How to lead yourself to the choice of the kitchen taps: the buying guide
The kitchen is the house environment where we spend most of our time, the one with convivial moments and pleasure of being together with our beloved ones, but it is also a very dynamic, lively space, a true laboratory of creativity. For this reason, when we choose a new kitchen or transform the existing one, we must lead ourselves to a balance between practical use and style, between functionality and a look that represents our personality.
Choose the kitchen taps, starting from reliability
Kitchen taps fit perfectly into this picture. Practicality and functionality are the pillars on which producers create their offer and customers lead their choice: the supply of water, in fact, is fundamental in most of the activities in the kitchen, and the device managing the flow is subject to continuous and constant use over time.
Even before evaluating the types and aesthetic qualities of the product, it can be said that the key feature of an excellent kitchen faucet or mixer is the regularity of its performance, which largely depends on its structural strength. It should not be overlooked, in fact, that kitchen taps are used consistently and are therefore subject to greater wear-and-tear than many other pillars of a modern kitchen. The ability to guarantee performance over time depends on many factors: the quality of the project, the materials used, the company's experience, the production process and much more. A reliable, traditional brand that can boast the right certifications and a continuous improvement path based on customer feedback is a solid starting point for the choice of taps for the kitchen. Let's not forget, among other things, that many components of a kitchen faucet - such as gaskets and hoses - are naturally subject to wear and tear, and that consequently an excellent product supports its price by reducing the costs of extraordinary maintenance.
The types of kitchen taps and mixers
Taking into account the structure of the kitchen, the spaces available and the necessary operations, in the large majority of cases you will move towards countertop taps, that is, subject to a countertop installation. It is the typical faucet installed on the sink, which in case of replacement of the kitchen does not require invasive interventions on the walls and tiles, as well as being a mandatory choice for island counters. The alternative, less common but still to be evaluated (if conditions are met) is the wall-mounted tap, which performs a real space-saving action, but lately - thanks to the continuous aesthetic improvement of the various solutions - it is also adopted by those having passion for the modern and refined look.
The countertop taps consist of different types, usually connected to the type of spout .The choice, here, depends on a correct blend of use, functionality and style. The high spout mixers, for example, allow designers to create aesthetically innovative solutions, finding the approval of all those customers who want particular shapes and fine finishes. The practical benefit is the greater space available in height, which makes it easier to fill pots, bottles and, in general, simplifies the washing of dishes and crockery. On the other hand, there is always a need for a certain space in height, which makes them ideal for island kitchens, which do not have to take into account the presence of wall units and windows. When space is a bit more problematic, we go for low spout taps, which offer an excellent mix of practicality and design: the ability to fill bulky objects, slightly limited by the height of the spout, can be compensated for by greater depth of the sink. Finally, to adapt a high spout mixer to rooms with windows, models with reclining spout are available, which can be reclined whenever the window needs to be opened.
Another substantial difference in the choice purpose concerns the type of opening. Three types are usually identified:
- Mixers. It is the most common and widespread type of kitchen faucet, with a single control for the supply of water (hence the term "Single lever") that allows you to adjust the intensity of the flow and the temperature.
- Single water supply. They are kitchen taps for all purposes and have a single control for the supply of water, with a non-adjustable temperature. For this reason, they are not very common in domestic kitchens, but rather used in laundries.
Dual control. It is the traditional feature, with two taps for hot and cold water. Still quite popular, especially in wall installation.
The advantages of kitchen taps with pull-out spray
Interesting and innovative products are taps and mixers with pull-out shower, a feature allowed by an internal flexible of different length (typically around 100 cm). The presence of the pull-out option offers some advantages, including:
- Washing food, glasses and dishes becomes simpler and more effective, to guarantee the hygiene and healthiness of the food.
- The pull-out shower enables different water delivery options, just like in the bathroom showers.
- With a pull-out shower even cleaning the sink becomes much more accurate.
The pull-out hand shower can be integrated into all types of faucets and mixers as seen above:
- Low spout, with a classic and compact design ending with the pull-out shower.
- High spout, with different look and design. Some kitchen mixers with hand shower replace the traditional metal spout with an adjustable rubber tube, so as to simplify and speed up the washing operations. Another option is the extendable spring, which brings the kitchen faucet closer to the professional ones used in large restaurants. As anticipated, these kitchen taps and mixers add to the practicality and functionality of the pull-out shower a modern and refined look, ideal especially for modern and trendy kitchens.
Technology and sustainability in kitchen taps
Technical progress has always involved kitchen taps, leading a big part of the research to innovative solutions. In this context, a leading trend is the maximization of sustainability, a goal translated into the reduction of consumption and the removal of waste, but also in the adoption of sustainable and environmentally friendly production processes. As far as products are concerned, the kitchen - as well as the bathroom - can be at the center of substantial waste of water, which technology can remedy in various ways. Furthermore, although respect for natural resources and sustainability represent the central guidelines, the conscious and economical use of water and energy has important consequences on the costs incurred by the end user. For the purpose of choosing the best kitchen taps, it is therefore always useful to check the use of technologies capable of better managing consumption and, consequently, having a positive impact on wastes. Here are three interesting suggestions for the kitchen:
- Opening in cold water: some mixers (or rather, the mixer cartridges) allow the opening of the flow in cold water with the lever in the central position, avoiding the ignition of the boiler.
- Flow restrictor: it is by far the simplest solution to the need of reducing waste. The flow restrictor reduces the flow of water by mixing this with the air, but without reducing the performance of the spray. All this can lead to a reduction in consumption of even more than 30%.
- LED lighting: it is possible to integrate a LED lighting system inside the shower, so as to give light - with very low consumption and zero heat technology - all the operations that take place on the sink surface. An ideal solution for island kitchens.
A shining example of innovation for functionality is Nobili Move (learn more). The product (design Marco Venzano) boasts a patented flow extension system in which the center of rotation is placed in the front and the hand shower in the rear, opposite to what happens in traditional taps. In this way, the Nobili Move sink tap can deliver water in the classic position, but also reach the most distant areas of the sink when the rear shower is unhooked, combining functionality and practicality with a refined design that has already obtained important consensus among the greatest kitchen manufacturers.
The style emphasizing your personality
The aesthetic aspect has always been an important choice criterion for kitchen taps. In this context, pure rationality (for this, see the previous points) gives way to emotion, supported by a very rich and diversified offer.
The designer's ability lies in proposing undoubtedly useful solutions capable of blending perfectly with the style of the kitchen and enhancing its distinctive features. Thus we find kitchen taps and mixers with extremely refined shapes, which take functional elements such as showers and put them at the service of style, creating designs that do not go out of fashion. Without mentioning the increasingly thin cartridges, which give designers more freedom, and products that integrate real LED lamps, immediately creating a new style trend.
The offer is wide and able to satisfy all tastes, it was said. The minimalist, for example, is one of the great rulers of the scene thanks to its essential, beautiful appearance embellished with quality materials; then attention to the classic and its ability to mix slightly retro features with cutting-edge technology, to guarantee durability, performance and sustainability; without mentioning, finally, those who want to give a touch of color to their kitchen to emphasize his brilliant, creative and whimsical soul. There are perfect solutions for him too.