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Easy and cost-effective ways to refresh - Taps

With cost-of-living top of the current agenda, many are keeping a close eye on household expenditure. In some cases, homeowners have made the decision to put on hold or even cancel kitchen projects, while others continue to press on with original plans building, renovating, or refreshing.

It won't come as a surprise to anyone that these days hard-earned money doesn't go as far as it once did, but for those who have decided on a kitchen refresh, the good news is that there are ways to update and create an amazing space without breaking the bank.

In the first of our ‘Quick and easy ways to refresh’ blogs, we focus on taps – a small item in size, but one that can make a real difference to the overall look and feel of the room.

Your chosen tap can have a huge effect on the finished kitchen, both visually and practically. First, the practicalities. Check the level of water pressure available in your home. Many taps are designed for certain pressure levels and will not work properly if the water pressure is not high enough. Make sure you get a plumber to confirm the water pressure of your kitchen before you start your search.

Next, give some thought to the following:

Finish: Gone are the day of chrome taps or chrome taps! There is now an impressive choice of metal finishes on offer, from brushed brass, copper or matt black to brushed chrome, satin and matt white. Something for every kitchen.

Shape: It is important to bear in mind the other elements of your kitchen such as cabinet handles. Your choice of tap needs to work with the other brassware too so try to ensure shapes and finishes match.

Handles: Consider what type of handle will suit your household. Traditional turning mechanisms are still popular though aren’t ideal for those who struggle with hand strength. More modern lever styles are more suitable for easy use however tend to be more contemporary in style.

Features: There are more and more taps on the market today that offer additional features such as boiling, filtered and even sparkling water as well as pull out and side sprays.

Type: Kitchen taps are most readily available in the following:

Single Lever Mixer Taps (Monobloc) One of the most popular taps found in kitchens today, the hot and cold-water supplies are connected under the sink to the mixer valve. One hole is cut into the worktop or sink to allow for the monobloc to pop through. The spout swings across the sink and the single handle controls the water pressure by lifting it up. Swing the tap to either side to make the water hot or colder.

Twin Lever Mixer Taps (Monobloc) If you see a single hole tap on a kitchen sink with a lever on each side of the pillar, it is the twin-lever mixer tap. The separate handles control either the hot or cold-water supply which then combines in the spout to deliver a nice even flow of water.

Pillar Taps are perhaps the most traditional, consisting of two separate taps – one hot and one cold. They go hand in hand with two tap hole basins and are simple and easy to use, though it can take practice to get used to achieving the right temperature.

Bridge Taps are a step on from the pillar taps. A pipe runs between the hot and cold tap and connects with the central spout. It looks like a bridge at the back of your sink. More modern bridge taps allow the single spout to swivel, but many still lack anti-scalding valves, and it can be difficult to find the right water temperature.

Wall-mounted taps are contactless with the basin and add a modern, contemporary look to any kitchen. The hot and cold-water supplies are fed up behind the wall and pop out right over the kitchen sink.

Price: Like everything, taps can vary enormously in price from £20 for a basic set of pillar taps to a designer-inspired wall-mounted tap where you should be prepared to pay £1,000 plus.

Taps don’t require any special treatment when it comes to cleaning. Keep away from harsh, abrasive cleaners – simply rinse down with warm soapy water and give them a quick polish every now and then with a soft dry cloth for that perfect shine.

29th Aug 2022