Whether you’re replacing an old faucet or selecting something new in a remodeling plan, there are a few things to know before the water starts to flow.
Deck-mount faucets attach to the countertop or rest on the sink. Wall-mount faucets attach through the wall and hang over the sink.
If you choose a replacement deck-mount faucet, the number of holes on your sink is important. One-piece faucets, with integrated handle and spout, need one hole for the handle / spout piece and another for the sprayer. Traditional faucets, with hot and cold taps, require three holes for taps and spout and a fourth for the sprayer. Additional options – soap dispensers or integrated sprayers – create a different set of requirements.
If you’re starting from scratch, choose your faucet before your sink so you can buy a sink with the appropriate number of holes for your selection. Or, holes may be drilled into the sink to accommodate your faucet.
Escutcheons, also called base plates or deck plates, are ornamental plates that cover additional holes and allow installation of a one-hole faucet on a three-hole sink.
Typically, kitchen faucets have either one handle rotating directionally to change water temperature or two handles for mixing hot and cold water. These will offer a sprayer that sits to the side or a pull-out or pull-down sprayer that offers spray and stream options.
Hands-free faucets add a new dimension to the kitchen. They can be touch- or motion-oriented and come with both temperature and volume control, making these faucets a safe choice for homes with children. Hands-free faucets work well with the universal design concept by making living spaces more accessible and accommodating for every level of physical ability.
If you choose a pull-out or pull-down sprayer, look for a faucet with a magnetic catch.
Before you choose your faucet, think about the ways you use your sink. Do you wash a lot of bulky pots and pans? Are you bathing a baby? A high-arc faucet may make your tasks more comfortable.
If you have room in your kitchen, you may consider installing a bar prep faucet in a side sink. The double setup makes it easy to keep meats and vegetables separate during meal preparation.
If you prefer a unified look in your kitchen, select a faucet with a finish matching your cabinet hardware. Bronze, chrome and nickel / stainless steel are available at every price point.
In-faucet filters are great for filtering tap water. Keep volume and maintenance in mind to decide if this is the right filtering option for your family.
Soap dispensers make it easy to keep kitchen counters clear of clutter.
Hot water dispensers are great for hot beverages and pot filling.
There are two types of faucet installations: top-mount and bottom-mount. Top-mount faucets attach with screws through the bottom of the faucet piece from underneath the counter. Bottom-mount faucets attach with screws through the top of the faucet piece.
There are four types of faucet mechanisms: ball valve, ceramic disc, compression valve and cartridge. The type won’t affect your day-to-day use, but will affect faucet repairs and maintenance down the road.
If you have cabinets above your sink, measure the height available from the deck plate to the bottom of the upper cabinet and keep this number in mind when shopping.
Ready to get started? Learn how to install a kitchen faucet.