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changing taps to mixer one - possible without changing the sink?

(31 Posts)
likeatonneofbricks Thu 23-Feb-12 21:18:13

I like the recently fitted bathroom in the new place I'm buying, all modern, power shower, but amazed that young vendors went for seperate taps on the sink! I find it extremely inconvenient (or unhygienic if having to mix by filling the sink). Wouldn't want to change the whole sink (extra cost but also disrupting new-ish floor tiles). Is it easy to take them off and put a mixer in, without disrupting the floor, or not? how much would it cost to refit?
grateful for advice!

PigletJohn Thu 23-Feb-12 23:29:11

your sink has two tap holes, about 8" (200mm) apart?

have you got a hot water cylinder. and a water tank in the roof?

PigletJohn Thu 23-Feb-12 23:31:17

ah... 180mm apart

Ponders Thu 23-Feb-12 23:44:47

they do exist but this is one of the cheaper ones I saw

style probably wouldn't suit you though, you'll need to look around

there are also single taps with a pointy thing for the other hole (is that the pop-up waste lever???)

Ponders Thu 23-Feb-12 23:46:45

oh, no, the pointy thing is the flow/temp control????

bit fiddly!

a modern one like the first one I linked to would be better?

likeatonneofbricks Fri 24-Feb-12 00:35:29

PJ, I don't know the measurement as I haven't completed yet! There is a combi boiler in the flat. Why did you ask about the cylinder?
Ponders - I didn't know about bridge taps - yes, it's a possibility though vosually it appears that the taps on the sink aer further apart than would be the width of the bridge. Not sure about style.
I thought it was possible to install new one in the middle and fill the two holes somehow maybe with ceramics? or bridge could work, not the greatest look though.

likeatonneofbricks Fri 24-Feb-12 00:39:35

ah, I now saw the one deck mounted, PJ - not bad actually! still a question though whether the measure is the same.

PigletJohn Fri 24-Feb-12 05:19:02

If you had mains-pressure cold and tank-pressure hot, there is some risk that the cold will force its way up the hot pipe (especially with ceramic "joystick" mixer taps). But if you have a combi the h and c static pressures will be the same.

The measurement is important because you want the new tap to fit the existing holes. You can get an adjusting link but it is more trouble. If you look at the Bridge Mixers and see a wiggly bit at the bottom where it meets the sink, that is an adjusting link.

A single-hole tap will have worse flow (due to small internal waterways) and is more prone to turn and get loose in the hole.

Some of the deck mixers look quite old fashioned. As ever, the more stylish taps are a lot more expensive. Some of the modern single (Pillar) taps are very elegant. They tend to be simpler, more reliable, leak less than mixers.

likeatonneofbricks Fri 24-Feb-12 10:29:17

PJ, I've looked closely at the photos - the current taps aer mile apart, way more than 118 - they aer positioned in the corners of the sink and pointing at diagonal towards the centre! so the bridge can't be an option (?).
I always had a mixer tap in all flats i lived, they didn't cause any problems (in hte kitchens maybe, but not bathroom, as no heavy use). I don't mind what type of a mixer, songle column or not, but how would you change in this situation? and in any case, would te sink hjave to be uprooted? or they can be swapped from the back of sink (it's pedestal, no cupboard around it)..

likeatonneofbricks Fri 24-Feb-12 10:29:39

*miles apart

PigletJohn Fri 24-Feb-12 11:32:22

if it's a ceramic bathroom basin, then, unless it's an abnormal colour, I'd recommend you just spring for a new basin and taps. It is approximately impossible to change the hole position or to neatly fill an old hole. A new basin is not very expensive (unless you want it to be) and it will be easier to get what you want (the word "sink" was making me think of kitchen taps).

if there are tiles all round the basin you can either get a slightly bigger one that will cover over the old space, with silicone along the top wall edge, or retile (will be much easier if the vendors left you a few spare ones or it is a current range in a simple colour).

