When redesigning your kitchen, the incredible range of different types of kitchen taps available might not be the first thing you think of. Often, it’s the cupboard design, the cooker, or the worksurfaces that take priority, but a good kitchen tap is crucial element of any kitchen. Food prep, dish rinsing, and even delivering boiling water straight to your cup, the variations in technology found in modern kitchen tap fittings allows for a range of features that really make the modern kitchen.
But choosing the correct tap for your kitchen isn’t necessarily an easy task. When you buy taps, you’ll need to consider several important factors, including both the design of your kitchen sink, and if your kitchen is of classic or contemporary style. On top of this, you’ll need to take into account your local water pressure and any additional features you want your tap to have. To make this as seamless a process as possible, we’ve put together this detailed tap buying guide to explain the differences between the types of kitchen taps, their materials, and the most common kitchen tap styles.
Before you start
Before you settle on one or more of the different types of kitchen taps available, the first thing you need to do is step back and look at your kitchen to take in its overall fee. Is it more classic or rustic, offering a traditional feel that might be found in a town house or cottage? Or does it feel more modern with a sleek but elegant design, perhaps similar to a new-build or a city-centre flat?
Certain types of kitchen taps lend themselves better to a particular style. Two-handled taps are very traditional whereas pull-out models are almost exclusively tailored towards a contemporary feel. You’ll also want to look at different types of tap handles for your kitchen sink. Do you want taps with a classic cross shape design or an easy-to-use lever?
It’s also important to know that your particular kitchen aesthetic will also dictate which material you choose for your tap and its style of finish. Of course, if you’re looking to totally redesign your kitchen, then you’ll be able to choose which style you prefer immediately without worrying about potential aesthetic differences.
Understanding your home’s water pressure is vital in determining which types of kitchen taps are best suited for your kitchen. Most taps will work properly with regular high pressure water systems, but you need to be sure you pick the correct type of tap for a steady flow of water.
This is particularly important if you have gravity fed taps or a low pressure water system. If that’s the case, you’ll need to compensate for this by purchasing a tap specifically tailored for a low pressure system.
Alternatively, your water system might operate on a pressure vented or unvented piping network. The difference between these two systems lies in how they pull and heat water from the mains, but in both cases, any standard tap will work well with them.
If you’re unsure what level of water pressure your home has, you can ask your local supplier. Once you know this, you’ll have no trouble picking out an appropriate model to suit your needs.
When you buy kitchen taps, they’ll need to be connected to the water mains in order to produce water. If you’re looking to redesign your kitchen and plan on moving the sink, then you need to be aware that a certain level of extra plumbing will likely be involved to connect your taps correctly. Be sure to think about the practicalities of where you want your taps placed before you go about a kitchen redesign to avoid any extra costs.
Types of kitchen taps
Modern kitchen taps incorporate a variety of useful new features to help make everyday life as simple as possible. Many of the best kitchen taps are now capable of swivelling on their fittings to cover an entire sink. Others offer pull-out options for easy rinsing. There are even on-demand hot water taps for when you need a quick cup of tea or coffee. Many of the more modern taps actually come with replaceable water filters that provide the purest drink possible. But at the end of the day, all types of kitchen taps provide the same basic function, so your choice of kitchen tap styles really comes down to design preference and kitchen aesthetic.
Coming in a huge range of style options and being very easy to use, monobloc taps are ideally suited for all modern kitchen. They are traditionally operated by pulling a single lever, which opens and closes the tap’s water valve. This makes the lever responsible for controlling water pressure and temperature, the power of both depending on the direction and distance the lever is pulled down.
Monobloc taps look great, and their single lever makes turning them off and on very simple, even with your hands full. Their only downside is their minimal temperature controls. Monobloc taps usually only come in mixed tap systems, meaning that the hot and cold water are mixed before they leave the spout. While this still allows for some degree of temperature control it might require you to make adjustments in order to get the temperature in your sink perfect.
Two handle taps
Two handled monobloc taps work on the same premise as their single lever counterparts but come in both mixed tap and traditional two-pillar systems. Two-pillar systems are particularly popular as they separate your hot and cold water until they enter the spout, giving you greater temperature control.
Having two handles on your tap allows you to easily create the perfect desired temperature when running water or filling a sink. Their designs are typically simple yet elegant, with styles able to fit traditional and contemporary kitchens alike. Pillar taps in particular are great for a limited budget and are easy to install.
Pull-down / pull-out taps
If you’re after a tap that’s not limited by the swivel and reach of its spout, then you should be looking at either pull-down or pull-out kitchen tap styles. Rather than a solid neck and head, the spouts on pull-down and pull-out taps are connected to a flexible hose. This allows you to disconnect the tap from its holdings for a greater range of motion that can be used for cleaning up mess even outside of the sink.
These taps are fantastic for rinsing, filling an extra sink, or washing vegetables for food prep, and while usually more expensive, they fully exemplify the modern kitchen look in every regard.
