Forget the Brass Tap it’s all about Black now

Now this post is more by way of an idea that I’m just putting out there, as my son would say. Something to muse on and see what you think. Then we can perhaps revisit in more detail later. So, on the basis that most of us still have chrome taps, can’t afford brass and are worried about the faddiness of copper do we need a new colour? Is it time for that most classic of colours to come forth and take its place in the front row. Black taps? Is that the new and for ever thing?

I think it might be.

black tap by meirblack in the boutique airbnb of legacy rye in Victoria Australia
black tap by meirblack in the boutique airbnb of legacy rye in Victoria, Australia

Last week I wrote about how to choose the right kitchen worktop for you and one of the pictures I showed then drew me in and has stayed with me ever since and while it was undeniably a beautiful worktop, it was the tap that gave it the zing.

It’s this one.

statuario maxima by caesartsone
statuario maxima by caesarstone

Now I don’t know about you but that black tap and sink combination is just fabulous as far as I’m concerned. And it feels really do-able. When we converted the loft three years ago I wanted brass taps in the bathroom. But the Mad Husband wasn’t convinced as he thought we might go off them. Well we’ll never know the answer to that as we didn’t have them but it’s possible he had a point.

It wasn’t just the fear of succombing to a trend that worried us, but also the sheer expense and the fact that, three years ago, you couldn’t easily get a brass bottle trap for under the basin and the flush buttons on the loos were all still chrome and so on. We gave up partly for a lack of product as much as lack of money.

black tap by meir black
black tap by meir black

Then, last year, we revamped the bathroom. Now the floor-standing bat tap leaks and we were replacing the shower fittings already so that was the moment to go for it. But somehow we didn’t. We could have justified that lot in brass and then thrown in the basin taps to match but the moment came and went and it’s all still chrome.

taken by KW-S at the Houzz of 2018
taken by KW-S at the Houzz of 2018

But now suddenly I feel like I could commit to black. Not least because I think you can happily mix black and chrome so if you fell in love with a black tap and didn’t want to change the waste or the loo flush I don’t think that’s a problem.

And while I’m on the subject of mixing metallics. Someone asked me last week about mixing them in the bathroom and while I’ve often said you can mix brass and pewter or copper and silver, when it comes to mirrors and candlesticks for example in sitting rooms, I think it doesn’t work so well to have a mix in a bathroom or kitchen. Why? Because I think (and this is my take on it so it’s not necessarily something you have to agree with)  a brass light and silver candlestick are two different things for different purposes and, the chances are, there are lots of other textures and colours in that room already so it becomes part of the overall scheme. Bathrooms are much more minimal places and having everything that is roughly doing the same job (all to do with water coming and going) and in different colours doesn’t feel quite right to me. It’s messy rather than considered.

black shower screen by lusso stone
black shower screen and taps by lusso stone

BUT, but…. when it’s black and another colour. Well that’s a different kettle of fish. I think you can have a black tap and a silver flush. A black showerhead and a sliver bath tap. Black is the classic isn’t it? And it goes with everything. So black and brass, black and sliver, even black and copper.

black bosjun tap from ikea
black bosjun tap from ikea

As I say, I’m just putting this out there for us all to mull over – while pointing that Ikea are now selling a black tap for £100 so I think it probably is a thing. Let me know what you think in the comments but this may be a more affordable way forward as we don’t have to rip out entire rooms but can revamp a little here and a little there.

Mind you, if you’ve got a black tap wouldn’t you just love a black sink? We’ll come back to that later…

Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


  1. It’s like you read my mind. I’m currently trying to sort the finishing bits of our reno/extension project, specifically the bathroom. I’ve got a wood and brass swoon editions console for the vanity, planning encaustic dandelion tiles and I wanted brass taps. I just found some black (Lusso Stone) ones way cheaper and am wondering if I can get both into the scheme as I just so badly want brass for the sink. So I’m mainly obsessing over this image ( as they have brass sink taps and black shower. I just can’t decide if it works which I think means it doesn’t.
    Interestingly, Nearly all the pinterest images of encaustic tiled bathrooms have chrome taps, with a few brass. No black. Another spanner in the works…

