Good choices in kitchen sinks and tapware can transform your everyday routine, save on water usage and give back hours of your time. The latest high-tech options include luxury ‘smart taps’ but recent innovations also make kitchens especially friendly to seniors, young families, or eco-conscious homeowners.
As well as providing the necessary installation or upgrades, our technicians can guide you through the process of choosing and sourcing domestic kitchen plumbing ware.
The recent Las Vegas Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in the USA produced some kitchen plumbing show-stoppers, including ‘smart taps’ that are voice and touch-activated and the FLO by Moen which has a dashboard that will list your daily water consumption.
Glamour offerings now available in Australia include The Zip Hydrotap Arc Boiling, Chilled and Sparkling Tap, which is available in Brushed Gold for around $5000.
Kitchen plumbing considerations
It pays to invest money into wherever you spend the most time, and in the kitchen, that means the sink. Recall your daily routine – if you typically access the stovetop twice, you will probably stand at the kitchen sink six or seven times a day.
When planning an upgraded or completely new kitchen, it is important to consult with the plumber regarding water supply, drainage and dishwasher installation. It is also an opportunity to discuss the many options for tapware, water filters and sinks. Different design styles and functions can match your vibe and meet the needs of your householders.
- Mixer taps save space by combining hot and cold water in the one spout and can be operated by a single lever – a popular Flick mixer tap is the Banila Kitchen Mixer Tap with Extendable Spray
- The traditional three piece hot/cold plus spout tapware is still popular and available in sleek modern designs
- Spout design options for the kitchen sink include ‘gooseneck’, industrial or farmhouse shapes and swivelling functions
- Taps can be selected to coordinate with other kitchen fixtures and items such as stainless-steel appliances.
Water filters, boilers, chillers and sparklers
- Water filter taps have come a long way. Now both filtered and ordinary tap water comes from one spout, filtering out chlorine, lead, rust, asbestos fibres and volatile organic compounds, and removing impurities as tiny as five-thousandth of a millimetre, including the protozoan cysts Cryptosporidium and Giardia, without removing beneficial fluoride
- Popular in offices and hospitals, boiling water tap options are now more common in domestic kitchens
- Chilled water filters have progressed to the point of providing sparkling water
- Built in liquid soap dispensers that provide dish or hand soap are also available in coordinating finishes.
A practical sink design option is the ‘low divide’ sink, combining the best of single and double basins. The dividing wall between two basins is at half the conventional height. This allows for an economical small wash, but when filled right up those big saucepans can be fully submerged in the sink.
Avoiding tight angles that are hard to clean is another objective in sink design, so look for newer stainless-steel benchtops that extend up the wall, forming a seamless shallow splashback.
Custom-fitted sink accessories – such as roller mats, cutting board, colander, and drain board that slide from side to side – can make the kitchen work surface very productive for busy cooks.
Plumbing upgrades for seniors and young families
Sinkware for seniors
There are several tapware options that are suited to seniors, including ceramic disc taps which have been designed to assist people with arthritis. Read our previous article about these taps here.
Kids in the kitchen
Consider installing a thermostatic mixing valve if you have young children. This is a device that blends hot water and cold water before it comes out of the tap. You can set the water at a certain temperature to ensure that the water from your taps won’t cause burns or harm to young children.
Replacing your old-fashioned tapware may be good for the environment. According to the REECE website, “Older taps don’t have the same water efficient cartridges and valves or give you the control of modern style taps. So, if you’ve got an old three-piece tap set or older style mixer, you’re probably using 15 to 18 litres of water per minute. The latest designs use just 4 litres of water per minute without compromising on style or efficiency.”
It might sound quite luxurious but that sparkling water tap will also save space and avoid plastic usage – no more bulky plastic sparkling water bottles hogging space in your fridge.
Another way to ensure your kitchen design is eco-friendly is to make sure the sink area has an easy-to-clean design. This will save you money and effort, plus avoid the use of stronger cleaning products with potentially toxic elements.
Tiny homes, granny flats and holiday shacks
Holiday cottages often come with compact kitchens, and now popular permanent abodes such as tiny homes and granny flats are being designed to reap the benefits of small-scale living.
Tiny home kitchen fittings are on a similar scale to boat or RV kitchens, so look at their product ranges when planning your kitchen sink area. Wall-mounted sinks, for example, use less space.
In a small dwelling that relies on an environmentally friendly freshwater tank you may have to install an electric water pump to service your sinks (as well as shower heads and toilets).
A hot water heater in a tiny home, granny flat or holiday shack will be smaller than usual, so managing hot water usage in the kitchen and bathroom is crucial.
Repairs and maintenance
Plumbing systems in smaller dwellings actually require more plumbing maintenance than those in a standard home, for instance in colder regions the pipes of a tiny home freeze more frequently.
All kitchen sink areas require regular plumbing maintenance, but watch out for one of the biggest potential problems, the braided water hose beneath your kitchen sink. Read our previous article about avoiding the water damage disaster unleashed by a burst braided hose here.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about basins, tapware, spouts, taps, water filters and everything connected to the kitchen sink.