or baths, like the Wye range from Orchard Bathrooms, which also includes bath shower mixers.

Orchard Wye waterfall basin mixer tap

For more information about waterfall taps, see our separate guide.

Freestanding taps

For bathtubs where tap holes aren't suitable, we have freestanding taps and standpipes for both traditional and contemporary styles.

Our traditional standpipes can be used with any traditional bath shower mixers, bath fillers, or bath taps, and perfectly complement our range of classic roll top baths.

We also have contemporary freestanding mixer taps, such as the Eden freestanding bath filler.

Orchard Eden freestanding bath filler

Discover more about freestanding taps with our expert guide.

Cloakroom taps

For smaller basins, like those found in cloakrooms and ensuites, we also offer smaller versions of some of our bestselling mixer taps. Choose from a variety of compact cloakroom taps, with contemporary and traditional styles available.

Orchard Eden cloakroom basin mixer tap

Bathroom tap recommendations

  • Countertop basins with no tap hole require a high rise mixer tap or wall mounted tap, creating a sleek, minimalist look
  • Choose from our traditional or contemporary ranges to ensure your taps suit the rest of your suite
  • Check out our latest bathroom tap ideas and bath shower mixer ideas for inspiration
  • Whilst you can fit taps yourself, we would recommend employing a professional to install plumbing in your home
  • If possible, clean your tap cartridge periodically to maintain good performance and help avoid common tap issues

Kitchen tap ranges

Most modern kitchen taps are of a mixer design, with either 1 or 2 handles controlling the temperature and flow. You can still purchase 2 separate taps if you wish, however these aren’t so common.

Kitchen taps are designed to provide plenty of clearance, so you can wash large pots and pans in your kitchen sink and often come with a curved spout which swivels. You can choose between a U shaped or L shaped design, although other spout designs are available, including traditional styles.

If you’re willing to splash out a little more, you could opt for a pull down spout, which gives you a more powerful rinse option for stubborn grease and stains. Or, why not do away with your kettle completely and choose a boiling water tap? You can find out more about instant boiling water taps in our comprehensive guide.

There are plenty of contemporary styles and colour options you can choose, including a vast array of special finishes, like copper, black, nickel and gold, to name but a few. So, you really can complement the colour scheme of your kitchen to perfection.

Schon Barra pull out kitchen mixer tap

Kitchen tap recommendations

Commercial taps

Buying taps for use in a commercial setting, like an office, warehouse, café, pub or gym? We offer a wide variety of commercial taps, including non-concussive taps which turn off automatically, as well as no-touch infrared and TMV3 thermostatic taps, which are ideal for use in accessible toilets. All our commercial taps are approved for public use and designed with extreme durability in mind.

Check out our commercial bathroom ideas and discover inspiration for your business.

Shop taps

Whether you're buying for your bathroom, an ensuite, cloakroom or even your kitchen, there's a wide selection of taps to choose from at Victoria Plum, including big brand names like Ideal Standard, Grohe and Mira Showers.

Shop taps

Author, Adam Chard

Posted by Adam Chard in Buying guides | 5 months ago

A born & raised West Countryman, now living on the Yorkshire Coast, for over 10 years Adam has been bringing home interior ideas to life at Victoria Plum. Adam’s favourite interior styles have been shaped by both urban and natural influences.

Sales Line 0344 264 4141 Track order Design Service Trade account

Looks like you haven't added anything to compare yet

Just look out for the Add to compare around the site and revisit this link

Close and continue

Thank you for using our comparison feature.

You can add as many products as you like, there is no limit. When you’re ready simply visit this page to start comparing your products.

Close and continue

Loading menu. Please wait


Your Shopping list is loading, this shouldn't take long.

Your basket is loading, this shouldn't take long.