Last updated: 05/06/2021
What to know before buying
Low-pressure water systems
Types and recommendations:
Basin waterfall taps
Bath waterfall taps
Basin mixer taps
Wall-mounted basin mixer taps
Bath mixer/filler taps
Swan neck mixer taps
When creating a new bathroom or kitchen, not only should you take into account the interior style and location. But also, the mechanics and practicalities of its design. A common mistake when buying bathroom taps is that water pressure is not considered. In this blog, we will be explaining water pressure and low-pressure water systems and recommending different types of low pressure taps.
What to know before buying
I think it is important to note here, that if your home has a 0.2 Bar rating, you shouldn’t get a tap with a higher pressure rating. Continue reading for more information.
What is water pressure?
Water pressure is the force that pushes water through your pipes at home, work, and public spaces. It determines the flow of water from the tap. It is measured using 3 varying units: Bars, PSI, and head (meters). One bar (14.5 PSI) is the force required to raise water to a height of 10m.
Water pressure rating
Within the UK, all taps, mixers, and showers are rated with a minimum required pressure rating. It is usually anything between 0.3 Bar and 1 Bar. Anything below is considered low pressure.
Why should you find out your water pressure?
If your water pressure is too low then everyday tasks like running a bath or washing up in your kitchen could become a frustrating chore. This is because there is a low flow of water, and it could drastically increase the time.
If your water pressure is too high, it could lead to leaks, wasted water, flooding. Unnecessary problems could be costly to fix, due to the water pressure damaging the pipes.
Ofwat (the water industry regulator in England and Wales) set a minimum pressure of water serving premises at 7m static head. This may not be sufficient to operate some combi boilers within the UK. Meaning houses with combination boilers may experience an uneven performance across household appliances.
Other factors that may affect your water pressure may include your area’s water demand (time of day) and your building’s elevation. If you live on top of a hill and have a gravity-fed system (a cold water tank in the loft and a hot water tank elsewhere). You will have a lower water pressure than those who live at the bottom of the hill.
How to check your water pressure
First and foremost, you should contact your water supplier/plumber if you are having problems with your water pressure. Most issues can be resolved by checking the internal plumbing within your household. If it is a persistent problem, then your water supplier may have set the pressure too high or low in your area.
If you prefer to check the water pressure yourself, purchasing a pressure gauge tool to fix an external tap (like the hose tap) could be helpful. One bar is equal to one meter.
How can you test your water pressure?
This can be a fun experiment to do with your children or simply useful knowledge. Gather a 1-2L jug and a stopwatch (or phone). Put the jug under your sink tap, turn it on, and time 6 seconds on your stopwatch. Then turn the tap off. Now, multiply the amount of water in the jug by ten. This equals the property flow rate in liters by the minute.
If your flow is less than 10 liters per minute then your pressure is too low. If it is between 10 and 15 liters per minute then this is acceptable. If it is above 15 liters per minute, this is considered a good flow. The same test can be used to test your shower water pressure.
So why use low-pressure taps?
To spare you the detailed explanation of how taps work: low-pressure taps are generally used on low-pressure water systems where an instantaneous water heating system is being used. These heating systems only allow a small amount of pressure into the boiler. If a high-pressure tap were to be used the water supply to the storage tank would be interrupted and the tank would be left without pressure. Low-pressure taps on the UK Bathrooms site all have a Bar rating between 0.1 and 0.5.
Within the UK, there is currently a massive need for sustainability. Water is, and increasingly becoming a precious resource. Low-pressure taps are a great solution to improving sustainability within your own home. They allow you to use water in much more energy-efficient ways.
Low-pressure water systems
The largest representation of houses within the UK is houses built in the 1900s. Most of these houses are fitted with a gravity-fed pressure system. There is normally a cold water tank in the loft or attic and the hot water cylinder is situated elsewhere in the home. The force that moves your water is gravity, meaning you will experience higher pressure at the bottom of your house rather than at the top.
To understand how gravity-fed systems work, we should look at Newton’s law of universal gravitation. For gravity pulls objects/particles down towards the earth.
Gravity-fed systems are normally low-pressure water systems. Gravity systems provide homes with water pressure (at its highest) of no more than 0.5 Bar.
These systems are very often wall-mounted and convey a distinctive style. Combination systems feed cold water directly from the mains or central heating. They are quickly heated and pumped around the house. This means that when you want hot water, you don’t have to wait. When you’re not using the water, it simply cools down and waits to be used again. This is an efficient energy storage system. Combination systems provide homes with water pressure (at its highest) of around 1 Bar to 1.5 Bar.
Types and Recommendations
These taps are a charming and chic solution to functionality in the bathroom.They can be used on basins or as bath fillers. Many waterfall taps have a minimum water pressure rating of 0.2 Bar, offering the ability to work on even the very worst Gravity-fed systems. Please check the specification of each product before buying.
A great example of this would be the AXOR Massaud Tall Basin Mixer Tap, which is an elegant tap that sits neatly alongside the basin. It allows for a spectacular waterfall-style flow of water from its flat, wide spout.
The Vado Synergie extended basin mixer tap is a perfect companion for surface-mounted basins. It is a tall and compelling progressive mixer tap that allows for smooth control over the cascading waterfall flow.
For a wall-mounted mixer look to the Grohe Lineare 2 hole Basin Mixer Tap. It is of a sturdy, contemporary style that is a firm favorite with architects, developers, and designers. The main benefit of using a wall-mounted mixer is that it saves space.
