how to replace a kitchen tap

How to Change a Kitchen Tap: The Complete Guide for 2023

Last updated on September 24th, 2023

To change a kitchen tap, you need to turn off the water supply, disconnect the two hot and cold pipes, remove the tap from the kitchen sink via the nuts, and refit everything in reverse order.

Learning how to replace an outside tap is easier but replacing a kitchen tap can be very difficult and often is.

I have been plumbing and replacing taps for over a decade, and I can tell you first-hand that replacing a kitchen tap can be a walk in the park, or make me want to quit plumbing.

I can be in and out in 20 minutes and feel like a plumbing god, but sometimes it takes a few hours and makes me feel like plumbing isn’t for me. Every situation and setup is different.

Here I’ll give you my best advice to teach you how to change a kitchen tap based on my trial and error experience over the years.

Kitchen Tap Replacement Tools

The kitchen tap tools needed to replace a kitchen tap can vary, but here are my recommendations for most kitchen taps with links to my best tools on Amazon:

kitchen tap replacement tools
Kitchen tap replacement tools

Most kitchen taps have a horseshoe-type bracket to hold the tap to the kitchen sink. These horseshoe brackets are held with threaded rods and one or two small nuts.

The nut sizes vary on different taps, so a monobloc tap spanner set between 8 – 13mm will do the job.

This is the same as changing basin taps, kitchen taps and single lever basin taps, they are all virtually the same underneath.

Learning how to change bath taps is quite a bit different and can be a lot harder!

How to Change a Kitchen Tap

How to Remove a Kitchen Tap

To remove a kitchen tap:

  • The first thing to do is lay down a towel under the tap
  • Turn off the water supply to the tap. If there are isolating valves on the two pipes under the kitchen sink, turn them off with a flathead screwdriver. If not, you will need to turn the mains water off at the stopcock.
  • Open the kitchen tap to let the water out, and open a tap upstairs if you have one. This will release most of the water lying in the pipes.
  • Disconnect the two pipes connected to the kitchen tap under the sink. This is done by grabbing the isolation valve (or another fitting) with the water pump pliers and turning the top nut anti-clockwise with an adjustable spanner.
  • Undo the small nuts. Use one of the box spanners from your monobloc tap spanner set to undo the small nuts that are holding the tap onto the kitchen sink. Turn them anti-clockwise to remove the nuts.
  • Remove the bracket and pull the kitchen tap from the sink.

How to Fit a Kitchen Tap

To fit a kitchen tap:

  1. Screw in the new flexible tap connectors into the new tap, hand tight only.
  2. Feed the chrome plate and washer over the tap connectors if you have some.
  3. Screw in the threaded rod(s) if they aren’t already fitted, there’s normally one or two.
  4. Feed the tap connectors through the tap hole in the sink and stand the tap in place.
  5. Fit horseshoe rubber and plate over the threaded rods under the sink and screw on the nuts and tighten with a box spanner.
  6. Fit the nuts on the flexible tap connectors onto the isolating valves that the old ones were on.
  7. Turn the water back on and test for leaks.
kitchen tap replacement with box spanner
Tightening nuts with a box spanner

How to Change a Kitchen Tap With Copper Pipes

Changing a kitchen tap with copper pipes is a bit more tricky than changing a kitchen tap with flexible tap connectors.

You can follow the above steps for the most part (how to fit and remove a kitchen tap).

You will need to cut the copper pipes with a 15mm pipe cutter and fit some isolating valves to the copper pipes, then you can fit the new flexible tap connectors to the new isolating valves after removing the top nuts.

How to Change a Kitchen Tap Cartridge

To change a kitchen tap cartridge and fix a dripping tap, you need to remove the tap handle (usually with a 2.5mm hex key), and then remove the cartridge with an adjustable spanner.

Then fit the new kitchen tap cartridge and refit the handle to complete the tap cartridge replacement.

how to change a kitchen tap cartridge
Changing a kitchen tap cartridge


Replacing a kitchen tap can be difficult, especially if it’s hard to access.

Sometimes it’s virtually impossible to get any tools in properly because of the cupboard or other pipework.

Make sure you turn the water supply off first and make sure to tighten the nuts up securely as you don’t want the tap coming loose after a few uses.

Feel free to ask me any questions in the comment section below and I’ll try my best to help.

How to Change a Kitchen Tap FAQs

What size box spanner for kitchen taps?

What size box spanner you need for kitchen taps depends on the tap. There is no standard size for the nuts on kitchen taps. You need to buy a set of box spanners, which typically come in 9 – 13mm sizes.

This should cover the sizes of box spanners needed for almost all kitchen taps with small nuts.

Why does my kitchen tap drip?

Your kitchen tap drips because the cartridge needs to be replaced most of the time.

The ceramic cartridges get full of limescale and other stuff which means they don’t do their job properly.

This is why your kitchen tap drips and why you will need to replace the cartridge or the tap.

Can you change your kitchen tap yourself?

Yes, you can change your kitchen tap yourself.

You will need certain plumbing tools to change your kitchen tap but if you feel competent enough and follow the instructions properly then you can definitely do it yourself.


  • Steven Reid

    I am a full-time plumber and Gas Safe registered engineer. I incorporated Housewarm Ltd. in 2011 to provide heating and plumbing services to homes in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. I now blog about what I've learned over the years to help DIYers and plumbers.

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2 thoughts on “How to Change a Kitchen Tap: The Complete Guide for 2023”

  1. I started to replace a kitchen tap with copper pipes – once I’d acquired the appropriate plumbing wrench, it looked like a simple enough job – unscrew one, drop the new one in the holes and screw up. My question is how do you tell whether water dripping on your face is just residual water or indication that gate valve on the hot pipe is faulty? I played safe and tightened everything back up but my plumber is on holiday. Can I have another go or should I await his return? Thanks

    1. If it doesn’t stop dripping then the gate valve must be faulty. If it’s only dripping I would just replace the tap anyway and put a couple of towels down.

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