Kitchen Taps – Balancing Features And Design With Quality And Cost

Kitchen taps are important. Your tap is the source of water in your kitchen, which means you use it constantly. Water for cooking, cleaning, and drinking. It sounds like it doesn’t take much to be a good kitchen tap, but actually there is more to it when you think about it:

  • Kitchen taps should have the right work height to allow pots, pans, vases and even buckets to be filled with water. Have you ever tried filling a bucket with water from that faucet in your bathroom? You know, the one that barely rises from the edge of the sink? Frustrating, to say the least!
  • Kitchen taps should have filters that retain little grains of sand and rust from old water pipes, which may otherwise end up in your food or drinking water.
  • They should have proper hot/cold water mixing capabilities – nothing worse than not being able to dial in just the right temperature when washing your hands, etc.
  • They should be solidly built, stay leak-free and be easy to clean – for years to come. A good kitchen tap will last for decades, with a little maintenance now and then.

This was just the practical stuff. Then there are looks. It doesn’t matter if your kitchen is modern or traditional in design – you can’t just throw any old tap in there. Designer taps have almost become the norm, with several well-known brands competing for your attention like it was “tap-couture” or something. They do look good too. But before you either throw hundreds of dollars at some platinum-plated, water-spouting dolphin kitchen tap, take a moment to think about your needs:

Functionality

Does it do what you want? Does it have aerator filters, pull-down spray functionality? Does it swivel to allow using it for dual sinks? What about working height? Adequate? Kitchen taps are tools; remember that.

Quality

Is it a sturdy monobloc type? The fewer moving parts the better. Those that do move, should do so in a way that feels smooth and solid. The best finish is usually hard chrome, as it cleans up easily and takes a lot of abuse. Untreated or lacquered brass looks good, but only for a short time if you don’t clean and polish it like mad. It should have a quality ceramic cartridge and allow for easy repair. An example of good quality is with Franke kitchen taps. They are not cheap, but they have it all in this respect.

Design

Some taps are so exciting to look at, it is easy to forget to check what they are actually like to work with.
I’ve seen several designs where I was not sure how to turn on the water! Is that good design? The last thing you want in a tool is for it to be counter-intuitive when you need to use it fast.

Cost

Don’t spend all your money on stupid kitchen sink taps! Save a little for a toaster oven and a microwave too. Just kidding. Of course, you want good quality and beautiful design, but ask yourself which is more important. Great quality doesn’t have to cost that much nowadays, with the way the manufacturing process has improved in recent years – even for relatively cheap products. On the other hand, you should expect to pay between 50-100$ for a good quality tap. Anything substantially cheaper might be too cheap.