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Help me decide on bathroom taps!

(25 Posts)
AspasiaFitzgibbon Thu 13-Apr-17 10:46:12

I've had some fabulous advice on here about my ongoing bathroom renovation.
I'm now agonising about taps.
What I realise I really want is unlacquered brass taps which will develop an aged finish. However, everything I've seen is prohibitively expensive.
Have considered reconditioned vintage taps, but I want wall mounted bath and basin taps and they are very hard to source.
So I am instead thinking about what tends to be called Vintage Gold.
The shower walls will be tiled in white and I will have a black and white tiled floor with dark green paint on the walls (f n b Studio Green or Fired Earth Malachite). I think gold works better with that look than chrome.
My question is, really, if I go for affordable gold brassware will it just look too shiny and 80s, and would I be better off cutting my losses and going with chrome?
I know that gold/brass is a bit out there at the moment (this bathroom will be in the house when we sell), but I'm convinced it's becoming more mainstream - or am I deluding myself?
All thoughts very gratefully received!

wowfudge Thu 13-Apr-17 11:44:42

Black, white and green are a fairly neutral combination. Think of green in nature, it goes with everything. Unless you have a period house with brass door handles, etc I think I'd go for chrome in the bathroom.

AspasiaFitzgibbon Thu 13-Apr-17 12:09:46

That's very interesting! I do have a period house with brass door handles...
It's a north facing room, so I thought gold would warm it up in an Abigail Ahern sort of way.

FlossieFrog Thu 13-Apr-17 12:13:29

We have a 1930s house and still went for chrome - mind you our bathroom is clean lines and modern, so brass or gold would have looked strange. Personally I prefer anything easy to clean, so sleek chrome works for us.

FlossieFrog Thu 13-Apr-17 12:13:58

Meant to say with brass door handles and window furniture.

EpoxyResin Thu 13-Apr-17 12:19:20

Copper's very in at the moment and nice and "warm".

I've actually just ripped out the uncoated brass taps in our period house (also renovating bathroom) but that "aged" look was more unattractively water marked and tatty. With a similar white and green scheme I've put in chrome, although my first thought was a gold colour too. The chrome looks great, and i think it will age better, but that's just me.

AspasiaFitzgibbon Thu 13-Apr-17 12:45:08

I would love copper, but nothing available in my price range.
Barber Wilsons taps I could just about stretch to, but their shower range is prohibitive and it would look odd if it didn't all match.

AspasiaFitzgibbon Thu 13-Apr-17 12:49:15

'Unattractively watermarked and tatty' is definitely giving me pause for thought!!
Maybe I should go for chrome. It would certainly make life a great deal easier.

minipie Thu 13-Apr-17 13:01:06

Unlacquered brass pretty quickly goes dark matte brown unless you're going to polish it all the time. Is that the look you're after?

If you want something that stays gold coloured, but without the very shiny 1980s effect, what I think you really want is brushed/satin "gold" or brushed/satin brass. As you say though they tend to be jolly expensive.

I think lacquered brass taps could look OK if the rest of the bathroom is very very period style - for example are you getting a roll top bath, period style sink, period loo etc. If not then I would definitely go with chrome.

EpoxyResin Thu 13-Apr-17 13:05:12

Yeah, matching is an issue. If I'd seen this earlier in the week is have photographed the ones we took out! They probably needed a good go with the Brasso if I'm honest, but that wasn't an effort I was prepared to make with a bathroom we were ripping out smile

EpoxyResin Thu 13-Apr-17 13:06:59

Dark and matte is exactly how ours went, except not an even darkness, rather patchy like water marking.

AspasiaFitzgibbon Thu 13-Apr-17 14:30:23

Dark matte brown is fine by me.
I'm so grateful for all these comments, because they have shown me lots of good reasons why I should after all go for chrome.
It is period-ish, rather than obsessively period - no roll-top bath, for example, and no period detail for its own sake.
Before I absolutely decide, though, one more question - would chrome taps look wrong with gold/brass accessories? (Mirror, shelf brackets etc?)

wowfudge Thu 13-Apr-17 14:32:12

I'd just stick to chrome or stainless steel. Lots more choice and less of a 1980s vibe...

