Too many people are fooled into thinking that every kitchen tap is equal. These people may pick a tap based purely on colour, shape or style. Even worse, some will be tempted to just take the first tap they see.
But a kitchen tap is a key piece of equipment. Finding one that suits your needs can completely change the way you use your kitchen. It can make cooking quicker, and cleaning easier – you can even upscale your hosting skills with an instant hot water tap to provide hot drinks in a second.
In fact, there is so much potential in a kitchen tap, it can be hard to know where to start. To solve this issue, we’ve put together a guide on choosing the right kitchen tap.
About Appliance City
We’ve been supplying homes with high-quality appliances for over 35 years. As one of the largest appliance retailers in the country, we’re focused on finding the perfect item for every home – however particular your needs are!
We pride ourselves on our competitive prices and excellent customer service – we want to make your shopping experience as pleasant as possible. So whether you’re looking for the convenience of a boiling water tap or the right tap to suit your low-pressure system, we’ve got the advice as well as the appliance you need.
Types of Kitchen Taps
The first thing you need to decide when picking out new kitchen taps is what type of tap you need. There are actually a surprising number of options:
What are Boiling Water Taps?
Boiling water taps are able to dispense water at around 98°C – almost boiling point, hence the name. Also known as instant hot water taps, this type of tap can still dispense cold water as well. They work using their own separate hot water tank that feeds only them, letting them supply hot water instantly.
What is a Pillar Tap?
Pillar taps come in pairs, with a separate tap for hot and cold water. They are quite traditional kitchen taps and have largely fallen out of favour for kitchens as they are less convenient than a mixer tap.
They tend to be affordable and easy to install, but the nuisance of having two separate taps means they are only chosen for style. These days, they are more commonly seen in bathrooms than kitchens.
What are Wall-Mounted Taps?
A wall-mounted kitchen tap is fixed to the wall above the sink rather than the counter behind it. They are a space-saving option if your worksurface isn’t very deep as you can give the whole width over to the sink rather than pipe work. However, they aren’t the easiest to install and they tend to have limited mobility so they aren’t a popular choice for kitchens – they are more likely to be used in bathrooms like pillar taps.
What is a Monobloc Kitchen Tap?
A monobloc tap has a single spout and is operated by one lever. This lever controls both the water flow and temperature.
Monobloc taps usually have a sleek minimalist design making them a fantastic choice for a modern kitchen style. They are also easy to use while the ability to control the water pressure as well as the temperature makes them a convenient kitchen choice.
What is a Bridge Kitchen Tap?
A bridge tap has two separate entry holes, one for hot water and one for cold. A ‘bridge’ joins these two together, and then mixes the water so that it comes out of the same spout. They are another type of mixer tap, like a monobloc, but can be a little simpler to install.
What is a Deck Mixer Tap?
A ‘deck tap’ is any type of tap that is fixed to the counter or sink rather than being wall mounted, while a mixer tap is any tap that mixes cold and hot water so that it flows out of the same tap.
Though some kitchen taps are only described as deck-mixer taps, you will usually see this term used with another more specific style of tap such as a ‘mixer monobloc’ or ‘deck bridge mixer’.
What are Kitchen Sink Pull-Out Taps?
Pull-out taps come with an in-built hose in the spout that can be pulled out to give greater control of the direction of the water flow. They are incredibly useful for kitchens, particularly for washing big or heavy cooking pots, cleaning fruit or vegetables and even for filling buckets or saucepans.
Their convenience has helped make them very popular across modern kitchens and are available in a range of designs.
What are Push Taps?
Push taps are a type of tap that switches itself off. They are operated by pressing a button, the water runs for a short period of time and then the tap switches off. They are commonly used in public places, to remove the chance of taps being left running accidentally but they’re not particularly practical for home kitchen use.
As you have no control over how long the tap runs for, they are fine for hand washing and other quick tasks but are highly inconvenient for cleaning or filling things.
What are Pot Filler Taps?
Pot filler taps are a relatively new addition to home kitchens, and tend to be a luxury inclusion for passionate cooks. This is a particular tap that is fitted very close to – or even directly above – a hob. They make it quick and simple to fill large pots with water, and remove the need to lug full and heavy saucepans across the kitchen so they can be a great accessibility aide.
However, their position makes them complicated to install – few homes will have existing pipework ready. The cost versus the benefits tends to make them unnecessary for most home kitchens.
What are Filtered Water Taps?