The Roca Thesis Basin Mixer Tap is perfect for anyone that has difficulty gripping items due to its stocky design. The water supply and temperature can be easily adjusted. Using a precision-engineered handle makes it far more accessible than other taps on the market.
For a bathroom filler, the hansgrohe Metropol Waterfall Bath Filler is a good choice. It is finished in hansgrohe’s brilliant brushed bronze color. You can match coordinated accessories across your bathroom.
The Grohe Allure Cascade Wall Spout for Bath and Shower has a strong focus on individualization. It can be positioned anywhere within the bathroom as it is not tethered by backing valves or installation parts. With practicality in mind, you can pair it with any trim set and Rapido valve to get the look you want.
If you’re looking for pure luxury, try the Villeroy and Boch just Cascade Waterfall bath Spout. This stunning bathroom feature is a magnificent piece of brassware. It is a striking show-stopping centerpiece that would fit any extravagant bathroom interior.
Here we will be covering both basin and bath mixer taps which are the prominent tap type on the market. This is for good reason. They very often have a simple yet eye-catching style and come in various different shapes and sizes. They can have a Bar level as low as 0.2 and have a wide range of applicability within the bathroom or kitchen.
Basin mixer taps
The VitrA Origin Copper Tall Basin Mixer Tap is designed to be used with a washbowl or countertop basin. The tap has a sleek and smooth body, and the tall basin tap has additional height to allow them to fit over the edge of a washbowl.
For a cloakroom size, look at the Grohe Eurodisc Cosmopolitan Basin Mixer Tap. It is of a typical European design but creates a real focal point in your bathroom. It is carved from solid brass and the long-term running costs are minimal. This is because it is coated in Grohe’s corrosion-resistant StarLight finish.
Looking for something a bit more traditional? Well, the Burlington Kensington 3 Hole mixer tap has you covered. This tap adds a bit of finesse and function to your washbasin. They bear the hallmarks of a bygone era, yet the practicality of modern design. They have both longevity and a strong aesthetic appeal, making them a fantastic focal point of any bathroom.
Wall-mounted basin mixer taps
Like with the previous wall-mounted taps, these will save some much-needed basin space. The Swadling Absolute Wall Mounted Basin Mixer Tap, is of a sleek, crisp design that feels sturdy and reliable in the hand. Yet, they make no compromise on the relevance and practicality of function or placement. There is flexibility on positioning due to there not being a rear mounting plate.
AXOR Citterio 3 hole wall-mounted Basin mixer tap is a flawless example of German excellence. This mixer tap is set for concealed installation and to keep your mixer feeling smart, it features QuickClean technology. This allows for easy limescale removal.
For a bold and simple piece, the Vado Photon 2 Hole Basin Mixer Tap may just be for you. It has a single spout which is operated by a lever mixer to balance hot and cold feeds with ease. It has a lovely chrome finish and would match with many other products and accessories on our site.
Bath mixer taps
For a bath mixer, try the Villeroy and Boch Cult Bath Mixer Tap with Concealed Shower. This bath mixer tap and concealed shower set is a 3 part brassware set. The design cult is chic and understated.
Ideal standard Tempo Bath Mixer Tap and shower handset is a beautiful combination of smooth lines and gentle curves. This tap has WRAS approval and would be a perfect fit for a busy family household or student living.
The Grohe Eurosmart Cosmopolitan is an ultra-chic way to sublime relaxation. The solid metal fitting is finished in StarLight Chrome. It is high quality, durable, scratch-resistant, and allows for ease with cleaning.
Swan Neck Basin Mixer Taps
These taps have a classy yet vintage or modern design that would look amazing in any modern or traditional bathroom. They have a grand high, arching shape that is used above shallow (and deep) sinks. This is because they create a lot of space between the basin and the tap. However, they do have a Bar of 0.5, so may not suit upstairs in Gravity fed systems.
For a modern swan neck basin tap, have a look at the Roca Flat Tall Basin Mixer Tap, which has been created to give maximum visual impact on the bathroom area. It is a wide, slimline solution to contemporary interiors. There is also a choice of a 2 hole basin mixer, please note however that it is not as tall.
The Abacus XS Monobloc Basin Mixer Tap is a stunningly designed swan neck mixer with contemporary curves and sleek style. It is an essential addition to any stylish household bathroom, and with a fifteen-year guarantee, you know you’re buying a tap to last.
The elegance of the Dornbracht Tara Contemporary Pillar Tap is stunning. This design is simple yet outstanding. This pillar tap comes in a sparkling chrome finish which will fit a whole range of contemporary bathroom spaces.
For a more vintage look, try the Burlington Kensington Bridge Basin Mixer Tap. This tap is a highly elegant and architectural piece of traditional brassware. It is an iconic, timeless piece of luxury that will make an impression on any interior space.
The AXOR Montreux 3 Hole Basin Tap 180 has a distinctive and sophisticated style that any Art Deco bathroom would thank you for. It is fitted with an aerator in the nozzle, which delivers a warm soft waterfall. It is also fitted with EcoSmart which can save up to 60% of water usage for sustainability.
Finally, the Crosswater Belgravia Monobloc Crosshead Basin Tap comes in three finishes. Unlacquered Brass, Chrome, and Nickel. This beautiful range is a wonderful combination of sleek, traditional design that features a modern twist. The Belgravia range has accessories all across the bathroom to match these taps. So, you can create a beautifully synchronized bathroom.