Faucets are not only the hardest working fixtures in bathrooms, they're usually front and centre.
Their high visibility quickly establishes the character of your bathroom. Since they come in a range of styles and finishes to suit any budget, they top the list for those wanting a quick, high-impact update.
Practically speaking, faucets are either centre-set or widespread (requiring one central hole or three holes in the sink) so verify the style you need before buying. Single-handle faucets are convenient for children or adults with impeded dexterity, while some newer versions have sensors that turn on the water when any part of the faucet or handle is touched. And take note: Tub and shower fixtures don't have to be an exact match with sink fixtures, but ideally, the profile and finish should be in sync for visual consistency.
Traditional fixtures never lose their timeless appeal. Cross taps, with or without inset enamel initials to indicate temperature, and white porcelain taps, are classic with a touch of retro cool.
Chrome and brushed finishes also look fresh and complement a white palette, a perennial pick for traditional purists. Emphasize authentic period charm with old-school widespread faucets and finish the look with hexagonal tiles, a pedestal sink, Carrara marble counters, fluffy white towels and frosted glass sconces.
Eclectic spaces aren't bound by strict guidelines, their personality lies in the mix. Thus, your opportunity to showcase a stunning faucet in an out-of-the-ordinary finish such as polished brass, blackened bronze, or rustic pewter, whether you're decorating your small-scale powder room or a sweeping ensuite bath.
Although there is beauty created in eclectic but harmonious combinations of materials and finishes, when it comes to expressing your decor voice, do take the style of your bathroom vanity into consideration when selecting taps. Shaker-inspired cabinetry looks charmingly retro with a gooseneck Tuscan bronze faucet and lever handles, while a beachy, beadboard vanity looks cool with a faceted chrome faucet.
For a distinct choice, pair a water-efficient trough faucet with an old-world washstand. If your taps have a Victorian vibe, emphasize the feminine lines with a romantic, Venetian-style mirror, claw-foot tub, crystal chandelier and wood floors.
Popular because of their simple, spa-like aura, contemporary baths often boast sculptural fixtures. Think along the lines of dramatically arcing or high-spout faucets and block-like lever taps. Avoid elaborate curvy knobs and veer towards simple shapes with clean lines.
Satin nickel finishes (the added bonus, no watermarks to clean) and shiny chrome or stainless serve to highlight the elegant structure of contemporary taps. Wall-mounted faucets are especially suited to the zen-like mood of modern-day baths. Team them with glass or porcelain vessel sinks, open vanities and minimalist frameless mirrors. Sleek lighting and understated marble mosaic tile keep the spotlight on these streamlined, modern fixtures.
Regardless of your style taste, be it traditional, eclectic or contemporary, approach the selection of your bathroom faucet as you would a great piece of jewellery. It should be completely 'you'. Yes, it should add sparkle and shine to the ensemble, but it should also be express your personality in a single, succinct gesture.