How to install a heated towel rail
Whether you want to enhance a plain palette, up the luxe factor or give a tired bathroom a fresh look, switching tapware can make a big difference. From moody black to warm metallic and brushed rose to classic chrome, there are lots of styles to covet.
A renovation can give you a blank canvas to explore new looks and tapware positions, but if you're planning a simple retrofit, it's best to stick to a similar tapware style and positioning. If your heart is set on switching from a countertop mixer to wall-mounted fixtures, you will need to factor in the cost of a new vanity top, retiling and plumbing.
These days, there's a plethora of tap and sink styles to suit your bathroom and one of the most popular is mixing curved and square shapes. “A soft square design has greater versatility, as it can complement both round and square aesthetics in the bathroom,” says Methven brand manager Nick Swan. With a move towards minimalist style, petite taps are also on trend. Chrome is a timeless choice, followed by matt black, with graphite and gunmetal growing in demand as a mid-tone between the two. “Brushed finishes are also sought after, as it adds another layer of subtle texture,” says Nick.
A high-rise or vessel basin mixer paired with a countertop basin can deliver amazing wow factor. “It also gives you the opportunity to get creative with tapware placement,” says Nick. “Traditionally the tap would be placed at the back of the basin, however, with a high-rise/vessel mixer you can place it to the side.” Wall-mounted basin tapware can also make a statement and has the added benefit of freeing up countertop space, ideal if your bathroom is on the small side.
Not all tapware and basins will work together. One of the main things to consider is tapware spout length in relation to the basin to keep splashing to a minimum. “Ideally, water should be directed towards the drain,” says Nick. As it can be tricky getting the combination just right, he recommends looking for mixers and spouts with adjustable stream aerators. “These allow an extra bit of direction control to reduce the chance of splashing.”
The same applies when choosing tapware for the bath, explains Caroma industrial designer Luke Di Michiel, who suggests selecting an outlet long enough to fill the bath without affecting comfort or access. Integrated (inset or back-to-wall) baths usually require wall-mounted fittings.
Once you've chosen your tapware, stick to one look and keep it consistent across the shower, bath and basin, says Luke. Matching tapware helps to create a cohesive feel. Bold tapware colours and combinations, such as black, gunmetal, rose gold and brass,
can create a more luxurious environment. Wall-mounted tapware is a great way to keep your vanity bench clear, pair a freestanding bath with floor-mounted tapware to create a luxe spa-retreat look. Minimalist designs in metallic and chrome finishes pair with everything and don't date.
Tip: The Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme uses a rating system to help you make informed choices about water-using products. The more stars, (a maximum of six), the more water efficient. A one-star tap uses about 12-16 litres per minute, while a six-star tap uses fewer than 4.5.
Check out your local Bunnings to view the full tapware range.
Photo credit: GAP Interiors,Bureaux, Getty Images, Costas Piscadas