• Basin mixer for use with either a one taphole washbasin or a three taphole washbasin. Supplied with hot and cold water through two separate ½ inch inlets. May be single or dual flow. 
  • Bath filler or mixer A mixer tap, bigger than a basin mixer, which is usually mounted directly onto the bath. Sometimes available as a wall mounted version. 
  • Bath/shower Mixer taps which are similar to a bath filler but with the addition of a shower hose and sprayhead. Designed for mounting directly onto a bath and having separate hot and cold water inlets, but with a lever operated diverter mechanism which directs water from the usual filler spout to a hose and sprayhead. The sprayhead (or shower head) can be fixed to the wall in an adjustable bracket or it can be hand held. Sometimes available in thermostatic versions.
  • Dual flow taps also see mixer taps. Dual flow taps are used where the hot and cold water must remain separate for hygiene or health reasons or where the hot and cold water pressure are unequal.
  • Eco tap “Click stop” or “eco click” taps include an innovative water saving feature. The internal mechanism in the tap offers a subtle resistance as it reaches half of its full flow capability, saving water. For increased flow, the eco click feature can be overridden. The audible and tactile click helps the users to gauge how much water is being used. Sometimes called “low flow”
  • Four hole mixer Usually only found on baths where the hot supply, cold supply, filler spout (nozzle ) and shower hose are all separate and mounted in individual holes in the bath’s rim. 
  • Mixer taps Single bodied mixer taps blend the hot and cold water in a single spout. The spout may have a single flow (where the hot and cold water is blended within the body of the mixer) or a dual flow (where water remains separate and only blends after it has left the spout opening). Mixers may have two conventional washered valves (one for hot and one for cold) or they may have a more complex ceramic disc valve which has a single handle. This will move up and down to control the amount of water flow, and from side to side to control the temperature.
  • Monobloc taps Another name for mixer tap having separate controls for hot and cold water flow. Monobloc taps require only one taphole in the washbasin or bath. Water supply is from narrow diameter rigid copper pipes or flexible hoses. Washbasin monobloc taps are compact and can be fitted with either a pop up waste or a chain waste.
  • Pillar taps These are individual tap units which control the hot and cold water supply to a washbasin or bath. The taps may have conventional washered valves or modern ceramic discs. Pillar taps require two holes in the washbasin or bath. Washbasin taps have ½ inch inlets and bath taps have ¾ inch inlets.
  • Pop up waste A lever or rod situated in the body of the monobloc tap is used to lift or close (by means of rigid metal rods or flexible wires) a plug located in the washbasin or bath waste fitting. 
  • Quarter turn taps Taps which can be turned fully on or fully off by rotating the handle through just 90 degrees. May use ceramic disc valves or fast-action washered valves.
  • Single lever control A single lever performs two functions. Moving the control up and down regulates flow. Moving the lever to left and right adjusts the temperature.
  • Single lever taps A single monobloc tap with a lever handle that controls both water flow and temperature.

Tapholes - The holes formed in the back of a washbasin through which the taps are fixed. May be:

  • 1 taphole for monobloc mixer
  • 2 taphole for single pillar taps
  • 3 taphole for taps with two separate valves and a mixer spout

Three hole mixer - The cold water valve, hot water valve and spout are three separate units so they require three separate holes in the washbasin or the bath. The units are connected together by short pipes underneath and out of sight. Wall Mounted Taps do not always have to be mounted directly into the sanitaryware. They may be mounted separately, on the adjacent wall or furniture.

Tanking - This is a waterproofing procedure carried out in wet rooms to protect the structure of the building against moisture migration and water leaks. 

Thermostatic mixer shower - This may be a manually operated or digitally operated shower mixer. Hot water is blended with cold to a temperature set by the user. The thermostatic mechanism ensures that the set temperature remains constant. Suitable for ALL types of plumbing system. The safest type of shower control, particularly good for children or elderly people. 

Thermostatic valve - Some mixer taps (particularly in commercial situations) are fitted with a thermostatic device which blends the incoming hot and cold water to maintain a constant set temperature. The device can be set to a maximum temperature of say 43 degrees, to prevent scalding. Sometimes the thermostatic blending device is separate from the tap bodies, not built in.


