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The initial consideration in the selection is that the faucet must be both aesthetic and practical so that its use is seamless. It is important to know how many devices are required for your bathroom. Experts recommend installing them separately for a bathtub, washbasin, shower. Of course, it is possible to arrange so that one unit serves several sanitary units, but this leads to a decrease in quality and comfort in use.
The entire variety of mixers according to their purpose can be divided into devices for:
- a bathtub;
- shower stall;
In addition, there are hybrid models that can be used for several purposes.
Bathroom faucet: models and installation
A characteristic feature of such devices for the bathroom can be called a low fixed or swivel spout. The most common models are:
- with hand shower;
- wall holders;
- with shower holder and height adjustment function.
Modern models have electronic control, greatly facilitating their use. Automatic switching is equipped with not only elite, but also economy options. The appearance and set of options for each manufacturer is different. The most commonly used kit for vertical mounting.
It is imperative to take into account the nuances of installation, which largely depend on the parameters of the bath and some other factors. It is advisable to take mounting accessories from the same manufacturer as the selected mixer, so you will ensure a high degree of compatibility. If you have to buy accessories from a different company than the main unit, be sure to check how compatible they are.
There is a kind of installation, when you need to take into account the gap between the walls and the inner edge of the side of the bath, and if it does not exceed 15 cm, you can advise installing a mixer without a swivel spout, but equipped with a bath / shower switch. Due to its compactness, it will be an excellent technical solution in the case of a small bathroom.
When the aforementioned gap is more than 15 cm, then it happens that ordinary models with a rotary twist fill the sides. In this case, it is convenient to use extension filters 3-5 cm in length or an aerator with a hinge.
New bathtub faucets
The latest generation of taps has three to four openings and separate handles for filling the bathtub and hand shower. They can be single lever, two-valve, thermostats. They are installed on the side of the bathtub, or in other cases on the tiled side. Such models are especially justified in small bathrooms. Units with several openings are simple to operate and have excellent functionality, go well with almost any style of bathroom design.
Finally, another type of installation is hidden mounting, when all the details are inside the wall, and on top of them is covered with a decorative panel, on which there are handles and switches. Naturally, such a mixer allows you to use all the basic functions, including regulating the pressure and water temperature. In an aesthetic aspect, this option is perhaps the most advantageous, since all communications are artfully hidden and do not spoil the view.
According to a practical approach to choosing a model for the sink, it is recommended that the main criterion be to make the issue of compatibility with faucets that are already in the house. From this point of view, it is best to take a washbasin faucet of the same brand as that already installed in the bathtub and for the shower.
A single-hole mixer is still more common, although three-hole models have also expanded significantly. As a rule, the kit includes mounting accessories and eyeliner, which can be rigid (chrome-plated brass tubes) or flexible (stainless steel hoses). Any type will last for a long time, subject to high quality products.
There are models for the washbasin equipped with a drain set. This mechanism allows you to adjust the opening-closing of the drain hole by pressing the small lever on the body. Interesting models with a special pulling spout, which greatly increases the convenience of keeping the sink clean.
The kitchen faucet must have comfortable handles and a spout design. It can be arched, have an elongated shower head with a water switch. A retractable shower allows you to wash the sink of any shape and size well. The spout should have good mobility, which is especially true in the case of a double wash.
A number of manufacturers produce faucets with an interactive device that makes it possible to control the unit through light touches. Single-lever options are also very convenient, in which water can be started with a slight movement of the hand or elbow (if, for example, your hands are dirty in something).
The design of the device for a bidet is in many respects similar to the unit for a wash basin (sink). It is usually installed on the side, it has one or three holes. The difference is that the model for the bidet in the kit has a ball joint with which you can control the direction of the jet.
The bidet mixer is also available on the market as a model of a hygienic shower, which allows using a toilet bowl as a bidet, but with a sink nearby. It is possible to connect a hygienic shower to a conventional shower faucet.
These devices are compact in size because they are not equipped with a switch between the bath and shower, and they do not have a spout. Water entering the mixer warms up already in it. Installation can be open and hidden, the latter will require high qualifications from the master and fittings of good quality, since it is necessary to completely eliminate the possibility of leaks in the wall.
Design features of different types
A competent choice of a mixer is impossible without minimal knowledge about the designs of these devices, which, by the way, are diverse, but we still try to figure it out.
Classic models: valve and ball
These two types are familiar to us and have long been familiar. They are adapted for hard chlorinated water, the elimination of breakdowns in these devices is not associated with high costs, since there is usually a banal leak, to eliminate which it is enough to change an inexpensive sealant.
The design of ball mixers is graceful and light in lines. You can control them with a single handle that rotates freely in all directions, so you can easily select the desired degree of pressure and water temperature. The lack of models is poor adaptability to solid particles, which are often found in water, as well as to dissolved salts. Foreign particles clog into the ball module, impairing its mobility and causing creaking during operation. Repair of ball mixers is more expensive compared to valve models, because you have to replace the ball module. A preventative measure of protection against breakdowns will be the installation of cleaning filters.
The herringbone is a simple structure consisting of a pair of crane boxes, between which there is a spout ("gander"), of a straight or concave shape, through which water flows. The gander, depending on the model, may have mobility or be fixed in one position. Regulation of water supply is carried out through a valve, which plumbers call the axle box, and in everyday life they simply call the tap.
Faucets of a traditional design have their drawbacks, for example, it is difficult to close the water so that it does not drip with annoying frequency. The reason for this annoying circumstance lies in the rubber gasket, which deteriorates from hard water. Surely many have had cases of twisting of the crane. More practical will be faucets with ceramic liners, whose resistance to water and temperature changes is much higher, they also have excellent tightness.
Most often, the Christmas tree is installed in the kitchen, since it is much easier to install it on the sink, however, this does not interfere with installing it on the side of the bathtub.
