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Shiny looks. Reliable build. If you’re shopping around for a new faucet, brass is definitely worth more than a glance. Read on to find out what this trusty metal can do for your sink, and peruse some great options to bring to your kitchen. Check out our reviews down below to find the best brass kitchen faucet for your design!
The Best Brass Kitchen Faucets: Where to Start?
It’s an alloy, and it’s been around for several centuries. Made primarily of copper and zinc, other elements can be added in varying proportions to modify its properties. It is still widely used today: musical instruments (such as the “brass” section of an orchestra), hinges, ammunition casings (as it is low friction), electrical plugs and sockets (good conductivity), not to mention jewelry and other decorative objects such as doorknobs.
The Lead Issue
Lead was one of the elements more commonly added to brass in manufacturing, as it became easier to work with. Under certain conditions, lead used in piping could leach into the water, with potentially harmful consequences. The government’s response was the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act, which came into effect in January 2014. Under this act, the proportion of lead allowed by law came from 4% to “not more than a weighted average of 0.25% when used with respect to the wetted surfaces of pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings and fixtures”, wetted meaning the surfaces coming into contact with water.
Certain manufacturers did not stop there, however. Whereas some brass items simply conform to the 0.25% rule, there are those that replace the lead completely with elements such as bismuth, silicon and others, making the item “zero-lead”.
Perks Of Brass Fittings
We’ve touched briefly on the many properties of this alloy. What is it, though, that makes it so good to use with anything carrying water — such as faucets? Here’s a breakdown:
- Durable. Once installed, it will last for years!
- Malleable. Bend it, shape it, mold it; you can name it, you can do it. Given how easy it is to work it, you can find all sorts and shapes of brass fittings. This also means that repairs and installations can be done on the cheap.
- Take the heat. Brass can endure extremely high temperatures, which makes it one of the best metals for distribution of hot water.
- Corrosion resistance. Brass has it, and in spades. If the water is in any way corrosive, brass piping can handle it without decaying.
- The looks. One of the main applications of brass throughout the centuries is decoration; nowadays, you can even find jewelry made in brass. Its gold-resembling shine makes it popular to this day in doorknobs and other ornaments.
Body vs Finish: The Difference
As you can easily imagine, brass faucets are quite popular. However, just because it looks like brass does not mean it is brass: it is important to read the fine print when shopping around. A faucet can have a brass (or brass-looking) finish and be actually made out of steel or zinc, which are not as hardy. To reap the full benefits, it is important to ensure that the body is made in brass. If, however, you are only interested in the looks, then you have a few options:
- Bright. The gold-like hue of brass in its full splendor; works quite well in old-fashioned decoration themes.
- Brushed. Its look is not so polished, but it is no less of a head-turner. Tiny, barely noticeably lines run parallel across the surface, giving an impression of extra volume at a distance.
- Antique. Intended to simulate years of wear and tear, its color will be closer to bronze.
Conversely, you may find faucets made in brass, with finishes such as matte-black or chrome.
The Ones That Stand Out
If you’re looking for something more practical than fashionable, then this one might be for you: A compact, affordable model, this double-lever faucet combines the functionality of brass with the contemporary look of a chrome finish. An aerator right at the spout, intended to add oxygen to your water, helps regulate the flow by preventing splashes. Available in 2 versions: faucet only and faucet with sprayer.
To help with installation, levers are color coded: red (hot) should be on the left, whereas blue (or cold) is intended for the right side.
- Accessible and reliable.
- Sprayer can be somewhat fragile.
2. Havin HV601
This stylish-looking faucet can be acquired in any of 3 available finishes —brushed gold, brushed nickel and matte black—, but that’s not all there is to it, as you also get 2 settings for the water flow: stream, and spray. Built with durability in mind, the ceramic disc cartridge is intended to last through 600,000 opening and closing cycles.
This faucet is pull-down style, which means the sprayer can be pulled only downwards into the sink: it is not intended to go all the way towards the counter.
- Easy to install.
- The finish is not durable; manufacturer warns against abrasives for cleaning.
Spray or stream on the sink and nearby it: this pull-out style sink comes with 20” of hose reach, to give you more freedom on where the water goes. The spout swivels a full 360°, which is sure to help.
Package comes with everything required for installation, including the escutcheon for 3 -hole sinks. Worth noting that overall height is 20.7 inches: it might be a good idea to take measurements before purchasing.
- Modern design at not too high a price.
- Due to its height it might not fit in certain kitchens.
- Hose is not the most durable.
If you’re willing to make a somewhat hefty investment, then your search might very well be over: this faucet is available in 5 different finishes —including the trendy matte black—, and it also comes in 3 different versions: you can get it standard, which is operated by lever; Touch2O which starts and stops the flow of water if its sensor detects movement; and voiceIQ, which can be connected to compatible apps (such as Alexa) so spoken commands can be issued. The 2 most common modes of water flow are available, i.e. spray and stream.
Several design choices are aimed towards durability: the proprietary Diamond Seal Technology, intended to reduce leak points, helps the mechanism endure up to twice the 500,000 cycles that are required by the industry standard. The sprayer head features magnetic docking, so it will not be hanging low as it can happen with other similar models.
This one is pull-down, which means the hose is not intended to reach beyond the confines of the sink.
- Built to last.
- Variety of choices in finish and operation.
- Magnetic docking keeps the hose in place.
- Might be out of reach for the average budget.
A somewhat uncommon design, this one is meant for more old-fashioned tastes: the shape evokes colonial or Victorian design, for those kitchens that seek to go back in time or are going for a rustic feeling.
It’s not all about the shape, of course. With a body built in solid brass, there are 7 finishes available, from oiled bronze to rubber chrome. Operation is double-valve. Sprayer is included, which makes this a 4-hole installation; this might require modifications on your sink.
- Solid body.
- Finish can scratch easily.
- Not one of the cheapest available.
The One We Like Best: Delta Faucet 9159T-CZ-DST
Range, variety, functionality: this one has got it all. You can get it in several different finishes, and you can also hop on the technology bandwagon with its rather novel operation options. No longer will you have to free up your hands, just so the faucet starts or cuts the flow of water. If you’re looking for the best brass kitchen faucet, this is a strong contender.
Durability is not forgotten, either. Whereas the industry standard calls for half a million cycles, this one goes and doubles it. So confident is the manufacturer, that the unit is backed by a lifetime warranty. Few go this far. Its price is not the lowest, but you might decide that it does give back what you pay for it. The best brass kitchen faucet is one you’ll have to look at everyday, so choose wisely!
In hopes that you’ll find the best brass kitchen faucet, we hope you’ve been able to find our reviews helpful and informative! Which of these would look the best on your sink or countertop? We love the look of brass, which makes these great for designing a kitchen with brass accents in a functional way.