Unvented Domestic - Hot Water System A plumbing system where the cold feed is taken directly from the high pressure mains to provide a high pressure hot water supply. It has no open vent to the atmosphere.


Valve - The mechanism within a tap which controls the flow of water.


Washbasin and pedestal - There are four main basic forms of washbasin 

  1. Countertop basins These are designed to fit into bathroom furniture, counters or countertops. They may be 
  • Full countertop The basin is designed with a rim which allows the basin to sit on into a hole in the counter. 
  • Semi-countertop, or semi-recessed Here a portion of the basin projects forward away from the counter. Secured by brackets hidden within the counter.
  • Under countertop Brackets are used to hold the basin beneath a hole in the counter. 
  1. Pedestal basins The pedestal is a pillar or vertical stand which supports and takes the full weight of the washbasin. The basin is held back to the wall by simple brass screws. 
  2. Vessel basins These have the common design of sitting directly on top of the surface of the counter, furniture or shelving. May also be described as ‘countertop’ or ‘freestanding’.
  3. Wall hung basins These are fixed to the wall using special brackets or robust wall bolts. These washbasins may be the small hand-rinse type or can be much larger. Sometimes a semi pedestal (half sized pedestal) is used to conceal the fixings and pipework of wall hung basins. The semi pedestal does not take any weight of the basin it but is mainly decorative. It may be manufactured in ceramic or plastic.

Wall Mounted Taps - Do not always have to be mounted directly into the sanitaryware. They may be mounted separately, on the adjacent wall or furniture.

Water pressure - The downward force of water, under its own weight, in a column above the point of use. Usually measure in units of BAR. A column of water 10 metres high exerts a pressure of 1 bar. 


WC and cistern

  • The WC may be freestanding, back to wall or wall hung. The cistern may be exposed or sometimes hidden from view. 
  • Wall Hung WC The cistern is hidden from view, Very stylish and very easy to clean.
  • Back to Wall The cistern is hidden from view. Stylish
  • Dual Flush A full flush of 6 litres maximum or short flush of 4 litres maximum. Some eco-friendly dual flush WCs can flush with less water than this and still conform with the regulations.
  • Flushing device A mechanism inside a cistern used to flush a WC. Available in two designs
    • the traditional lever-operated waste water preventer called the siphon
    • the push button flush valve
  • Horizontal Outlet The outlet at the back of the WC is perfectly horizontal; compared with a P-Trap outlet which slopes down at an angle of 14 degrees and an S-Trap outlet which turns vertically downwards.

Pan The bowl of the WC

  • Push-button flush valve This type of flushing device is common worldwide but has only permitted for use in the UK since 1999. When the button is pushed water flows out of the cistern to flush the WC pan. Push button valves may also be configured for dual flush
  • Rim Water, from the flushing cistern, is made to flow around the WC bowl using different designs of flush rim found at the top of the WC bowl.
  • Box rim is formed from what looks like a tube with slots and holes created in its underside. Water from the cistern is guided around the rim and allowed to jet into the WC bowl through the holes and slots. In this way water is controlled to give the best flush performance.
  • Open rim looks like an inverted U-shape. Water from the cistern is guided around the rim under its own rate of flow
  • Rimless These WCs have no U or slotted-tube arrangement. Water floods into the WC bowl from small jets created in the ceramic. The shape of the top of bowl (sometimes a beveled edge) prevents water from overflowing.

Toilet Seat and cover

  • standard The simplest and least expensive A simple flat lid rests on top of the seat ring. 
  • wrapover The lid is designed so that its edges wrap over the ring, hiding it completely. 
  • soft closing The seats have special hinges which slow down the movement of ring and lid so that they don’t fall with a thud. 
  • germ resisting The material used to make this type of seat is impregnated with chemicals to inhibit growth of harmful bacteria. 

Wet Room - A wet room is a fully water tight bathroom with no separate shower tray.

Wet Zone - An area within a wet room, sometimes raised above the surrounding floor area.

Whirlpool Bath - A bath tub fitted with a pumping system which sucks water from the bat h, mixes it with air and then pumps it back into the tub through adjustable jets. The jets can be directed towards the body for therapeutic hydrotherapy purposes.