The Lowdown on Bathroom Mixer Taps

Mixer taps were invented over 100 years ago but their place in residential homes has not been noticeable and popular until very recently. Mixer taps work by mixing hot and cold water from two separate valves before the water reaches the outlet, therefore allowing ready to use water that is warm in temperature to come out. Mixer designs have come a long way in the last few decades and are now more favored than 3-piece tap ware (i.e. a hot and cold handle and a spout).

If you’re building a new house or venturing into a renovation, streamlining the design or modernizing the look of your home with mixers is a great idea. Mixers come in a variety of styles from square mixer taps to pin lever mixer taps and even ‘twisted’ whirl style mixers. It is important that you select the mixers that you want to install prior to plumbing works as the bath and shower mixer bodies are located inside the wall and should be one of the first things to be installed. Many homeowners are not well-informed about the steps involved in a bathroom renovation and are caught out by this particular part of the process which can create some issues later on especially if you are made to purchase taps that you don’t like.

Mixer taps are not just modern and trendy but they are water efficient and money saver too. In Australia, most mixer types are fitted with a flow limiter which restricts the flow of the water up to a 6 star rating which is 4½ litres a minute (see for more information on the Australian WELS ratings) and therefore, a great help for the country’s water conservation campaign.

Another major benefit of mixer taps is that they are easier to use especially for people with arthritic hands or any kind of soreness in their thumbs, fingers or wrists as they can be pushed on and off easily, even with the back of the hand- no more gripping and turning as with standard 3-piece tap ware.

Mixer taps are available in variety of styles for bathroom basins and vanities, bathtubs, showers, kitchen sinks and laundry tubs. Basin mixers are available in swivel and fixed options. A swivel basin mixer is easy to use when brushing your teeth or shaving your face as it is simple to get the spout out-of-the-way.

The difference between basin mixers and kitchen/laundry mixers is that the spout is significantly longer for the kitchen and laundry. Kitchen and laundry mixers sit a lot higher off the bench than basin mixers making it a lot easier to fill up jugs, kettle or to do the dishes. Another option that is available for the kitchen and laundry is a pullout mixer. A pullout mixer has a hose that comes out about a metre and they often have a variety of spray pattern options which makes it very easy for washing vegetables and very popular in the laundry for washing small animals.