How to Choose: Kitchen Taps

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1 How to Choose: Kitchen Taps
2 Showcase: Kitchen Taps

Note: This is an older article rewritten to provide latest updates.

A reader wanted to know where we sourced our tap fittings, and whether if we had any to show on the blog. Sorry we had overlooked that. We feature them in this and the next post.

However, some comments might be in order first.

The taps and fittings shown here were those that caught our eyes, not because we approved of them, but because they looked pleasing or were unusual.

We were looking for taps and fittings that were reasonably priced, functional and looked good -- in that order. Even if the tap was made in China, but looked nice, functioned well, and priced reasonably, that was good enough for us.

So by and large the fittings shown here were priced in the mainstream range i.e. $100-$300.

Why no designer faucets?
But why no faucets and fittings from Grohe, Hansgrohe, or Hans?

Well, we had learnt our lesson.

Our old apartment had Grohe and Hans faucets exclusively. They were well-crafted, beautifully designed, and pricey.

A red-and-white Grohe kitchen faucet with a retractable hose and tap set us back S$700.

That was in 1986, when anything over $300 was considered pricey. Though perhaps not today.

And what was our experience like with the Grohe faucet?
Well, when we first turned on the faucet, the water flow was barely enough to wash the cups and plates. We thought that was normal, and attributed the slow water flow

to a water filter under the sink.

However, some years later the faucet became clogged and water stopped flowing from the tap altogether. We then replaced it with a stainless steel tap bought from a hardware store.

And were we shocked -- after the replacement, water flowed through that $35 tap fitting swiftly! We were surprised. We had thought the water filter had impeded the water flow through the Grohe tap. Apparently that was not so.

Excellent stainless steel faucet

We believed the Grohe faucet was made with a narrower bore for European markets. There most people lived on landed properties and water pressure was not an issue, unlike in Singapore where the majority lived in high-rise flats. Here water pressure was always a concern on higher floors, and faucets with narrower bores would impede water flow.

Today the situation is different. Imported taps and fittings (and sanitary ware)
require PUB approval before dealers are permitted to sell them. It is likely Grohe and other European products for the Singapore market now suit local conditions.

But why tempt fate? Better safe than sorry, we decided to go for mainstream taps and fittings for our new kitchen and bathroom.

Our experience with the cheap but effective $35 tap was an eye-opener. We liked it so much we took that tap with us. It is now fitted to the new Blanco sink. And it still worked beautifully. Water rushed out when we turned on the tap.

Strong water flow from faucet

Thus you will not see any Grohe or Hangrohe tap fittings here. In any case, we had visited the Hansgrohe boutique at Mohd Sultan Rd and wanted to take photos of some designer taps for the blog. Our request to shoot was politely turned down.

We realized later, however, it was no loss actually. Some of the products seen at

outlets at Jln Besar, Balestier and elsewhere looked uncannily like the Grohe or Hansgrohe products, although they were being retailed at mainstream prices! We wondered whether these were knock-offs or made under license?

How to choose taps and fittings
Do you choose the tap to fit the sink, or choose the sink to fit the tap? Well, we usually chose the sink first, then chose the tap to fit the sink. The sink is a larger piece and has greater visual impact, and is probably noticed before the tap fitting, isn't it?

When choosing taps, consider the color, shape and design of the sink.

Our old designer taps were in white enamel. Nice, but we now think stainless steel fittings are more practical.

Stainless steel taps and fittings never lose their brand-new look. Simply wash the fitting with soap and water, then wipe dry with a clean rag. And the tap looks as good as new! Even years later.

And be aware of the difference between mixer taps, meant for hot and cold water, and taps that supply cold water only.

As for tap washers, because taps are subjected to frequent and heavy usage, we went for taps that use normal leather washers, instead of the more expensive ceramic ones. Our old designer taps used ceramic discs in a cartrdige. Although they never failed us, we were told we would need to place an order if the discs wore out and the ceramic cartridge had to be replaced.

Finally, you could get taps and fittings for bathtubs, basins, and showers in a coordinated range that follows a common design theme. Some designers recommend that for a unified and consistent look throughout the kitchen, bathroom and toilet.


Related Posts

1 How to Choose: Kitchen Taps
2 Showcase: Kitchen Taps

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