The Kitchen Tap Buyer’s Guide

Milano Mirage Pull out kitchen tap in a modern kitchen

When designing a new kitchen, it can be all too easy to overlook the smaller details such as the tap.

But there’s actually a surprising choice of kitchen taps available in an array of styles including contemporary and traditional, as well as finishes such as chrome and black to enhance any décor.

Although it’s great to have such a wide range to choose from, this can make your decision a little challenging.

So, if you’re looking for a new kitchen tap, but not sure where to start, our expert buying guide will help you choose the best one.

How to choose a kitchen tap

Before choosing a kitchen sink tap, take the style of your kitchen into consideration – is it modern or traditional?

There are plenty of taps in both modern and traditional designs to suit any décor.

Vintage kitchen taps will enhance a country or farmhouse kitchen, while modern kitchen taps suit contemporary and designer kitchens.

Modern kitchen taps now incorporate clever features, which help those who lead a busy lifestyle, save time on everyday tasks.

Becoming an increasingly popular option is the kitchen spray tap; these feature a handy pull-out spray that allows you to rinse pots and pans with ease before you pop them in the dishwasher.

A pull-out spray tap also provides a super handy way to clean fruit and vegetables. There’s even kitchen taps that supply hot water on demand for tea and coffee, as well as taps that filter out impurities for a fresher glass of water.

Kitchen taps with swivel spouts can be moved out of the way, allowing easier access to the sink. There’s even taps that provide boiling hot water on demand for tea and coffee.

There’s also a variety of finishes available that blend perfectly in with any kitchen decor. The most popular option is chrome, but a matt black finish is becoming an increasingly popular choice for both homeowners and interior designers.

Whether you’re after traditional kitchen taps or designer kitchen taps that feature contemporary looks, you’ll have no problem finding the perfect one.

Understanding water pressure

Understanding your home’s water pressure will help you select the most suitable kitchen tap.

There’s no point buying the first tap you lay eyes on, only for it to not to deliver the performance you expected. The type of water system you have will determine your choice of kitchen tap.

If you fit a kitchen tap that requires a high-pressure system, and your home has a low-pressure system, then you will have a very weak flow of hot water. If you have a low-pressure water system, then you will need to choose a tap that is designed to work at a low pressure to ensure a steady flow of water.

A high-pressure system will work with any kitchen tap, so you will have a much wider range to choose from.

Low pressure systems – (also known as gravity fed systems) have a cold-water tank in the loft and a hot water cylinder elsewhere (most likely in an airing cupboard).  You will need to choose a kitchen tap that’s designed to work with a low-pressure system.

High pressure vented system – this means your home will have a combination boiler, which is most likely to be fitted to the wall in the kitchen. There will be no cold or hot water storage tank. Combi boilers are fed directly with mains pressure cold water, which is quickly heated and pumped around your home. If you have this kind of system, then you can choose any kitchen tap.

High pressure unvented system – this is where you’ll have a hot water tank but no cold-water tank. The water is stored at mains pressure in a hot water tank and is heated by immersion heaters, that are attached to the side of the tank or a central heating boiler usually located in an airing cupboard. Most kitchen taps can be used with this system.

Types of kitchen taps

Kitchen sink taps fall into the following categories:

  • Monobloc taps – feature a single lever handle or two handles.
  • Pillar taps – supplied in pairs and a great budget option.
  • Deck mixer taps – feature a single spout and use two tap-holes.

Monobloc kitchen taps

A monobloc kitchen tap features a single lever handle or two handles. Taps with a single lever handle control both the flow and temperature of the water, making them easy to use. Monobloc taps are available in a range of styles to enhance any kitchen.

Advantages:

  • A great option for creating a modern look
  • Easy to use
  • Wide range of styles available

Kitchen sink pillar taps

Kitchen sink pillar taps are supplied as a pair – one tap controls the cold water and the other controls the hot water. Available in a variety of designs, pillar taps are easy to install and make a great option for those on a limited budget.

Advantages:

  • Ideal for those on a limited budget
  • Range of designs to choose from
  • Easy to install

Deck mixer kitchen taps

A deck kitchen mixer tap makes use of two tap holes but only has a single spout. As with other types of kitchen taps, most deck mixer taps feature a swivel spout, which can easily be moved out of the way.

Advantages:

  • Modern and traditional designs available
  • Stylish and practical

Kitchen taps & technology

Kitchen taps and technology are two things you wouldn’t usually associate with one another.

But, whether you want to make cleaning less of a chore or want boiling hot water on demand, there’s a kitchen tap to meet your requirements.

Pull out kitchen taps are perfect for adding a professional touch to your kitchen, and there’s a wide range of designs for you to choose from.

A pull out kitchen spray tap features a spout on a flexible hose that can be removed from its bracket, which means you can clean salad, fruit and veg with ease, or rinse plates, pots and pans before you put them in the dishwasher.

