Thinking that one type of kitchen tap is pretty much the same as the next is a reasonable mistake to make. Most of us aren't plumbers, and most of us don't spend our days considering the features and benefits of different types ofkitchen taps. However, if you're thinking about replacing the taps in your kitchen, or are installing a new sink and are facing a dilemma about which kitchen taps to buy, here are some pointers to get you started.
Kitchen Taps - To Mix or Not to Mix?
If you're replacing taps in an existing sink, your decision about which kitchen taps to choose is going to be constrained by what you have already as your replacement taps are going to have to fit in the same holes. Similarly, when buying a new sink unit, you might have to rule out certain types of taps as they will not fit. If you have a free choice, your main decision is between having two separate taps, or one designer tap which mixes the water. While some people prefer two handle operation to mix hot and cold separately, many prefer the approach of a single lever for operation. The minimalist look of a single lever lends itself well to kitchens that are slightly more modern, and it’s also one less moving part to go wrong in comparison to twin handles. Obviously, it’s a design preference unless you find one easier to use than the other, then you should opt for simplicity due to the amount of time spent at the kitchen sink. Mixer taps allow you to more closely regulate the water temperature coming out of the tap and are usually a more convenient choice than having two separate taps.
Turning the Taps On
You also have a few options when it comes to how you are going to switch your taps on and off. The traditional twist mechanism works fine, but designer levers can be a better option if you often find yourself struggling to turn on the taps with dirty hands. Lever taps can give your kitchen a more modern look, and their flat surfaces mean they're easier to keep clean too. Touch taps, where you just knock the tap with any part of your hand to turn it on, and taps which switch on when you wave your hand in front of a sensor are also becoming more commonplace but are still relatively expensive.
There are a lot of different taps to choose from, so be sure to have a proper look before you make your final choice.
Kitchen Mixer Taps
Standard Kitchen Taps
Kitchen Mixer Taps effortlessly combine hot and cold water, providing you with your perfect water temperature to suit all your needs. These taps come in two different handle options; single lever, two-handle operation. the single lever will give your kitchen a more minimalistic feel and is a great purchase for more modern kitchens. Mixer taps allow you to closely regulate the water temperature and are extremely convenient.
Don't think technology in the kitchen tap world has been standing still, there are some modern innovations, and one of the best for those living in a hard water area is the filter tap. These taps combine the functions of a standard tap and a water filter, which helps remove a lot of the minerals which cause limescale build up in your kettle. The filter part of the system sits underneath your counter out of sight, and the tap looks like any other kitchen tap. If limescale is a problem in your area, then consider one of these dual function taps as they represent excellent value for money
Pillar taps in the kitchen are an affordable choice for all. Offering separate hot and cold supplies you can easily achieve your desired temperature. Our range of kitchen pillar taps come in a variety of different designs including cross head and lever head for those with limited mobility.
Hot Water Taps
For around £350, you can install a tap in your kitchen which will give you boiling water on demand and allow you to dispense with the kettle entirely. The two main brands to look out for are InSinkErator and GROHE Red, although as these taps are growing in popularity, many other manufacturers are getting in on the act too. A hot water tank will be installed beneath your countertop and this will then dispense boiling water at the touch of a button. It's pricey but practical.
Pull Out Taps
If you’re going for the “professional kitchen” look in your home, then look at pull-out taps which have a nozzle on a long hose that can be pulled out and used to supply water or clean down across the kitchen. Pull-out taps are great for washing up and rinsing off surfaces and utensils, and are very useful in a busy family kitchen. This sort of tap doesn't have to be very expensive either; prices start at under £50.
Modern vs. Traditional Taps
The design differences between a traditionally styled tap and contemporary designs is easily recognizable, but this choice comes down to personal preference and may be influenced by the design of your kitchen. Trying to match a contemporary straight lined kitchen design with a traditional tap in most instances won’t work well. The contrast in styles is just too stark; so it’s best to stick to the same theme throughout. Traditional taps usually feature handles and levers with a much older, intricate design, whereas modern taps go for a more minimalist approach. Therefore, if you aren’t a fan of unneeded bulk to fittings, modern is the way to go. However, if you like fine detailing and an uncommon look, traditional will be right up your street.
Designer Tap Range
Plumbworld’s designer range of kitchen taps offers an alternative to the mainstream common fittings for those kitchens that require something an extra bit special. Designer taps whilst of the same high quality as others in the range are designed to be quirky and different in order to focus attention on that piece. The designer range features many offerings from renowned brands Franke and Grohe so you know you’re getting the best possible service and quality by buying a recognised brand.
Finishes of taps:
Stainless Steel Taps
Stainless steel taps are perhaps one of the most favoured styles of taps as they offer excellent levels of durability and won't stain over time! The stainless-steel finish can make your kitchen appear bigger, even more so when paired with one of our stainless-steel kitchen sinks! You’ll be glad to hear that stainless-steel taps are resistant to heat and water, what more is that they’re also super easy to clean, leaving you with a sleek and modern style that so many people desire.
Brushed Stainless Steel
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 fingerprint marks are greatly reduced, thus ensuring a fresh and clean appearance is always offered – ideal for busy family kitchens.
If stainless steel isn’t the way for you, we also offer an ever-growing range of coloured taps. We supply a wide range of coloured taps to suit all types of décor, including copper, gold and black taps so you’re bound to find the one for your kitchen.
We offer a large range of taps that feature many different designed hands. Our ranges include lever, cross-shaped and knob handles. Lever handles are best suited in busy kitchens where you will need easy operating taps. They’re the perfect choice if you have reduced mobility in your hands, or if you simply enjoy spending time in the kitchen with your friends and family with children, as they will find this style easy to operate.
Crosshead handles offer a traditional charm which is perfect for more classic style kitchens and older properties. Knob handle taps are a great option for those with a tighter budget and tend to be found our less expensive taps.
A new set of taps for the kitchen can cost you anything from £20 to £1000, depending on the brand, style and functions which you are looking at. Remember that if you are buying a complete fitted kitchen you might be in a better position to negotiate on the price of the taps than if you are only making one purchase.
Plumbers will charge around £100 to fit a standard set of taps in the kitchen, but installing special taps such as filter taps or those with a hot water tank may cost more, and it is always best to get someone in to fit them who has successfully worked with them in the past.