The core of kitchen operations, the main sink accommodates chores galore. Think about how often you and other family members activate that sink's faucet to prep vegetables, rinse dishes, scrub broiler pans, irrigate windowsill-set houseplants, or fill water glasses, coffee carafes, pasta pots, and vases.
Happily, faucet manufacturers considered your needs when devising pull-down and pullout taps equipped with in-spout sprayers. Though the descriptive terms are often used interchangeably, pull-down usually refers to high-arch or gooseneck faucets suited to cleaning oversize cooking and serving vessels. Pullout versions have lower profiles and are slightly less ergonomic than their pull-down cousins, which operate via a single grab-pull-spray motion while pullout sprayers might require users to switch hand position before operating the spray.
In-spout-sprayer faucets share more similarities than differences. Primarily produced as single-handle models (with only a few double-handle options available), these faucets offer the convenience of a single space-saving spigot serving two functions. Since the spout and sprayer are centrally placed, sprayers are easier to access than side sprayers, can cover a wider area, and direct water exactly where it's needed. Button or toggle switches let you shift from stream to spray and, on some models, to jet spray; a number of sprayers also boast a pause function, which allows you to briefly stop water flow.
Ranging in price from $70 to $1,200, with most styles priced between $200 and $600, there is a quality faucet for every budget and decorating preference. The majority of these faucets are rendered in chrome and stainless-steel finishes, though models also come in nickel, white, black, brass, copper, and bronze. You'll find statuesque arched versions executed in contemporary shimmer, old-world styles with antiqued bronze patinas, and understated forms and brushed finishes that enhance traditional and transitional looks.
When shopping for this type of faucet, consider how many sink-hole cutouts (usually from one to four) are needed for installation. Look for self-docking, magnetic-docking, or spring-loaded systems that efficiently retract hoses and secure sprayer to spout. Opt for models with antiscalding technology that partially opens hot water valves to moderate water temperature. Some mid- to upper-range styles might feature on-off touch technology, mineral-buildup-resistant top coats, stainless-steel hoses, lights that illuminate objects being sprayed, and temperature memories that hold a preferred temperature setting.
Visit kitchen showrooms and home centers to test different models in varying price points to get a feel for what type works best for you. Unlatch sprayers and extend hoses to check ease of operation. Make sure the sprayer hose is flexible, offers a wide range of motion (some models swivel 360 degrees), and is simple to maneuver. Compare your favored models' features to ensure you receive the greatest value for your dollar. As with any kitchen faucet, purchase the best model you can afford.