What To Consider When Choosing a New Kitchen Faucet

When choosing a kitchen faucet, consider quality, finish, style, type, handles and mounting holes.

If you're searching for a new kitchen faucet, you're in luck! Technology and improvements in design have made corroded, leaky faucets a thing of the past. Consumer Reports has stopped rating faucets because they've found no significant performance differences between the various makers. Today the differences boil down to features and finishes.

Most new faucets come with a lifetime manufacturers warranty that covers defects and finishes for the original buyer. To make a clear choice, consider your needs and personal style before you buy your next kitchen faucet.

Look at the features

A faucet should have a quality water valve to prevent water temperatures from abruptly changing when adjusting hot and cold controls. Many have a scald-guard or temperature limiter as a built-in safety feature. This is a great feature if you have young kids in the house. In fact, most building codes now require temperature limiters on all new construction.

Living sustainably is important today. Faucet manufacturers have designed all new fixtures to deliver no more than 2.5 gallons per minute. Some provide additional flow controls and flow rate restrictors. Warranties can also vary, with the best ones offering lifetime protection against leaks and drips meaning your new faucet can provide many years of trouble-free service.

Kitchen Faucet Shopping Tips

When shopping for a new faucet, there are a couple of things to be aware of. Including:

Mounting Holes

Your faucet needs to match the number of pre-drilled mounting holes in the sink as well as any additional holes for sprayers or soap dispensers. If you're changing an existing faucet as a part of a kitchen update, you'll need to match existing holes or get a base plate to cover any unused ones. Make sure not to buy a faucet that requires more holes than you have in your sink. It's tough to drill new holes into an existing sink or countertop.

Spout Shape and Size

Spout size and shape need to meet your design needs as well as be functional. Straight spouts are compact and inexpensive, but may not be the right choice for your kitchen sink as they may not have clearance to fill larger pots. Gooseneck designs have clearance, but if your sink is shallow, they can cause splashing. Whatever style you choose, make sure that the faucet head swings to cover to full sink, especially if it is a double bowl model. Also, aesthetically, keep the sink and faucet proportional. For example, a large sink with a small faucet will look odd.

Three Faucet Types to Choose From

There are three basic faucet types to choose from; single handle, double handle and pull out faucets. Your final choice will depend on your needs. Let's take a look at each type.

Single handle

A single handle faucet uses one control to adjust both the hot and cold water. They are easier to install and come in a wide variety of styles, colors, and finishes. Make sure to check the clearance to make sure the handle rotation will not be blocked by the backsplash or window ledge. If your sink has additional holes, consider adding a separate spray nozzle or a soap dispenser.

Double handle

With separate controls for hot and cold water, the handles can be part of the baseplate or mount separately. The sprayer is usually separate. Two handles allow users better temperature control, but a two handled faucet can be a slightly trickier install.

Pull-down and pull-out faucets

Pull-down faucets allow you to remove the head which is attached to a long hose. A counterweight is used to help the hose and spout retract easily. Pull-out faucets are great for washing veggies and handy when cleaning up the sink. They may not be the best choice for a smaller sink.

One other feature that is growing in popularity and can make cleanup easier is a hands-free activator. Hands-free faucets have a sensor, usually on the front of the unit. Touch it once to start the water flow and a second time to shut it off. This is a convenient option to have if your hands are dirty or full. Newer models feature a motion sensor which means you can simply pass your hands if front of the unit but do not need to physically touch it.

Kitchen Faucet Finishes

Faucets are available in a wide variety of finishes to match any style or décor. Most faucets today have extremely durable finishes designed to last a lifetime. Typical finishes include polished and brushed chrome, high gloss, satin and antiqued brass, gold plate, copper, and powder coated decorator colors like red, white, black and gray. Ultimately your choice of finish will depend on your personal style and your home's décor.

Kitchen faucets are subject to a lot of wear and tear. When choosing yours, make sure it not only looks great but is also convenient, safe and durable. Do your research and stick with the most popular brands like Kohler or Delta. We recently checked out the new generation of Kohler hands-free faucets at the KBIS Show in Orlando and the new technology is very impressive, and they're competitively priced.

If you're having a hard time making a choice, speak with an expert at Toulmin Cabinetry and Design. The can offer suggestions including the best options to consider, and the perfect finish to meet your aesthetic needs. The good news is that kitchen faucet quality has improved tremendously in recent years, and you'll have a lot of great choices at every price point. Do your research, and you're sure to find a great looking, durable, kitchen faucet that will provide you with years of service!


About Toulmin Kitchen & Bath Design - We're West Alabama's award-winning, premier kitchen and bath showroom. We're experts who are known for a design-build process that makes the construction process stress-free. Contact us to schedule an appointment for a design consultation.