There are 2 main types of tap, which vary widely in design.
1) There are pillar taps - a pair of taps designed to fit to a 2 tap hole basin. Each tap has a long-threaded connector, a rubber washer and a back nut.
To install the taps, the threaded connector is passed through the hole in the basin with the rubber washer fitted to the basin side (this protects the basin, seals the tap so no water can drip through and stops the tap from moving about). The tap is then tightened to the basin using the back nut.
The threaded connector extends beyond the back nut. This is where the connection is made to the hot or cold pipe. The connection is most commonly made using a push fit flexible tap connector. Building regulations insist that a method of isolation is also fitted. You can purchase a push-fit flexible tap connector with built-in isolator to solve this problem.
2) A mono basin, or mixer tap, is designed to fit to a 1 tap hole basin. In the case of a mono basin mixer tap the installation of the tap is much the same but usually the tap is supplied complete with two flexible tap connectors – one for hot and the other for cold pipe connections, isolators are still required. You will need to seek advice on connectors according to the type of flexible connectors supplied. There are also 3-hole basin taps, which function the same as a mixer tap, but the spout, hot and cold control taps, are allocated a hole each.
Do I need a Plumber to fit a tap?
It is usually recommended to employ a suitably qualified trades person to install taps. After all, a mistake could be costly. However, it is possible to fit a tap yourself, provided you are sure you have the relevant skills. If you are going to try this, we recommend you find a way to isolate the water until you have fully completed the task.