JW13 Thu 13-Apr-17 14:39:31

Personally I love the sound of that colour scheme with gold/brass. We have just put satin brass taps in our kitchen and in a downstairs WC (plus matching waste/plug). It was a nightmare to find and not cheap (although I did it as cheaply as possible). I can dig out the details, but they're more modern rather than traditional so might not suit your overall scheme.

I think if you have chrome taps I would keep all the accessories chrome as well. I saw a mismatching bathroom in a restaurant the other day (silver taps and satin brass toilet roll holder) and it looked a bit hmm

Emily7708 Thu 13-Apr-17 14:44:17

We had to remove inherited gold taps in our old house. I wish I had a photo to show you as they were disgusting - really dark, stained and blotchy. Nothing cleaned them up properly. Have you thought of getting chrome taps with gold trim so you can match in with your gold accessories? This sort of thing, can't find a better photo.

AspasiaFitzgibbon Thu 13-Apr-17 14:58:42

I definitely want crosshead taps - that's one thing I'm really sure about.
Gold trim - yes, possible, though I haven't seen any.
Off to google satin brass.

EpoxyResin Thu 13-Apr-17 15:04:15

Aaargh, you could have had my old taps! They even had the enamel "H" and "C" on the top.

AspasiaFitzgibbon Thu 13-Apr-17 15:26:48

If only you hadn't binned them!

minipie Thu 13-Apr-17 15:38:23

would chrome taps look wrong with gold/brass accessories? (Mirror, shelf brackets etc?)

Yes, would look wrong to me. (But I'm a bit obsessive about matching up metals - I even have different coloured door handles on each side of a door so as to match the rest of the room...)

Another option for you to consider is satin nickel. It's a warm, matt silver - a lot warmer than chrome or stainless steel. I really like it as a finish. Mind you, it's also hard to find and expensive, so many of the same issues as with gold/brass - but might date better.

minipie Thu 13-Apr-17 15:40:20

If you don't mind a tarnished/slightly browny look then google antique brass - there seem to be a few antique brass taps (incl wall mounted) and shower fittings out there, and at not too silly prices.

AspasiaFitzgibbon Thu 13-Apr-17 17:46:24

Have had a google of antique taps - you are right - some lovely things at quite reasonable prices. Basin mixers hard to find though - but will keep looking.

minipie Fri 14-Apr-17 14:13:42

Actually I meant new items but in a colour called "antique brass" (which looks semi tarnished but in a very uniform/neat way) but obv you could look at genuine antiques too

AspasiaFitzgibbon Fri 14-Apr-17 16:32:14

Oh ok! Will try that too.

PigletJohn Fri 14-Apr-17 17:36:41

Get Bristan taps.

bare brass or copper will get an interesting green crust of corrosion and scale unless your housemaid polishes them twice a day. It's lucky wages for Victorian domestic staff are so low. Nothing is as durable and easy to clean as chrome.

Have you got a hot-water cylinder? What colour?

AspasiaFitzgibbon Fri 14-Apr-17 21:17:48

I am very excited and actually a little bit awed that PigletJohn has appeared on my thread!
I shudder at the snorting, shrugging and sneering than would ensue were I to suggest to my wonderful Bulgarian cleaner that she might like to apply Brasso to my taps once a month, let alone twice a day (which would entail a significant increase in her hours, just in case anyone thinks I actually have a real Victorian housemaid).
I do have a hot water cylinder but I'm in Barcelona at the moment (which is not unlike being from Barcelona in terms of domestic utility) so am unable to check. Which means PigletJohn will probably never speak to me again.
Everything comes back to chrome.
But then what happens to the lovely Graham and Green gold accessories that I've set my heart on?
www.grahamandgreen.co.uk/octa-brass-towel-rail

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