12 Copper Piping Taps You’re Going to Love
Have you noticed the trend for faucets fashioned crudely (yet cleverly) out of plumbers’ copper piping? Tap into it here
If you like the look of copper, why not show off a little more pipework than is strictly necessary? Here, the kitchen designers have installed pipes over the top of this traditional-style wood panelling. This is also a good option if you have wall surfaces already in place that you don’t want to mess with too much.
Individual brass taps coordinate well with the warmer copper below and the whole effect shows just how homely industrial style can be. It’s perfect if you hanker more for the kitchen from Downton Abbey than an airy warehouse flat cookspace.
Get more inspiration for industrial-style interiors
To make the most of that warm metal piping – use more of it! Here, the homeowners have not only started their taps high, but also continued them low, and opted to position the handles in the middle of each pipe.
Reclaimed baths or basins may have tap holes already present, as this one does and, here, it really adds to the warm, DIY aesthetic. However, if you’re buying a new freestanding bath and are planning to wall-mount taps like this, you might want to look out for a design with no pre-drilled tap holes.
This grand traditional kitchen is heaving with luxury touches, including the marble splashback and worktop. The contrast with DIY taps made from plumbing equipment works well (plus warm metal and grey marble is an oh-so-now combination).
Do include a partner piece, though – here, the raw wood base cabinets balance the industrial with the classic nicely.
There’s a number of options for handles for your pipe taps. The ones in this kitchen are wheel-heads. In the next photo, you’ll see lever handles, which typically come in red and blue. You can also see crutch-top or crutch-head handles in ‘Create an antique effect’, further below, or choose classic cross-heads, pictured in ‘Mix your metals’.
Check out a gorgeously traditional kitchen designed to suit a Victorian home
As already mentioned, lever handles often come with a handy colour code, as seen here (although other types, including some wheel-head designs, sometimes do also).
This bathroom really ramps up the metallic effect by going for copper on as many surfaces as possible – from the waste pipe and the towel rail to the table and the toning mirror. It really works, especially as the whole effect is muted classily with two shades of grey.
The positioning of these taps is clever, too. They both come from the right side, but are staggered so as to achieve a hot and cold on the right and left.
Concrete is a natural partner for exposed copper piping, since both have utilitarian connotations.
This shower is genius – it’s been fitted with a fixing that allows the shower part of the design to swing around. It looks wonderfully pared-back as it is, but you might consider sourcing a copper showerhead if you prefer broader coverage.
Do you like the idea of making your own tap, but feel a bit daunted by the design decisions and effort involved? Then simply choose a lookalike off-the-shelf model that gives the effect of copper plumbers’ piping, and ramp up the trick of the eye by installing hanging rails made out of the stuff nearby.
This would also work well in a bathroom for towel rails or hangers for storage baskets on S hooks.
There’s something of the Victorian public baths about this type of DIY tap. Why? It’s down to the clever idea of combining it with flat, brick-formation metro tiles with crackle glaze for an antique effect. Add dark grout and the civic amenity look is complete.
If you’re keen to create a utilitarian effect with metro tiles, choose them carefully: designs with a bevelled edge will look lovely, too, but will have a softer, more residential feel.
For handles like the one on this tap, look for the description ‘crutch top’ or ‘crutch head’.
When you’re designing your own tap, why stick to convention? This spout is given extra visual interest by its quirky kink.
Concrete and copper, again, combine well to create an industrial-style interior. A top tip if you prefer your copper to look a little old rather than gleaming and new is to seek out piping with a patina, or to follow the various (though a little tricksy) online guides to giving yours an antique look yourself.
Max the utilitarian look of your DIY taps by having them running into an unreconstructed vintage basin.
A single spout to mix your hot and cold supplies is not the only way. This unusual design mixes the two temperatures externally, as they come out of each pipe. Note, too, the unusual long lever handles behind the basin.
To achieve something like this, you’d do well to locate a vintage plumbing supplies enthusiast to help you source what you want.
We’ve already seen copper mixed with brass, but here’s the more unusual idea of combining it with chrome in a make-it-yourself tap. The DIY design here is mounted onto wood, perhaps to hide brickwork disturbed by drilling for the pipes. Here, the handles are basic cross-heads.
This unusual idea for a shower tray goes beyond any sense of ‘tray’. In fact, this metal tub is more like a circular tin bath, but it functions well as a place to stand while showering and, especially with the exposed brick wall and taps, completes the industrial effect.
If you’re going for exposed pipes, why not go the whole hog? Here, the suspended countertop shows off the copper piping above as well as below, where things might ordinarily be out of sight.
It does mean, of course, that the rest of the pipework needs to be up to exposure, too. You can buy waste pipes for basins in a number of different finishes, including copper and brass.
What do you think of this tap trend? Let us know any creative DIY ideas you’ve employed in your kitchen or bathroom in the Comments below.