Alder Tapware At Dennis Family Homes

June 2024 In Entertaining

Water efficient tapware will contribute to the required 7-Star energy efficiency rating of new homes, under changes to the National Construction Code (NCC), as of 1 May 2024. By 1st May 2026 new tapware will be lead-free under NCC changes, marking an end to the element’s use in tapware manufacturing. Alder Tapware is working 2 years ahead of the changes, releasing water-efficient and lead-free products to support builders through the transition. Alder is at the forefront of  contemporary product design and innovation, along with best-practice manufacturing of Australian tapware, showers and accessories. For over 20 years, Dennis Family Homes and Alder Tapware have been working together to bring high quality tapware to customers building new homes in Victoria. 

Increasing the flow efficiency 

In Victoria, a 7-star energy efficiency rating is now required for all new homes under the recent NCC changes. Efficient use of water is one of the factors that contribute to the rating calculation.  Australian Standards require the flow rate for a shower, basin mixer or sink mixer to be no more than 9 litres per minute (l/m) of water.  A  5-Star 6 l/m flow rate is standard across the Alder Tapware Builders Range, which includes the SOHO, FLEX, SAMM and MAXX Collections. Products in any of these Collections can be upgraded to an even more efficient flow rate of 4.5 l/m.  These cost-effective, simple options help new homes reach the necessary 7-star energy efficiency rating. 

Brushed Nickel and Matte Black are increasingly popular. 

Alder’s stylish EEVA range comes in a variety of finishes and Dennis Family Homes Senior Interior Designer Gail Connor, chose to include the Brushed Nickel finish with contrasting Matte Black paddles on the mixers  in the bathroom, kitchen and ensuites of the Balmoral display home, located in the Alamora estate, Tarneit.  

“This is very on trend and is a great choice for someone who just wants a touch of black.” The spacious 41.43 square home also features Alder’s EEVA Brushed Nickel and Matte Bback tapware and TAYA Brushed Nickel accessories. Gail recommends choosing a consistent tapware Collection throughout the house to enhance the overall aesthetic, with one exception. “Kitchen sink mixers that differ from Collections can still harmonise with the home’s design if they match in style and colour,” Gail said.  

This can be seen in the Heathcote display in Tarneit Alamora where the 5 star Taya Brass tapware has been used along with the recently released Alfie pull out Brass mixer in the kitchen, pantry and laundry. The rounded edges of the Taya mixers link with the cylindrical shape of the Alfie and the consistency of the brass finish throughout creates a cohesive look.  Lever taps dominate the market, due to their combination of aesthetic appeal and functionality. “Lever taps not only look good but are easy to use, especially for children and the elderly,” Gail noted.  To see Matte Black tapware throughout a home, view the Atherton display in Berwick Waters featuring Alder’s SOL Collection. In Alder’s SOHO, FLEX, SAMM and MAXX Collections, either of these stylish finishes can be included in your home for the same price. 


Key features and benefits of recommended taps 

Modern tapware Collections offer a range of styles and features that cater to various needs, preferences and budgets.  Gail Connor recently attended Milan Design Week, the premier international event for interiors where the next trends are often seen first before arriving in Australia.  “Current tapware trends include rounded bodies and spouts, as well as more angular styles and a combination of straight lines and curves, such as the SACHI Collection,” Gail said.  “The SACHI spout has a flat top with a gentle curve underneath, the paddle lever also has rounded edges at the top that tapers down to a curved base.” It’s available in chrome, Brushed Nickel and black. 

Alder’s SAMM range reflects shapes from Milan, and Gail said, “are very on-trend with their rounded bodies and spouts.” SAMM is also available in chrome, Brushed Nickel, and black finishes.  The FLEX Collection is a standard inclusion in Dennis Family Homes’ Aspirations line. Its distinctive features include round backplates, curved spouts, and pin levers.  It’s available in four finishes, including Brass, all lead-free and in a 6-star rating upgrade – an excellent choice at entry-level. The PIATTO Collection, standard for the Inspirations line, features similar curved shapes but with a paddle lever, available exclusively in chrome.  

