How to Replace a Tap in Your Bathroom or Kitchen

How to Replace a Tap in Your Bathroom or Kitchen

Ever found yourself battling with a dripping tap that refuses to behave? Or perhaps you’re looking to give your bathroom or kitchen a quick facelift? Learning how to replace a tap might just be the DIY skill you need up your sleeve. It’s a task that can save you a pretty penny and give you a satisfying sense of accomplishment to boot.

Now, you might be thinking, “Why bother replacing a tap when I can just call a plumber?” Well, apart from the obvious cost savings, knowing how to replace a tap empowers you to tackle future plumbing issues with confidence. Plus, it’s not as daunting as it might seem at first glance.

Before we dive in, let’s talk safety. Water and electricity are not the best of mates, so make sure you’re working in a dry area. It’s also wise to wear protective gloves to guard against any sharp edges. And remember, if at any point you feel out of your depth, there’s no shame in calling in a professional. Better safe than sorry, as they say!

How to Replace a Tap in Your Bathroom or Kitchen

Tools and Materials Needed

Before you embark on your tap-replacing adventure, you’ll need to gather your DIY arsenal. Think of it as preparing for battle – but instead of swords and shields, you’ll be wielding wrenches and pliers. Here’s what you’ll need:


  • Adjustable wrench (your new best friend for this job)
  • Basin wrench (for those tricky-to-reach spots)
  • Screwdriver (both flathead and Phillips, to cover all bases)
  • Pliers (for extra grip when you need it)
  • Bucket (to catch any water that decides to make a break for it)
Tools and materials needed


  • New tap (obviously, but make sure it’s compatible with your sink!)
  • Plumber’s tape (also known as PTFE tape – it’s your secret weapon against leaks)
  • Cleaning cloths (because things might get a bit messy)

It’s worth noting that the specific tools might vary slightly depending on your tap model, but this list covers the basics. Having everything at hand before you start will save you from frustrating mid-job trips to the hardware shop.

Remember, quality tools can make a world of difference. If you’re planning on doing more DIY in the future, it might be worth investing in a good set. They’ll serve you well beyond just learning how to replace a tap.

Preparation Steps

Let’s get our ducks in a row before we dive into the nitty-gritty of how to replace a tap. Proper preparation is half the battle won, after all.

Turn Off Water Supply

First things first, we need to cut off the water supply. Nobody fancies an impromptu indoor water feature!

  • Locate your water valves. They’re usually tucked away under the sink or behind a small access panel.
  • Give them a firm clockwise turn until they’re fully closed. If you’re not sure which is which, turn off both hot and cold.
  • Now, open your old tap fully. This releases any remaining water in the pipes and confirms you’ve successfully turned off the supply. If water’s still flowing, double-check those valves!

Gather Necessary Tools and Materials

Remember that list of tools and materials we just went through? Now’s the time to round them up.

  • Lay everything out within easy reach. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to hunt for a tool with wet hands.
  • Double-check you’ve got everything. It’s a bit like making sure you’ve packed your toothbrush before a holiday – much easier to sort out now than halfway through!

With the water off and your toolkit at the ready, you’re all set to bid farewell to your old tap. Take a deep breath – you’re about to embark on your tap-replacing journey. 

Removing the Old Tap

Now we’re getting to the heart of how to replace a tap. It’s time to say goodbye to your old, faithful friend. Don’t worry, we’ll make it as painless as possible.

Removing the old tap

Disconnect Water Supply Lines

First up, we need to detach the tap from its water supply:

  • Grab your trusty adjustable wrench. You’ll need it to loosen the nuts connecting the supply lines to your tap.
  • Place your bucket underneath to catch any water that might decide to make a break for it. Better safe than soggy!
  • Carefully unscrew the nuts. They might be a bit stubborn if they haven’t been touched in a while. A bit of elbow grease should do the trick.
  • Once loose, gently remove the supply lines from the tap.

