The stylish kitchen finishing touch
The kitchen tap is a hard-working household essential that always has to be at its best. Whether you’re planning an entire kitchen or utility room refit, refreshing a few key areas or just making a quick repair – it has to be durable and hard-wearing while suiting your kitchen’s needs.
To do this, many clever new features have been introduced to help busy households save time on everyday tasks. Thankfully, these exciting innovations don’t mean compromising on style, as the kitchen tap also provides the perfect finishing touch to your kitchen.
So, whether you want something traditional and classic, or a tap that’s more modern and on-trend, our wide range of taps offer a variety of styles, finishes and features to make the ideal addition to your kitchen.
Let’s get started.
Before you begin
To get the best performance from a new tap, it’s critical to choose one that suits your home’s water pressure. If you have a low pressure water system, a tap designed to operate at this pressure will help to ensure a steady flow of water. Or if you’ve got a high water pressure system, you’ll be able to opt for some innovative features to get your kitchen working harder for you.
To help identify the water pressure system in your home and understand how this affects your choice of kitchen taps, head to our helpful guide.
Body of the tap
The first thing to think about is the body of the tap, and your choice here is determined by your kitchen sink. Our sinks have predrilled holes for the tap(s) – either one or two – so make sure that your tap has the same number of holes as your sink (be the sink already in place or soon to be fitted).
One tap hole
If you have a single tap hole, the following tap options are available:
Monobloc taps – these have a single spout, with the flow of water controlled by either one or two handles.
One handle – known as single lever taps, these are offered in two types:
- top levers - move up and down to turn on and off, and swivel from side to side for hot and cold
- side levers - pull out and push in to turn on and off, and turn back and forwards for hot and cold
Single lever taps are often sleek and contemporary in their design and can be a good choice when space is tight. They can easily be used with one hand, so work well in busy kitchens.
Two handles - known as twin lever taps, their handles can be lever, cross or knob-shaped, and may offer a quarter, half or full turn. They’re a versatile option available in traditional or contemporary styles.
Two tap holes
With two tap holes, you can choose between one or two spouts:
Pillar taps come in pairs, with one tap used to control the cold and the other to control the hot water supply. They’re a great budget option, and are available with lever, cross or knob-shaped handles to suit your kitchen style.
Spouts come in a variety of shapes and styles to suit your kitchen. When choosing your tap spout, we recommend considering its:
- size, and
Shape of the tap spout
When the handle(s) sit at the base of a single spout, choose between:
- U-shaped spouts (pictured) – a smooth curve that looks like the letter ‘U’, ideal for traditional and country kitchen styles
- F-shaped spouts – angular and square, these spouts resemble the letter ‘F’ and complement more contemporary style kitchens
Position of the tap spout
When the handle(s) sit above the spout(s), choose between:
- Base spouts – the spout comes from the base of the tap, angling upwards to ensure plenty of reach. Offers a more discreet look and works well if space is at a premium.
- Column spouts (pictured) – the base of the tap is elongated like a column with the spout at the top. Great for easily washing and filling large pots and pans.
Size of the tap spout
Consider the size of the spout in relation to the sink bowl when shopping for kitchen taps. Ideally, the spout should reach to the centre of the sink bowl.
Taps with bigger, higher spouts suit large and multiple bowl sinks best, whilst pillar taps and smaller single lever taps are ideal for smaller sinks.
Movement of the tap spout
There are three ways to enjoy greater control over the direction of the tap’s water flow – with a swivel, spring neck or pull-out spout. These features can even be combined – look for a spring neck or pull-out spout with swivel.
A swivel spout allows you to rotate the tap spout on its base – great if you have a 1.5 or 2 bowl sink, or simply to make washing up easier. Available across a range of angles for increased freedom of movement, with 360 degrees offering a complete circle.
Spring neck spout
Similar to those you might have seen in restaurant kitchens, spring neck spouts feature a coil shaped like a spring and look fantastic in industrial style kitchens. Spring neck taps are usually equipped with a spray head that makes rinsing salad vegetables a breeze. Look for ones with a second spout control that allows you to control the water from the sprung spout – not the handle at the tap’s base.
As the name suggests, pull-out spouts feature a hose that pulls out of the spout to meet your kitchen needs. Boasting many similar features to the spring neck, such as the extendable movement and spray heads, pull-out spouts are more discreet. Without the visible coil of the spring neck, their mechanism is completely hidden within the spout when not in use and they’re available in smaller designs – great for compact spaces. Every pull-out hose in our Cooke & Lewis range is made from nylon, making it smooth and quiet to use and easy to clean.
There are plenty more features to think about and look out for when choosing your perfect kitchen tap.
When choosing a suitable finish for your tap, it’s worth thinking about how it will look with the whole kitchen – not just the sink area. We offer a range of finishes or colours, including chrome effect, brushed metallics, black (pictured) and white.
The most popular choice is a chrome effect finish. It’s a classic look that’s equally at home in sleek, modern kitchens as well as with period styling or a colourful backdrop.
For something on-trend, consider brushed metallics, such as nickel and stainless steel. The effect is slightly softer than the gleaming polish of the chrome effect, it wears well over time and it better conceals water marks. It also complements appliances and adds a fashionable element to kitchens.
If looking to create a harmonious, matching look in the kitchen, explore our range of black or white taps. These coordinate with the increasingly popular composite quartz and resin sinks and can add real drama against colourful tiles or a vibrant splashback. Alternatively evoke a vintage, antique feel with our brass effect taps.
Whichever style of tap you opt for, don’t forget to consider the handles. Our range includes lever (pictured), cross-shaped and knob handles.
Lever handles suit busy kitchens, where the ease of using the back of your hand to turn water on can be a bonus. They’re a great choice if you have reduced mobility in your hands, or enjoy spending time in kitchen with your family as children will find this style easier to operate.
Cross-shaped handles offer period charm – perfect for traditional style kitchens and older properties, whilst knobs are a great option for tighter budgets.
Tap valves and cartridges
Integral to every tap is a valve, which controls the flow of water. Different types of tap use different valves, and understanding these will help you choose one offering the ease of use and durability that meets your needs.
Compression valves are made of solid brass with a watertight seal to prevent dripping. These seals can wear over time, but can easily be replaced. These use a simple rising spindle or non-rising spindle mechanism to control the water flow as the handles or levers on the tap are turned. They’re found in some of our pillar, twin lever and deck mixer taps.
Ceramic disc valves
Ceramic disc valves are considered a more durable option and should last the lifetime of the tap. ¼ or ½ turn brass valves with a ceramic disc are the most common type of valve, making taps easy to use with just a quarter or half turn of the lever handle. Look for in our twin lever, deck/mixer, pillar and spring-neck taps – if a tap has a ¼ or ½ turn it will have a ceramic disc valve.
Our single lever, pull-out and some of our spring-neck taps use a ceramic disc cartridge. This allows you to control the speed of flow by raising or lowering the tap lever, and flow of hot or cold water by moving the lever left or right.
Water efficient taps
We all want to use water efficiently, resulting in as little being wasted as possible. To help, look for taps in our Cooke & Lewis range, such as the Cooke & Lewis Tolmer (pictured), that feature a water-saving aerator. This regulates the flow of water – no matter what water pressure you have – to help save water.
Boiling water taps
Also known as steaming hot taps, these taps provide steaming hot water at the turn of a lever in addition to your regular supply of hot and cold water. They’re a perfect choice for busy households, as steaming hot water to hand can be used for much more than hot drinks. Look for models which allow you to add a filter for filtered hot and cold water.