Learn what characteristics to look for when buying your next kitchen faucet.
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.