Episode 78: Bathroom Design Essentials – Taps and Showers

In this episode of the Bathroom Design Essentials Season, Frances welcomes guests Trisha Narde and Cathryn Matchett from Reece Bathroom Life. Together they discuss basin mixers Vs individual taps and why you may consider one style over the other. They also talk about the different types of bath taps and spouts available. Finally, they cover the ever-important discussion on showers and what you will need to know when choosing the right type of shower for you.   


Basin Taps

  • Aesthetics-simple and streamlined 
  • Ease of cleaning 
  • Easier control over water temperature 
  • Easier to operate 
  • Water-saving- you achieve your temperature a lot quicker 
  • The actual body of the mixer- it what mixes your hot and cold water to produce the temperature that you want 
  • You can get the cartridge separate from the fitting itself with some brands which is easier at build stage and easier tretrofit 

Brands where you can get a separate cartridge and trim kit

  • Hansgrohe 
  • Grohe 
  • Sussex 
Individual Taps
  • If you have to use what’s already existing and have two taps, then you need to retrofit with hot and cold tap Buying Criteria
  • Quality 
  • Warranties- 15-year warranty 
    • Look for those which include labor and parts warranty 
    • Brands that have good warranties: GroheSussex, Brodware and Methven 
  • Shapes, colours, and styles 
  • Comfort 
What Makes a Good Quality Tap?
  • Plumbing Components 
  • Having solid brass Components 
  • High-quality features 
    • Grohe Silkmove delivers gradual and precise control of the water flow and temperature. 
    • Grohe Starlight- long lasting surface 
    • Grohe Zero- No contact of water with lead and nickel due to isolated inner water ways 
  • High-quality brand that offers warranties- 12 months 
Different Types of Metals
  • Living Tumbled Brass 
    • Most popular at the moment 
    • Fits into many different styles of homes 
    • Feels more organic than just using chrome or other metals. 
  • Other metals are  
    • Gun Metal 
    • Coppers 
    • Rose Golds 
Black Tapwear
  • It won’t go away anytime soon. 
  • You just have to make sure that it’s a high quality tap 
  • Electroplated rather than powder coated 

Bath Taps

Types of Bath Taps

Floor Mounted 

  • Opulent look 
  • More expensive to install 
  • You need space around the bath as well 

Wall Mounted 

Swivel tap 

  • Ideal for families-prevent children from hitting their heads 

Bath Spouts

The length of bath spout depends on the style of your bath.  

For instance; 

  • Freestanding bath- ideal length would be 200 mm 
  • Inset Bath- 150-160 mm 

Recommended Brands
  • Sussex 
  • Grohe 


Reece has a fantastic display of showers where you can feel the water pressure on your hand. It is recommended to utilise these displays to give you an idea of what shower to choose.  

Types of Showers


  • Has a flexible hose with fixed rail on the wall 
  • It allows you to move the shower head up and down the rail  
  • It’s ideal for families as can adjust shower height, especially good for kids. 
  • Makes it easy to clean the shower (and your feet) 
  • Ideal for couples with large height differences. 
  • Flexible and functional  

Ceiling mounted 

  • You need to consider the ceiling heights 
  • Be mindful of length of ceiling arms – eg. extra long for tall ceilings 

Wall Mounted  

  • You need to make sure that the installation height is correct based on tallest person who will use it. 
  • Length of the arm comes out far enough so you are not against the wall.  
  • A smaller shower space, ensure shower head not to big for the space, consider scale.  

Large/Rain Shower Head
  • Most large shower heads on the market are 3-star rated. They use between 7.5-9 litres per minute  
  • A lot of them have different technologies which give a powerful spray without utilising too much water 

Turbine Technology by Nickles  

  • Built-in turbine that will spin and push the water through 
  • A quality shower head means better technology 


  • Satinjet shower – gives a misty type of jet, but it is powerful with 20% more coverage than a regular shower.  
  • Methven Aurajet 
  • Methven Satinjet 

The function of Sprays in shower
  • Option for jet spray- good for massage 

Thermostat showers

Thermostatic mixers 

  • Mixers where the thermostat is built into them for constant temperature control 
  • You can’t retrofit 

New technology for thermostat 

  • Separate controller for temperature 
  • Push and turn technology 
    • A popular technology where you push it to turn it on and the dial for pressure and your temperature will set there for you 
    • The temperature doesn’t fluctuate. 
    • It has a safety mechanism so cannot burn  
    • Water saving  

Bathroom Accessories

Whatever coloured taps you have, the accessories need to be the same.- I.e Black tap and black accessories 

Heated towel rails 

  • Available in several types–  
    • Will not replace having a heater in the room. They provide ambient heat, not heating! 
    • Electric –quicker to warm up than hydronic. You can’t have them next to bath based on regulations. 
    • Hydronic –has a copper tube inside where the water heats up. It is more radiant compared to electric, 
    • Single individually heated rails- a combination of 3 or 5 in bathrooms. Also available in vertical. 
  • Current regulations- at least 500mml between the water source and power source.  
What’s new?

Ready to design and create your own beautiful bathroom? Get all the interior designer insider knowledge in the Beautiful Bathroom Design Made Easy Online Course. With 21 self-paced modules, this online course allows you to create your dream bathroom. Find out more here.

Important links mentioned in the podcast:


Methven Satinjet 


Reece is Australia’s largest plumbing and bathroom supplies business, as well as 8 others in allied industries. Our plumbing and bathroom products are sourced both locally and internationally which you can find in over 600 locations across Australia. Visit their Website here. 

Reece Richmond showroom 

You can visit the showroom at 641-643 Bridge Rd, Richmond VIC 3121, Australia. 

Book a Chat

If you’re thinking about renovating or creating a new home  get in touch with Frances directly, by booking a 15 minute chat with her.

Renovating and Building your Forever Home Facebook Group

Want to be inspired to create a home you truly love, that is future proof and adaptable as your family’s needs change? Join our exclusive (but inclusive)  Renovating and Building Your Forever Home Facebook Group.

Listen to this Podcast Episode in:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.