Tips for Choosing Kitchen Tapware

I’m a cheapskate and I’m not ashamed of it! Our kitchen renovation budget was small. If you read my post about where we bought our kitchen, you will know that we wanted to keep our kitchen renovation budget in check, so we had to do some good research, scouring of websites and window shopping to find the best deals.

Before we get into the tips, let me tell you a story about my Ikea taps.

If you saw my kitchen plans you will know that we have two sinks in our kitchen, so we needed two taps. At the time, I couldn’t find anything under $200, so spending over $400 of my kitchen budget on taps alone was just not an option.

During my search I saw a couple of taps on the Ikea Australia website which I drooled over. You may not know this, but there is no Ikea in New Zealand.  I know – it’s tragic.  Believe me, us Kiwis are desperate to have one.  

When I lived in Canada, I used to visit Ikea all the time.  Honestly, half of the things in my house in Canada were purchased at Ikea. For some reason, I have no photos of this furniture except these bar stools which I still own and are heading for a makeover soon.

Back to the Taps

I put the word out to my friends living in Australia if anyone would send me the taps if I was to purchase them and have them shipped to them.  Ikea Australia doesn’t ship to NZ.

My friend May obliged, so I went online shopping. Thanks May!

For my main sink, I wanted a pull-down faucet, and for my bar sink, I wanted a matching faucet which didn’t pull down.  

I chose this ÄLMAREN Kitchen mixer tap with pull-out spout, in stainless steel.

Isn’t it fabulous?

And I chose this ÄLMAREN Kitchen mixer tap for the bar sink.

So, I placed my order.  

I received an email with the designated delivery time.

May confirmed that she would be home.

I waited with excited expectation for May to tell me they had arrived.

The day and time came, and I got no news!

I emailed May and she told me it hadn’t arrived, even though she was home.

I went looking.

Ikea told me that they had been delivered.

I confirmed that they had not by lodging a ticket with them.

Ikea emailed me to arrange a new time for delivery…

Anyway, this went on for a few days.

In the end, May just happened to be driving by the Ikea in Brisbane, so she popped in and picked up the taps.

I was so excited.

She packaged them up and sent them to me.

I'm so grateful that May agreed to do this as I love, love, love my Ikea faucets.

Things to Consider When Buying Tapware

Buying taps is overwhelming.  There are so many to choose from.  I wanted to go for a nice simple option, and budget was a huge concern for me.  I did, however, spend a lot of time researching before I decided on the Ikea taps.

Here are a few things to consider, apart from budget, when making your choice.

The Style of Your Kitchen

Obviously, your kitchen tapware serves a practical purpose, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be pretty.  In fact, to create the perfect kitchen, it needs to match the style of your kitchen.  Think of your taps as an accessory to your outfit.

Is your kitchen ultra-contemporary, or more traditional?  What finishes have you used? High shine or matt? Stainless steel or even black?


Look for new tapware that will blend seamlessly with your kitchen design.

For example, if your kitchen is minimalist, you might choose tapware that has clean lines. If your kitchen has a more country design, like mine, you would choose a curvier option with more detail.


The Finish

Think about what works best for your kitchen. It might be useful here to consider your door handles and drawer pulls as well.  You might like to coordinate. If you don’t have metal door accessories, think about coordinating with your appliances. For example, if you have matt stainless steel appliances, matt stainless steel tapware might work well. 

Would a traditional chrome finish work or would a matte, black or brass finish add a bit of complementary style to your kitchen? Maybe a polished chrome or stainless steel, or even a brushed brass or bright copper.  If budget had no bearing on my decision, I would have gone with the bright copper.

You may also want to factor in the longevity of the finish and whether it is easy to keep clean. That bright copper tap that would amazing in my kitchen might need constant polishing – are you up for that?


There are so many finishes to choose from.  It’s also quite a big investment so, take your time and really consider what you want.


Size and Shape

These days taps come in all shapes and sizes.  I opted for a high(ish) gooseneck but I didn’t want one too high. I wanted something that would accommodate large pots and pans, but I didn’t want it to be too splashy (as in water falling from a height will splash more than water falling from lower).   

Consider what your needs are for your sink and whether you need a higher gooseneck or whether a standard kitchen mixer will work.


This is something I had actually thought about a lot before I made my choice.  I wanted a tap that I could just nudge with the back of my hand to turn on.  There’s nothing worse than trying to turn a tap when your hands are covered in guck! (Is that a word?) You know what I mean.

When you go to the store, try out the taps and see how they feel in your hand.  Think about what you do in the kitchen and whether this tap would make your life easier. No point buying that stunning tap if it doesn’t work for you. You wouldn't buy that beautiful pair of shoes if they weren't comfortable (or would you?) so why buy a tap that is hard to turn or doesn't feel good in your hand.

It’s also worth considering who uses your tap – if you have children or elderly people in your home, you will want to consider their needs as well.

One thing I love about my Ikea tap is that it swivels. I can put the kettle or a heavy pot on the bench, swivel the tap over it, and turn it on. Saves me holding the heavy tap or putting it in the sink.


Pressure and Water Usage

Thinking about boring stuff like water pressure may not seem important when you are presented with a raft of beautiful tapware to choose from. Believe me, it is.  If you purchase a tap for the wrong water pressure, you will always regret it.

If you pay for your water, or are concerned about the environment, you will also want to consider water efficiency.  In New Zealand, we have WELS (Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme), a standardised national comparative rating system that works on a star system (6 stars being the most efficient and one star being the least).

Make a Must-Have List

Think about how you use your kitchen and how you will use your taps.  I know that this may seem ridiculous but it’s important.  For example, I cook every day and I do dishes every day so my tapware needs to stand up to some pretty rigorous use.  Consider what’s important to you and list out your needs.


Here's your first sneak peak of our kitchen - my Ikea tap over my bar sink. If you want to see the rest of our kitchen, subscribe to my emails so you can follow along. The reveal is coming soon - I can't wait to show you.

Let me know your thoughts about kitchen taps in the comments below.

October 13, 2020