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Bathrooms Aug 26, 2020

Spotlight: On Tap Celebrates 30 Years

With 30 years in the industry, On Tap are specialists in the world of plumbing and bathrooms. Today we chat to Johan Van Wyk about the brand, with specialist advice to renovating your bathroom.

A visit to a On Tap showroom will open the door to a world of design possibilities, whether you’re just looking for a quick update or are shopping to kit out a new bathroom. From bathroom styles and shower room ideas to chic luxurious designs…

Tell us about On Tap…

On Tap celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. On the 18th of December 1990, during a time in our history that businesses in SA were experiencing one of their worst years in retail, the founders of On Tap thought that it was a good time to start up a new business and On Tap was born amidst all this uncertainty. The business was set up to serve the Plumber and to get them turned around at store level as quickly as possible so that they could focus on their day’s work. We select our staff for their plumbing knowledge and expertise so that we can offer quality and expert advice to our consumers. The initial buy line which underpinned the business then, “Fast, Friendly and Efficient” is still being used today and we strive to deliver on these key aspects of our business.

On Tap has since added showrooms to its plumbing counters and this to service the end-user and for our suppliers to display their products. There is this ongoing debate about the relevance of brick and mortar stores in an e-commerce environment, we believe that retailers should have a combination of the two channels to market. On Tap will be launching its e-commerce site soon.

Where are your products from?

We have a range of products servicing several categories. Some product is manufactured locally and others are imported from manufacturers overseas. We stock some of the leading brands in sanitaryware, taps, and plumbing items. We firmly believe in only selling SABS approved products where it is required. Consumers must be aware that most plumbing products should be made to a required SANS standard and they must insist that the product they purchase meet these standards.

What does your range include?

Our range includes all bathroom finishing products, kitchen sinks, and taps and all the “dirty” plumbing required to plumb an entire house. Some of the categories are geysers, taps, baths, basins, bathroom furniture, kitchen sinks, bathroom accessories, water storage, water purification, all plumbing items, spares, PVC, plumber tools, copper pipe, etc.

What is the cost of the average sanitaryware?

This is a difficult question to answer as consumers’ budgets vary. We cater from the entry-level project item to your higher-end more expensive sanitaryware items. We can design a bathroom around your budget.

What is your take on coloured sanitary ware?

Having been around the block, I have seen colour sanitaryware come and go. The latest designs are beautiful especially with the outer being a pastel colour and the inner white. It does give it a sense of longevity and allows for more options to accessorize. However, most people still prefer white as their base colour and then they accessorize with colour fittings. Coloured sanware could be restrictive but if the budget allows for it, then why not….. you can always change it later.

What should one look for in new bathroom fixtures?

There are many things to consider when selecting bathroom fixtures. First of all, it must be aesthetically pleasing and should fit-in with the rest of your bathroom design. Often items are chosen because of the price but then clashes in design. Due to the high moisture levels in a bathroom, it’s important to choose a good quality stainless steel fitting. There are many cheap options available but will only last a year or two and then it will require replacement.

When selecting a tap ensure that it conforms to the SANS standard and that it has been tested and approved by a registered laboratory. Again there are many cheap taps available in the market that will not be around in a year and then you cannot find spares for that item.

Take time to plan your bathroom, consider door swings, where to hang your accessories, and what the function is of each item installed. Your bathroom, like your kitchen, is the showcase of your house.

When designing a bathroom are designers still opting for a bath and shower or shower only?

I think that designers are constantly being challenged, having to work with smaller and smaller spaces hence the lean towards showers only. I think that every house, space permitting should at least have one bath in the house and its normally in the main ensuite.

There are options available to install combination baths which include a shower screen and then you can have the best of both worlds.

When renovating – does it cost more to move the toilet, basin, and bath around?

It would cost more especially if you are having to chase walls to install new water pipes, relocate existing sewer and drainage lines, etc. Renovations by nature are very messy and require careful planning to minimize disruption and mess in the house.

Should one consider underfloor heating in a bathroom?

This is always nice to have especially with our cold winters, however, this is something that should be installed when the building takes place. The underfloor heating can be switched off in summer to save energy when it’s not required. Underfloor heating will impact and increase your energy bills. Underfloor heating can be installed on existing floors especially under carpets and laminate floors.

Do heated towel rails heat a bathroom?

Whilst it cannot be considered a primary source of heat, larger fluid-filled heated towel rails will certainly take the edge off the cold air however that is not its primary function.

How important is ventilation?

Bathroom ventilation is especially important due to the extra humidity in this room. Taking showers, flushing the toilet, and washing your hands all add moisture to the air in your bathroom. Ventilation removes the trapped moisture, which provides several benefits.

A properly ventilated bathroom will rid the bathroom air of excess moisture, humidity, odors, and other pollutants. It also helps to remove water vapor that has accumulated on mirrors and walls. Occupants will be much more comfortable with proper ventilation.

Do you recommend to fully tile a bathroom or partly tile it?

This is one of those personal taste things. I prefer to tile the entire bathroom. It may be restrictive to some but the low maintenance appeals to me. If you choose the correct tile and accessories, I believe you can get the longevity required. I am yet to find a paint that does not leave streaks on the wall?

Johan Van Wyk has been in the retail sector for the last 33 years. He started a retail career in the fashion industry and later jumped into FMCG, where he learned about the power of developing sustainable brands and consumer behaviour towards those brands. His career has mostly been in operational management he also had the privilege to head up and lead the New Business Development team of one of the major retailers in South Africa. During this time, Johan also had the opportunity to influence consumer behaviour within the retail space and measure its results.

“Many people may not know this but store layouts, touchpoints, displays, aisle widths, trolley sizes, gondola ends bulk stacks, etc are carefully planned to influence the consumer journey and behaviour while shopping the store. Retail is not for everyone but I have a passion for it.” – Johan.

For more visit On Tap.

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