Showing off sleek, contemporary designs or vintage elegance, faucets help set the tone of your cooking and cleanup area and can bring welcome drama to a simple sink. "The best faucets not only make a strong design statement but also provide great functionality and are easy to clean," says Sarah Fitzsimmons, product manager for Kohler Kitchen Faucets.
Consider style, finish, funcationality, and hygiene when selecting a kitchen faucet.
Bridge faucets feature an exposed channel linking handles and spout. The classic bridge design is rapidly reemerging in different kitchen faucet applications ranging from modern to traditional.
Commercial-style faucets, adapted from restaurant kitchens, boast a tall, flexible spray hose that reaches any sink corner.
Gooseneck or high-arc faucets have a tall, arched spout, making it easy to fill deep pots and tall vases.
Pot fillers are mounted on a wall near a range or cooktop to conveniently fill pots.
Pullout or pull-down faucets feature a two-piece spout that functions as both a faucet and a retractable sprayer.
Single-hole faucets have only one hole piercing the sink deck or countertop, conserving space.
Wall-mount faucets are plumbed through the wall behind the sink. They can look vintage or contemporary. While traditional deck-mount faucets remain popular because of the added functionality of an integrated spray option, wall-mount faucets are gaining appeal because they offer easy cleaning of the sink surface and lend a clean, uncluttered look.
While polished-chrome and stainless-steel finishes are the most popular, Fitzsimmons says homeowners are looking to different textures and darker finishes, such as brushed nickel or bronze, to make a design and personality statement in their kitchens.
"Appearance is an important factor in the selection of a kitchen faucet, but the key feature of every kitchen faucet is its functionality," Fitzsimmons says. Both ergonomic and easy to use, pull-down and pullout models are favorites in terms of function. With a wall-mount faucet or a deck-mount version without an integrated spray, a coordinated side spray serves the same purpose.
Hygiene is paramount in the kitchen. Hands-free faucets featuring electronic sensors that start the water flow when you place your hands below the tap not only help cooks avoid cross-contamination but also make cooking and cleanup a breeze. Touch faucets are also available, which turn on and off with the light touch of a hand or arm to any part of the faucet or lever. Another healthy choice, innovative faucet systems that deliver filtered water are also available.
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