Canstar Blue’s 2019 tapware review has seen Brita, IKEA, Caroma, Blanco, Dorf, Mondella and Estilo compared on their durability, design, ease of cleaning, features, variety, value for money and overall satisfaction.
See our Ratings Methodology.
When it comes to turning your house into a home, it’s often the little things that can add character and make the space your own. Picture frames, cushions and even taps can make all the difference when you walk into a room, particularly if you’re looking to make a statement with a different style. Taps may not seem like the part of your house that will wow guests, but make a wrong decision and you’ll be left with that sinking feeling when you see them heading for the bathroom.
There are plenty of options to consider in the tapware department. In addition to their style and colour, you’ll have to think about the durability and feel of the taps, meaning the decision can take a hands-on approach. Finding the brand that matches your personal preference and budget is a good starting point, which is why Canstar Blue produces this annual review and ratings. We’ve again sought the feedback of more than 900 Australian households about the new taps they have bought and installed in the last three years, helping you make a better-informed purchase decision.
Replacing last year’s winner Dorf, Brita has secured top spot for customer satisfaction in 2019 with a five-star performance on durability, design, ease of cleaning, features, plus overall satisfaction.
The seven brands in our 2019 tapware review were rated in the following order for overall customer satisfaction:
IKEA, Caroma, Blanco, Dorf and Mondella were rated four stars for overall satisfaction, with Estilo left on three stars. While Brita got top marks in most research categories, some other brands turned on the pressure, with IKEA, Caroma, Blanco and Dorf earning five stars in at least one category, with IKEA the only brand to achieve five stars on value for money. Read on for details about the seven brands in our 2019 review.
Brita was founded in 1966 in order to optimise mains water in a convenient way for consumers. While today specialising in water filtration, it does offer several taps with in-built filtration systems, with dimensions for each model outlined on the Brita website to help you find something for your home.
Its under sink tap comes with a swan neck and features two levers, with two outlets for filtered water or hot/cold water. It’s fitted with a A1000 filter cartridge, said to suffice up to 1,200L of water (depending on water hardness and use). There’s also a filter status indicator to remind you when it needs replacing.
Additionally, it offers a 45° design tap with similar features. Expect a three-way system for hot, cold and filtered water. It comes with a ready to install kit and a 30-day money back guarantee. Its LED indicator reminds you when its filter needs replacing with the recommended time frame being every six months.
Swedish giant IKEA features almost everything you need to fit out your house, with tapware available for both bathrooms and kitchens. Its range can be purchased in-store and online, with delivery and click-to-collect services also on offer. All dimensions and sizes are listed on the website, along with materials and assembly details.
For the kitchen, IKEA offers solely mixer taps in a variety of styles and colours, including stainless steel as well as gold and black, helping to give households a look to impress. Most have a WELS rating of 5-stars, with some models also rated 6-stars for increased water efficiency.
For those after a new bathroom tap, IKEA’s line-up splits into mixer and traditional hot and cold taps. Similarly to the kitchen range, there are numerous colours and styles available, including sleek modern designs and classic antique looks.
An Australian brand, Caroma has been operating for more than 75 years, and is readily available at showrooms and homeware retailers around the country. While predominantly focussing on models for the bathroom, Caroma does offer taps for those looking to update their kitchen and laundry.
For the bathroom, Caroma offers the Elegance, Caravelle, Contura, Coolibah and Contemporary ranges, each available in a number of styles and finishes to suit your personal preferences. While they may not be the option to turn to if you’re after a mixer model, Caroma’s bathroom series includes a number of goose-neck and traditional taps to suit your basin and bathroom size. With the full product sizes and specifications available on the website, Caroma additionally offers a number of 5-star WELS models, helping to keep water usage down.
The Caravelle range is also available for the kitchen, with a classic sink set and wall sets available to suit the layout of your kitchen. While only available in chrome, each set uses hot and cold taps, with the wall sets offering large handle taps for easier use. With a 4-star WELS rating, Caroma’s kitchen range may be worthwhile for those looking for a classic style, or something that will fit in with most kitchen aesthetics.
German brand Blanco has plenty of tapware models to complement its sink range, including a number of styles, finishes and types to suit your personal preferences. Available at major hardware and homeware retailers, Blanco is worthwhile checking out if you’re big on style.
As with its sink range, Blanco’s taps are divided into Steelart, Silgrant and Contemporary ranges, meaning you can purchase the complete set if you’re looking for a total makeover. Predominantly available in mixer and goose-neck models, Blanco’s range of tapware can be had in chrome, stainless steel and black finishes, with a 10-year warranty also offered with each model. Blanco provides 6-star WELS models, making it a water efficient choice for your home.
While Blanco may be better suited for those looking to freshen up their kitchen, there are also a number of bathroom taps available to purchase, making it an option to consider whether you’re renovating your whole house, or just simply looking to update the style.
Founded in 1948, Australian brand Dorf offers plenty for the house, including bathroom accessories and tapware for the bathroom, laundry and kitchen. Available for purchase from all major homewares and hardware retailers, you can look for your local store via Dorf’s website, as well as take advantage of the company’s style guide and articles if you’re stuck for inspiration.