Filter taps can make a handy addition to your kitchen, and they remove the need for a separate filter jug. The filter is fitted to the part of the tap that sits underneath the sink, so you can enjoy a glass of pure clean water whenever you like. Just be aware that you will still need to change the filter as you would on a filter jug.

Boiling water taps provide boiling hot water on demand and are a fantastic option for busy households. The boiling water can be used to fill pans and for hot drinks such as tea and coffee.

Find out why every kitchen should have a boiling water tap in our expert guide.

Kitchen taps – It’s all in the details

It may be a small detail, but whichever kitchen mixer tap you choose, it’s important to consider the handles.

Kitchen mixer taps are available with both lever and cross-head shaped handles. Taps with lever handles are ideally suited to busy kitchens, as you can easily use the back of your hand to turn on the water.

A kitchen mixer tap with a single lever handle is both stylish and convenient, as you can easily control both the flow and temperature of the water.

Cross-head handles are perfect if you want to add a traditional touch to your kitchen.

The design of the spout is an important element too.

Kitchen taps with a high spout allow you to easily wash and fill large pots and pans.

Kitchen mixer taps with swivel spouts are convenient too, as the spout can easily be moved out of the way providing improved access to the kitchen sink.

A swivel spout also means you can direct the flow of water into different bowls if you have a 1.5 or a 2-bowl sink.

When on the hunt for a new kitchen tap you will notice there’s a range of finishes to take your pick from including chrome, brushed steel, nickel, white and even black.

Chrome will always remain a classic favourite, but a matt black finish is becoming a more popular choice for homeowners and interior designers.

When it comes to material, solid brass kitchen taps offer a long-lasting and highly durable option.

Different types of kitchen tap use different valves and an understanding of these will help you choose the right one that meets your needs.

Brass compression valves are found in pillar taps and are constructed from solid brass with a watertight seal.

But, the seals can wear over time, which is what causes a tap to constantly drip. This type of kitchen tap uses a rising spindle or a non-rising spindle mechanism to control the flow of water when you turn the handle.

A more durable option, ceramic disc valves prevent leaks and drips, and are designed to last the lifetime of the kitchen tap. ¼ or a ½ turn brass valves with a ceramic disc are the most common valve type; they are typically found in monobloc or deck mixer taps and are easy to operate with just a quarter or half turn of a lever handle.

Add a professional touch with a pull-out tap

Pull-out kitchen taps combine stylish looks with superb functionality and are like those you may have seen in restaurant kitchens.

This type of kitchen tap features a pull-out spout making it much easier to tackle tough cleaning tasks. Available in a choice of designs, pull-out kitchen taps are becoming more popular, and they provide a great way to add professional touch to your kitchen too.

Here’s 4 advantages to fitting a kitchen spray tap:

Control the water with one hand

Washing dishes and cleaning the sink area means multi-tasking, and your hands are often full. One of the main advantages of a kitchen spray tap is that you can easily control the water with one hand. You could spray water into the kitchen sink with one hand, and scrub with the other hand for example.

Rinse fruit and veg with ease

A pull-out kitchen tap provides a quick and easy way to rinse your fruit and veg. When holding fruit or veg under a normal tap, you need to move them around with your hands to loosen any dirt, but the sprayer works like a mini hose, so it does the work for you.

Reaches beyond the kitchen sink

A pull-out spray extends beyond the kitchen sink, which makes some household chores less of a hassle. For example, you can fill up a mop bucket much easier than a standard tap by directing the flow of water into the bucket with the sprayer.

Makes washing easy

There’s not much room in a kitchen sink to wash large pots and pans and trying to wash a roasting pan under a normal tap can be tricky. A pull-out kitchen spray tap allows you to direct the water into the pan, so you can wash with ease.

Make a statement with black kitchen taps

Black kitchen taps are a great option for making a statement in any modern kitchen, and they are becoming more and more popular for those who want to add a designer touch.

A matt black finish provides an alternative to chrome, if you’re looking for something unusual, plus it will certainly stand out in your kitchen. Here’s a couple of reasons to choose a black kitchen tap.

It’s unexpected

Kitchen fixtures usually feature steel, chrome or white finishes, and even though these are perfectly fine, sometimes you just need something a little different to set your kitchen apart. Choosing a black kitchen tap is a great way to achieve this, and it’s a little unexpected too.

Black will always look good

When you choose a kitchen tap with a matt black finish, you can be assured that it will stand the test of time, even as decorating trends change. Black will always remain classic yet add modern style to your kitchen. Whether your kitchen has an all-white minimalist or a bold red gloss theme, black kitchen taps fit in effortlessly and create a striking feature.

So, there we have it, we’ve covered everything you need to know about kitchen taps to help you choose the best one. If you’re experienced at DIY, why not take a look at our step-by-step guide on how to fit kitchen taps.

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