by Vivian Garzon

A Visual Guide to Kitchen Taps

Mixer or pillar? Monobloc or washer? Struggling to choose the right kitchen tap? We’ve got you covered with this handy visual guide including other important ‘need to knows’ when buying a new kitchen tap.
A Visual Guide to Kitchen Taps

Looking to update your kitchen taps, but feeling overwhelmed by the seemingly endless options? Don’t worry, you're not alone! It can definitely be confusing, and choosing the perfect tap isn’t easy if you don’t know what you’re looking for. From mixer to pillar, to disc to ball and cartridge, there are so many different types of kitchen taps on the market, each with its own unique features and specifications. But fear not! Today we’re breaking down the seven most common types of kitchen taps to help you decide the right fit for your next kitchen renovation.

The Most Common Types of Kitchen Taps (In Pictures)

1. Mixer Taps

Buildmat brushed brass gold mixer tap

If you have a modern kitchen, chances are you already have a mixer tap installed. This type of tap is designed with a single nozzle that can deliver both hot and cold water, or a custom temperature combination that you can adjust manually via the handles.

The mixer tap is a popular choice because of its convenience and versatility, and it's available in a variety of styles and finishes (like brushed copper, brushed nickel, black and more) to suit different tastes and style preferences. Some models also come with additional features such as pull-out sprayers, water filters, and adjustable flow rates, making them even more practical and functional.



  • Convenient and versatile
  • Can come with additional features 
  • Modern & stylish 
  • Costs more due to high quality features & functions 

2. Pillar Taps


A pillar tap is a traditional style of tap that has separate hot and cold water taps. With a classic design, you’ll find pillar taps typically in older homes in the kitchen and bathroom. While they’ve been around for a while, they still remain popular today thanks to their simplicity and durability. If you're looking for a timeless design and don't mind turning separate taps for hot and cold water, a pillar tap might be the right choice for you.



  • Durable
  • Suits older style homes
  • Timeless design 
  • Older technology
  • Won’t suit a contemporary kitchen  

3. Monobloc Taps

A monobloc tap is a type of kitchen tap with a single spout and a single handle to control both the hot and cold water flow. Unlike pillar taps that have separate taps for hot and cold water, a monobloc tap combines both functions in one unit.

The name "monobloc" refers to the fact that the tap is made from a single piece of metal, which gives it a sleek and modern appearance. Monobloc taps are popular for their ease of use, as the single handle allows for easy adjustment of both the water temperature and flow rate. They're also popular because of their contemporary design and the fact that they take up less space on the sink or countertop.



  • Contemporary design
  • Takes up less space on countertop 
  • Easy to use
  • Not as functional as single handle taps 

4. Washer Taps

A washer tap, also known as a compression tap, is a traditional type of tap that’s operated by a screw-down mechanism. When the tap handle is turned, it compresses a rubber washer against a valve seat to control the flow of water. If you’re a DIY type of person, this tap might be the right fit for you and it’s super easy to repair and worn or damaged washers can be easily replaced. However, they can be prone to leaks and are less efficient than modern ceramic disc or cartridge taps.



  • Cost effective
  • Suits older style homes
  • Easy to repair 
  • Quick to wear out
  • Prone to leaks
  • Older technology 

5. Disc Taps

A disc tap is a type of kitchen tap that works by using ceramic discs with holes that control the flow of water. Instead of a traditional washer, water flows through the holes in the discs as the handle is manipulated. Disc taps are easy to use and they’re extremely durable and don’t need frequent washer replacements like other types of taps. Disc taps also have a very sleek and modern design and look fantastic in contemporary kitchens.



  • Newer type of technology
  • Durable & high quality
  • Can withstand extreme temperatures 
  • Discs cans erode overtime
  • More expensive 

6. Cartridge Taps


For a high-end kitchen tap, consider a cartridge tap, which is a type of faucet that uses a replaceable cartridge to control the flow of water. The cartridge is a small device that contains a set of seals, springs, and ceramic discs that regulate the flow of water and the temperature.

When you turn the handle of a cartridge tap, you are moving the cartridge inside the tap body, which adjusts the flow and temperature of the water. Cartridge taps are known for their durability and reliability and are also easy to repair – simply replace the cartridge if it becomes worn or damaged.



  • Easy to fix
  • Very durable 
  • Smooth and easy to use 
  • Hard water can block cartridges
  • Seals at the bottom of cartridges can be flimsy 


How To Choose A Kitchen Tap

  • Tap Type: Decide on a single monobloc design, a mixer tap, or pillar tap etc 
  • Features: Consider additional features like boiling water, filtered water, and sparkling water.
  • Spout Style: Choose a spout that suits your taste and kitchen decor, such as a square, gooseneck etc. 
  • Finish: Choose from various finishes, including chrome, brass, gold, copper, and stainless steel.
  • Water Pressure: Make sure to check your water pressure before selecting a tap to ensure it will perform effectively in your home.

How To Choose A Kitchen Tap

There are a variety of materials and finishes to choose from when purchasing a new kitchen tap, each with its own unique look and feel. Some popular materials include stainless steel, brass, chrome, nickel, and bronze.

Stainless steel is a popular choice for its durability, resistance to rust and stains, and sleek, modern look. Brass and bronze taps offer a more traditional or rustic feel, while chrome and nickel finishes provide a shiny, reflective surface that complements modern and minimalist design styles. Other finishes, such as matte black or brushed nickel, offer a more subdued, contemporary look.

Most importantly, you should choose a material and finish that not only looks good in your kitchen but also fits your budget and meets your functionality requirements.

Kitchen Tap Features & Functions

Not only do kitchen taps come in a range of materials and finishes, but they also can come with different features and functions that add to their versatility and convenience. 

Some of the common features include:

  • Pull-out sprayers , which make it easier to rinse dishes and fill pots
  • Built-in water filters, which help to purify tap water; adjustable flow rates, which allow you to control the water pressure and conserve water
  • Touchless operation, which is great for reducing the spread of germs and making cleaning easier. 

Other advanced features (which aren’t necessarily important to have but if it’s in your budget - then why the heck not) include voice-activated controls, temperature memory settings, and LED indicators that show the water temperature. Basically, whatever your needs and preferences, there's a kitchen tap out there that can meet them.

Need Help Choosing the Perfect Kitchen Tap for Your Reno? 

You can’t really go wrong when choosing a kitchen tap – just make sure you check your water pressure before getting your heart set on a tap that doesn’t work with your home’s water pressure! As long as you consider what style you like, your budget and the size of the sink you’ll be pairing it with, you’ll be able to find the perfect kitchen tap for your home. If you need help deciding, get in touch with the Buildmat team. We can help you find the right kitchen tap in no time!