How to choose a kitchen faucet – expert tips for buying the perfect tap

How to choose a kitchen faucet according to the experts, from the material to essential rules of thumb

A hot water kitchen tap in a modern kitchen with stone countertop
(Image credit: Quooker)

It’s almost a prerequisite now that your kitchen faucet does it all. From instant hot water to sparkling, in an abundance of stylish looks that save you water bills in the process, the kitchen faucet has come a long way from simple hot and cold function.

When buying the perfect faucet for your home, establish first what the needs of your kitchen are. ‘Taps come at a variety of different price points. Some of this is determined by brand and aesthetics, but functionality plays a major role in the cost of the tap. For this reason we always suggest starting with establishing what needs the client has for their tap,’ says Reuben Ward, lead designer at Blakes London.

To help you navigate finding the perfect faucet for your kitchen, we’ve compiled some of the most modern kitchen faucet ideas and some handy energy-saving hints.

Oonagh Turner
Oonagh Turner

Oonagh is a homes and interiors writer and editor. For this story, she spoke to the industry experts who know a thing or two about kitchen design to help her readers get to grips with how best to shop for kitchen faucets.

How to choose a kitchen faucet - what types of faucet are there?

A kitchen faucet

(Image credit: deVOL)

The most popular kitchen taps are a monobloc faucet, single lever faucet, deck mounted mixer or pillar faucet. And there is a real range in styles, from swan-like U-shaped faucet to the more contemporary-looking square spouts. 

A swivel spout is great for bigger sinks or islands, with some rotating the full 360 degrees. Meanwhile, pull-out faucet are becoming more popular, with an extendable hose and nozzle that can switch from standard flow to spray, handy for thorough washing of those awkward-shaped utensils and for small kitchens that don’t have a dishwasher.

'Some clients like to have taps with pull-out nozzles or even handheld attachments that offer the ability to spray down the sink area, this is quite a commercial style of rinsing that is a less common requirement for our European clients but some of our North American clients tend to lean more towards this style,' says Reuben from Blakes (opens in new tab)

'Another North American trend is the pot filler, a tap that sits over a hob, normally a range style hob on a rotating arm that can be used to fill heavy pots and then folded back against the wall.'

What is the right sizing for a kitchen faucet?

The arc of your kitchen faucet should fall at around eight to ten inches high. ‘If there are low cabinets, you could drop to three inches,’ suggests Michael Sammon at Wödår (opens in new tab). You don’t want your faucet awkwardly bumping into units if it’s too tall. It’s also a good idea to check whether your home has a high or low water pressure. 

‘Most areas of the UK have low water pressure, and water pressure is a consideration that most consumers forget about when buying faucet,’ says Emma Joyce at House of Rohl (opens in new tab). If you fit a kitchen faucet that requires a high-pressure system, and your home has low pressure, then you will have a very weak flow of hot water. 

Think about going for a hot water faucet

A gold hot water tap on a walnut wood countertop

(Image credit: Quooker)

'If you only have one tap in your kitchen, then we always recommend a boiling water tap like a Quooker (opens in new tab),' says Reuben. 'Once clients have one, they never go back!'

On average a kettle uses the same amount of energy to boil a litre of water as it takes to run a fridge for seven hours. ‘And in the UK, we boil our kettle on average four times a day,’ points out Stephen Johnson at Quooker, a brand that creates boiling water faucets that keep your water hot by functioning like an electrically powered flask. These faucets can help you save by only using as much water as you need, making a great alternative to an energy-greedy kettle. All you need is a single plug socket, a cold water feed with a pressure of above 2 bars, and a 500mm space. The system is super safe to use too, with a clever press-turn lock so it will never automatically dispense boiling water when you’re not expecting it. 

Look to Quooker, Qettle (opens in new tab), Franke's (opens in new tab), Grohe (opens in new tab) or Wödår for hot water faucet inspiration. InSinkErator is another hot water dispense system that delivers near-boiling water with easy-to-adjust temperature control.

InSinkErator HOT100 Instant Hot Water Dispenser System from Amazon (opens in new tab)
EDITOR'S PICK

InSinkErator HOT100 Instant Hot Water Dispenser System from Amazon (opens in new tab)

This tap has a stylish silver chrome finish and delivers instant hot water made of two to three gallon stainless steel.

Consider a faucet that will filter and carbonate your water

On-demand filtered water is another requirement of the modern kitchen. A quality water filter will remove impurities and help you cut back on buying all those plastic bottles of water. Sparkling water is another new novelty for the kitchen sink, as we look to keep our kitchens decluttered and do away with bulky items like that ancient soda stream that’s taking up space. 

Quooker’s Cube is an accessory that is fitted onto a faucet, offering carbonated water at the touch of a button. If you are considering a faucet with these extra bells and whistles, make room in the cabinet below the sink. These filtration systems and cubes can take up space where you might normally put cleaning products or food waste, so you might need to have a rethink of your kitchen layout. 

What color and material should your kitchen faucet be?

Matt black still reigns as the most popular kitchen color for faucets in 2022, set to be a continuing kitchen trend in 2023. ‘We have seen a 60 percent increase in sales for matt black finishes, proving the trend for a faucet that is cool and distinctive,’ says MD of Quooker, Stephen Johnson. 

Gun metal is another color that has evolved from matt black, giving you a sleek finish. Chrome, brushed golds and coppers are also still popular, as is solid brass. ‘The durability, corrosion resistance and beauty of brass really adds something special to kitchens for those who love a warmer metallic,’ says Natasha Wegrzyn of Poggenpohl (opens in new tab). ‘Resist the urge to go for a plated metal, and invest in solid metal that will withstand daily wear and tear.’ Whatever you’ve got your eye on, look to the materials, colors, worktops and cabinet handles in your kitchen for inspiration. 

'Increasingly we like to use mixed metals in our designs, with taps having intentionally contrasting finishes to the rest of the kitchen hardware,' says Reuben. And while we enjoy mixed materiality and especially appreciate raw brass finishes that patina over time, we do try to steer people away from custom finishes as they often don’t stand the test of time.'

Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.