Every kitchen needs a tap. When it comes to selecting a tap, style is secondary. You need to select a tap that will work well and withstand years of daily use. Here's what you should keep in mind when picking a tap:
CONSIDER THE THE FUNCTION
With the great number of kitchen taps on the market, there is a design for everyone. Style is strictly a personal taste issue, people like what they like, but people need guidance when it comes to function and finishes. Most taps use cartridge, ball or ceramic disc valves. Though many attractive taps have two handles, it is more convenient to have single-lever taps in the kitchen. It is also advisable to include a dual flow function which can switch from a spray function for cleaning dishes to an aerated flow for filling up pots, vases and buckets that are outside your sink area. Consider other convenient extras, like a garbage disposal and hot water dispenser; separate hot and cold handles versus a mixer tap; and the option for an integrated filtered tap.
CONSIDER AERATED TAPS
Adding simple elements to your kitchen such as aerated taps might be a small addition but in the long run this simple outlet can potentially reduce the amount of water you utilise. The aerator within the tap is a vital component in the overall performance of the tap itself and it has numerous advantages.
Nowadays your kitchen taps don’t have to just look good they also have to perform and function perfectly whilst potentially saving your household or premises energy or money on your utility bills.
Think about all the times you may have left the tap running whilst doing the dishes. Reducing the flow rate of your tap saves you litres of water per minute and imagine what that can save you on the utility bills on an annual basis.
By slowing the flow of water, the kitchen tap instantly becomes more energy efficient. The slowing of the water is of course, caused by mixing the water with air as it leaves the tap (aeration). This does not compromise the water pressure, but simply reduces the volume of water passing through the outlet. The Swedia Otto kitchen mixer can provide this function as well as giving you access to both mains water and filtered water all in the same tap. With 2 levers to control each line, mains water flows through the aerator while filtered water flows from the centre.
CONSIDER WHAT'S IT MADE OF?
Before you rush out looking for the one that looks the best, you might save some time by first choosing what you want your tap made out of.
Steer away from brass finishes. Did you know chromed brass kitchen taps in Australia contain lead and arsenic? Stainless steel tap-ware is the most sanitary and durable choice available. Brass works well for a low-use area, but in a high-use area like a kitchen, there are many benefits in choosing a stainless steel kitchen tap. Firstly, though, not all stainless steel is the same. Look for 304 grade stainless steel as that is the hardest and most durable for this type of apparatus. So here are a few of the benefits of choosing stainless steel for your kitchen sink mixer:
Hygiene - why do you think restaurants, hospitals, and hotel kitchens are all stainless steel? It is regarded as the most hygienic of metals as it is easy to clean and the surface has no pores or cracks to harbour bacteria or mildew.
Smooth - unlike brass, the interior surfaces of the kitchen tap can be casted completely smooth. This means that debris cannot lodge on the interior surface and your tap remains clean, ensuring your water is not fouled.
Sanitary - In addition to the hygienic characteristics of stainless steel, stainless steel does not contain lead and arsenic like DR Brass does
Hardness - stainless steel is a very hard metal and will not dent or bend or distort like some other alloys.
Solid - The steel does not need to be coated so is the same composition the whole way through the body of the tap. Therefore scratches can be buffed out
Finish - the external finish of a stainless steel kitchen mixer tap can be either brushed or polished. A professionally polished stainless steel looks just like a chromed brass tap, yet it does not utilise the chrome plating process that is often criticised for its negative effect on the environment.
Long life - with proper care stainless steel can be used for a lifetime.
Temperature tolerance - it can withstand higher temperatures.
Recyclable - steel is a recyclable material
Whilst stainless steel tapware is often more expensive than brass, it does not need to be. In fact stainless steel is not an expensive material. Brands like SWEDIA concentrate on producing only sanitary grade stainless steel tapware and, as a new brand in the Australian market, have very reasonable pricing. SWEDIA's stainless steel tapware with pull out spray nozzle and pot fillers are manufactured utilising "precise casting". This results in a beautiful finish on the exterior, and the interior surfaces of the tap being completely smooth.
With stainless steel the quality is clear, the benefits are undeniable, and it will be a beautiful centrepiece in your kitchen that lasts a lifetime.
Before making the final decision, take a trip to the local plumbing showroom to get a feel for how a sink and tap will function.