How to select, install and maintain the perfect taps for your kitchen
Installing a new shiny tap can be a relatively simple way to breathe new life into an old kitchen. Paint the cupboard doors and add new handles, and a value stylish kitchen makeover is in your hands! But how to go about finding the right tap? Our Plumberparts guide has you covered!
What type of kitchen tap do I need?
The key advice we give in our bathroom taps guide rings true for kitchen taps as well – think about your sink! Your start point should be to see how many holes your kitchen sink has. Pro tip: the plug hole doesn’t count!
Monobloc kitchen taps work where your sink has one hole. You might sometimes hear a monobloc tap called a single pillar tap – as the name implies they’re a single unit with either one or two tap handles, plus a spout where the water comes out. Monobloc kitchen taps are a type of mixer tap.
Where your kitchen sink has two holes, you’ll likely end up with a regular kitchen mixer tap, a unit where one hole connects to the hot water, the other to the cold, and they mix in the middle to via a single spout.
With three holes, you’re into a more complex type of kitchen mixer tap, with two taps and a spout.
One hole and two hole varieties are the most common types of kitchen tap, but whatever your holy-moly-combination, you can go wild to choose the design features you want. Copper kitchen taps, brushed steel, kitchen spray taps with a hose … the choice is yours!
How to install a kitchen tap
I cover all the basics of kitchen tap installation in this video, which shows how to change a kitchen monobloc tap:
My top tip would always be to install an isolating valve, which makes it waaaaaay easier for maintenance (more on maintenance below) or to change the tap in the future.
Top tips for kitchen tap maintenance
The world has moved on from traditional rubber washers, and most modern kitchen taps now use a full turn or quarter-turn ceramic disc cartridge.
Limescale build up in the kitchen tap cartridge can result in a reduction in flow to the tap, especially in hard water areas. Removing the cartridge to clean it should fix the problem – this is where having an isolating valve makes the job a lot easier! Standard limescale removers or good old-fashioned vinegar should do the trick cleaning-wise.
If you end up with a dripping tap, then it’s likely you’ll need to replace all, or part of, the cartridge. If you’ve got damage to the cartridge itself, such as pitting on the valve seat, the whole cartridge is best replaced. Make sure you get the exact right cartridge with the correct spindle size for the tap handle – you get that wrong and it’s no fun! If the O-ring has given up the ghost then a simple O-ring replacement may be all you need!