For many families, the kitchen is as much a gathering place as any in a home. While the cupboard knobs and floor tiles might play an integral part of the design scheme, no one thing in the kitchen sets the mood so much as the faucet. The terrific news is, not only do kitchen faucets come in a variety of style choices, the finishes can be nearly endless due to the advent of powder-coated enamel.
Whether you are replacing your old faucet, remodeling, or building a new home, the trick is to not only make sure that you find the right faucet to suit your needs but also that of your surroundings. If your mahogany cupboards are fitted with brass hardware, a stainless steel faucet isn't going to cut it; likewise, a Victorian-style kitchen is not going to suffer a very angular, modern piece.
Take time to assess your kitchen for the common denominators – get a feeling for whether your room is warm or cool, the predominant colors of your visible appliances and what sort of decorative aesthetics the room has. This is all assuming that you want to maintain unity of course – bottom line, choose what pleases you most.
Now that you have some basic ideas of what might look right in your kitchen, you can move on to the more practical aspects of what will fit... and then we'll get right back to the fashionable side of faucet selecting with a more detailed look at the finishes you can expect to find.
Unless you are drilling the countertop for a specific faucet, you probably want to keep your current installation in mind while reading this section. Please remember, if you are interested in accessories (such as side sprayers, air gaps, soap dispensers, water filtration devices, and instant hold/cold water dispensers), you will need additional holes.
Handles come in a variety of different types – round, lever, and cross are the standards, with even further variations upon these. If you prefer a more minimalistic look, you might want to consider a single-handle option, but two-handle faucets are much more user-friendly in that they allow you to customize the temperature of the water you use.
One other thing to keep in mind is that many manufacturers offer handle accent color finishes in addition to the standard hardware finish, which is not only a perfect way to draw attention to their styling but also allows a greater degree of personalization. You can read more about finishes further in the guide!
Spouts can be either aerated or nonaerated. Aerated spouts use a screen and resistor in combination with air to create limited water flow in addition to better overall pressure. Nonaerated spouts do not have that screen, and therefore water can flow more quickly and freely.
Another important factor to note is spout reach. How many bowls is your sink going to have? Water should be able to go directly from the spout into the center of the sink(s); a faucet too small for your needs could spell disaster and not allow you to clean large dishes and pans properly, and a large faucet might be a bit messy... not to mention get in the way a lot.
Finally, let's consider the height of the arches. This will vary with each faucet, so be sure to read each product page carefully while searching for your perfect new fixture. There are primarily two types of arch: standard and high. The standard arches generally run anywhere from 3 to 5 inches; these are best for everyday pots and pans. High arches start at 6 inches but average 8 to 10 inches. They are wonderful for washing large pots or oversized dishes.
Four different valve types used in the construction of faucets today. While they won't make much of a difference in your day-to-day use, some are easier to repair than others.
The sheer variety of finishes available makes it very easy to find something to coordinate with your kitchen. Brass, the rust-resistant alloy, is the material most commonly used to create faucets in modern times, but that's just the basic material. Here are a few of the more popular options available: