Kitchen Taps Buying Guide
When it comes to refreshing or renovating your kitchen, choosing the right kitchen taps is an often overlooked but essential step.
Kitchen taps can add the finishing touch you need to complete your sink and turn it into an area you will be happy with. You need to remember that the tap is likely to be used the most in your kitchen and see the most amount of work. It needs to be sturdy and stylish.
But just like bathroom taps, there’s a lot to consider when buying kitchen taps, including the style, size, pull-out taps and boiling water taps. It can be fairly complicated if you were just hoping for a tap that looked nice with your sink. So, Plumbworld is here to help you choose!
Read on to find out all about kitchen taps and what to consider when buying…
What are the types of kitchen tap?
The most common types of kitchen tap are:
- Single lever taps: feature a single lever handle that controls your hot and cold water with a single spout.
- Twin lever taps: feature separate levers for hot and cold water with a single shared spout
- Hot water taps: an additional tap that can be installed to provide hot or boiling water.
- Deck mixer taps: feature a single spout and use two tap-holes.
- Pull-out taps: a spray feature that makes rinsing vegetables and washing plates easier.
- Pillar taps: supplied in pairs - two individual taps - and a great budget option.
We’ve explained each one in more detail below…
Single lever taps are very popular, and it’s easy to see why. They are ideally suited to modern kitchens thanks to their ultra minimalist design. These taps feature a single lever handle which controls both the flow and temperature of the water, making them incredibly easy to use.
Classically designed twin lever kitchen taps will normally have two separate levers for controlling the flow of the hot and cold water supplies individually whilst sharing a single spout. Not only do they look great with perfectly symmetrical handles, but they perform well on almost all water systems too!
As well as the style of kitchen tap you use, its functionalities can make it stand out. Boiling water taps give you instant access to boiling water, ideal when cooking and making hot drinks. It means you can forget about needing a kettle, freeing up your important worktop space! Some can be incorporated in a mixer tap, as a 3-in-1 tap, or be a separate instant hot water tap for kitchens.
Read More: A Guide to Boiling Water Taps
Like twin lever taps, deck taps are a mixer but feature two handles for a striking statement in your kitchen. With this type of kitchen tap design, you will benefit from two separate hot and cold taps, as well as a single spout for water flow. A mixer tap, this means they are a convenient and stylish way to control the temperature of your water.
If you’re after the professional kitchen look at home, then pull-out taps are what you need. Pull-out taps have a nozzle on a long hose that can be pulled out from the body of the main tap and used to supply water or clean down across the kitchen. Pull-out taps are great for washing up and rinsing surfaces or utensils and are very useful in a busy kitchen as they give you plenty of flexibility.
Pillar taps in the kitchen are affordable and often considered a traditional choice. Unlike twin lever taps, pillar taps offer separate hot and cold water supplies in different tap bodies to easily achieve your desired temperature. Depending on the design and finish you choose, pillar taps can work well in both traditional and contemporary spaces.
What are kitchen filter taps?
Taps can do much more than just provide a flow of warm or cold water, technology hasn’t been standing still, there are modern innovations that can be of use in your home.
One of the best innovations is for those living in a hard water area is the filter tap. These kitchen taps combine the functions of a standard tap and a water filter. This helps remove a lot of the minerals which cause limescale build-up in your kettle, for example.
The filter part of the tap system sits underneath your counter, out of sight, and the tap looks like any other kitchen tap. Perfect. If limescale is a problem in your area, then you should consider one of these dual-function taps, they’re excellent value for money and can solve a frustrating problem that can affect a lot of kitchens in the UK.
What are kitchen mixer taps?
If you're simply replacing taps in an existing sink, your decision about which kitchen taps to choose is going to be limited by what you have already and fitting in the existing tap holes.
If you have a free choice, your main decision is between having two separate taps (like pillar taps) or one single tap which mixes the water. While some people prefer a two-handle set-up to mix hot and cold separately, others prefer a single lever for ease of use and design.
The minimalist look of a single tap and lever works well in kitchens that are more modern with its decor. Plus, it’s also one less moving part that could go wrong. Obviously, most kitchen taps come down to being a design preference, unless you find one easier to use than the other. Then, you should opt for simplicity due to the time spent at the kitchen sink.
Mixer taps, like those in a bathroom, allow you to closely regulate the water temperature coming out of the tap so a family member or you don’t scald yourself. They’re a safety feature, first and foremost. Mixer taps are also usually a more convenient choice than having two separate taps, you can operate your water supply easily with one hand.
Aerators and Flow Regulators
An aerator or flow regulator might sound complicated but it’s actually a small fixture on the end of the tap spout that helps to reduce limescale, regulate flow and reduce splash.
Featuring a clever filter within the tap spout which injects air into the water and acts as a sieve, turning a single flow of water into many smaller streams. This eliminates the risk of splash back and reduces the amount of water you use which will lower your water bill!
These will need removing and cleaning over time. To replace them, simply unscrew the old one and screw the new one in place. You’ll save water and money on your utility bill.
Read more: How to Fit a Kitchen Sink
Which kitchen tap finish is best for my decor?
When it comes to kitchen tap finishes, meaning the material they’re made from, you will often have three choices - stainless steel, brushed stainless steel and coloured taps. Each one will go with most kitchen designs but we’ve detailed each one below...
Read more: Kitchen Sink Buying Guide
Chrome stainless steel taps are perhaps one of the most favoured styles of taps because they offer excellent levels of durability and won't stain. This finish can make your kitchen appear bigger thanks to the polished reflective surface, even more so when paired with a stainless-steel kitchen sink. Chrome taps are resistant to heat and water while being easy to clean, providing an aesthetic that will complement any interior.
If stainless steel isn’t the way for you, the ever-growing popularity of coloured taps certainly will be. Coloured taps can suit all types of decor, from traditional to modern kitchen designs thanks to the range of finishes you can choose from. These include copper, brass, gold and, for a bold, on-trend option, black taps. You’re bound to find the ideal one for your kitchen that is guaranteed to make a real feature.
Brushed steel taps will look absolutely gorgeous in any modern-day kitchen. This finish is the perfect choice for those buying with cleanliness in mind. This is because, unlike normal stainless steel, fingerprint marks are greatly reduced, ensuring a fresh and clean appearance is always provided. This makes them ideal for busy family kitchens.
For some, the ultra-modern contemporary design for kitchens and taps isn’t to everyone’s tastes. You may prefer the older times or just want to have something a little more traditional in your decor. This will certainly be the case in older properties and styled kitchens.
The kitchen is a great place to express this love for traditional styling with Edwardian-era design touches to bring classical elegance to your kitchen. Though traditional in style, these taps are all constructed using high-quality materials to ensure their timeless look. Traditional kitchen taps usually feature handles and levers with much older, intricate designs.
Kitchen tap tips
- Integrate your kitchen taps: match the tap material with cabinet handles, storage canisters or even cookware
- Match the colour and material of your sink: examples would be brushed or stainless steel paired with each other or traditional taps with Belfast sinks for their ceramic touches
- Water type: water hardness varies across the UK. so, in hard water areas, consider buying a tap with a built-in filter to reduce limescale build-up
- Water pressure: your tap needs to be compatible with your home’s water pressure. Gravity-fed systems have low pressure while combi boilers have higher pressure
- Usage and lifestyle: ultimately, your choice of kitchen tap also depends on how the kitchen is used
Sascha has been copywriting for over 6 years and especially loves writing about home interiors, renovations, and décor. She enjoys digital illustrating in her spare time and following the latest interior trends on social media.
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