Deck/bridge mixer taps
A unique style of tap design, deck or bridge mixer taps take what makes two-handle pillar taps great but remove the single nozzle hole, replacing it with two separate side-by-side holes. So, rather than hot and cold water mixing in the pillar, they only merge once they leave the tap.
Bridge mixer taps grant excellent temperature control and look fantastic in both modern and traditional kitchens with the right finish. Stylish and practical, they’re the perfect match when combined with pull-out type taps, giving you the benefits of both.
Hot water taps
Sometimes it’s not enough to simply have warm water. If you’re someone who leads a busy lifestyle and don’t have time to wait for the kettle in the morning, then a hot water tap is the best way to make that early morning brew on-demand.
Hot water taps produce boiling water instantaneously, making them ideal for producing multiple hot drinks in one go and maintaining good hygiene when doing food preparation or cleaning. They come separately or in 3-in-1 models, meaning you don’t need to worry about the addition of an extra tap when choosing where to place them.
There are a variety of materials used for taps, each one lending its own charms to your kitchen. Though many will look great in both traditional and modern settings, the different types of kitchen tap materials all come with their own drawbacks that are worth considering before you buy.
Stainless steel finished taps are becoming increasingly popular, especially in contemporary kitchens, adding weight and size while being very easy to clean. They’re incredibly durable, scratch and heat resistant, and don’t stain easily. While popular with many, however, some people find stainless steel taps cold and unwelcoming, making them a potentially poor choice for those kitchens with warmer aesthetics.
A timeless classic, chrome taps are everywhere for a reason. They’re very easy to clean, trendy to look at, and economically priced, meaning you won’t have to break your budget when buying one. Unfortunately, chrome taps do require regular cleaning, even though that cleaning will be relatively simple.
If durability is what you’re after, look no further than a brass tap. Brass taps are incredibly long-lasting and come with highly durable seals. They’re also corrosion resistant, making them perfect for high temperature systems. While the perfect accompaniment for any traditional kitchen, modern contemporary taps now come in brass finishing, lending an impressive and stylistic talking point to your home. The only drawback to brass taps is the price, with some high-end models being particularly expensive.
Brushed nickel is one of many finishes for nickel taps, with other options including stainless. Nickel taps are exceedingly tough, but this comes with drawback of regular cleaning as they stain with fingerprints and water spots easily. Nickel taps can also be expensive, making them an investment you’ll need to be sure about.
Highly traditional but less common than brass, copper taps are still a worthwhile purchase for any traditional kitchen. Their antimicrobial properties means that any bacteria in the tap will be killed off in a few hours. However, like nickel, copper taps stain easily and require a lot of maintenance to retain peak functionality.
Kitchen tap styles
Once you’ve settled on your favourite types of kitchen taps, it’s time to choose the finishing stylistic touches.
Firstly, if your tap type allows it, you can choose from one of several neck types. Swan-necks form a long arch that provides an elegant quality as it stretches over the sink and are very common in all types of kitchen style. Goose-neck taps, on the other hand, arch up high, offering great clearance but limited sink coverage. Bridge taps shoot straight down, offering a compact style for more minimalist kitchens, but again, offer limited sink coverage.
You’ll also need to consider the different types of tap handles as well, while lever or cross shaped designs usually fit either contemporary or traditional kitchen aesthetics, it’s certainly possible to have a traditional looking tap with lever controls.
After this, you’ll need to decide how your tap will be mounted. Worktop and sink placements are common, with more traditional setups being centred in the sink’s middle. However, it’s not uncommon to see more contemporary taps placed off to the side, allowing for swing taps to reach the entire sink. Wall-mounted options are less common but give flexibility for pull-out taps.
As for colour options, brass, copper, and nickel all provide their own finishes, but many taps can be shaded for a greater aesthetic feel. Black and white taps really stand out and make a modern statement, but a rose or gold colour lends a greater traditional feel. Brush finishes can be used on metal taps in general for a touch of variation while retaining its conventional colour.
With all this in mind, you may be wondering what the best ways to clean, repair, and maintain your taps are.
Where to buy kitchen taps
Whatever the type and style of kitchen tap you choose, many well-known kitchen retailers offer a vast range of choice both in-store and online. Here at Wren Kitchens our tap selection encompasses all tap designs, meaning we can cater to modern and traditional kitchens alike. Be sure to know what taps you want when redesigning your kitchen with us and we’ll add them into your fitted design.
Our team of experts have decades of experience in designing dream kitchens. When you visit us, we’ll guide you through the entire buying process to make sure all your needs and requirements are fulfilled. Why not get in touch and book an appointment for your nearest showroom so we can help you find the perfect taps for your dream kitchen.
If you want to fit your kitchen out even further but want to do more research, you can find a range of kitchen and appliance buying guides in our inspiration section.