How to Replace Bathroom Taps and Kitchen Taps

If you are a home owner there will eventually come a time when you either have to or will possibly just want to change your bathroom or kitchen taps.

Changing a set of taps can make a huge difference in how your bathroom vanity or kitchen counters look and feel. I am going to tell you exactly how to proceed and change your own taps so you don’t have to spend money on a plumber or handyman to do it for you.

The money you save on installing the taps yourself can be put towards purchasing the taps of your dreams. When picking a new set of taps it is important to check where the water supply lines run into the bottom of your taps.

Are they all together in the center or are they directly under the hot and cold water handles of your taps.

It is especially important to know this if you have a stone or tile counter as it is harder to drill the holes out for the supply lines in the correct place whereas an Arborite counter is much easier to drill through.


To find that out without taking off the taps you are currently using you will need to look under the counter at the underside of where your taps drop through the counter.

You will also want to make note as to whether you have shut off valves on your supply lines and decide whether you want to install them or not, I am recommending you install shut off valves if you do not have them.

For this “how to” I am going to assume you have shut off valves installed already. Now that you know what type of taps you are looking for you can go shopping and purchase taps.

When buying taps make sure they either come with or you purchase water supply lines that go between the underside of the taps and reach the end of the shut off valve to be connected there.


It is very important that the supply lines are long enough to reach the valves and bottom of taps. Are you still with me?



Now that you have your new set of taps at home it is time to take uninstall your old taps. First thing to do is turn off your water.

If you have shut off valves just shut off the hot and cold shut offs. If you do not have shut off valves you will have to shut the water off at the water meter which is mostly found in basments.

Once the water is turned off you can now uninstall your old taps. Now it is time to crawl in your cabinet and undo the nuts that hold down the taps to the counter top. Most times this is not an easy task as the nuts and threads of the taps are usually corroded and the space you have to work in is extremely tight.

A tool you might want to invest in or borrow from your plumber friend is called a basin wrench which is made specifically for fitting in these tight spots. The end of the wrench pivots so you can use it in all different angles.


You might even consider wearing safety goggles when you are lying on your back look up at the nuts you are trying to loosen, small pieces of debris will fall and you don’t want that in your eye.

Once you have the nuts off of the bottom of the taps you can now disconnect the water supply line that is hooked up between your shut off valve and the end of the taps.

Some people prefer to disconnect the supply line before they disconnect the nuts on the underside of the taps. I do it last when I can because there is usually a small amount of water that will leak out onto the bottom of the cabinet and I prefer not to lie in water. 


Now that you have everything disconnected and pulled out from the cabinet you might need to clean the counter where the old taps were sitting before putting in your new taps.

Now taking your new taps drop the ends through the top of the counter and on the underside you will now tighten up with washers and nuts supplied.

Make sure the taps are sitting square on your counter so they are visually pleasing and not out of whack. Once the taps are tighten and secure to the counter you can now take your new water supply lines and connect them to the bottom of your taps.

Some people tighten them on before dropping the new taps through the top of counter. If you don’t have much room to work with under the counter then it is definitely a good idea to attach the supply lines first.

Next thing to do is tighten the water supply lines to the shut off valves connection. Snug them up nice and tight but don’t try to kill the nut. Now take a look at all your connections to visually inspect that they are in fact hooked up.

If so then it is now time to turn on the water. First make sure your taps are in the off position then slowly turn your water on at the shut off valves. Once the water is turned on fully have a look under your counter at all of the connections to check for leaks.


If you don’t find a leak then great job. If you find a leak you should try tightening up the connection to see if that stops the leak and if not you will have to turn the water off and disconnect that connection and reconnect it.

Sometimes everything isn’t lining up correctly and you get a drip happening. If you are not able to stop the leak you can try wrapping the threads on the connection with Teflon tape which will help seal the area.


Once you have your leak fixed check your tap for a metal screen filter at the spout of your tap where the water pours out of. If you have one you should unscrew it so you don’t catch any metal filings from when the tap was manufactured in the filter.

Once you have that off turn your hot and cold water on slowly. Let the water run for 30 seconds. Turn your water off and tighten your filter back onto your tap.


Step back from the counter and pat yourself on the back as you just successfully installed a set of taps yourself. Great job!


Learn how to change bathroom taps

Bathroom taps are easy to change whether they are 1 piece taps or come in 3 pieces
Bathroom taps are easy to change whether they are 1 piece taps or come in 3 pieces

An important Plumbers tool.

This is a Basin wrench used by plumbers to fit in tight spots to tighten and loosen hard to get to nuts in areas under sinks etc.
This is a Basin wrench used by plumbers to fit in tight spots to tighten and loosen hard to get to nuts in areas under sinks etc.
This picture is of under a bathroom sink showing the shut off valves and the flexible water supply lines going up to the taps.
This picture is of under a bathroom sink showing the shut off valves and the flexible water supply lines going up to the taps.
Underside of my bathroom vanity looking up at the bottom of the taps. This is a great reason to use a basin wrench when doing a job like this.
Underside of my bathroom vanity looking up at the bottom of the taps. This is a great reason to use a basin wrench when doing a job like this.
Shut off valve at the water meter. Make sure to turn this off if you don't have shut off valves under your kithcen or bathroom sink when changing your taps
Shut off valve at the water meter. Make sure to turn this off if you don't have shut off valves under your kithcen or bathroom sink when changing your taps
Teflon tape is used to seal threaded connections to stop or prevent water leaks.
Teflon tape is used to seal threaded connections to stop or prevent water leaks.

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