“How do I pick out a Kitchen Faucet?!”
Beyond the function of the fixture, the general appearance of the faucet is among my first considerations. Typically, when making selections I usually consider a fixture’s, or an appliance’s, function and performance first. However, since a faucet can be a feature of the kitchen’s aesthetic, its form and function are equally influential. There are so many styles of faucets, that I’ve never had to compromise either!
One feature that seems to matter most to homeowners, is the location, position and action of the faucet’s sprayer. Before we get into the line-up of faucet styles, features and finishes, I have collected images of the most common faucet sprayers…
First is a “spring-spout”, pull-down faucet with a docking spray head. Next is a double handle faucet with an independent side-sprayer. Third we have a typical pull-down faucet, and last is a newer-model pull-out faucet.
HOLES- The amount of holes is in relation to the drilling required. Most commonly, the countertop is drilled, and the faucet is installed directly on the countertop surface. Some faucets are mounted directly to the deck of the sink, in which case, the sink is purchased pre-drilled. In addition to the holes for a faucet, a side sprayer and a soap pump would require their own holes. A push-button power control for a garburator would need a hole too. If a kitchen faucet is wall-mounted, the same considerations are made (a garburator button can also be mounted to the wall). The holes are typically drilled by the supplier/installer of the material requiring the drilling. Various drilling pattern circumstances are shown below.
The quantity of holes is determined by faucet style, how many handles a faucet has, and the location of the controls and sprayer.
HANDLES- Quantity of handles, is usually dictated by the convenience desired. Touchless technology is gaining popularity, however, in order for this feature to operate, the handle is left in the “on” position, and physical touch turns the water on and off.. if you have a cat that may happen to touch the faucet, this may be a feature you avoid.
Considerations that influence handle location
To help determine the best kitchen faucet for your household, consider who will use it most..left-handed/ or right-handed household members? If you are interested in having a built-in soap dispenser, this may be a factor, in relation to the sink selection, and location of the dishwasher (see more on sink selection). If you have a large sink that requires extra depth, the faucet would need to be located farther back.. its handle may interfere with a window sill, so watch for the clearance required for its operation.
A new version of a pull-down faucet is the concealed pull-down feature that offers a “boomerang” effect by the brand Riobel. Its pull-down head is recessed for a seamless spout. It’s available in several models, the feature is shown below.
Above is the new, concealed “boomerang” feature, available in several of the Riobel brand faucets.
GENERAL STYLE- Industrial/Commercial, Farmhouse, Contemporary, Transitional and Traditional are the most common styles, and I’ve included many that could fall under each category throughout the article. Along with the style of your faucet there are what may seem like endless options for soap dispenser styles, and pot fillers too.
Above are built-in water dispenser options, and below are a deck-mounted and wall-mounted pot filler options..
all available in various styles and finishes.
FINISH/COLOUR- Faucets are usually available in multiple colours and finishes. Many suppliers will carry popular faucet models in common colours/finishes in-stock. Manufacturers will do the same, in which case the lead time would be reasonable, depending on their physical location in relation to the jobsite. Some colours are available as special orders/made-to-order, in which case, lead time can vary and is a consideration.
Common finishes are chrome, which is usually the most cost-effective, stainless steel, brushed nickel, polished nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, black, gun metal, champagne bronze, antique brass etc., and even combination finishes are available. Every manufacturer has their own name for their finishes, and the colour-tone can vary between brands. For example, Arctic Steel has a cool tone to its colour. This is important when trying to match appliances, or light fixtures, other plumbing fixtures and cabinet hardware.
Above is a line-up of several faucet colours and finishes.
Although this is a fair bit of information, especially if this is new to you, there are additional details to cover during a focused meeting, such as placement in relation to your sink, especially if you are looking at off-set sink bowls. For information on sink selection see my article on Kitchen Sinks.
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