BTW pop-up wastes leak, so plumbers who are forced to fit them, like to be paid in cash and have the van engine running.

likeatonneofbricks Fri 24-Feb-12 11:47:38

thanks PJ, but isn't it expensive to uproot and change (I accept that basins themselves aer not expensive) - there is tiling at the back, and also would the floor tiles need to be disrupted?
what's a pop up waste? would the water have to be turned off at water tanks for the building as well? I really doubt he could be so quick as to have engine running?

minipie Fri 24-Feb-12 12:03:17

What an odd place to put taps!

I'd suggest you put a single mixer where one of the holes is and use a round metal cap like this to block up the other hole.

It's not ideal since you're left with the round metal cap, but means you don't have to buy a new basin and mess with the tiling etc.

minipie Fri 24-Feb-12 12:06:33

I presume it's a pedestal basin? If so it should be possible to change the taps, and adjust the pipework, by removing the pedestal - shouldn't be necessary to remove the actual basin bit itself.

Re the floor tiles - usually the tiles are put down first and then the pedestal installed on top, so moving the pedestal shouldn't affect the tiles.

likeatonneofbricks Fri 24-Feb-12 12:07:18

mini - interesting! would a mixer be ok on one side like this, I mean the flow, as I assume current pipes are running in two directions to two taps? Are taps changed from the top then, through the holes and that's it?

Ponders Fri 24-Feb-12 12:10:12

I wondered about doing that, minipie, but I'm not sure if monobloc mixers are larger at the base than single taps?

also, if the hole is very close to the rim of the basin, a mixer might not fit

(taps either side used to be the norm, like this)

PigletJohn Fri 24-Feb-12 12:10:44

you ought to have a stopcock inside or outside your home, or both, and possibly also service valves under each tap.

if you have a pedestal, that is an ornament to conceal the pipes, and you might not need to change it. The basin is hung on the wall.

The engine running is so he can be away before the pop-up waste starts leaking. Pop up wastes have a lever or button on or by the tap, that causes the plug to lift slightly out of the plughole. They generally leak where the linkage goes into the waste under the basin (where it is quite awkward to repair) and moves every time you use it, so wearing the seal.

You might have to get a plumber in for half a day's work.

I think that long term, you will be much more satisfied with a new basin and tap than by trying to bodge the old one, especially if it is a new home for you.

Ponders Fri 24-Feb-12 12:11:24

there would need to be some very fiddly redirection of pipework behind/under the basin to get the 2 pipes to the same side

likeatonneofbricks Fri 24-Feb-12 12:18:58

Ponders - that's what i thought, redirection of pipes. It's EXAVTLY like your picture of two taps (as far as the position, and also oval in the centre).
PJ, it's pedestal - so do you mean that's easier? and what about floor tiles? how much should the work cost if putting a new one in? it's not in london but a city.

PigletJohn Fri 24-Feb-12 12:20:35

if it was me I'd use flexible tap connectors

likeatonneofbricks Fri 24-Feb-12 12:20:35

I really can't believe anyone would choose to put separate taps nowadays in a new bathroom! (exasperated). It looked perfect until I noticed this.

likeatonneofbricks Fri 24-Feb-12 12:22:48

flexible tap connector, do you mean if I did change to mono on the side?

PigletJohn Fri 24-Feb-12 12:23:38


It's a question of personal preference.

Would you be shocked to know that some people wouldn't like your mixer tap?

likeatonneofbricks Fri 24-Feb-12 12:24:51

mini- sorry missed your post re floor tiles and pedestal - phew at least that sounds easy, thanks!

likeatonneofbricks Fri 24-Feb-12 12:28:25

yes I know it's preference but majority (at least of younger people, but I think generally) now put mixers - all flats i lived in in london had them, and most hotels have them, as it's extremely fiddly to have two (either scorch yourself or have icy water running). Mixers are made for speed and subtle temp control. Many houses in the country have separate but mainly I noticed if the bathrooms are old.

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