What to Look for When Buying a Kitchen Faucet
What’s the perfect faucet for your kitchen?
What parts and features do you absolutely need, and what’s simply nice to have? Are there any features that look cool but are difficult to use?
It all comes down to your preferences and lifestyle. Let’s look at what each part does and what options can help you choose the perfect faucet.
Faucet handles are how you control water flow and temperature. Most handles are either a lever you can lift and lower or a knob you can turn.
Single vs. Double Handle Faucets
Most kitchen faucets have one or two handles. Single handle faucets almost always have a lever, and most people prefer them because they're easier to use. They tend to have a more modern look. Water flow and temperature are both controlled with the same handle, which can be turned on and off with a wrist or forearm, preventing contamination.
Double handle faucets often have knobs. They generally look more traditional, although they can also come in minimalist styles. Because the knobs need to be turned, it’s not as easy to turn them on or off without using your hands.
Which should you get? A single handle with a lever is easiest to use and will suits most designs. A big 2 handle faucet will make more of a statement.
Motion and Touch Activated
Kitchen faucets can also be touchless or touch-activated. Touchless and touch-activated faucets usually have a handle as a back-up, but turn on with a quick tap or a wave of the hand.
Both options usually have an auto-off feature, so they're a great way to save water. They tend to cost more than regular faucets, but the investment may be worth it if you're in an area where water is very expensive.
Is it worth it? They’re a great investment if the faucet will be heavily used (e.g office break rooms) or if you need maximum water savings.
How high should the faucet be?
Too high and water splashes everywhere. Too low and the spout will be in your way when you fill large pots or tall pitchers.
The perfect height and reach of your spout depends on how deep your sink is, and how much space you have to play with.
There are two main types of spouts: flat and gooseneck.
Flat spouts take up less vertical space. So they’re great if you have cabinets over your sink or a windowsill that sticks out.
Gooseneck spouts make a statement. They fill out the empty space and help set the tone of the design. They’re great for island kitchens or kitchens with tall ceilings.
How high should you get? Most people prefer goosenecks in their kitchen. If you don’t have the space though, a rotatable flat spout with a sprayer is a good alternative.
The aerator adds air to the stream of water, creating a broader, more effective stream.
In most faucets, it’s a simple screen that screws onto the spout. If you have a sprayer, the aerator is usually part of the spray mechanism.
Why is this often overlooked little part important?
Because the aerator reduces splashing, maintains good water pressure, and can significantly reduce your water usage.
If you choose a kitchen faucet with a built-in sprayer, such as a pull-out or pull-down faucet, the aerator is important in controlling the spray without adding excessive water usage.
Note: aerators can need some maintenance. If you have hard water, your aerator may build up mineral deposits that will restrict water flow. Most of the time, your aerator will be easy to clean or replace if necessary.
The valve is what controls the flow of water (how the sink turns on and off when you use the handle).
There are several types of valves, each of which has their own pros and cons. The common ones are ball valves, cartridge valves, and ceramic disk valves.
Which valves should you look for? Hands down, ceramic disc valves are the most efficient and longest-lasting.
If your faucet has a sprayer, the nozzle will be attached to your supply line with a hose.
You’ll want to be sure the hose is long enough to suit your needs. A short hose will limit how useful your sprayer is, but a hose that’s too long can be hard to put away.
How the hose retracts is another thing to consider. A hose that glides effortlessly back into place will help you avoid lots of frustration.
Hoses can sometimes wear out over time, especially if the sprayer head doesn’t dock securely when it’s not in use. Magnetic docking is a great feature to prevent wear and tear on the hose.
The look of your faucet will have a big impact on your whole kitchen.
Some features like how many handles your faucet has will impact its look.
Finishes and coatings will also affect your faucet's aesthetics.
Choose a design and finish that goes with the rest of your kitchen to create a polished, pulled-together look. Your faucet should blend well with cabinets, hardware, and other appliances and fixtures.
Choosing the perfect kitchen faucet
And that’s all there is to it. It can seem daunting at first, but choosing the right faucet is easy once you can define your needs.
Now, what if you find several faucets that fit your needs, and can’t decide between them? How do you know if a more expensive faucet is worth spending on?
In this case, we suggest choosing the faucet with the best warranty, customer support, and other service options.
If you can’t decide between one or more pieces, we can help you find the perfect fit for your needs. Just call 571-484-9627 (toll free) or email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll get back to you with suggestions.
- Kral Su