How to Replace a Basin Tap – A step by step guide

modern chrome basin tap with water pouring from spout

If you’re looking to upgrade your bathroom or simply need to replace a worn-out basin tap, you’ve come to the right place.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of replacing a basin tap, from start to finish.

Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a beginner looking to tackle a home improvement project, our step-by-step instructions will help you get the job done efficiently and with confidence.

Fitting a new basin tap – things to keep in mind

  • Before replacing the basin tap, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the fittings underneath the sink.
  • Beneath the sink is large, plastic pipe – this is the waste that’s connected to the plug hole. The two smaller copper pipes are the hot and cold water pipes.
  • The tap is screwed into the basin, and there will be screws and nuts that lock it in position.
  • There may also be washers between the nut and the basin, which help protect the ceramic sink and ensure an effective seal.
  • It’s a good idea to check if you need a compression fitting. This connects the water pipe to the flexible tap tail. There may be one fitted to the old pipes, but it’s possible the new pipes could be a different size, so therefore you may need a new compression fitting.
  • Follow the steps below, and you’ll have your new basin tap fitted in no time.

Getting started with replacing a basin tap

Gather those tools and materials

Before you begin, make sure you have the following tools and materials on hand:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Basin wrench
  • Replacement basin tap
  • Teflon tape
  • Towels or rags
  • Bucket or container
  • Plumber’s putty (if needed)

Removing the Old Basin Tap

a man removing the top of a basin tap and exposing the tap valve

Step 1 – Remove the tap handle

  • Use a screwdriver to remove the screw that holds the tap handle in place.
  • Gently pry off the handle to reveal the valve beneath.

Step 2 – Loosen the locknut

  • Using a basin wrench, loosen the locknut that secures the tap to the basin.
  • Turn the wrench anti-clockwise to loosen the nut.

Step 3 – Disconnect the water supply lines

  • Use an adjustable wrench to disconnect the water supply lines from the tap.
  • Place a bucket or container under the connections to catch any remaining water.

Step 4 – Remove the old tap

  • With the locknut and water supply lines detached, lift the old tap out of the basin.
  • Clean the area around the tap hole and remove any old plumber’s putty or debris.

Installing the new basin tap

Installing a new basin tap

Step 5 – Apply plumber’s putty

  • If your new tap requires it, apply plumber’s putty to the base of the tap.
  • Insert the tap into the hole in the basin.

Step 6 – Secure with locknut

  • Place the locknut onto the threaded tail of the tap.
  • Hand-tighten the locknut, and then use a basin wrench to securely tighten it.

Step 7 – Connect water supply lines

  • Reconnect the water supply lines to the new tap.
  • Use an adjustable wrench to ensure a snug fit, being careful not to overtighten.

Step 8 – Attach the tap handle

  • Slide the tap handle onto the valve stem.
  • Secure it in place with the screw you removed earlier.

Testing and final steps

Turn on the water supply

  • Slowly turn on the water supply valves.
  • Check for any leaks around the new tap.

Check the tap is working as expected

  • Turn the tap on and off to ensure it functions correctly.
  • Make any necessary adjustments to the handle if needed.

Job done!


You’ve successfully replaced your basin tap and upgraded your bathroom.

This DIY project can make a significant difference in the aesthetics and functionality of your space.

Remember to take your time, follow the steps carefully, and enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done.

Frequently asked basin tap replacement questions

1. How long does it take to replace a basin tap?

Replacing a basin tap typically takes about 1 to 2 hours, depending on your level of experience and the complexity of the installation.

2. Can I use a basin wrench to remove the old tap?

Yes, a basin wrench is a useful tool for both removing the old tap and installing the new one, especially in tight spaces.

3. Do I need plumber’s putty for all tap installations?

Plumber’s putty is necessary for some tap installations, but not all. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific tap.

4. What should I do if I encounter a stubborn locknut?

If the locknut is difficult to loosen, you can use penetrating oil and allow it to sit for a while before attempting to remove it.

5. Are there any safety precautions I should take?

Always turn off the water supply before starting, and use caution when working with tools to prevent injury.

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