For a touch of luxury, the minimalistic style of the LUXX Collection includes knurling, which is a cross hatched pattern etched into the metal, on the handle and a progressive cartridge that adjusts water pressure and temperature simultaneously. Knurling was featured on tapware and cabinet handles in Milan,” Gail said, reflecting on a current leading design trend.  “Our clients can complement this feature with our Designer Series 2 cabinet handles that also feature knurling.” 

Innovations in tapware and showerheads 

The evolution of water taps and showerheads in residential homes reflects a balance between style, functionality, and compliance with evolving regulations. The use of Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) finishes in tapware ensures durability and aesthetic appeal. PVD coating provides an extremely pure and high-performance finish, resistant to wear and tear. 

Alder take this one step further, with a unique Anti-Fingerprint finish applied to ensure the lustrous shine lasts. Dual rail showers and ceiling-mounted rain showerheads, which offer both practical and luxurious showering experiences are also very popular. The dual showers in particular offer the best of both options rolled into one.  The ECO and LYNX Collections by Alder provide a variety of styles and colour finishes. Lever taps combined with rail showers remain popular for their ease of use and practicality, while innovations such as the progressive cartridge and PVD finishes enhance durability. “Alder are focused on quality, reliability, style and product development,” Gail said.  “I used Alder tapware in my home when I renovated.” 


View Alder tapware and accessories in our display homes 

Alamora, Tarneit 


  • EEVA Brushed Nickel and Matte Black tapware 
  • TAYA Brushed Nickel accessories 


  • ALFIE Pull-Out Sink Mixers in Brass to the kitchen, pantry and laundry 
  • TAYA Brass in the bathroom, powder and ensuite  
  • TAYA Brass accessories – toilet roll holders, towel rails and rings  


  • AIKO Chrome with STAR chrome accessories 


Berwick Waters 


  • PIATTO with FRESCO Rail Shower and basket in Chrome 
  • TAYA Chrome accessories 


  • AIKO Chrome tapware 
  • EXCITE Rail Shower with basket in Chrome to showers  
  • STAR Chrome towel rails  
  • ALTO Chrome toilet roll holders and towel rings 


  • SOL Matte Black tapware throughout 
  • EXCITE Shower Rail Matte Black in ensuites 2, 3, 4 and guest ensuite 
  • LYNX Rain Shower with Ceiling Arm in Matte Black  
  • SACHI Matte Black accessories (towel rails, toilet roll holders and towel rings) 

The lead-free future arrives 

Alder’s early move towards lead-free products is well ahead of the changes to health and environmental standards set out by the latest National Construction Code. By May 1, 2026, the new regulations will limit the allowable lead content in copper alloy plumbing products used for drinking water to a weighted average of 0.25%.  Lead pipes and fixtures have been used to transport water for many thousands of years, even during the Roman Empire. All long before the negative health effects of lead were properly understood. 

Now, over 2000 years after the fall of Rome, we’re seeing lead in tapware finally come to an end. Alder has been a proactive and pioneering force in gradually reducing the amount of lead years before regulatory requirements demanded the change. Australian’s now have access to a healthier alternative to safeguard the quality of our drinking water. Alder General Manager, Sarah Fairweather, said their products have on average, less than half the amount required by Australian standards. 

“We have moved on these 2 years in advance of the mandated date by choice, despite the difficulties in the manufacturing process, because we believe it’s the right thing to do. “We’ve been able to combine functionality, aesthetics and manufacturing innovations to go lead-free. “Many Collections available now meet the new lead-free standards, so people already have a wide range of options.” Dennis Family Homes Senior Interior Designer, Gail Connor, said Alder has put a lot of energy and work into manufacturing lead-free tapware. “It isn’t just as simple as removing the lead. The structural integrity of the taps has to be maintained, so it has been a process of trial and error at an expense to them, as well as other tapware suppliers.” 

Melbourne is one of only five major cities worldwide with protected water catchments. This means our water corporations can harvest high-quality water that requires minimal treatment. From catchment, through tanks and pipes to your home, our water quality is getting better thanks to efforts and expertise at every stage of the supply chain. Go lead-free by choosing products in the SOHO, FLEX, SAMM & MAXX Collections, or an ALFIE, CORI, NUOVA  Calare Sink Mixer. 

Alder Lead-Free Tapware – 

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