A filtered water tap has a third supply of water on top of the standard hot and cold water – a filtered water supply. This flow of water is fitted with a filter that draws out impurities and contaminants to give a cleaner, purer water flow that is perfect for drinking.
It is also possible to get 4-in-1 taps that include both boiling and filtered water.
Why Does Water Pressure Matter?
If you’ve ever switched a tap on in your kitchen while the washing machine is filling or someone is running a bath, you will know exactly why water pressure is so important. The trickle of water that comes out of a low-pressure system will take an irritatingly long time to fill a sink and won’t do much to dislodge dirt or even suds.
Water pressure that is too high is not ideal either. It can damage your pipes, taps and other plumbing work leading to leaks – and even floods.
While water pressure might only seem important when you’re having problems, it is actually one of the main practical considerations you need to take into account when buying new kitchen taps. You need to pick one that will suit the mains water pressure in your house, otherwise you will not get the best from your pipes.
How do You Determine Water Pressure?
When you’re buying a new kitchen tap, the exact pressure of your water won’t matter. You only need to know if you have a high-pressure water system or a low-pressure system.
- A low-pressure water system is 0-0.3 bar pressure
- A high-pressure water system is 1.0+ bar pressure
The ‘middle’ range of 0.4-0.9 bar is largely ignored by manufacturers. It is very unlikely your water system will register in that range. If they do, speak to a plumber about your options.
Types of Water Pressure Systems
There are three types of water pressure system seen in most homes in the UK.
This is a low-pressure system that usually has a cold water tank stored in the loft, and a hot water cylinder in an airing cupboard.
The exact pressure is largely decided by the height of the cold water tank in relation to your kitchen taps. Every metre the water has to travel equals 0.1 bar. So, if your cold water tank is kept 2 meters above your taps, that is 0.3 bars.
Combi-boilers are usually found in the kitchen, at the point where your water mains enter your home. They manage both the cold and hot water in the same unit, heating hot water as and when it’s needed.
Generally, combi boilers create high-pressure water systems. Usually between 1 and 2 bars, you can usually check the exact water pressure printed on the front of the boiler.
An unvented system consists of a cold water tank that is constantly pressurised. An external source then heats the water indirectly. This power source could be a electricity, oil or solar panel etc.
This type of water system does not tend to have a set pressure and can often be combined with any taps.
What to Consider When Shopping for New Kitchen Taps
As we mentioned above, the main practical consideration when you’re buying a new tap should be your water pressure. Work out whether your home uses a low or a high-pressure system so that you can pick a tap that suits that system.
You should also think about the practical benefits you personally want from your kitchen taps. If you drink a lot of tap water, or the water supply in your area has an unappetising taste, you may wish to go for a filtered tap.
If you regularly wash dishes by hand, or eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, a pull-out tap is almost essential as it will help you carry out these vital tasks more easily. Similarly, if you drink a lot of hot drinks then a boiling water tap could be a great investment.
Visually, it is good to be lead by the look of your kitchen design. A bridge tap is likely to suit a more traditional kitchen, while a sleek, stylish monobloc will look right at home in a minimalist design.
Another influencing factor can also be the design of your sink.
Do All Taps Fit All Kitchen Sinks?
Unfortunately not all kitchen taps are compatible with all sinks. Some sinks are designed to include taps – the hole for the fitting is included in the sink top. This can severely limit your choice in taps as you will need to bear this in mind but it’s only really relevant to over mounted sinks. If you have an undermount sink, you should be less restricted in finding the right kitchen tap as your tap will fit onto the counter surface or worktop instead.
What Finishes do Taps Come in?
When it comes to the look of kitchen taps, you might be surprised by the extensive range available. Chrome, brushed nickel and brushed brass are all very popular kitchen tap colours that will have little impact on the function of your tap but will define whether it works for your kitchen or not.
Do I Need a Warranty for My Tap?
Kitchen taps are high-traffic items, switched off and on multiple times every day. This means a lot of wear and tear but most taps are built with this in mind. When you buy a good quality tap, all the parts should be able to withstand heavy use with smooth handling.
It is important to register for the manufacturer’s warranty for any new item in your home, for protection on rare occasions that things do go wrong. The top brand we stock here at Appliance City offer a minimum 2-year warranty to give you peace of mind that you are covered should the worst happen.
Ready to Shop for New Taps?
Now you know exactly what to look out for in a new tap and potentially have a few ideas of what you’d like, it’s time to start shopping. We stock a broad range of taps from reputable brands. Check out our boiling water taps and filtered water taps for stylish choices at a great price.