Are Basin Taps The Same As Bath Taps? Everything Explained

Were you in the plumbing supply store and noticed two sets of taps that looked the same but came with two different prices? They were likely a matching set of basin and bath taps. Why is there a price difference? Aren’t they actually the same item? Can you save a few pounds and still fix your leaking bath tap?

In this post, I’ll explain the difference between basin and bath taps as well as answer some common questions around the topic.

Let’s get into it!

Are Basin Taps The Same As Bath Taps?

While they may look the same, underneath they are not. Basin taps typically use a 1/2-inch pipe to connect the tap to the water supply. Whereas bath taps are capable of using more water, they have a 3/4-inch thread.

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Can Basin Taps Be Used On A Bath?

Yes, you could install basin taps on a bath. In many instances, the spout and taps look exactly the same. But remember that it isn’t the looks that make the difference between the two types of taps.

Your tub will take much longer to fill. The smaller supply pipe means less water is able to run out of the spout. This could also result in a higher hot water heating bill as the bath will cool off as you wait for it to fill.

Another consideration is looking at the pre-drilled holes in the tub. Some mixer basin taps require 195mm between the holes while some bath taps need 180mm between the holes. It is likely that your new tub comes with pre-drilled holes, and it is not easy to cover up holes that don’t line up with your taps. The standard distance between the hot and cold pipes is matched between your tub and the taps.

Finally, if you do use taps designed for use on a basin in your bath, future plumbers may buy the wrong parts for the job because you opted for a non-standard approach. They will come equipped to change out the aerator or gasket, or switch a leaking flexible hose and discover that they needed to purchase something very different.

Ultimately, you may spend a little less on the actual taps compared to a bath tap set, but you won’t get the same experience. Meanwhile, you have frustrated a generation of future maintenance people.

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Can Bath Taps Be Used On A Basin?

Have you ever visited a really old bathroom with separate hot and cold taps? You turned the tap and water spewed out the spout splashing in every direction. Welcome to your new morning experience when you install bath taps in your basin.

The point of your basin is to provide just enough water to wet a toothbrush, fill a drinking glass, or gently wash your hands. With a bath tap in place, the basin will fill up even when the drain is left open. It pours in more water than the drain is designed to evacuate at the same time.

Just as before, the bath taps will not match up to pre-drilled holes in your basin. The supply pipes won’t match the threads on the connecting pipe. And every future plumber will be left scratching their heads when they crawl under the vanity to fix a leak.

The ultimate conclusion here is that while you can use bath taps in a basin and vice versa, it’s just not a good idea.

Do Bath And Basin Taps Have To Match?

No, they don’t. You can mix and match the appearance of bath and basin taps to your personal delight. It is simply traditional to have matching taps. But when faced with repairing your grandmother’s vintage basin, you may not have a choice of finding a perfect match.

It is wise to ensure that your hot and cold taps are positioned the same left to right for both basin and bath to prevent confusion and meet the plumbing code.

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Final Thoughts…

There you have it. Everything you need to know about whether basin taps are the same as bath taps.

While they are certainly similar and might be interchangeable, there are some differences to be aware of and it’s usually best practice to stick to the correct tap type.


Michael R

Michael is a KBB designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom installations for over eight years now, and before that, he was an electrician and part of a KBB fitting team. He created The Bathroom Blueprint in early 2020.