Kitchen taps: everything you need to know about buying yours

Putting the finishing touches to your beautiful new kitchen? Want to complete the look or simply update your existing scheme with the latest design? With so much choice in kitchen taps, I’d forgive you for wanting more than one – how do you choose between those lovely brass fittings, slick chrome kitchen taps or cool matt black designs? I know that choosing the right kitchen tap can be quite a challenge. So, together with journalist Sally Smith, I’ve put together this guide with all you need to know about kitchen taps – from helpful smart features to buying tips you really need to know.

Start with functions you’ll use

Do you want simple hot and cold water taps, or is it time to invest in a 3-in-1 that includes filtered cold water? Or even a 4-in-1 with an added instant boiling water? If you opt for one of these you will have to make room for a filter unit or hot water tank under the sink. So, make sure you talk to your kitchen designer when you’re planning the cabinets. 

Check water pressure

It’s a good idea to check whether you have a high or low water pressure as this can vary depending on your boiler and how far away it is from the tap so make sure your tap has the right specifications to work at a constant water flow. If you’re not sure, ask a plumber. If you do have low water pressure, a plumber might be able to advice on how to boost this too.

kitchen taps
This Crosswater dual lever mixer tap in chrome, priced £169, has a contemporary L-shaped swivel spout that would look stylish in a galley kitchen or utility and is good value.

Tip: If you have a double sink or tap on an island a swivel spout is ideal and some can rotate up to 360 degreesLook out for the pull-out taps with an extendable hose connected to a nozzle from the spout that can be easily switched from standard flow to a spray, handy for washing salads as well as filling awkward shaped pans.   

This Juliet mixer tap from Perrin & Rowe, priced £530.76, has a high profile swan neck and stylish design that is ideal for an island sink layout with pull down rinse hose for flexibility and a single lever to control water flow and temperature, available in chrome.

Choose your finish

It’s worth experimenting with different tap finishes as there is a great range on offer from the traditional chrome to matt black or brushed golds and coppers. Take inspiration from the colour and material of the worktop and any brassware you have chosen for the cabinet handlesbut do make sure the colour and finish of the tap will complement your basin arrangement.

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Also, consider where the tap is going to be positioned in the kitchen to help decide what spout shape and size would be practical.  You don’t want it bumping units or blocking any sign lines if it’s too tall. Also make sure it works with your chosen sink. You don’t want the water to flow to close to the edge, so make sure the projection is right.

kitchen taps
GROHE Essence SmartControl kitchen mixer tap with push-and-turn technology means you can start and stop the water flow with just the push of a button at the end of the spout and change from water-saving mode to full flow. The temperature of the water can easily be adjusted via a mixing valve on the tap’s body. The Essence model has a swivel range of 140 degrees, a high L-spout and a pull-out hose and is priced from £434.40.
The Coniq R tap from Abode,priced from £179, has a stylish conical spout and uses ceramic disc valve technology to ensure a smooth flow and consistent temperature, while the cold start functionality on the single lever model helps increase energy efficiency. This tap comes in a choice of four finishes, including brushed copper adding a bold statement in the kitchen.

Set a budget

You can easily find on trend taps with classy finishes for less than a couple of hundred pounds but if you are looking for the latest hi tech system expect to pay over £800. Make sure to check if you can get a better deal with the tap suppliers directly, especially if you buy the sink and tap together.  

kitchen taps
This is a unique Maris Free Swivel tap by Franke has been created by the award-winning contemporary artist Dror Benshetrit and has used the ever-shifting lines of flowing water as his inspiration. The tap, priced £411 for both finishes, has an elegant sculptural quality with a matt black or silk steel finish. The tap features a 90 degree rotating side lever for easy water flow, a swivel spout which rotates 360 degrees and a spout reach of 224mm.

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Featured image: iStock/ jodiejohnson

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