They all deliver water, but kitchen faucets come in many shapes and sizes, designed to work hard and look good under some demanding circumstances. Faucets also come in a wide range of prices, but even moderately priced kitchen faucets can be stylish and efficient.
Modern faucets are the workhorses of the kitchen and, ideally, they are attractive, easy to operate, durable, and reliable. They also are at their best when they complement the decor of their surroundings, and maintain their good looks over a long lifespan.
Steps for Choosing a New Kitchen Faucet
When choosing a new or replacement faucet for your kitchen sink, in addition to looks, consider the following:
The number of drilled holes on your sink:
Just like faucets, sinks come in a variety of styles. Often the faucet holes are drilled directly into the counter material. Many sinks have pre-drilled holes to accommodate the faucet and required plumbing if the counter design does not cover the back sink ledge. Common configurations are single and triple-hole, but some have as many as five. Some faucets are available with optional plates or plugs to cover unused openings, but it is always best to select sinks and faucets that match if you are doing full kitchen remodel.
Many faucets are made of brass, but other base metals can be used. Finishes are applied or bonded to the base metal. One effective process actually bombards the metal with chemically charged atoms, producing a long-lasting, non-scratch surface known as PVD. Nickel and bronze finishes are popular today, although stainless steel and chrome finishes are perennial favorites. Some faucet finishes are just the natural metal surface and can be prone to scratches and others can be stained by hard water or cleaning agents. Just be sure you know what you are getting.
Handles and Controls:
Single-handle faucets are meant to deliver a water stream that is adjustable both for temperature and force with a twist of a single level. Traditional faucets have two handles or levers, one for hot water and one for cold. State-of-the-art faucets might have sensor controls that turn the water on and off without having to grasp a handle and get the faucet full of grease and food juices. You control the water flow either by touching the faucet or waving your hand near it. However, be mindful that you won’t be able to change the water force or temperature without going back to grasping the controls.
Spout and Spray:
Functional spouts deliver a stream of water that can be adjusted from a dribble to forceful. Pull-out sprays hoses from the spout allow more flexibility with a switch or button that gives the user the ability to alternate between spray and stream. This makes food and dish rinsing very easy. Newer pull out spray faucets have a pause button that temporarily shuts off the flow until your release the button. Also, look for the sprayer to rotate easily with a pivot mechanism where the spray head meets the hose. Finally, more traditional faucets are still available with a separate spray handle and hose off to the side of the main spout.
Faucet Style Options:
Although your kitchen can depart, stylistically, from the decor of the rest of your home, the faucets, appliances and theme of the kitchen itself should be coordinated. If you choose a sleek Euro style for cabinets and love the look of stainless steel, you would most likely be most comfortable with an efficient, sleek brushed stainless faucet, perhaps with a tall goose-neck spout and a single handle control.
As an alternative, if you prefer a homey, comfortable vibe in your kitchen, consider a faucet with a weathered or oil-rubbed bronze finish set into the deck of a tile or granite counter that features a large apron-front sink. If you have a prep sink or a pot-filler over the cook top, those auxiliary faucets would be most attractive in similar styles and matching finishes. All are readily available.
Our certified kitchen designers will be happy to advise you about versatile and appropriate choices for your kitchen. Browse through our gallery of kitchen projects or call to schedule a consultation with The Kitchen Master to discuss your options.