When it comes to choosing the right taps (also known as sink faucets) for your bathroom or kitchen sinks, Singaporeans have plenty of options.
From basic to luxurious, there is a wide range of taps that will fit any budget and style. Faucets come in a variety of finishes and colours to match your decor, and they come in different forms to suit the way you use them.
Before you make your decision, there are some factors to consider such as maintenance requirements, features, and functionality. In this article, we’ll discuss the various types available in Singapore and how they can be used to enhance the look and feel of any bathroom or kitchen.
Image from Leesair
One of the most common types of kitchen faucets in Singapore is the ball faucet.
It is the first washerless faucet and has a single handle that controls a rounded cap (the “ball”) inside of the faucet to adjust water temperature and flow.
A tap’s washer is a small round rubber disk that fits inside the compression faucet to provide a tight seal and prevent leaks. If the washer is worn, it has to be replaced because there is no other way to stop leaks.
Though the exterior is durable, the interior will need more maintenance than other types of faucets because it is made of many complicated parts – it has chambers or slots in it, along with rubber o-rings and spring-loaded rubber seals.
Ball faucets are more prone to leaks than other washerless faucets, such as cartridge faucets or disc faucets, and the numerous parts in the mechanism make it difficult to pinpoint where the leak is coming from. That is why it’s important to have someone with plumbing experience come and help you fix the issue.
The ball faucet is popular because it’s affordable and the many parts allow it to have a smooth opening and closing mechanism, which makes it suitable for heavy usage.
A more reliable and newer technology is the disc faucet.
It is also washerless and has a single lever over a wide, cylindrical body that moves ceramic discs up and down to regulate the temperature and flow of water. It is commonly used in both kitchen and bathroom sinks and is ideal for people with grip issues because the faucet is very sensitive to touch and can be controlled with minimal lever movement.
Hot and cold water is mixed inside a chamber called a pressure balance cartridge. The water flow rate is controlled by two discs at the bottom of the chamber that move up and down. Temperature control is done by rotating the handle from side to side.
This type of faucet is more expensive than the others and the discs break or erode over time. However, the faucet itself is highly durable and does not need to be serviced very often. In the long run, you would be saving on plumbing repair.
Unlike the previous two types, cartridge faucets have two handles and look similar to compression washer faucets. The difference is that for this type of bathroom or kitchen faucet, moving the handles is smooth and consistent – not needing much pressure and it turns on/off when the handle is turned halfway.
The downside of this type is that hard water deposits can block cartridges, and the seals at the bottom of the cartridge can fail.
However, it’s easy to replace. The price of the cartridge varies depending on the brand, but is quite durable and is considered a low-maintenance tap.
Compression Washer Faucet
This type of tap is made with older technology and also has two handles – one for hot water and one for cold. There is an interior rubber washer that seals off water flow when users tighten the handles.
Upgraded versions are commonly used in utility sinks, but they are only found in older homes when used in a bathroom or kitchen sink. This type of faucet is the cheapest, and so are the replacement parts, however, they are very prone to leaks and require the most maintenance among the four types of faucets.
Picking a Faucet
In the end, it all comes down to how much you are willing to spend, how much maintenance you are willing to do, and what type of taps you like.
These days, there are additional features such as motion sensors that will stop and start the flow of water for you. There are pull-out sprays, which are great for washing pots and pans in a deep basin. There is a wide variety of styles and finishes for you to pick from if you’re not into the classic chrome taps or stainless steel taps.
You can have a professional plumber help you with the installation process and get yourself a wall-mounted tap to save on counter space.