Maybe your faucet is annoying you daily with that drip, drip, drip and it’s time to get it fixed? But why not upgrade and modernize your kitchen faucet at the same time instead of just patching up an old, out of date faucet?
How Many Mounting Holes?
If you aren’t replacing your kitchen sink as well, then you will need to find a new faucet with the same number of mounting connections as the number of mounting holes in your existing sink. It’s also possible to alter your sink by adding a new hole or plugging up an “extra” hole with a soap dispenser or spray nozzle – but usually, it is best to stick with the number of mounts it was originally designed to have.
Single-hole faucets can be high quality, but they are usually simpler with fewer modern features. Three-hole faucets are most traditional, and many of them are two-handle faucets with close temperature control. Center-set three-hole faucets are set 4 inches apart and require a deck plate to create a stable faucet foundation. Widespread three-hole faucets are set 8 inches apart and are stable without any deck plate.
Four-hole faucets are large but full of features. They usually come with a sprayer nozzle and/or soap dispenser built in. They are a great choice for spacious kitchens but give a crowded feel to smaller ones.
How Many Handles?
There are a number of different options as to the number of handles for modern faucets. Choose a design you are comfortable with and find easy to use. Single (usually lever) handles are easier and faster to use for many and they are what you will find on most modern faucets. Two handles (often turn knobs) give you better pressure and temperature control and are more traditional.
Today, you can also get “no handle” faucets that are activated by touch. You simply tap them at a designated spot to get them started (sometimes one spot for hot water and another for cold.) This can sometimes mean you get the faucet dirty or wet when you touch it, however, which is why others opt for touchless no-handle faucets. That’s the kind you are used to using in restaurant bathrooms and high-class hotel rooms. Why not bring that convenience home?
What About The Sprayer?
You have two basic options if you insist on having a handheld sprayer at your kitchen sink: an extra sprayer nozzle on the side or your faucet simply IS a sprayer.
Extra sprayers can be installed to the left or right of the faucet and pull out with ease for convenience in washing vegetables or rinsing out the bottom of the sink. Many modern ones have auto-retraction so that they’re easy to put away.
Pull-down and pull-out faucets basically make your main faucet the spray nozzle. Pull-downs, as the name implies, pull down from a curved faucet neck; while pull-outs pull out horizontally. Pull-out models do well with smaller sinks, but pull-down models give you better maneuverability and water stream control.
Which Finish Is Best?
Which faucet finish you choose will depend on your personal taste and on how well the finish will blend in with the rest of your kitchen’s decor. Here are 5 of the most popular options:
- Stainless steel, which is great for durability, easy to clean, may match your sink, and fits into virtually any type of interior design scheme.
- Chrome, which gives a kind of silvery look with lots of gloss and shine. Chrome needs plenty of light to look its best; it looks “cold” in dark spaces.
- Brushed nickel. Nickel gives you a deeper, more elegant look and is a less reflective alternative to chrome.
- Brass is warm, classic, and easily the most traditional choice.
Talk to an experienced local plumber, and he will be able to give you good advice on how to choose the right faucet, plus acquaint you with specific brands and models. But get these four areas nailed down, and you basically know what you’re looking for.