How to Choose a Kitchen Faucet
Kitchen faucets now have style that is equal to or greater than their primary function. And, because your kitchen faucet sits above the sink, it has to command attention on its own either through placement, finish, design or all of the above.
Most important, of course, is whether or not the new faucet can stand up to everyday uses and if the design fits the function. We'll run through some of the most important factors to consider before you start shopping.
Sink-mount: Homeowners who are just replacing their sink-mounted faucet will need to take count of how many faucet holes are available. If the new faucet requires four holes, but the sink only has three then it’s time to continue shopping. Single handle faucets, though, will typically include a deck plate to cover any unused holes like if you're moving from a two-handle to a single-handle configuration.
Deck-mount: Homeowners who choose to mount their faucet to the countertop instead of the sink need to be sure there is enough space behind the faucet for proper cleaning. This configuration is best for undermount and farmhouse sinks.
Wall-mount: Placement of a wall mounted faucet can be tricky. In colder climates, buyers should check to be sure local codes allow for plumbing on outside walls. Plumbers – or whomever is doing the installation – will need to check for wall studs and move anything that interferes with placement. Homeowners should also consider the pitch of the faucet to determine how water will flow in the sink. This installation is usually best with single basin sinks.
What's Your Style?
Whether you prefer a more modern aesthetic or you veer more toward a traditional way of decorating, there are a number of faucets in a variety of finishes to help make your remodel dreams come true. In our post about finding the right faucet for your style, we break down the hallmarks of five popular styles:
If you're running into some hurdles choosing the best kitchen sink to pair with your kitchen faucet, we've created some dynamic duos for you to consider with our guide, "Creating the Perfect Pair: Your Kitchen Sink & Faucet."
How Many Handles?
Single handle vs double handle: Making this choice comes down to whether or not it is easier to swing one handle toward the right temperature or having more control over the temperature is more important. Using a single handle can be more convenient if at least one hand is clean while double handles still allow access to water and the sink if one handle springs a leak and requires repair.
Faucet Technology Basics
Touch: Sensors that turn water on and off with just the touch of the back of a hand or wrist mean less mess overall, but adjusting the flow and temperature is still a manual operation with the handle touch faucets provide. Most brands use batteries to power the sensor, but almost all touch faucets now can be powered by electricity with an outlet under the kitchen sink.
Motion activated: A step beyond touch is the motion-activated faucet for even freer hands-free operation. Batteries or electricity also power these sensors for most brands and includes an automatic shutoff set to a relatively short amount of time to avoid potential flooding problems. Like its touch faucet relative, motion-activated faucets have a handle for flow and temperature control.
The most popular finishes for faucets are polished chrome, brushed nickel, stainless steel, matte black, and oil-rubbed bronze, and there are a myriad other choices as well, including on-trend colors like brushed gold and champagne bronze. How you choose to match your new faucet to your kitchen depends on your style (traditional, contemporary, modern, transitional, rustic) and how tied together you want your fixtures and your hardware to be.
Mixing metals like polished chrome for your door hardware with matte black for your faucet or choosing black stainless steel for your faucet with brushed gold hardware can add a little more pizazz to your kitchen and certainly ups your fashion quotient.
Side, Pull-Down Or Pull-Out Sprayer
Many single-handle kitchen faucets come equipped with a pull-down or pull-out sprayer, but if you prefer the traditional side spray, most faucets give you that option as well. We run down the pros and cons of each so you can decide which configuration works best for you.
As you can see, there are a lot of factors to consider when buying a kitchen faucet, and we have a number of resources to help you decided on the best faucet for you.