Choosing a kitchen faucet is not a task for the faint-hearted. I’ve been there myself. There are so many things to consider that sometimes you can’t help but feel overwhelmed. Don’t worry. I have narrowed things down for you in this article.
So how do you go about choosing a kitchen faucet? When you’re choosing a kitchen faucet, you would want to consider the following:
- Faucet Mount type
- Number of holes in the sink
- Handle type
- Sprayer options
- Arc height
- Style and Finish
There is a lot to consider when choosing a kitchen faucet. Let’s go over the details below. Please continue reading.
What to Look for When Choosing a Kitchen Faucet
If you’re in the design stage, you should consider choosing your faucet first. Thereafter, match the rest of the kitchen with its style and finish.
But if you are looking for a replacement, you should consider the following.
Faucet Mount Type
Before starting to choose a faucet, you will need to know if your fixture mounts onto the sink or the wall. They both have their specific type of designs. The more popular of the two are the ones mounted onto the sink (also called deck-mounted). Hence, they have a wider range to select from.
Sink Hole Configuration
If your faucet is deck-mounted, take note of the number of holes in the sink used for mounting the fixture. In general, you will find faucets made for sinks with holes ranging from one to four.
With the help of escutcheons or deck plates, you can mount a faucet needing fewer holes to a sink with more holes. Let’s say, for example, your sink has four holes and your faucet needs only one hole. In this instance, you can use a deck plate to cover the extra holes. Moreover, you can use an escutcheon or even a soap dispenser to cover a single extra hole.
The options for handles are either levers or cross handles. Levers give a more modern look while cross handles give a vintage look.
Levers give a more modern look. Usually, faucets come with either single or dual levers. A single lever can mix hot and cold water such as in ball or cartridge type faucets. At the same time, you’ll find faucets with two levers too. One for hot water and the other for cold water.
Cross handles are almost always the handle type for compression faucets. In general, cross handles give a vintage look, but also more prone to leaks. Unlike with levers, you will need two cross handles to mix hot and cold water.
Sprayers have become an essential part of the modern-day kitchen. Having the right sprayer can make life easy when it comes to doing the dishes or rinsing off produce. Some sprayers come attached to the faucet, while others come as a separate fitting.
The common types of sprayers are pull-down, pull-out, and side sprayer. While the first two comes attached to the faucet, the side sprayer comes as a separate unit.
The sprayer in the pull-down faucet comes attached to the fixture facing down. You can pull the spray wand down giving you an extended reach into the sink. This type of kitchen faucet seems to be the most popular at the time of this writing.
Pull-out kitchen faucets come with the sprayer attached to the fixture as well. They have shorter spouts compared to the pull-down types. Also, the spray wand allows for more flexibility and is less splashy. And, it also helps save space.
The side sprayer comes as a separate fixture mounted on to the sink. The advantage this type of sprayer has over the others is the ability to use the spray while the faucet is on. Moreover, it is ideal for heavy-duty kitchens.
There are two types of arcs that you can choose from. One is the high arc, which is about 8 to 10 inches above the sink. And, the other is the low arc, which is 3 to 8 inches above the sink.
The high arc faucets are ideal for heavy use. If you need plenty of clearance between the sink and the faucet, you should go for a model with a high arc. To be able to go for a kitchen faucet with a high arc, you must consider the space above the sink too.
Low arc faucets are perfect for smaller sinks and spaces. And also, if you don’t want the faucet to be the center of attraction, a low arc faucet would make sense.
Style and Finish
The style of your faucet and the finish has a profound impact on how your kitchen looks. You can go for a modern style with touch-sensitive controls. Or, a more contemporary look. Or even, a vintage look with cross handles too.
If you are designing a brand new kitchen, you have the freedom to choose your faucet according to your theme. If so, you should first choose your faucet, then your sink, and then the rest of the kitchen.
If you are replacing your existing faucet, you could try to change the style. I’d advise you to stick to the same finish unless you’re planning on changing the look of your kitchen.
Faucets come in the following finishes:
- Brushed Chrome
- Brushed Nickel
- Matte Black
Not all models come in all finishes. So, you will have to make sure your preferred style of faucet comes in the finish you are looking for.
How much are you willing to spend on your new kitchen faucet? Prices can range from under $25 to over $5,000. The quality too can vary with the price. In any case, I’d say you should be able to find a decent kitchen faucet between $200 to $400.
As in most cases, prices reflect on durability and reliability. It would be wise to choose one of the top names for faucets.
Can I install a single hole faucet to a three-hole sink? Yes, you can. You will need to use a deck plate (escutcheon) to cover the extra holes. You can use single hole cover plates to cover holes that are further away.
How to choose the right faucet height for my kitchen? If you have a shallow sink, use a shorter faucet to avoid splashing. If you use tall pots and pans, you’re better off with a taller faucet. Also, if you have limited space above your sink, going for a shorter faucet would make sense.
Can I replace the faucet myself? Yes, you can. Refer to the manufacturer’s installation instructions. Also, make sure you have the right tools for the job. Check out this video.
How long does a kitchen faucet last? You can expect a modern faucet to last for about 15 to 20 years. Yet, there are some instances where faucets have lived past 35 years without any trouble.
What is the best way to clean my kitchen faucet? You can use vinegar or lemon to clean your kitchen faucet without damaging it. Using lemons will give you an added benefit of leaving your kitchen fragrant.