What Is The Difference Between A Water Tap And A Faucet? – A Detailed Guide

What Is The Difference Between A Water Tap And A Faucet?

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A tap is the term used by UK citizens while a faucet is a term used by US citizens and this is, in fact, the difference between both words. Though, people from other nationalities often get confused and ask what is the difference between a water tap and a faucet.

So to address their question in such a detailed way this article has been written which includes the definition of both the words water tap or faucet along with their main difference and the styles of taps/ faucet that are currently available in the market for the users to use.

Several water taps/ faucets are available in the market, some like pillar taps, and mixer taps are conventional and others like monobloc taps, disc taps, ball taps, washer taps and cartridge taps are the new versions of older taps and provide users with the best experience.

Though, every style has its pros and cons along with some distinct features which have been discussed below very precisely for the users to get a quick overview of every style. 

Difference Between A Water Tap And A Faucet

What Is The Difference Between A Water Tap And A Faucet?

People living outside the US or UK, often ask what is the difference between a water tap and a faucet. In the UK people call Taps and in the US people call faucets the tap, this confuses others.

Though the difference between these two words faucets and taps is nothing, in general, they are just synonyms of each other and both are used frequently together as well.

This article will illustrate the definition of both taps and faucets in their way and will also throw light on the styles of taps/ faucets available in the market.

What Is A Water Tap 

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A water tap is a tap that can provide either hot or cold water. Whatever the design or style a water tap poses, this main and vital feature of providing both sides of water remains constant for a water tap.

Though there are a lot of options in the market nowadays water taps come in many different and exceptional designs. Tap is the term which is used in UK English and Europe people term it as tap rather than faucet.

What Is A Faucet 

A faucet is nothing different from a tap but it is just a word that is a synonym of the tap and is frequently used in US English. In the US people term taps as faucets.

However, some of the studies show that faucets are the links that are installed between the main water pipeline and the taps, but these are just limited studies which claim this definition of faucets. The majority states that faucets are just another name for tap and are used frequently in the US rather than in the UK.

Types Of Water Taps And Faucets 

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Pillar Taps/ Faucet 

Pillar taps/ faucets are conventionally used items, though they are still in use and could be seen mostly in old homes where in bathrooms there are taps with the option of hot or cold written on them and taps being fixed in the pillars.

Pillar taps were conventionally used as the main source of water supply where they used to be installed on the pipes of the hot or cold water as well. These are somehow standardized taps as they used to be part of every household in older times and were convenient to use as well with simple instructions of hot and cold mentioned on the above of the tap.

Mixer Taps/Faucet 

A mixer tap is one tap that provides options for hot and cold water. One can use an individual waterside at a time or a mixture of both hot and cold water could be used at one time.

These are often found in the bathroom sinks or bath areas and in the kitchen where sinks are the main place for mixer taps. Mixer taps are a great invention and take less space, both water types can come out from one tap rather than having two different taps for individual hot and cold water.

Monobloc Taps/ Faucet 

Monobloc taps/ faucets are used very commonly in this modern lifestyle, though the name of this type is not the one which you often hear. Monobloc taps/ faucets provide users with the option of a holder that one can move to the left for hot water and to right for cold water.

This tap is commonly used in bathrooms though it could be used anywhere else in the house as well. Most hotels are now fond of this tap style and are using it in hotel rooms and public washroom sinks

Washer Taps/ Faucet 

Washer tap/ faucet is just a simple and conventional tap, this is more often seen in public places rather than in private home areas. Hence, in homes, if this tap is used then it’s just for gardening purposes as for gardening and in garages, mixers or fancy taps are not required.

This conventional tap provides just one type of water at a time which is usually mild as it is directly connected to the freshwater coming out of the water pump. The plumber’s preference is the washer tap because they believe that the washer faucet does not contain any complex and complicated methods of installing and repairing.

Disc Taps/ Faucet 

Disc taps/ faucets are a new invention, they are modern versions of monobloc taps. Disc taps enable the use of either hot or cold water at one time. Just move the disc to the left for hot water and to the right for cold water.

Discs are very convenient to use and their main purpose is to control the pressure of the water, if you are disturbed by the high pressure coming out of your tap at once then it’s the right time to switch your tap style to disc tap as it will control the water pressure coming out of the tap in a very smooth way.

Disc taps/ faucets are mostly recommended for kitchens as kitchen taps are used frequently which makes them loose and they just could not control the water pressure smoothly for a long time. Disc taps eliminate this worry of yours by providing you with smooth and steady water pressure.

Ball Taps/ Faucet 

Ball taps/ faucets are also modern versions of monobloc taps, enabling the users to control the water temperature on their own just by moving left for hot water and to right for cold water.

Though, plumbers do not find this ball tap very useful or durable as they provide feedback that the taps which get leaked too frequently are ball taps because of the design which is quite unreliable. Ball taps can also get loose as easily as the ball when moved frequently it loses the capacity of being in control for a long time.

Cartridge Taps/ Faucet 

Cartridge taps/ faucets are interesting taps, their design does not contain only one feature but involves some interesting facts.

Cartridge taps can work as a mixer taps as one can open both sides of the tap to get hot and cold water mixed, then they can work as a monobloc as well where the left can provide only hot water while the right can provide only cold water.

Last but not least cartridge taps can work as disc taps as well, upside and downside both can be used to increase or decrease the water flow just by handling it accordingly. Plumbers recommend cartridge taps the most and tag them as one of the most successful styles of the taps/ faucet so far. 


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In light of the above discussion, a conclusion regarding the topic: what is the difference between a water tap and a faucet? Can be drawn claiming that both of the words are synonyms for each other and there is no difference between a water tap and a faucet.

Hence the only difference is that the word water tap is frequently used in the UK while the word faucet is frequently in the US.

Though, the article above also discusses the main water taps/ faucets styles available in the market with a brief discussion on the features, pros and cons of every style which may assist the user in deciding which style to prefer if anyone is looking to install water taps/ faucets at their place.

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