Changing your bath taps may seem tricky but getting to grips with some plumbing basics can help make the task seem less of a chore, and something you can achieve easily. If you’re wondering what the difference is between different types of taps, you’ll find an explanation at the end of this guide.


Here’s a step by step guide for how to remove old taps and change them for new ones. If your bath doesn’t have taps installed, see below for how to fit your bath taps.

  • Preparation is key! Turn off the water. You can do this at an isolation valve, or if you don’t have one, you’ll have to do this at the main stopcock. Remember to turn on your old tap after doing this to drain all remaining water!
  • Now you need to remove the supply pipes to your old tap.
  • Using a basin spanner, loosen the nut on the tap, and then use it to loosen the backing nut on the base of the tap that secures it to your bathtub. Remove this backing nut.
  • You should now be able to remove the tap, and after you have done so, give the area a good clean and then dry it.
  • Have your new tap at the ready. It is a good idea to tidy up your old tap and its parts before unpacking your new tap for installation – that way you won’t get the nuts or seals confused. Your hot tap will go on the left, your cold tap on the right if installing pillar taps. Check where the tap seal needs to go, place it between bath and tap, and then place the new tap in the tap hole. Make sure your tap is 90 degrees to the rim of your tub. Finally, screw the backing nut on by hand, and then tighten it using the basin spanner.
  • At this point, you have successfully removed your old taps, and installed your new taps on your bath. You now need to re-connect to the supply pipes – it may be that a professional needs to do this for you. If you are installing a bath/shower mixer tap, you can now attach the hose to the mixer tap.
  • Turn the water back on and test your tap carefully. It is a good idea to have someone ready at the isolation valve or stopcock to turn it off again in case of any leakage.

Bear in mind that whilst this guide has shown you how to change bath taps, it should not be understood as a replacement of professional services! A qualified professional should be contacted to install, and especially to plumb your bathroom fittings.


Here’s a step by step guide for how to fit taps on a new bath.

  • The easiest way to ensure a mark-free installation is to use masking tape along the side of your bath. Measure out a length of masking tape and stick it down the side of your tub that you want your taps on.
  • Find the point at which you want to position your tap and make a mark on the masking tape.
  • Using a hole saw drill bit, make a hole to fit your tap width where you made the mark on the masking tape. The size of the hole will vary depending on how wide your tap is.
  • Take the masking tape off your bath, and give the area surrounding the new hole a good clean and then dry it. Fit your tap – for detailed instructions see below!


Pillar taps, mixer taps, and monobloc taps are the three most common taps on the market, but what are their differences?

Pillar Taps
You’ll probably be familiar with pillar taps from old-fashioned bathrooms, or bathrooms which have purposefully gone for a vintage look. Pillar taps have two separate taps, one for hot water and one for cold.

Mixer Taps
With mixer taps you only have one spout, but you can use separate water taps to combine hot and cold water. These taps are just like pillar taps, other than you just have one spout instead of two! If you are expecting to use your bath taps with a shower attachment, mixer taps are an ideal choice.

Monobloc Taps
Monobloc taps are perhaps the most modern choice of tap, as they combine the technology of a mixer tap with the classic look of a pillar tap. Monobloc taps have a single lever, which controls both hot and cold water, and just one spout. Most pillar taps will have monobloc installation these days, such as the Bauloop pillar tap from GROHE.

What about Bath/Shower Combinations?
If you have a small bathroom, it may be that your shower is incorporated into your bath. Bath/shower mixer taps are just like mixer taps with one spout of water, but also have the ability to switch between the tap outlet and a handheld shower outlet.