Average Cost/Price to Replace Basin Taps
You are paying separately for the tap.
To remove two taps and fit a single mixer tap and “ball o fix” stop tap, then cap off one old tap hole, is half a day’s labour plus £10 for materials.
To change a pair of taps “like for like” with a couple of in line “ball o fixes” thrown in, you can expect the same price and if it all goes smoothly for him it will only take an hour or so but don’t expect a rebate..
I’m going to give a blow by blow description of exactly what happened when my wife instructed me to undertake this very job a few weeks ago. She has lived in Texas for 20 years where everything is brand, spanking new. We now live in Wensleydale where all is not. She has been yearning for a mixer tap on the bathroom basin for 4 years. Being the perfect husband, I decided to give her one, so I set about the job one Saturday afternoon………..
First, stop the water to both taps, this meant totally emptying the airing cupboard to get at the hot water stop tap (a gate valve with a circular red handle). This was seized and only just turned without coming off in my hand.
Next I took everything out from under the kitchen sink to get to the “cock” and turn of the mains coming into the house.
We had filled pans and kettles to tide us over the hour or so the job was going to take, so off with the existing old taps. These were installed by Noah and time had welded them into position so tightly, that extracting Excalibur began to look like a piece of cake!
Remember, everything is being attempted upside down with the toilet bowl trying to muscle in on the action.
There was no way even my fabulous collection of specialist spanners was going to budge the easier to get at of the 2 taps, so the basin had to come off the wall. This was secured to the wall with an off-cut from the Forth Bridge and a couple of 20 inch long rusty old bolts (which I subsequently boxed up and sold on eBay as the things they fixed the Titanic’s funnels on with).
The waste pipe turned out to be copper (a good indicator of antiquity) and completely inaccessible inside the pedestal. I managed to unscrew it (in tandem with some extremely judicious application of heat), near to the wall but the angle and the pedestal prevented me lifting the basin away, so the pedestal had to come out as well.
This was screwed to the floor of course and in the process of removal one of the ceramic lugs broke, no big deal, a splodge of silicone would sort that!
Now, bearing in mind the whole thing (basin and pedestal) had to be backed away from the wall “as one” the carpet (in a bathroom!) was fitted around it and with the underlay, was about an inch thick so the carpet had to come up as well.
So…. now we have a bloke in a room where you couldn’t swing a cat, with a carpet half up, a basin upside down on the floor, a pedestal propped in the corner, tools everywhere, a bath full of waste bins, toilet roll baskets, (everything has a basket in this house) and other assorted female orientated tosh, swathed in a muck-sweaty lather, uttering obscenities of the most horrid nature, doing a job he didn’t want to do in the first place and he hasn’t actually started yet. And you wonder why plumbers charge a lot!
Eventually I heated up the Dickensian putty enough to free the taps. A tricky job when the basin might explode at any moment if you apply heat for too long in the same place.
Right, fix the new tap with it’s two flexible connectors into one of the existing holes. It went in o.k. but wouldn’t face straight into the basin because of round pegs in square holes. That stumped me for a while until I realised I would have to attempt the impossible and enlarge the glazed tap hole. This was a total and utter botch, achieved by trying to drill with a masonry bit alongside the existing hole in 3 places. Loads more than I intended broke away and I was amazed the basin remained in one piece but eventually the tap was fixed in place in a hole that was way too big for it by making an ugly great washer for the underside and filling all around it with white silicone. It looks truly awful and moves if you try and turn it!
All the 50 year old seals in the copper waste pipe had evaporated during removal so I had to botch them up with PTFE tape and just hope that I’d got the angle right because this basin was going back at the first attempt.
Obviously I wasn’t going to use the “scaffolding” to refix the basin so everything was cleaned and “siliconed up” including the back wall because the whole thing was going to be STUCK back together. I’m still picking the stuff off my fingers by the way!
I didn’t get the angle right of course but it was now back on the wall with the waste in place and amazingly, not leaking. The thing didn’t go back exactly in the same place though, in fact it’s at a truly horrible drunken angle. There’s far too much white silicone filling the gap between it and the tiles and because the basin’s green you can see this from the moon.
In fact it looks like a 5 year old did the job and it took about 5 hours. BUT my wife (who, it being just over the yard arm, was well into her second bottle of Blue Nun by this time), treated me like I was Brad Pitt and……… she gave me a biscuit!