In most apartments, the main consumer of water is the kitchen, because they constantly wash something here: hands, vegetables and fruits, dishes and all kinds of utensils. On average, the faucet is opened and closed about 100 times a day, so it is obvious that it must be strong, reliable, durable, handle such a load, and at the same time be combined with a sink in the kitchen and with the interior of the room. There are many factors to consider when choosing a faucet for your kitchen, and our tips will help you make the right purchase.
# 1. Which mixer design should you choose?
Today, all mixers, no matter how different they may be in appearance, can be divided into three main types, depending on their design:
two-valve – classic version with two taps for supplying hot and cold water;
single-lever, when using one lever you can adjust both the water pressure and the temperature;
non-contact ones do not require direct contact, since they turn on only when hands are raised.
Single-lever mixers are considered the most popular today, because they are really convenient to use, and you can adjust the pressure and temperature of the water with just one little finger. With such a mixer, it will not take time to adjust the desired temperature, which means you will also save water. If necessary, you can stop the water supply instantly, simply by lowering the mixer, and not turning the taps.
Two-valve mixers today are much inferior to single-lever mixers in terms of convenience. They are usually used either by conservatives who are accustomed to such a device, or by those whose kitchen is made in a classic style, and a single-lever mixer simply will not fit into the overall interior.
Touchless or sensor faucets are the most convenient and economical option, but due to their price, they are not the most common in domestic kitchens. Water from such a mixer pours only when there is an object or a person’s hands in front of it. If you remove the object, the water will immediately stop pouring. Not a drop of water will be spilled in vain, and you will not need to worry about forgetting to turn on the tap. And what convenience such a mixer provides during cooking and washing dishes, when it is unnecessary to touch the device with dirty hands, thereby dirtying it.
# 2. What material to choose the mixer from?
Today on sale you can find mixers made of materials such as:
metals and alloys, incl. steel, nickel, bronze, brass;
Faucets made of bronze or brass are considered the most durable – they are not affected by water, and they look expensive and luxurious.
Steel faucets are also an excellent material, as balanced as possible in terms of price and appearance.
To make it easier for yourself to care for the mixer, it is recommended to choose a chrome-plated surface type, rather than a shiny one: dried drops will not be so visible, and such mixers look more expensive.
There are also mixers made of an alloy of aluminum and silicon – silumin. They are quite inexpensive, but not very durable. By the way, unscrupulous manufacturers use some parts from silumin, hiding it. You can define such a mixer by its light weight.
The most practical faucet is one with ceramic internals and metal externally.
Ceramic mixers look very attractive outwardly, they go well with stone and porcelain stoneware countertops. In terms of reliability, ceramic mixers are inferior to metal ones, and their service life is much shorter.
Granite mixers are a rarity in our market, and they are purchased mainly by those who also have a sink made of granite.
Faucets made of plastic are resistant to water, aggressive media, and not subject to corrosion. But at the same time, it is a very fragile material that can hardly be called durable. This option can be suitable for the kitchen in the country, where the mixer is not used constantly.
No. 3. Spout size and shape: which one to choose?
The outflow of the mixer is an important parameter for the kitchen, since the convenience of using the sink for washing dishes, vegetables, etc. directly depends on it. Here the approach is fundamentally different from choosing a bathroom faucet.
It is important that the water jet is directed directly into the center of the sink, preventing splashing.
The height of the spout should be such that it can easily draw water into containers, wash vegetables, large dishes, etc. The choice of spout height directly depends on the depth of the sink. So, if it is not deep enough, then the spout should be higher, but do not overdo it, otherwise the water will spray. If the sink is deep, then you can pick up a low mixer. It is most convenient to buy a mixer complete with a sink and all accessories so that the products are as functional and practical as possible.
As for the shape of the spout, in this case, the choice is better based on your own preferences and features of the kitchen interior. Manufacturers offer so many conceivable and inconceivable options that your head can spin: here S-, L-, R-, J-shaped mixers and other models with a unique design.
No. 4. Side or top lever: which is more convenient?
