How to Change Bathroom Taps: Everything You Need to Know
Sometimes small jobs like changing your bathroom tap might seem intimidating but it’s actually quite a simple task, you just need a little know-how. This blog will make changing your bathroom taps easy, whether you have a mixer tap or pillar tap for bath taps or a basin tap. Whether you are updating your bathroom or having a complete renovation, fitting new Bathroom Taps should be a straightforward enough project to take on yourself, so long as you use common sense and follow the simple instructions below.
The difference between pillar taps and mixer taps
You will most likely be familiar with Mixer Taps as they are the most common type of basin tap found in modern bathrooms. They use a single taphole for both the hot and cold water to flow out. To ensure you have greater control over the temperature of the water, mixer taps can be controlled by either one leaver or two separate taps.
On the other hand, pillar taps have two separate taps, one for the hot water and the other for cold. Pillar taps are the most common type of tap in traditional UK bathrooms, where you have to decide whether to wash your hands with hot water or cold water but not both at the same time.
Your choice for a new tap will be entirely based on how each of these options looks in your new bathroom, the type of system you had previously (and so the one you’re used to having) and how easy they are to install.
The tools you’ll need
To replace your bathroom taps, you’ll need the new taps you’re replacing the old ones with, a wrench, a backnut (which is usually supplied with your taps) and a bit of elbow grease.
If you’re using copper piping to reconnect the water supply pipes, you will need a blowtorch and solder to fit the lengths together, but this isn’t always necessary.
Step one: Turn off your water supply
It might seem obvious, but the first step is to turn off your water supply so you don’t flood out your house while you work. Once the water has been turned off, turn the taps on until they run the system dry.
Step two: Remove your old taps
Next, take your wrench and undo the nut which connects the tap to the supply copper pipes. If your supply pipes are under your bath they could be a little tricky to access but it will be possible. From here you can simply undo the nut that attaches your taps to the bath or basin to remove them.
Step three: Check your fittings
Once your old taps have been removed, ensure to clean the entire area, remove any old adhesive and dirt and check the condition of your pipes, fixings and joins. This is to ensure there’s no damage to the fittings you’re trying to attach your new taps to.
At this point, it’s important to check that the fittings for your new taps work on your old pipework. If there is any discrepancy, you may need to get an adaptor. Plastic fittings may require a connector to the pipes, while a monobloc tap (with one spout) will need a reducing coupler.
Step four: Fit your new taps to the connectors
Now it’s time to fit your new taps to the connectors. Place your taps into the holes in the bath or sink with the washers between the tap and the surface of the bath or basin. This is where the backnut that should be supplied comes in. Use this to tighten the pipes to attach the tap.
Step five: Attach the connectors to your pipes
Once the taps are attached you need to connect the supply pipes. This is possible to do with copper piping or push-fit plastic fittings. As mentioned before, if you’re using copper piping to reconnect the water supply pipes, you will need a blowtorch and solder to fit the lengths together.
Step six: Tighten everything up
Finally, it’s time to tighten everything up, including the main nut underneath the basin, to prevent your new pipes from leaking.
Step seven: Turn your water supply back on
To finish off your handy work, turn your water back on and run your taps slowly. Check carefully all around the connections and the taps themselves to see if any water is escaping. Remember that even the smallest drip can lead to damage over time so if a leak is detected, simply tighten the nuts and connections and try again.