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A faucet is more than just looks: it can also mark the difference between a solid stream that’s good to rinse your dishes, and a waterlogged cabinet. There is much to take into consideration when choosing a new faucet, and it is easy to get lost. That’s why we’re here: we’ll be breaking down what makes a faucet better than another, and what simply sets them apart as a matter of taste. You will also find a reference guide to our comprehensive articles on different varieties of kitchen faucets, so you can easily home in on the one that more closely aligns with your preferences. Here’s how to select a kitchen faucet! Ready? Let’s go!
1. How to Select a Kitchen Faucet: What Should Always Count
This will vary wildly: you can find them as low as $40, and close to $500. While the simpler designs are most likely to be cheaper, you might find affordable versions of more sophisticated models. What may suffer here, is quality.
Your faucet will often be subjected to high water pressure, and high temperature as well. Therefore, you want it to last, ideally, for years. A faucet’s body can be made of nickel, steel or brass; valves can be ceramic, sprayers and aerators will often be plastic. Hoses, where applicable, may be plastic or braided metal. The sum of its parts, as well as how well put together they are, will be fundamental here.
Important to note: just because it looks like a metal, does not mean it is made from that metal. Body is different from finish, which we’ll cover further down.
When you’re trying to figure out how to select a kitchen faucet, a warranty might not be the first thing you think of. Most faucets will have one; what will differ is how wide it is, and how long it lasts. The most common warranty will cover you for 3 years, with some manufacturers going all the way to lifetime.
This will vary depending on the faucet’s design and how it is operated (single lever, double lever, remotely, etc.). In summary, faucet installation will vary between one hole and four holes. You should be sure to match this configuration to your sink’s: if the faucet needs less holes than your sink has, then all you need is a deck plate (of the right dimensions) to cover the holes that you won’t be using. If, however, your faucet needs more holes than you have, modifications on your sink might be in order.
2. Worth A Thought, But Not Critical
Straight spout. The most basic shape. As the name suggests, the spout is directly forward from the deck; often, we have to swivel it out of the way if a big pot is incoming.
Goose neck. The faucet runs in a higher arc, which gives more space for taller items to come into the sink. This is the preferred shape for certain modern faucets such as pull-out, which we will address more extensively further down. Given the additional distance from the sink, splashing is more likely to happen.
This feature is not always available; when it is, it may be off to the side (which adds 1 hole to the installation), or built into the faucet itself. In this latter case, the hose will run through the interior of the faucet, and it will have a certain length which will vary depending on the faucet’s designation. If the faucet if described as a “pull-down”, the sprayer can only be pulled closer to the sink. Pull-out features a longer hose, enough to bring the sprayer outside the sink.
Pull-down vs pull-out
They are similar in that both allow you to redirect the flow of water. However, there are certain differences between the two, which may dictate which one you pick:
Pull-down: Faucets of this type are usually quite tall, which makes them better for filling up big pots and pans. A pull-down will be less likely to get kinks in the hose, since it’s shorter; and there will be more operation options for you to choose from, beyond the well known manual type (more on that further down).
Pull-out: Since they are not so tall, they don’t require as much room above the sink to fit in. They are also less susceptible to loss of pressure, since the faucet does not have so high of a curve. And you get to bring your stream to a wider area around the sink.
3. As You Like It
Every type and shape of faucet will come in the conventional manual version, what will vary is the levers: some will have two, others will have only one. The technologically oriented might have to opt for a pull-down type, as this is the one that will more often feature two additional versions for hands-free operation:
Touchless: Water can be run and stopped by merely making a movement near a sensor.
VoiceIQ: Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, allowing operation through a variety of spoken commands.
As mentioned before, your faucet may have the look of a certain metal or material, and be actually made in an entirely different material. This allows you to, for example, buy a cheap faucet that is made in nickel and looks like it is made in gold. Popular finishes include chrome, oiled bronze, brass, and brushed nickel. Certain models will come, not with a metallic look, but in a specific color, such as black or white.
How the finish is applied will directly affect how resilient it is; in many cases, it might scratch easily. A more resilient sort is the powder-coated color type, which is applied by electrostatic and then superheated; given its particular method of application, such a finish will last as long as the faucet itself does. With this info in hand, hopefully you now know how to select a kitchen faucet!
4. Your Shopping List
We have been hard at work compiling the best faucet options for your kitchen sink, according to several criteria; here we gather them all, for your convenience. (This is where the links go)
Best Brass Kitchen Faucets. Brass has been around for a long time, and its not a mystery why: it’s resilient, versatile, and quite a looker.
Best Pull-down Kitchen Faucets. Great for filling your pots and pans, and for rinsing your dishes point-blank. Some of them also come with sophisticated options to operate them. What’s not to like?
Best Black Kitchen Faucets. Easier to clean, and to blend in with your palette. Thinking of something with less of a shine? Try matte-black!
Best White Kitchen Faucets. Elegance. Purity. It’s no wonder white is a staple of many modern decoration themes.