If you’re planning to update your interiors, your kitchen is a great place to start. One of the hardest working appliances in this room is your tap. Think how often you use it, for cooking, washing up and even washing your hands. So, in practical terms, a new tap is most definitely a worthy investment. It can totally transform the look of your sink area, too. If you’re shopping for a new model for your kitchen, there are lots of different elements to consider. And these should cover both form and function. Here, product manager Luke sets out mixer taps’ many advantages, and highlights some of his favourite models:
In simple terms, a mixer tap draws from both your hot and cold-water supplies. It then combines (mixes) them together, before dispensing the water via a single spout. This combined temperature is altered using some form of control – usually one central lever or two separate knobs. So, mixer versions are different to traditional models, which may have two separate taps, for example pillar taps: one for hot water, and one for cold.
Launched recently, our new Fosso 4IN1 Steaming Water Mixer Tap is quickly becoming one of our best-sellers. WRAS-approved, it incorporates an innovative touch-control display. Endlessly versatile, this is our first ever model to offer fresh and filtered cold water, regular hot water and filtered 98°C steaming water within one design.
In addition, the Fosso 4IN1 features conditioning technology to counter scale and acidity, and improve food and beverage flavour. This mixer tap is available in five contemporary finishes: Copper, Black Steel, Gold, Gunmetal and Stainless Steel. Importantly, these taps are made from solid stainless steel, but the finishes feature a PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) coating. This is a durable, non-fade layer that’s highly resistant to tarnishing, corrosion and scratching.
Mixer taps offer many advantages compared with separate hot and cold versions. First and foremost, they provide excellent control. That’s because mixer taps are easy to use, especially if you choose a model with a single control lever. To achieve your desired water temperature, you simply turn this then lift it up. You don’t need to use two separate taps, adjusting each one until both temperatures are just right.
Mixer taps make it easier to gauge the temperature of the water they dispense. So, this instantly makes them safer, more responsive, and more convenient than two separate models.
If you are working with a tight budget, our new CRU4/CH Cruciform Dual Lever Mixer Tap in Polished Chrome is a great cost-effective model. Featuring a sleek, modern, monobloc design, it incorporates a quarter turn ceramic valve and requires a 0.3 minimum bar pressure.
Mixer taps come in so many different colours and styles, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the choice available. All of our models are advanced and high-performance, so you can rest assured in terms of functionality. Your final choice, therefore, is likely to be dictated by style and substance.
If you’re after a true, luxury kitchen showstopper, look no further than our Joya 3-IN-1 Hot Water Tap. Available in five finishes, Black Steel, Gold, Copper, Stainless Steel and Gunmetal, this ultra-stylish, on-trend collection incorporates exquisite diamond-cut (knurled) designs on the handles. This model features a striking, swan-neck design with separate dial controls that are set into the worktop. These taps are all made from solid stainless steel. However, the gold, copper, black steel and gunmetal options feature our PVD coating.
Ultimately, to make the best choice, you need to ask yourself a range of questions – and answer them honestly. Do you prefer a single lever or dual handle controls? Which colours do you like? Are you mad about metallics? Do you want to make a serious statement with gold? Or do you think black is where it’s at? Does your kitchen design suit sharper, streamlined angles, or curves and rounded edges? Don’t forget to think about the size and height of your mixer tap spout, in relation to your kitchen sink.
Pull-out or pull-down models with retractable spray heads, such as our RAW2/CH Rawling Chrome Spray Tap, offer plenty of (literal) flexibility and versatility. In addition to its eye-catching good looks, this model’s hose swivels, making it much easier to rinse fruit and veg, and wash bulky pots and pans. This design makes cleaning the sink much easier, too!
Before you take the plunge and buy new mixer taps, you’ll need to know more about your home’s water pressure. That’s because this needs to be compatible with your choice, in order for your chosen model to work properly. Water pressure is measured in bars. Anything below 0.3 will require a low water pressure mixer tap. Anything at 1.0 bar or above requires a high-pressure mixer tap.
Not sure what type of system you have? A reputable plumber should be able to tell you for sure. But, as a rough guide, bar pressure depends on the distance between the tank in the attic and the tap itself. It refers to the force with which the water travels through your pipes. A bar pressure of 0.1 to 0.99 is the most common scenario for most domestic homes.
Our Shaftsbury Traditional Dual Lever Tap, for example, requires a minimum bar pressure of 0.3. Most people associate mixer taps with contemporary kitchens. But I think this model is the ideal complement for classic kitchen designs. The ceramic white detailing on both levers works really well with a ceramic Butler sink, for example. This mixer tap is available in three finishes: Antique Brass, Pewter and Polished Chrome, so the choice is yours.
Some of the mixer taps we offer are WRAS-approved. But what exactly does this mean? WRAS stands for the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme. This conformance mark on mixer taps and fittings means that they comply with the high standards set out by the UK’s water regulations and by-laws.
WRAS-approved mixer taps have undergone significant testing to ensure that they won’t contaminate public water supplies. WRAS approval is granted directly by representatives of the UK’s water suppliers.
One of our most popular WRAS-approved models is our Vapos2 3-IN-1 Hot Water Tap. A stunning addition to any kitchen in terms of aesthetics, this one also supplies fresh cold, regular hot and filtered 98°C steaming water. So, you can use it to make anything from a cup of tea to pasta and rice. This mixer tap is available in five finishes – and the stainless-steel version is also available in a quad design. Importantly, its advanced filtration technology reduces scale and impurities, and improves pH control, even in hard water areas.
My new steaming hot water tap has completely revolutionised how I make a traditional cup of tea. I discovered my new Vapos 2 3-IN-1 tap has a 3.5l tank, which can make up to 100 cups an hour. And, with 98°C filtered steaming water literally on tap, this makes the perfect addition to a black tea. What makes the Vapos 2 3-IN-1 even more special is that you can add the tea bag and instantly fill your cup with steaming water.
And, if you are very particular about the flavour, then you should only use filtered water. The Vapos 2 3-IN-1 comes with a water filter. This primarily protects the boiler from limescale. But it also removes minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, plus water odours that in turn helps to enhance the tea and coffee flavour. I love my hot water tap, which also helps me blanche vegetables.
Please note: we have provided Jenny with the Vapos 2 3-IN-1 tap and other products at a discount for her to complete her kitchen makeover.
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