Which Basin Waste is Best? Pop Up Waste Vs. Pop Down Waste Vs. Plug and Waste

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how to choose the right basin waste for you basin

Choosing the right basin waste for your basin will come down to five considerations.

how to choose the right basin waste for your basin

1. The size of the basin waste outlet

Basin wastes will be either 32mm or 40mm in diameter. Check the basin specifications to know which size waste you need.

2. Presence of an overflow

Basins can come with or without an overflow.

black pop up waste with an overflow and without an overflow
Left: Without overflow, Right: With an overflow, Pop Up Wastes by Meir Australia

An overflow is the hole near the top inner rim of the basin which prevents water running over the basin edge, flooding the bathroom. The overflow hole allows for water to ‘overflow’ down the basin waste.

If your basin has an overflow, you will need a basin waste with an overflow slot and if your basin doesn’t have an overflow, choose a basin waste without the slot.

3. The finish

The waste will typically match the tapware finish in your bathroom.

This is not always possible for various tapware finishes though.

The most common waste finishes available are chrome, black, white, brass and gold.

Mixing finishes in the bathroom can certainly be done. It will come down to personal preferences and what is available when ordering the fittings.

4. The design of the waste

There are three types of basin wastes to consider. The pop up waste, pop down waste and the traditional plug and waste. All three have their own pros and cons. I will discuss these below.

The pop up and pop down wastes are more common for their stylish and seamless aesthetic in the basin.

5. Future function and maintenance

It’s important to consider how easy the waste is to clean and what are the future complications after constant use? What is their lifespan?

As explained in point 4, there are 3 types of basin wastes to consider.  Let’s explore the pros and cons of each type.

Pop Up Waste

The pop up waste is the most popular choice in basin wastes.

pop up waste for basin in champagne gold Meir Australia
Champagne Pop up Waste by Meir Australia

It can come in a variety of finishes to match with your chosen tapware. The pop up mechanism allows for ease of draining and plugging down to seal the water in the basin when needed.

The cons are they do require regular cleaning and they do have a limited life span. Pop up wastes are notorious for getting stuck when the plug insert is pushed down. This can be frustrating and often requires a whole new waste replacement.

They can also be accidentally pushed down if hands are brushed past or if the mixer spout shoots water directly at the waste to activate the pop-down.

It is common for homeowners to replace their pop up waste with a standard plug and waste because of the inconvenience caused by pop up wastes.

Pop Down Waste

The pop down waste is the newer waste on the block. Its unified design creates a distinct appeal for those wanting a seamless plug and waste. It also solves some of the negative aspects of a pop up waste.

pop down basin waste
Champagne Pop Down Basin Waste available at Meir Australia

How a pop down waste works: When in the sealed position, the pop down waste will sit recessed. When open, it sits flush as the water drains.

There is no accidental sealing due to the flush design of the plug. But do ensure the tap spout isn’t directly overhead as high pressure can still push the inner plug down to seal.

Pop down wastes are also easier to clean as the whole inner cartridge can be removed. This allows for ease of removing blockages and replacement should it no longer seal.

They are the most expensive basin waste type but they are stunning.

Like the pop up waste, the mechanism will have a limited lifespan. Look for manufacturers who offer longer warranty on their wastes to ensure you get value for money.

Plug and Waste

The traditional plug and waste is still a go-to for many renovators and new builds for its ease in installation, availability and removes the fear of a stuck plug.

traditional plug and waste for a basin
Standard 40mm Plug and Waste in Chrome from Reece

The grate of the waste does make it difficult to clean and the plug is separate so needs to be stored somewhere it won’t be lost.

Still, it is the basin waste option most resort to when they’ve had issues with the pop up or pop down wastes.

They are also the cheapest option. If your budget is limited, opt for a standard plug and waste. You can always upgrade to a new modern style waste later on.

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