Remove the Old Tap

Now for the main event – freeing your old tap from its moorings:

  • Look under the sink. You’ll see some nuts holding your tap in place. These are your target.
  • Use your basin wrench to unscrew these nuts. If they’re being particularly obstinate, a spray of WD-40 might help loosen things up.
  • Once the nuts are off, your tap should be free. Give it a gentle wiggle and lift it out of the basin or sink.
  • If it’s stuck, don’t force it. Check for any hidden screws or sealant that might be holding it in place.

And there you have it! Your old tap is out, leaving you with a blank canvas for your shiny new replacement. Take a moment to clean around the mounting holes – it’ll give your new tap a fresh start.

Installing the New Tap

Now that we’ve cleared the way, it’s time for the star of the show to make its debut. Let’s get your new tap in place and show you how to replace a tap like a pro.

Installing the new tap

Prepare the New Tap

Before we dive in, let’s make sure your new tap is ready for action:

  • If your tap came in pieces, now’s the time to assemble it. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions – they’re not just there for decoration, you know!
  • Grab your plumber’s tape. This little marvel is going to help prevent any sneaky leaks.
  • Wrap the tape clockwise around the threads of your tap’s tail pipes. Aim for about three layers, but don’t go overboard – we’re not mummifying it!

Position the New Tap

Right, let’s get this tap where it belongs:

  • Carefully lower your new tap into the mounting holes. It should slip in as smoothly as a hot knife through butter.
  • If your tap came with a rubber or plastic gasket, make sure it’s seated correctly between the tap and the sink surface.
  • From underneath, slide on any washers and screw on the mounting nuts. Finger-tight is fine for now – we’ll give them a proper nip up in a moment.

Reconnect Water Supply Lines

Almost there! Let’s get that water flowing again:

  • Connect the hot and cold water supply lines to the corresponding pipes on your new tap. Hot on the left, cold on the right – easy peasy!
  • Use your adjustable wrench to tighten these connections. Firm but not overtight – we don’t want to strip any threads.
  • Now’s the time to properly tighten those mounting nuts too. Use your basin wrench to give them a good nip up.

There you have it! Your new tap is in place and ready for action. But before we celebrate, we need to make sure everything’s in great shape. 

Testing the New Tap

You’ve successfully learned how to replace a tap, but before we pop the champagne, let’s make sure everything’s working as it should. After all, a leak-free tap is a happy tap!

Turn On Water Supply

Time to get the water flowing again:

  • Head back to those water valves we turned off earlier.
  • Slowly turn them anticlockwise to open them up. Don’t rush it – we want to ease the water back in, not create a geyser in your kitchen!
  • As you’re turning, keep an eye on the connections under the sink. If you spot any drips, stop and tighten things up before continuing.
Testing the new tap

Check for Leaks

Now for the moment of truth:

  • Once the valves are fully open, turn on your shiny new tap.
  • Let the water run for a minute or two. This gives you a chance to spot any issues and helps clear any air from the pipes.
  • While the water’s running, have a good look around all the connections. Check the supply lines, the base of the tap, and underneath the sink.
  • If you spot any drips or damp patches, don’t panic! Most of the time, a slight tightening of the connections will sort it out.
  • No leaks? Brilliant! Give yourself a pat on the back.

Remember, even tiny drips can cause big problems over time, so it’s worth being thorough. If you’ve tightened everything and you’re still seeing leaks, it might be time to double-check your plumber’s tape or, in rare cases, consider if there might be a fault with the new tap.

Well done, you’ve successfully replaced your tap! How does it feel to be a DIY plumbing wizard? But before we wrap up, let’s cover a few tips and tricks to help you handle any hiccups along the way.

Tips and Troubleshooting

Even the most seasoned DIYers can run into a few hiccups when learning how to replace a tap. Don’t worry, though – we’ve got your back with some handy tips and solutions to common issues.

Tips and troubleshooting

Common Issues and How to Fix Them:

  1. Persistent Leaks:
    • Double-check your plumber’s tape application. Sometimes a fresh wrap does the trick.
    • Ensure the washers are seated correctly and aren’t damaged.
    • If all else fails, the tap itself might be faulty. Don’t be shy about returning it if needed.
  2. Low Water Pressure:
    • Check if the problem affects both hot and cold water. If it’s just one, the issue might be in the supply line.
    • Look for any kinks in the supply lines and straighten them out.
    • Clean the tap’s aerator. Sometimes mineral build-up can restrict flow.
  3. Squeaky Handles:
    • A dab of plumber’s grease on the stem can often silence the squeak.
    • If that doesn’t work, the cartridge might need replacing.