  2. Blimey
    My mother in law put in black sink and tap in her kitchen 30+ years ago. Ye ha! Bang on trend.
    At last. 😉

  3. We’re putting a black tap and sink in our new kitchen and I did consider it in our bathroom as well. That said, I live in Cambridge and we have notoriously hard water. I think having black taps in the bathroom would have been a nightmare to keep looking sharp. I rationalised the decision in the kitchen as I clean the sink every night after dinner and will hopefully avoid the lovely white limescale build up. Will say I’m rather pleased I’m on trend! 🙂

  4. Hurrah! I’m on trend! I put black taps and shower fitting in the kitchen and bathroom when I renovated last year. Chrome just felt so Noughties 😀
    I love them but the only problem with the shower is it’s a bugger for limescale, especially since the water in London is so damn hard.

    1. Hi Kerry. Limescale is exactly what I wanted to ask about as I’m in London too and my practical husband has already voiced this as a concern. If you had your time again would you still go black? How and how long are you spending cleaning them per week? Thanks, jo x

  5. Adopted black countertop, sink and tap in my old home since 2014 and couldn’t be happier! Everyone who saw it told me that I’m crazy. I also had a client who wanted the same black style kitchen and she was over the moon with the result. I’m happy there are still some brave people because, well, 2000s beige is not my thing 🙂

  6. I was DESPERATE for black taps when I installed my bathrooms 3 years ago, but the only companies that stocked them at that point were the high-end-out-of-my-price-range suppliers… so I got chrome. But if IKEA is in on the game now, it is definitely a thing! Now, I wonder how easy it is to change a tap….

  7. They definitely look the part and of course black is very on trend just now. The one thing that I think may let it down is limescale. It’s bad enough on chrome but a mere splash would stand out on black so I’m not sure they’d look so good a year from now. Maybe one of your readers had black taps a year or more ago and could post some photos.

  8. Black is minimalist and industrial. Colored metals are pretty and glamorous. I love the blacks myself, but my guess is this will be one of the faster moving fads. Of course, they’ll stay for several years and everyone who has them will claim they love it, but that’s just cognitive dissonance in action, because there’s no justifying switching taps every couple of years..

    1. I’m not sure we’ve had cognitive dissonance on the blog before. I’m THRILLED! But yes you are right. But there is still something classic about it – brass may be a little too self-consciously 2017 soon.

  9. Black looks fab, my only concern the material it’s durability is in terms of cleaning and maintenance. I’ve seen plenty of ceramic sinks in expensive kitchens with unsightly scratches from pots and pans on day one and nasty stains in composite sinks that for now I’d stick with a stainless steel one. But still, black does look fab!

  10. I read something yesterday about a Swedish company stopping producing chrome pieces as the process of making them is so bad for the environment. Ahead of European legislation coming in over the next few years to minimise chrome, and cease production of hex-chrome and black chrome in particular, they are focussing on polished stainless steel, powder-coated black pieces and black anodised aluminium as they see those as the future.

  11. I certainly hope this does become a thing! they just look so stylish, understated but very cool.

    Same goes for kitchen handles, during my own kitchen revamp and I actually painted the existing stainless steel long bar handles (primarily due to the lack of inexpensive black replacements to experiment with!) and I love them!

  12. Oh lor, that’s torn it. I was already embarrassed by my heavily “on trend” black, white and fluffy pink bathroom currently under construction. How to admit that I have a black tap and black glass sink waiting to be installed?

  13. I couldn’t agree more! I’d love to change all the taps/shower etc to black in our house and think it’s less likely to go out of fashion any time soon. Talking of black- we are changing all our white sockets to Matt black…and radiators….I think I’m in love with black!

  14. Certainly they are increasingly popular here in New Zealand – I recently saw a fabulous open home that had black taps and shower heads etc in the bathrooms teamed up with sinks that were finished in a brass look, stunning.

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