Faucets are a staple in any home and a crucial factor in jazzing up any kitchen or bathroom. A great waterfall faucet can elevate an ordinary kitchen or bathroom into a great one.
Homegrown or international faucet manufacturer?
In Australia, the two biggest faucet manufacturers are Strommen (products designed and produced in Australia), and Kohler (American-based company). Bigger companies have nation-wide presence so it’s easier to visit their showrooms to get a feel of the faucets. Also, they tend to offer a better range of services including post-purchase reparation.
However, it may be safer to go with homegrown companies that manufacture and test their faucets in Australia because you can be sure they will fit the plumbing in your Australian home, although this should not be too much of a concern for reputable international companies.
One-handled, Two-handled or hands-free?
Different people interact with their faucets differently. Some find it more comfortable to use the one-handled faucet because they can free up one hand to test the temperature of the water while the other hand adjusts the faucet. Others prefer the two-handled faucet so that they can adjust the temperature more precisely. More recently, hands-free sensor operated faucets are gaining popularity because they offer a more hygienic alternative. However, it is slightly more inconvenient as most sensors are still not very sensitive.
The faucet configuration really depends on personal preference. Therefore, it would be ideal to try out the faucet at the nearest showroom before purchasing it.
What’s the faucet for?
If it’s a kitchen faucet, you might wish to install pullout sprays to access tough-to-reach areas of the sink. Another feature to consider are pot fillers. These are wall-mounted faucets placed above the stove so that you need not lug heavy pots of water from the sink to the stove. I tend to prefer higher arc faucets for the kitchen because they make it easier to clean pots and pans.
If it’s for the bathroom, I prefer to install lower arc taps so that fewer splashes are created when the water hits the basin. Unlike in the kitchen, where you may install more faucets on the deck for different features like lotion dispensers or an extra spray (depending on your piping), having one simple faucet in the bathroom will free up more space on the deck for you to place soaps, toothpaste, cups and make-up.
Many Australians are more environmentally conscious these days. Besides, there’s no harm saving on water bills as well. To help you reduce water wastage, use faucets that meet Australia’s Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme (WELS). Homegrown companies tend to meet domestic standards while you will need to double-check for international companies.
Angular faucets tend to suit modern designs while curvy faucets give a more vintage style and are much easier to clean. The finish can also add flair to the room.
The finish is also important in determining how often you need to clean your faucet and its durability. Corrosion-resistant finishes like brushed nickel can allow your faucet to last longer. Stain-resistant like matte black or satin brass means you don’t have to clean them too often. Other finishes like polished brass and oil-rubbed bronze are easy to clean. Some finishes like copper even come with antimicrobial properties although it’s harder to maintain its shine.