Tips on buying taps and showers
Planning a new Bathroom or Kitchen? Perhaps you are Renovating? There are a number
of things to consider when choosing the right taps and showers.
For the Kitchen
A Kitchen Tap should not only be functional but since it is seen by almost everyone who
visits your home, design becomes important.
• Start with functionality. Do you want the practicality of a Pull-Out Spray? This can
allow you to wash vegetables, fill large pots or clean the suds off the items you are
washing. If this is not important then consider the size of the sink it will be on. Many
modern sinks have a larger bowl and a much smaller side bowl for the waste disposal.
Some taps are simply too large while others too small.
• A relatively new innovation is the Pull-DOWN Kitchen Tap. This is a larger
gooseneck shaped tap with a Pull Down Nozzle, which can be better suited to smaller
sinks but with the convenience of the Pull-OUT.
• Design and fit with your decor is the next thing to think about. It not only has to do
the job well, but look good. Modern generally means more angular designs or bigger
taps. Traditional kitchens should look for rounder, more traditional styled taps.
Key considerations: A key issue is the bench top it will be fitted to. If it is to be fitted to a
stainless steel basin then you need to ensure that it will not be so big as to wobble or
bend, since some steel benches have no support beneath them. Check first.
• Remember that you get what you pay for! Cheap can often mean low quality. And as
you want your kitchen tap to last for many years, it can often be better to spend just a
little more to start with.
For the Laundry
Functionality is far more important than design in a laundry as it is a work room. He
pull-out strays can prove to be very useful for washing the pet dog, filling buckets and
washing muddy boots. As laundry basins tend to be quite large, you want a tap with a
very good reach and height.
• The most important consideration is your water pressure. If it is low, then you must
choose your slide shower and accompanying mixer (tap) very wisely. Some are
designed specifically for low water pressure and will give you a good flow of water
despite pressure issues.
• As a rule of thumb, low pressure requires a SINGLE-function shower head. Mains
pressure can also use a MULTI-function head. A multi-function head is one that can be
adjusted with the little lever for different spray patterns. Because of how they work,
these don’t perform in low pressure areas.
• The next consideration is the look of the handles and showers. If they are too modern
in an older bathroom, they can make the rest of the fittings look old-fashioned. Try to
match the style with the decor.
• And once again, remember that you get what you pay for! Cheap can often mean low
quality. As you don’t want to be replacing your shower every year, it can often be better
to spend just a little more to start with.
Water conservation is important
New showers and taps have a Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) rating,
which is from zero to six.
The higher the WELS rating, the more water-efficient the product is.
In the past, showers used up to 25 litres per minute, but now they can perform to the
same level of satisfaction at 9 litres per minute or less. Most are configured to offer 3-star
ratings, which is 9 litres per minute. This is a good rating to look for.