- Ideas & How-Tos
Choose Your Savings
Whether you're replacing an old faucet in an existing kitchen or selecting a faucet as part of a larger remodeling plan, there are a few questions to ask before the water starts to flow. Find the answers to your questions on how to choose a kitchen faucet with the kitchen faucet buying guide below.
Kitchen and Bar Faucets
If you're replacing an existing faucet, choose a new one that requires the same number of holes in the deck of the sink as the one that's being removed. One-piece faucets (with integrated handle and spout) need one hole for the handle / spout piece and usually require a separate hole for a sprayer. Traditional faucets, with hot and cold taps, require three holes for the taps and spout, and a fourth for a sprayer. Other options, such as integrated sprayers and soap dispensers, can create other requirements.
If you're starting from scratch with a new sink, you can put any holes you need in the sink to accommodate the faucet you want.
Typical kitchen faucets have either one handle that rotates directionally to choose a water temperature or two handles for mixing hot and cold water. One-piece faucets can have a handle that's attached to the faucet unit or a handle that sits to the side (in the same position a traditional sprayer would be).
Traditional faucets can feature the classic look of the rounded X-shaped tap — a more contemporary, cylindrical silhouette — or an easy-access lever shape. Lever taps are often easiest to manipulate. They fit in well with the concept of universal design, an attempt to make living spaces as accessible as possible to people of all levels of physical ability.
Some newer models have sprayers integrated right into the faucet itself.
If you wash a large number of bulky pots and pans, choose a faucet with a tall, curved neck. You'll have an easier time sliding big pots in and out of the sink and rinsing them thoroughly.
Many people choose to filter their tap water for drinking. There are a number of ways to install a filter, and some involve an attachment to the faucet itself. A few faucets come with a built-in filtering mechanism. If you choose to filter, think about the volume of water you'll use and maintenance requirements.
For a unified look, choose a style and finish for your new faucet that matches your kitchen cabinet hardware.
Some faucets mount from the top of the sink, while others mount from the bottom. If you're hiring a professional to install your new faucet (perhaps along with a new sink), they'll likely be familiar with both types. If you're installing the new faucet , make sure you understand all the steps before you begin.
There are four main types of faucet mechanisms: ball valve, ceramic disk, compression valve and cartridge. Which type your new faucet has won't make a big difference in day-to-day use, but some are easier to repair than others.