The faucet is the most utilized tool in your kitchen. Whether you’re washing dishes, rinsing foods, using water for cooking, or just getting a drink, you rely on your kitchen faucet. But how much thought do you put into deciding on this important item?
You have more choices than ever before—style, function, and finish. So, what do you need to know about how to choose a kitchen faucet? Here are some essential considerations.
- Fit the faucet to the sink. If you’re changing the faucet, but not the sink. you need to know how many holes you have in your existing sink. The more holes you have, the more options you get. A one-hole sink requires a single handle faucet. With two holes, you can look at a single-handle faucet with an accessory (e.g., soap dispenser) or a two-handle faucet. With three or more holes in your sink, you can expand your choices with more accessories—from a single-handle faucet with a deckplate (which covers the holes) to a bridge faucet with a sprayer and/or accessories.
You also need to factor in the size of your sink. The faucet’s spout needs to be able to cover the entire area of your sink, but not so tall that it splashes water outside the sink or so low that you can’t fit a large pot into the sink. A high arc reaches 8 to 10 inches above the sink plane, but if you have cabinets over your sink, make sure the cabinet door clears the top of the arc.
- How many handles do you want? A one-handle faucet allows you to rotate to get the temperature you want. With two handles, you have one for hot and another for cold, which gives you more control over the water temperature. If you use a water filtration system, you might want to look at a third handle that turns the filter on and off.
- Choose the sprayer style. A sprayer is a desirable feature that expands the reach and allows you to direct the water exactly where you need it. If you like to use your kitchen faucet to water plants or fill large pots, it’s nice to be able to pull out the nozzle and potentially spray beyond the boundaries of the sink. Your sprayer could be a pull-down or pull-out, where the faucet head pulls away from the faucet, or a side sprayer, which is installed in a separate hole in the sink.
- Hands on or hands off? Some faucets feature a motion sensor that allows you to turn the faucet on and off without touching it. Just move your hand near it to trigger the flow.
- Look at the faucet style. Although the kitchen faucet is utilitarian, your style choices can be anything but plain. Traditional and contemporary, farmhouse to modern, and gooseneck or bridge represent a few of your design choices.
- Durability. Not all faucets are constructed the same. The valve is the most important component, as it is the part most likely to break. Look for a faucet with stainless or brass base material, and a ceramic disk valve instead of a plastic one, which won’t last as long. If you have hard water, it’s a worthwhile investment to purchase a faucet made of solid brass.
- Finishing. Today’s kitchen faucets are manufactured in a wide array of finish coatings: chrome, brass, brushed nickel, polished nickel, stainless steel, polished bronze, copper, oil-rubbed bronze, matte black, and white. A Protective Vapor Deposition (PVD) finish provides more resistance against tarnishing and abrasion than chrome.
You’ll be using your kitchen faucet every day for a long time. Make sure you choose one that can handle the tasks.