Canstar Blue’s latest tapware & plumbing fixtures review has seen Abey, Brita, IKEA, Dorf, Caroma, Blanco, Estilo, Mondella and American Standard compared on variety, design, features, ease of cleaning, durability, 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. Tapware and bathroom plumbing fixtures like showerheads and bath spouts, 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.
To help you find the best tapware and plumbing fixtures for your bathroom, we’ve surveyed more than 900 Australian consumers for their feedback on the new plumbing fixtures they bought and installed in their home in the last three years. Brands were rated on variety, design, features, ease of cleaning, durability, value for money and overall satisfaction. Those that received the minimum survey sample size (30 responses) are compared.
Our latest report shows Abey is bathing in five-star glory, being the only brand to achieve full marks for overall satisfaction and most other categories.
Here are the best brands for tapware and plumbing fixtures in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s latest review:
Abey landed with a five-star review for overall satisfaction, while most brands sat on a solid four stars overall. Meanwhile, Mondella and American Standard ended on three stars for overall satisfaction.
It’s worth mentioning that Brita and Estilo got the edge over Abey on value for money, both receiving five-star reviews in that category. Brita also scored full marks for durability, alongside IKEA and Caroma. The design factor similarly saw Brita and Dorf match Abey’s five stars.
Read on for an overview of the brands mentioned, including models and prices.
Abey offers Aussie households everything they need for the kitchen, bathroom and laundry, including tapware, toilets and appliances.
Many of the items available are stocked in a variety of styles and colours, and are made to measure, offering a customised fit, no matter the size of your space. Prices start from $44 for furnishings like robe hooks, and reach up to $20,900 for freestanding bath tubs. Other items you can find include standalone basins, wall & basin mixers and showers.
Brita specialises in water filters and water filter systems, offering everything from filter jugs and bottles to filtration kits for taps.
You’ll need to fork out at least $279 for the most affordable filter tap, the Brita MyPure A1C under-the-sink filter kit. You can connect this to your existing tap, to filter out chlorine and other chemicals sometimes found in tap water, as well as sediments such as sand and rust. The filter for this particular model will need to be replaced every six months. If you’re willing to spend more for instant filtered water, prices go up to $578 for the Brita 3-Way Filter Tap kit which comes with two filters that are designed to last up to a year. Brita’s tap-specific filters can cost anywhere between $39 and $93. But, you can get filters for coffee machines from $12.99.
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 bathroom, IKEA has a variety of sinks, taps, shower sets and rails, shower heads and shower mixers. Prices usually range from $4.99 to $148 for shower-related items, while taps can cost between $29.99 and $199. Wash basins can alternatively set you back anywhere from $89 to $399.
Founded in 1948, Australian brand Dorf offers plenty for the house, including bathroom accessories and tapware for the bathroom, laundry and kitchen. Items mainly include taps, mixer taps and shower outlets. Available for purchase from all major homeware and hardware retailers, you can also look up 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.
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 five-star WELS models, with a 20-year warranty also available with most tapware models.
Australian brand Caroma has been operating for more than 75 years, and is readily available at showrooms and homeware retailers around the country. While the company mainly caters for the bathroom, Caroma does also offer taps suitable for the kitchen and laundry. Different products available include toilet suites, baths, basins, tapware and mixers as well as showers, among other things.
Caroma’s tapware range starts from $69.40 for a bath outlet, and goes up to $2,129 for a bath filler. A number of these items are said to be leak-proof and come with a 20-year warranty. Some of Caroma’s basins similarly have a long warranty period, and are additionally claimed to be stain-resistant. Expect to fork out about $274 to $5,324 for a sink.
Caroma alternatively offers toilet suites designed to be accessible for people with less mobility. Items like the Caroma Caravelle Support suite contain an ‘Easy Height’ pan that requires less bending, and integrated armrests to help when moving to and from the toilet.
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.
The sink manufacturer offers a variety of mixer taps in different colours, namely chrome and stainless-steel materials. These include Silgranit Anthracite, Silgranit Rock Grey, Silgranit Black, Silgranit White. Many of the tapware contains a six-star water efficiency rating, and comes with a 10-year warranty. Blanco alternatively offers a large line-up of kitchen sinks and appliances.
The Estilo tap range is readily available at your local Bunnings warehouse to use in your kitchen, laundry or bathroom. 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 three and four-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.
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.
Mondella has tapware for all areas of the house, including the kitchen, bathroom and laundry. Different types of products available include basin tapware, shower tapware, bath tapware, toilets, showers and baths, vanities and mirrors. There are also bathroom accessories, towel rails and holders, and tapware for kitchen and laundry. Mondella offers many of the products in several colours and finishes. Some include stainless-steel, chrome, matte black, as well as brass and gold in select products. 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.
Mondella is available at Bunnings nationwide. Prices and specifications are listed on its website, with style articles and tips also available.
Having operated for more than 140 years, American Standard knows a thing or two about what makes the bathroom and toilets shine. You can also find plenty of items you need for the kitchen.
American Standard supplies a variety of toilets, such as close coupled, wall-hung and back-to-wall models. The company also stocks Spalet E-bidet seats. You can find a similarly wide variety of different types of showers, including wall-mounted and hand showers, as well as shower kits. Wall-hung, full pedestal and other styles of basins are also available.
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:
Did you know Australians spend an average of $347 on new tapware and plumbing fixtures for their bathroom? One in five (21%) also said their new plumbing fixtures had cost more to install, than they expected.
When it comes to finding out what drives customer satisfaction when purchasing tapware or plumbing fixtures, our research revealed the following factors as most important:
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 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 and other types of plumbing fixtures that suit 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 what 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 isn’t just a pipe dream. With that in mind, we hope our tap and plumbing fixtures 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 and plumbing fixtures saw a number of brands rated best in different categories:
Canstar Blue surveyed 6,178 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 bathroom plumbing fixtures in their home in the last three years (note: this may include tapware, shower heads and shower mixers) – in this case, 944 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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*Prices correct as of publication date.