A Brief History of Tapware Design
Water is essential for life. Although it’s easy to forget that in 21st century Australia, access to clean, drinkable water hasn’t always been the norm. Getting clean water into our homes has been an interesting process.
Like many of the objects in our homes we take for granted, the water tap’s humdrum existence belies a fascinating — and at times life saving — history.
Although the history of domestic water supplies date back to the dawn of civilisation — think the Indus Valley in the Bronze Age or the Romans and their aqueducts later on — the rapid growth of cities in the 19th century made clean water a health necessity. But the slum-like conditions in cities such as London contaminated the water supply, bringing with it all manner of diseases.
The solution? Sanitised, high-pressure water supplies separate from the polluted rivers that had supplied water up to that point. These new fandangled water supplies required a new way to dispense them, so in 1845, the Guest and Chrimes brassworks near Birmingham patented the screw tap — the tap we take for granted today.
Since then, tapware design and technology has been refined and updated. First came mixers (yet to make a splash in Britain!) for hot and cold water, then single-hand mixers, ball valves, cone valves and now continuous cartridge technology. Each evolution has allowed tapware design to break the confines of Guest and Chrimes’ original screw tap and invite high-quality design into the bathroom.
Our award-winning design team has been hard at work taking advantage of these evolutions in tapware technology, taking bathroom interiors to the next level. Our new Ortho range takes precision German made progressive cartridge technology and combines it with functional, minimalist design.
The intuitive central dial is a unique and stylish focal point for any bathroom. The flow of cold water opens as you turn the dial through to 90°. Beyond that, the mixing process begins, adding hot water until, at maximum turn, only hot water flows.
Guest and Chrimes could only have dreamed about such tapware technologies. While their designs were revolutionary back in the day, progressive cartridge technology is a one-step solution with no fiddly maintenance (leaky taps be gone!) and a very long lifespan. In fact, we think our Ortho collection is so good, we’ve backed it with a Lifetime Cartridge Warranty.