Kitchen Taps: Brass or Stainless Steel?

stainless steel or brass kitchen taps
Which material would be better for your kitchen tap? Brass and stainless steel are commonly used for kitchen taps and they might look similar on the outside when both are new, but which one should you choose for your own kitchen?
If you can’t decide whether to buy a brass kitchen tap over a pricier stainless steel tap, this article will help you make a choice. We’ll take a look at these criteria:
  • Material composition, 
  • Strength, 
  • Hygiene, 
  • Appearance, 
  • Maintenance, 
  • Price.

Material: What’s in that kitchen tap?

What is your kitchen tap made of? If it’s stainless steel, then it’s mainly iron with some chromium and nickel, and a bit of manganese, silicon, and carbon. It’s the chromium that gives corrosion resistance to stainless steel, with help from the nickel, which also provides temperature resistance and hardness. Manganese helps remove impurities, gives strength, and makes it workable. Of course, these are all great qualities for a kitchen mixer tap.

On the other hand, brass taps in Australia and New Zealand are required to be dezincification resistant brass or DR brass, a copper alloy with a zinc content of more than 37%. This is supposed to help against severe corrosion when water is very highly chlorinated or high in oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Strength and Durability: Which tap is stronger? Which will last longer?

Stainless steel is known to be the strongest material for tapware, and when it’s 304- grade (as used in Swedia taps) it is the hardest and most durable stainless steel for tapware in the market. While a DR brass tap may last longer than common brass, it will have a tendency to erode when exposed to humidity as this triggers corrosion.

Hygiene and Safety: What’s healthier for you and your family?

DR brass contains lead and arsenic, which will slowly mix with your water. Even small amounts of these over time could lead to heavy metal poisoning.
Another thing going against brass taps are the textured interior surfaces, where debris slowly accumulates and over time builds up into dirty black grime, affecting water taste and quality. The chrome plating process of brass taps is also said to cause damage to the environment and produces byproducts such as hexavalent chromium that can lead to cancer.
Stainless steel taps have a smooth surface even on the inside, so there are no small pores or crevices for bacteria to grow. Stainless steel is also regarded as the most hygienic material, that’s why it’s used in many hospitals, restaurants, and hotel kitchens.

Appearance: Will you go for better looking or for non-fading?

Brass taps can be coated with a chrome finish and even gold, copper, nickel, black, and coloured paint. However, such coatings can peel or scratch through time. Stainless steel has no coating but can be brushed or polished - and it will not fade.

Care and Maintenance: Which is easier to clean?

Stainless steel kitchen taps just need regular wiping with a soft cloth to easily maintain its appearance, while it may take you a while to clean brass taps due to tarnishing.

Kitchen Tap Prices: Which will cost you less?

If you browse the kitchen taps on sale at Renovator Store you will find that stainless steel taps are more expensive than brass taps. However, if you want to buy a kitchen tap that will last for much longer, the price difference will become negligible as you will have to replace a cheaper tap much sooner and more often. A brass tap might cost less, but a stainless steel tap will cost less in the long run.