In this case, we are talking exclusively about single-lever models, in which the control lever can be located on the side or above the mixer. In principle, the location depends on the height of the spout. In most cases, a mixer with a high spout is complemented by a lever on the side, and with a low spout at the top. In terms of convenience, they are exactly the same, but still a lot depends on personal preference.
It should be noted that the lever located on the side is a little more practical, since water or detergent particles will not drip onto the mixer itself, which means that maintenance will be easier.
No. 5. Where should the mixer be mounted?
Before choosing a mixer, do not forget to pay attention to the features of its attachment. So, it can be installed:
on the kitchen countertop, and then a hole of a certain diameter is cut in it;
on the wall;
on the sink itself, if a hole is provided there.
Each mixer is adapted to a certain type of attachment, so this important parameter must be taken into account. If all the elements of the future kitchen are selected at once, then the task is simplified.
No. 6. Angle of rotation
No one can argue that a large angle of rotation of the mixer is great, because in this way it will be possible to conveniently wash vegetables and fruits, any dishes, draw water into a container and perform other tasks. Today, most faucets in the budget and mid-range price range can be rotated 140 degrees, which is enough for convenient use.
In more expensive mixers, the angle of rotation can reach 180 degrees and even make a full rotation around its axis. The latter faucet will be indispensable if the sink is located on a kitchen island, but otherwise it is useless.
No. 7. What else can mixers do?
Today, technical progress has even touched the mixers. It would seem that what else can be added to them, because only one function is assigned to them? So, today on sale you can find products with the following additional functions:
- mixer tap with pull-out spout. This is actually a faucet with a shower: in normal condition it looks quite normal, but if you wish, you can remove a small shower from it. With this function, the direction of the jet can be changed in a much wider range, you can conveniently wash vegetables and fruits, and even the sink itself;
a mixer with a water filtration system is a real godsend for us when tap water does not quite meet quality standards. These mixers have two spouts: one for plain water, the other for filtered water;
- faucets with a switch for a dishwasher or a washing machine are a convenient option that eliminates the need to lay communications.
No. 8. What else to consider when buying?
The mixer is a thing that should serve you for more than one year, so its choice should be taken with all the importance. It is better to make a purchase in serious stores that have positively recommended themselves. It is better to buy faucets from well-known brands, even if they are a little more expensive – this difference will more than pay off during operation.
It is also worth paying attention to the weight of the product: remember that some manufacturers replace ceramic and steel parts with similar ones from silumin, and they are less strong and durable. Before buying, you can hold the mixer in your hands: the more weight, the better the product. Also, do not overlook the presence of instructions and recommendations for installation and care of the product, as well as the warranty from the manufacturer.
No. 9. Which manufacturers can you trust?
It is clear that dozens and hundreds of different manufacturers appear on the modern mixer market, and the quality of products for many of them is very good. We will try to name those companies that are most popular in the domestic market and have established themselves as high quality.
So, mixers from such German manufacturers Grohe, Hansa and Hansgrohe, Finnish Oras, French Delafon, Danish Damixa, Swedish Gustavsberg, and also Bulgarian Vidima proved to be excellent. Their assortment includes mixers with different designs, functionality and different prices. Some domestic manufacturers have also shown themselves well: Aquaton, Motovilikhinsky sanitary engineering plant, Santekhpribor, Sanmix.
Even the most experienced specialist in the field will be eyeing the eyes of the most experienced mixer with a range of mixers with different designs. Mixers of different colors, fancy shapes, with taps and levers of various sizes – all this is available today for those who want to decorate their kitchen as original as possible. The main thing is not to overdo it, so as not to lose functionality and convenience. Always pay attention to the ergonomics of the mixer and how well it will fit into the kitchen interior and whether it will be combined with the sink and countertop.
The kitchen mixer is designed for solid regular loads, so when choosing it, you should take into account a lot of different parameters: from material and type of fastening to appearance. To make the right choice, it is worthwhile to designate for yourself in advance what functions the mixer should have, and what kind it should have – then you will definitely buy what you need and spend a minimum of time on it.