Taps – A Kitchen Essential
A tap is a hard-working feature of your kitchen that has to be durable and hard-wearing as well as aesthetically pleasing too!
First things First!
What is your home’s water pressure? To get the best performance from your kitchen tap you need the best fitting suited to the water pressure.
- Gravity-fed systems: Is your cold-water tank in the loft and hot water tank somewhere else? This will mean you have low water pressure and will need to choose taps designed for low pressure.
- Combination Boiler: Is your boiler wall mounted and you have no storage tank? This will mean you have a high pressure vented water system which should give you flexibility of tap choice.
- Unvented Hot Water System: Do you have a hot water tank but no cold-water tank? This will mean you have an immersion heater and high-pressure unvented water system which should give you the flexibility of tap choice.
One Tap Hole Vs. Two Tap Hole
Some companies predrill holes for taps in their kitchen sink frames. Therefore, knowing this prior to choosing your taps is the second most important thing.
One Tap Hole Body Options
These are single spout taps that can be controlled by a single lever tap which can work well in a tight space or a twin lever tap that typically works better with low water pressure.
A single lever tap can come in two forms of handles;
- Top Lever: That moves up and down to turn on and left to right for temperature control.
- Side Lever: That pulls out and pushes in to turn on and moves back and forwards for temperature control.
A twin lever tap can come in four forms of handles;
- Top or Side Lever: Which work the same as a single lever tap but they have one handle for hot water and one for cold water.
- Knob or Cross Shaped: Which are standard twist handles that have one for hot water and one for cold water.
Two Tap Hole Body Options
With two tap holes you have the option choice between one or two spouts.
- Pillar Taps: These are your standard taps that come in pairs one spout for hot water and one for cold water. There is no point where the two water temperatures mix.
- Deck/Bridge Mixer Taps: These are not dissimilar to twin lever taps. However, rather than having one pipe, these taps have two pipes connected by a bridge that either sits flush on the sink frame or hovers above.
Shape, Type/Position, Size and Movement
First – determine the look you want.
- A U-shaped spout is a smooth curve that gives a more traditional look.
- An F-shaped spout is angular creating a more modern look.
Type and Position
There are two options when determining the type of spout.
- A base spout, for a more discreet option, comes from the tap base angling upwards to ensure maximum reach.
- A column spout offers easier washing ability due to the base of the tap is elongated with the spout at the top.
Equally another factor to consider is the position of the tap in relation to the sink. Options to think about include; top centre, top left corner or top right corner depending on the type of tap you choose.
An important feature to think about when looking for sinks and taps is the size. Ideally, the spout should reach the centre of the bowl. Typically, higher spouts suit larger and multiple bowls. While single lever/pillar taps are better for smaller sinks.
Depending on your day to day use of your kitchen sink one of these features could help to improve your daily tasks.
- Swivel Spout: allows you to rotate the spout from the base up to 360°.
- Spring Neck Spout: features a coil spring that typically have a spray head that is good for rinsing things.
- Pull-Out Spout: as the name implies this is a pull-out hose feature which offers more extended movement, is good for rinsing items and is more discreet than a spring neck as its mechanisms are within the spout.
Valves Vs. Cartridges
This feature of taps controls the water flow and can be different depending on which tap you have.
Common valves and cartridges include;
- Compression Valves and Ceramic Disc Valves (typically found in pillar taps, twin lever and deck/bridge mixer taps).
- Ceramic Cartridges (typically found in single lever, pull-out and some spring neck taps).
Ceramic is typically considered more durable however depending upon which tap you choose will determine the choice available to you here.
Boiling Water – Quooker
The perfect tap for instant boiling water that’s energy, water and time efficient.
- A separate boiling water tap alongside your regular tap.
- A fusion tap that allows hot, cold and boiling water to come out of a single tap. With double push and turn safety handle.
A final feature to think about is the taps finishing look. There are multiple different finishing styles to compliment your kitchen colours including; Chrome, Nickel, Stainless Steel, Gold, Pewter, Black, White and Metallics.
Sinks – A Kitchen Essential
There are six different types of sink styles you can opt for depending on the size of your kitchen and use of the sink.
- Single Bowl Inset: perfect for limited surface space while still maintaining a big sink volume for washing pots and pans.
- 5 Bowl Inset: perfect for those who like to multi task with this small additional section you can rinse tougher to wash plates while continuing to wash other items.
- Double Bowl: perfect for large kitchens. With the additional full sink space, you can have two separate tasks on the go.
- Undermount: perfect for those who need more surface space. These sinks are mounted underneath the worktop creating a rimless look that is easier to clean.
- Round Inset Bowl: perfect for freedom of choice. These bowls can be fitted to the surface or under the surface and are great space savers.
- Belfast: perfect for the classic look with its deep rectangular bowl that is fitted under the surface and partially exposed.
There are a vast range of material types including;
- Stainless Steel
- Linen Stainless Steel
- Porcelain – Enamelled Cast Iron
- Composite Quartz
- Toughened Glass
Choosing a material type depends on; your budget, your taste and the durability of the material. The most common material used is Stainless steel as it is practical, timeless and is good for those on a budget. However other material such as Composite Quartz can withstand high temperatures and is highly scratch resistant.
If you are looking to renovate your kitchen and would like to get in touch contact us on 01603 417072 or visit our Norwich Showroom NR6 5DR.