There are three main types of bath taps: a bath shower mixer; a bath filler; standard bath taps.
When choosing bath taps the first decision you will have to make is whether you are going to be showering in the bath, and whether you need a bath shower mixer.
Bath Shower Mixer Tap
One of the easiest ways to install an over-bath shower is by using a bath shower mixer. These taps are fed with hot and cold water which is mixed inside the body of the tap. The mixed warm water can then be directed down to fill the bath or diverted up through a shower hose to the shower head. To work properly this type of tap needs the hot and cold water to be the same pressure - unfortunately most UK bathroom taps are supplied by tank pressure hot water and mains pressure cold water. The options in this situation are
These conditions will also apply to most wall mounted shower mixers.
Standard Bath Taps
The majority of homes in the UK have standard bath taps. They tend to be the same design as basin taps but sometimes slightly larger (but not always).
Bath taps are designed to be fed by larger supply pipes than sink taps, although the flow of water will depend on several factors, such as the size of the valve inside the tap body. Some cheaper bath taps have larger supply pipes but the valve inside is the same ssmall valve used on a basintaps which can result in poor performance (the bath will tale longer to fill as flow is reduced)
Bath fillers work in a similar way to a bath shower mixer in that they are fed with hot and cold water which is mixed inside the body of the tap. The mixed warm water can then be directed down to fill the bath except that there is no option to divert the mixed water to up to a shower. The main advantage of a bath filler over standard bath taps is that it is possible to gauge the temperature of the mixed water as it leaves the spout.
Bath Tap Holes
Most baths are pre-drilled with two tap holes at 180mm centres. The majority of bath taps are designed to work with this layout, although there are some one tap hole, three tap hole, and four tap hole bath mixers available, although these are much less common.
* a minimum head is required to operate - see venturi showers for more details