How to Choose A Kitchen Faucet
They call the kitchen the heart of the home for a reason—it gets used a lot—and therefore your kitchen faucet gets a lot of use. Whether you’re renovating a kitchen or just looking for an upgrade, consider this kitchen faucets 101 for choosing the right one for you.
The first question to ask yourself is: What’s your everyday kitchen routine?
It’s important to pick a modern kitchen faucet that’s going to meet your everyday needs. Are you constantly filling up large pots? Do you have a pile of hand-wash dishes to tend to each night? Are you not much of a cook and use it mostly for hand washing?
Once you have an idea in your head about your habits at the kitchen sink, you can pinpoint potential faucet combinations, including the types of handles, the height of the spout, and the sprayer.
Kitchen Faucet Handles
While it may seem arbitrary, what goes into turning on your kitchen sink is just as important as how the sprayer works. There are a couple of options when it comes to kitchen faucet handles.
A contemporary and fluid look, single handles control both hot and cold temperatures. The single handle is usually located directly on the faucet or next to it.
Two handled faucets deliver a classic look (although they don’t have to, as pictured above). This is great option if you don’t want to fuss with controlling temperature and water flow together.
Which Arc is the Right Arc?
The arc of your spout can really make or break your kitchen. Too high and you may be blocking beautiful views, too low and you won’t be able to fill and clean those deep pots.
If you’re a foodie filling large pots and just needing more workspace over the sink, then a modern kitchen faucet with a high arc is going to be ideal in your everyday kitchen. To get enough clearance, you’ll want a faucet with a spout height that sits about 8-10 inches above the sink plane.
If you have a window directly behind your kitchen sink, the last thing you want to do is obstruct your beautiful views. If this is the case for your kitchen, consider choosing a modern kitchen faucet with a low arc, about 3-8 inches above sink plane. This lower profile will give you a clear view while still providing the power you need.
What Type of Sprayer are You Looking for?
Not all sprayers are created equal, and it’s important to figure out which—pull down, pull out or side spray—is going to help you accomplish all that rinsing, washing, and filling in the most comfortable and convenient way.
Called such when it sits on a faucet’s downward angle, a pulldown sprayer is great for flexibility and maximizing reach. Just pull down the sprayer wand and you’re ready to go. And when you’re done, simply retract it for a seamless look.
Similar in function to a pulldown sprayer, a pull out sprayer is designed to be pulled outward—toward you—instead of down.
While the side sprayer requires an extra hole, it’s a great addition to your modern faucet. It’s helpful for cleaning and giving you that extra reach while leaving your main faucet alone.
Especially if you aren’t doing a major renovation, you’ll want to consider how many holes are in your existing counter space and sink to ensure you choose a faucet that will fit.
One hole faucets provide a sleek and refined look. In this case, the lever will be on the faucet stem and acts as a control for both the temperature as well as flow.
A second hole is usually for a side sprayer, handle, or even a built-in soap dispenser and still provides a contemporary look.
Three Holes (or More!)
You’ll see more traditional faucets with three holes, as they usually have both a hot and cold handle along with the faucet itself. Or the additional holes can accommodate a single handled faucet, side sprayer, and soap dispenser. Similarly, four hole sinks are made to accommodate more traditional faucets with separate hot and cold handles, soap dispenser, and side sprayer.
Types of Mounting
No matter what type of faucet you’re looking into, it has to be mounted somehow, someway.
What you’d see in the typical kitchen, a deck mounted faucet is going to be mounted either directly onto the sink itself, or just behind it on the counter. They’re usually mounted at-center, although some sink designs may require different mounting.
Wall-mounted faucets are mounted directly into the wall above the sink (or stove, which we’ll get into a little later). They offer classic style and are best for when your sink doesn’t have holes and you don’t want to cut into your counter material. Wall mounted faucets can have a low profile or be intricate, adjustable pot fillers (faucets designed for filling large vessels).
A modern faucet can really make an impact on a kitchen, not just practically but style wise, too. Whether modern or traditional, be sure to pick a faucet that goes with your kitchen decor and makes the statement you want.
Modern Extras for the Faucet
Consider mounting a pot filler away from the sink for some added efficiency—say maybe above the stove? Or, if you’re an at-home chef, opt for a more powerful pre-rinse faucet to really power through stuck-on food on your cookware.
Take advantage of extra space by adding a smaller prep-setup (complete with prep sink faucet) to your kitchen space.
There are many ways you can go with your kitchen faucet, and these basics will help you choose with confidence. Shop our wide selection of modern kitchen faucets at YLiving.
(Updated version of a post originally published in January 2016.)