Predominantly specialising in mixer taps for the kitchen, bathroom and laundry, Dorf provides a number of styles and finishes to help create your own aesthetic. Shoppers looking for a traditional style will have plenty to pick from, including the Epic, El Toro Cross and Maxum ranges, with goose-neck and pull-down taps additionally available if you have a large capacity sink already installed.
For fans of hot-and-cold taps, Dorf offers the Epic Bloc range for your bathroom, available in a number of sizes to complement your basin size. Consumers can choose from the traditional chrome finish, or mix things up a bit with rose gold or black finishes. Dorf additionally offers a variety of 5-star WELS models, with a 20-year warranty also available with most tapware models.
Mondella has tapware for all areas of the house, including the kitchen, bathroom and laundry, as well as sorting out your shower and bath taps if you’re really looking to spruce up your home’s look. Available at Bunnings nationwide, Mondella lists prices and specifications on its website, plus style articles and tips.
For the bathroom basin, Mondella provides a range of individual taps and mixers, available in a range of colours and finishes to suit your personal tastes and style. This included stainless steel, chrome, matte black, as well as brass and gold in select products, helping customers to personalise their bathroom to individual tastes. Mondella’s tap range also includes a variety of water-saving models, in addition to taller models for those looking to have a bit more space around the basin.
If you’re looking to spruce up the kitchen – or even the laundry – Mondella also has you covered, with a wide range of tap types available. In addition to the classic mixer, Mondella has a number of goose-neck and pull-out models, allowing a bit more room at the sink when it comes to washing the dishes. Models come in a variety of colours, some with 6-star WELS ratings for those looking to cut down on their water usage. While the laundry range isn’t as extensive, Mondella does offer the traditional hot and cold taps in a number of colours and designs, with chrome, matte black and rose gold models available.
The Estilo tap range is readily available at your local Bunnings warehouse to suit your kitchen, laundry or bathrooms. If you’re after a splash of colour, Estilo may not be the brand for you, but it could be up your alley if you’re after a nice chrome or stainless-steel finish.
For the bathroom, Estilo provides both the traditional hot and cold taps in addition to mixer models, each available with a 12-month warranty. Estilo’s range consists of 3 and 4-star WELS rated models, helping to cut down on water usage, while additionally offering a variety of sizes to suit how much bathroom space you have.
For the kitchen, Estilo provides mixer and goose-neck models, each with a minimum 4-star WELS rating to help cut down on your next water bill. Estilo models are also well suited for larger sinks, with the gooseneck models available with retractable necks to ensure that you can work your way around the dishes.
A number of laundry models are also on offer, both for the laundry tub as well as the washing machine. Estilo additionally provides details on model sizes and connection types to help ensure you pick up the correct taps for your house, with Bunnings offering to help install most models for you.
Apart from the brands that have received the minimum sample size to be included in our ratings, there’s plenty of others out there that are just as prominent in the market that you might like to consider:
When it comes to finding out what drives customer satisfaction when purchasing tapware, our research revealed the following factors as most important:
The survey found that value for money, durability and design were the greatest drivers of satisfaction for consumers buying new taps, with ease of cleaning, features and variety considered less important. You may like to keep these factors in mind the next time you go tap hunting. With consumers spending an average of $200 on their new taps, it would be wise to settle on what would be most durable and well worth your money.
The colour and finish of your tapware can be just as important as the style and design, as it allows you to express a bit of individuality and flair. When asked about the finish of their tapware, survey respondents reported:
Considering that one in five (19%) respondents purchased new tapware because they wanted to update the style of their room, the colour and finish can be the final, or even the most important, factor in the decision.
Tapware might not be at the top of the to-do list when it comes to home renovations, but can often be one of the biggest factors when it comes to giving the bathroom or kitchen a facelift, particularly if you decide to switch up the colour scheme. But with plenty of styles, designs and finishes to choose from, selecting a set of taps that suits your household – and budget – can often be a tough decision.
Ultimately it will come down to your personal preference, as style, colour and price will all influence which taps you decide to install. A bit of research will also go a long way to ensure that your money doesn’t go down the drain, and that your perfect bathroom or kitchen isn’t just a pipe dream. With that in mind, we hope our tap ratings prove helpful.
This report was written by Canstar Blue’s home & lifestyle journalist, Tahnee-Jae Lopez-Vito. She’s an expert on household appliances, grooming products and all things grocery and shopping. In addition to translating our expert research into consumer-friendly ratings reports, Tahnee spends her time helping consumers make better-informed purchase decisions on all manner of consumer goods and services, while highlighting the best deals and anything you need to be aware of.
Picture credits: Dariusz Jarzabek/shutterstock.com, P A/shutterstock.com
Our latest customer satisfaction research on tapware saw a number of brands rated best in different categories:
Canstar Blue surveyed 6,174 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have installed and used new tapware in their home in the last 3 years (this includes kitchen, bathroom and laundry tapware) – in this case, 915 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
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