How to install a kitchen mixer tap

Updated February 21, 2017

A kitchen mixer tap mixes hot and cold water as it pours into the sink. The tap connects both the hot and cold water lines to a single valve. By tilting or turning the tap handle to the right or left you open and close the hot water valves in relation to one another to make the water pouring from the tap warmer or colder. You can install a kitchen mixer-type tap yourself with a few tools and rudimentary plumbing skills.

Remove old taps

Shut off the water supply to your sink at the primary valve. To do this, open the cabinet or access point beneath your sink. You should see a knob located on the pipes or hoses leading up to the sink. Turn this knob. Turn on your old taps to drain any water in the pipes leading up to them. Close the sink stopper to keep small parts from falling down the drain. Line the sink with an old towel to catch any small parts.

Disconnect the water supply pipes leading into your old tap by loosening the locking nuts that attach the pipes to the tap with a basin spanner or an adjustable spanner.

Pry up your old tap's decorative caps on the tap handles with a screwdriver. Remove the screw beneath this handle that secures the handle to the valve stem. Pull the handle off of the tap. Beneath this handle you will find a packing nut.

Remove the packing nut from each valve stem using an adjustable spanner with a counterclockwise turn. Beneath the packing nut is a stem assembly. Pull the stem assembly upward to remove it from the valve.

Remove any grout, epoxy or putty used to attach the tap to the worktop by sliding the blade of a utility knife into the seam between the tap and the work. Lift the old tap away from the worktop.

Measure the distance between the centre of the pipe holes to find the tap's centre, which is known as the centerset. Buy a replacement mixer tap that has a centerset identical to that of your old tap. Buy adaptors to adapt your old hot and cold water lines to the new tap.


Clean the worktop and the hole into which the faucet will connect to the worktop by scraping it with a putty knife or brushing it with a wire brush.

Apply plumbers putty to the underside of the mixer tap's decorative plate, which is known as a escutcheon. Slide the assembly of the tap through the hole in the worktop and press the escutcheon to the counter over the decorative hole. Wait for the putty to dry before continuing.

Place the locking nuts and washers onto the valves beneath the mixer following the manufacturer's directions. Directions will vary among tap makers.

Slip an adaptor onto the end of each valve.

Slip a supply nut onto the hot or cold water supply pipes. Slip the end of the hot or cold water supply pipes into the adaptor located at the end of the hot and cold water valves on the tap assembly. Tighten the supply nut onto the adaptor to hold the connection in place.

Turn on the water supply by turning on the knob to the primary water supply valve. Check your sink for leaks and tighten all nuts at the point where the leaks occur until the leaking stops.

Things You'll Need

  • Towel
  • Adjustable spanner
  • Basin spanner
  • Utility knife
  • Mixer tap assembly
  • Tap adaptor kits
  • Plumbers putty
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About the Author

Tracy Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Arkansas.