"Understanding Your Home" by Building Inspector Mark Visser
Home Page
About Us
Fireplace/Wood Stove
Heating and Cooling
Windows and Doors

Kitchen faucets. Bathroom faucets
Single handle mixer tap.
Durable stainless sink

Two handle taps for pedestal sink on main floor washroom.
The shut-off valves, visible below the sink, have a tendency of ceasing up. They should be closed and opened periodically to prevent this from happening.
Kitchen and Bathroom Faucets

Need more information?
Use our search box
Kitchen faucets. Bathroom faucets

WARNING about lead content.
Most faucets purchased prior to late 1990s were constructed of brass or chrome-plated brass, which contain up to 8 percent lead. Look for faucets that are labeled "Low Lead Compliant".
For more information go to "Lead in Drinking Water"

The device that disperses water for personal use inside the house is called a faucet or tap.
There are many different type of taps. The more common ones used in kitchens and bathrooms are described below.
- Double handle taps
- Single handle mixer taps
- Finishes and styles
- More helpful links

One tap is for cold water and the other one for hot water. As a rule the hot tap is on the left. The hot tap generally has a red cap while the cold tap has a blue one. In addition, taps In the United States and Canada are sometimes labeled with an "H" or "C". Taps in other countries may be labeled "C" for hot and "F" for cold.

Two handle kitchen tap with pull-out spray to the far right.
The cultured granite sink is made of 80% natural granite.

The kitchen faucet is one of the most used items in the home and can be, by design, very stylish. Although the traditional low profile taps are still available, the gooseneck or long neck spout is very popular. It is fair to assume that by now all older kitchen double handle taps have been replaced by a single handle (or lever) mixer tap. These taps control not only the flow of water but also, with one lever, mix the hot and cold water supply to the water temperature you want for the task at hand. The handle moves up and down to control the amount of water flow and from side to side to control the temperature of the water.
A single handle kitchen mixer tap usually requires only 1 hole in the counter top or sink. If a mixer tap is used for baths and showers it frequently incorporates some sort of pressure balancing device. Surprisingly, the mixer tap is not a recent invention but has been around since it was patented in 1880 by Thomas Campbell of Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.

Low profile contemporary fixtures look good in just about every location. Their design has remained, for the most part, unchanged over the decades. However, taps with gooseneck (high arch) spouts are very popular for use in modern kitchens. The pull out spray is almost a must in the kitchen either as a stand alone unit or from the spout.
Regardless of appearances, faucets are usually made of brass. So your 'brushed nickel' faucet is made of brass but has a nickel finish. Depending on brand and manufacturer other finishes are marketed as antique brass, gold, satin nickel, oil rubbed bronze, polished copper, stainless steel, chrome and porcelain. Victorian style fixtures are often made of chrome or polished brass and porcelain handles. These taps are ideal for retrofitting an old clawfoot tub.
Some kitchen taps are made of plastic. They are usually very stylish, less expensive than brass but not as long lasting.

Faucets - Bathtub/shower, shower
Faucets - Hose bibb, spigot, sillcock
Faucets - Warning about air gap and cross contamination
Laundry Tubs, Sinks and Taps
Lead in drinking water from faucets, solder and watermains

Back to Top