Single lever mixer
This species is now in great demand, it combines simplicity and reliability in operation, it is easy to manage. The change and strength of the water jet depends on the degree of alignment of two spherical surfaces with holes. Due to the tight alignment of the surfaces of other seals is not required. The surface material is cermet, in economical models - plastic.
Such a unit has a rigid connection with water pipes, with the help of faucet-boxes (lever), the force and temperature of the water jet are controlled.
To obtain a convenient jet, an aerator is mounted in the spout, which in theory should form a neat stream at any pressure. The wall-mounted faucet needs to be cleaned periodically, otherwise, clogged, it will cease to fulfill its functions as proper images, and water will begin to spray on the sides.
The design of the thermostat combines all the advantages of different types of mixers, including reliable operation, comfort in use and safety. The design of the thermostat in general is reduced to a panel on which there are several knobs that regulate heating and water supply / shutdown.
The obvious advantage of thermostats is that the settings you set are stored for as long as you like. Thermostats have a function to limit the heating of water above 38 degrees, which helps to avoid accidental burns. If desired, this function is easily turned off and you can get water with a higher temperature.
In addition, the thermostat also regulates the lower temperature threshold, so that very cold water never comes from it.
This appearance in appearance is difficult to attribute to the family of mixers. From it water is supplied with a wide stream, creating the external effect of a waterfall, because of which almost twice as much water passes through a cascade mixer than through a standard one. It copes with the function of mixing water of different temperatures.
The latest models do not require manual control, but are equipped with automatic sensors that let water in, it is worth bringing your hands to the tap, and also automatically turn off the water. This contactless control is achieved due to the built-in infrared sensor.
High-quality mixers with a sensor are quite reliable in operation, the sensor is powered by a lithium battery, which lasts for 4-5 years. The battery is located in a separate housing, which makes contact with water impossible and you can safely install this option in a shower, for example. Replacing the battery is not difficult. The advantage of this unit is especially obvious if the family has small children or elderly people who tend to forget about the need to turn off the water.
In the growing popularity of "smart homes" are used faucets under electronic control, which is carried out using pictograms and settings menus. Here there is a wealth of various settings, the ability to create your own modes with comfortable settings for the flow and temperature of the water. In general, you can talk about the capabilities of such mixers for a long time, but they will certainly provide maximum comfort.
A new word in technology is an electronically controlled mixer, which is a particle of the "smart home" system. Adjusting the water pressure and temperature in the washbasin is carried out using electronic innovative control: select the desired icon by moving through the menu, and the settings will be displayed on the digital display.
All designs can be installed both in the kitchen and in the bathroom, and the difference usually lies in the connecting dimensions. In the kitchen, the water pressure is small, while for the sink and bath it may be much larger, therefore, you need to use narrower pipes, i.e. connecting dimensions will be smaller. The same can be attributed to spouts - in sinks, sinks, smaller diameter and length are more in use, and in the bath these parameters will be slightly larger, and the body of the bathroom faucet differs in more massiveness and degree of strength.
The value of the material can hardly be overestimated; the safety, strength, appearance and life of the product are directly dependent on it. And, of course, for faucets made of different materials, prices can vary greatly.
Metal alloys are a traditional material for the mixer body, the remaining parts can be from other materials or also from an alloy.
Most often, brass and bronze are used for mixers, and the top layer of the product is chrome plated. These materials have a neutral reaction to water, which allows them to operate for a long time. Mineral deposits adhere to the alloy mixer rather weakly, and in general, operation is almost always problem-free. Some models are made of alloy steel, although their processing is more complicated, and when used, they are more susceptible to contamination, which is still largely determined by the quality of water and the characteristics of a particular product.
There are also products made of silumin (silicon + aluminum), which is convenient in production and also cheap. But such devices tend to quickly lose their presentable appearance, they lose their strength, and signs of wear become too obvious after a short time.
Perhaps the best choice among metal mixers is a bronze product with brass thread,
For plastic models characterized by its own set of pros and cons. Pros - plastic refers to inexpensive and technologically advanced materials, characterized by light weight and at the same time certain strength, resistance to overgrowing, and a neutral reaction to water. Low thermal conductivity protects the device from overheating, while hot water passes through it.
But the service life of plastic mixers can not be compared with the same products made of metal. It is also important which parts of the mixer are plastic, the best option if this is the handwheel of the valves or lever.
About ceramic units, you can repeat the same thing that we said above about plastic ones, their pros and cons are similar. Tactilely, ceramics are pleasant, they are comfortable, and touching them is almost a pleasure. But for such products there is a danger of cracking from an accidental impact or simply slightly careless handling. Therefore, in this case, it is better if only the flywheel is made of ceramic.
Most often, chrome-plated or enameled coatings are applied to the mixers, which have a presentable appearance. Their main function is to protect the product from the risk of mechanical damage.Metal mixers are coated with enamel or chrome, a layer of copper is preliminarily applied to plastic ones, and only then they are chrome plated (enameled).
The enamel coating is not very resistant and quickly repels. Nickel plating in some people causes allergies, and gold, firstly, is expensive, and secondly, it will require special care measures. Therefore, the best should be recognized as a coating of chromium, on which microorganisms are not able to live and reproduce. True, spots may appear on it, yet in general it wins in comparison with other coatings.
How to choose the right mixer (video)
Another selection criteria - guarantees
This criterion does not directly relate to product quality, but as a factor in choosing it cannot be ignored. It is better to buy a mixer in a store with a solid reputation, where they will give you a warranty card, the warranty period is most often limited to 1 year, less often - 2-3 years.
So, we tried to understand the mixers from different angles, and now, armed with this information, it will be easier for you to understand the store assortment of products and make the best choice.