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Kitchen mixer taps - what should you know before choosing?



Kitchen mixer taps - what should you know before choosing?
A kitchen mixer tap, like anything else you choose for your home, should first of all be to your liking. A specific model is purchased mainly based on whether it fits in with the interior design, but also in line with your hitherto habits. However, if you do have to (or want to) replace your tap with a different one, it’s worth getting to know all the functionalities it can give you.

The basic division of kitchen mixer taps is based on the installation method. The most popular are upright models to be installed either in a pre-cut hole in the sink or in the kitchen worktop. The second option are wall-mounted mixer taps that are usually bought due to the specifics of the plumbing system allowing only this type of installation when you do not want to modify it.

Spout types
Firstly, spouts can be divided according to their shape. They are described by letters they resemble. And so, upright models come with U-, L- and F-shaped spouts. Wall-mounted mixer taps have S- or C shaped spouts. Which type you choose for your kitchen is purely a matter of taste. Mixer taps differ in size to ensure the comfort of use, and the shape of the spout does not significantly affect the mixer’s functionality. It is important, however, to try your chosen tap on the sink you are going to use it with and check whether this set will allow you to perform your daily activities comfortably. It is worth mentioning here that all sink mixers have movable spouts. This means you can turn them along the wall and get free access to the sink.

The basic functionality taken into account by sink mixer users is the possibility of changing the stream type. As a standard, mixer taps have a constant stream that allows you to quickly fill up pots and thoroughly rinse dishes of food leftovers. Some models additionally offer a spray stream perfect for washing vegetables, fruit, mushrooms, etc. The water spray under pressure reaches nooks and crannies and effectively rinses away sand. The switch is usually located at the end of the spout.  

Kitchen mixers may come with pull-out, flexible or special spring coil spouts. Each type increases the reach of the tap, making it more convenient to use - for example, you can rinse the sink bowl easier and more thoroughly. The pull-out option is simply a hose hidden under the worktop with a special weight that brings it back to its place almost automatically. Flexible spouts that can be easily manoeuvred in all directions are made of silicone. In this case, you can choose the elastic option where the mixer tap comes with a special stand to keep the hose in a position that minimises the risk of damage. The stand has a built-in magnet to put the spout back in place efficiently. The second solution is a flexible spout that remains in the shape you give it. This way you can easily wash the same type of dishes without having to search for the right spout position again. Particularly in very tall mixer taps, long flexible hoses are coiled with a spring that keeps the spout in the desired position and prevents damage along its length.  

A special type of mixer taps, designed for sinks placed under the window, are foldable models. Their spouts can be folded down into the sink bowl enabling you to open the window to the full extent in order to wash it or air the room.

Kitchen mixer taps can also significantly contribute to water saving. This is partly due to Neoperl aerators meant to increase the volume of the water stream by aerating it. This way less water is used for the same activities (compared to regular mixer models). Another factor affecting water saving is the flow class - the lower it is (the lowest class is Z), the more water is saved. Bear in mind that eco friendly mixer taps have also another important advantage. By lowering water consumption, they reduce your bills.
Not many people are aware that a mixer tap can also help reducing energy consumption. This is how so-called cold start models work, where cold (not mixed, as in traditional models) water flows in the initial, vertical position of the mixer lever. This way the water stream is not heated up unnecessarily.

A different kind of savings, which will certainly be felt in your wallet, is made possible by mixer taps with an option to connect a filter. You can drink pure water, free from impurities and bacteria, straight from the tap instead of buying it in a shop. An extra advantage of this solution is the reduced use of plastic needed to bottle mineral water.

Customers of steel faucets expect nice design, durability and good value for money. Steel faucets fit their needs perfectly. Design - as already mentioned - is abundant. Durability - assured. As with sinks, the resistance to corrosion, heat and mechanical factors is a guarantee of a perfect appearance for many years.
Certain manufacturers like the Laveo brand provide a several-year guarantee for their faucets. The quality-to-price ratio is also fine - the investment in steel fittings is certainly worth it.

A properly selected set (and the arrangement possibilities are unlimited) of sink + faucet gives the kitchen a unique and elegant look- the set becomes a wonderful decoration of the room. And importantly - it retains its good looks for years to come.

Additional features
Aside from these more widely described features, when choosing a kitchen mixer tap it is worth paying attention to:
  • Easy installation - requiring no tools 
  • Stainless steel as a material of which a tap is made - can be cleaned with more invasive detergents
  • Anti-limescale system - allowing you to remove limescale deposits with your hand
  • Adjustable water stream angle - adjusting the water stream to the curvature of the sink bowl. 
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