Matthew Hicks, Head of Product at Bristan, discusses the kitchen products expected to make a stir in 2019.

The UK kitchen market continues to expand, with the latest figures showing that new kitchen installations reached over 1.2 million in 2017, according to research from specialist consultancy JKMR, and sales of fitted kitchens were up more than 4% to £6.73 billion. Across the board, we believe homeowners are increasingly looking for quality products that make their kitchens stand out from the crowd.

In 2019, we can expect these trends to continue. Kitchens are no longer primarily seen as a functional space where we cook food. The kitchen of today serves many purposes, often acting as the main family living space, a play area, informal dining room, and home office in a single day.

As a result, it is more important than ever to consider the products which are recommended for this space, from both a practical and a design-led perspective. So, what are the hot products set to take the year by storm? Here are three kitchen trends for installers to keep an eye on.

Easy installation

Busy installers are increasingly opting for quick and easy installations that don’t require compromising on quality. In response, manufacturers are looking to create pioneering, new product designs that meet these needs.

It’s also worth noting that ease of fit should not come at the cost of style or quality. Installers should look for sinks with quick-fit technology that also offer a range of colours, textures, and finishes, allowing for the perfect fit with any kitchen décor.

Keeping up with interior trends

In today’s market, products that were once thought of as merely practical – such as kitchen taps – can increasingly make a big design statement for consumers who want to put a stamp on their new home.

Of the many changes which can be made to a kitchen, one of the most effective and budget-friendly is tap replacement. However, these trends are constantly changing, so for homeowners who want to keep their kitchen on trend, a tap which can keep up with the latest interior developments is a must.

2019 is set to be all about metallics, mixing brass and gold alongside chrome accessories for example. Kitchen designs with colour contrasts are also set to become a firm favourite, as well as taps which pay attention to detail.

Given the wide variety of taps available on the market, from traditional to ultra-modern, there is always going to be a model that can capture the look that the homeowner wants. Installers should look out for kitchen taps which can be replaced with minimum fuss, and without a huge additional cost.

Added functionality

As home technology advances, exciting new products are emerging that provide installers with opportunities to upsell to their customers. This trend is being driven by the fact that, when it comes to kitchen and bathrooms, homeowners are willing to invest in quality products that have additional features from the standard.

Take the growing popularity of boiling water taps. As the name suggests, boiling water taps provide instant hot water without the need to switch on the kettle or boil a pan on the hob.

A boiling water tap doesn't have to mean adding a second or third tap around your sink. Three-in-one taps are available, which can dispense warm and cold water, as well as boiling water. With an estimated 165 million cups of tea drunk each day in the UK, these taps could soon make kettles obsolete.

As a space for entertaining and day-to-day living, the kitchen truly is the heart of the home. In the next 12 months, expect to see trends towards easy installation and customisation play a big role in consumer buying decisions. And, with new products that have innovative functionality arriving on the market, homeowners will need installers to help navigate the wide range of options available to them.