Additional Tips for a Secure Installation:

  • Use a piece of masking tape on your wrench to avoid scratching your new tap’s finish.
  • When tightening connections, aim for ‘hand-tight plus a quarter turn’. Overtightening can damage threads or washers.
  • Keep your old tap for a few days, just in case you need to reference how something fits together.
  • If your new tap wobbles, try tightening the mounting nuts a bit more. A stable tap is a happy tap!

Remember, there’s no shame in calling a professional if you’re unsure about anything. It’s better to ask for help than to risk water damage to your home.

Tips and troubleshooting

Additional Information

Now that you’ve mastered how to replace a tap, let’s dive into some extra knowledge that’ll make you the go-to tap expert among your mates.

Differences Between Bathroom and Kitchen Taps:

While the basic installation process is similar, there are a few key differences:

  • Kitchen taps often have a higher flow rate to fill pots quickly.
  • Bathroom taps might include features like pop-up waste controls.
  • Kitchen taps sometimes come with additional features like pull-out sprayers or filtered water options.
Differences between bathroom and kitchen taps

Choosing the Right Tap for Your Needs:

Selecting a tap isn’t just about looks. Consider these factors:

  • Water pressure: Some taps require a minimum pressure to function properly. Check your home’s water pressure before splashing out.
  • Usage: Do you need a tap with a high arc for filling large pots? Or a low-profile design for a small basin?
  • Finish: Chrome is popular and easy to clean, but don’t discount options like brushed nickel or matte black for a modern touch.
  • Efficiency: Look for taps with aerators to reduce water usage without compromising performance.
Choosing the right tap for your needs

Maintenance Tips to Extend the Life of Your Tap:

Now you know how to replace a tap, let’s keep it in tip-top shape:

  1. Clean regularly: A quick wipe with a soft cloth prevents limescale build-up.
  2. Avoid harsh chemicals: They can damage the finish. Mild soap and water usually do the trick.
  3. Check for leaks periodically: Catching them early can prevent bigger issues down the line.
  4. Lubricate moving parts: A dab of silicone grease on O-rings and cartridges keeps everything moving smoothly.
  5. Don’t overtighten: It’s tempting to give everything an extra twist, but it can damage seals and threads.

Fun fact: Did you know that an individual in the UK uses on average about 142 litres of water per day? A water-efficient tap can help reduce this significantly.

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll not only know how to replace a tap but also how to choose the right one and keep it in prime condition for years to come. Ready for a quick recap of the whole process?

Completing Your Tap Replacement

Well done, you’ve made it to the finish line! Let’s take a moment to recap what we’ve learned about how to replace a tap and wrap things up nicely.

Recap of the process:

  1. We started by gathering all necessary tools and materials.
  2. Then, we shut off the water supply and prepared the work area.
  3. We removed the old tap, disconnecting supply lines and unscrewing mounting nuts.
  4. Next, we installed the new tap, using plumber’s tape and reconnecting water lines.
  5. Finally, we tested the new tap for leaks and proper function.

Throughout this process, you’ve transformed from a DIY novice to a tap-replacing pro. Give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back!

Remember, practice makes perfect. The more taps you replace, the easier and quicker the process becomes. But don’t worry if you’re not quite ready to tackle it solo just yet. There’s no shame in seeking help if you need it.

If you find yourself in over your head, or if you encounter any issues, you’re not comfortable handling, don’t hesitate to call one of our professional plumbers. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your home’s plumbing.

If you’ve enjoyed learning how to replace a tap and want to further protect your home from potential plumbing issues, don’t miss our comprehensive guide on “How To Prevent Water Damage Or Leaks To Your Home“. It’s packed with invaluable tips to keep your property dry and secure. 

Remember, every DIY project you tackle not only saves you money but also gives you a greater understanding and appreciation of your home. So here’s to your next adventure in home improvement – may your taps always run clear and your DIY spirit never run dry!