Maybe you’re renovating your kitchen or building a new one from scratch. Either way, one of the most important aspects to consider is your kitchen faucet. Along with your sink, faucets are among the most worked and abused fixtures in most homes. From bathing the baby to washing pots and pans and cooking a variety of dishes, faucets are kitchen essentials you need to invest in.
Remember, however, that shopping around for the kitchen faucets isn’t just about the price. To get your money’s worth, it is imperative to strike a perfect balance with the most important factors including brand, type, features, style and design among other things. To help you find the best choices for your needs, taste and budget, here is a definitive guide about the best kitchen faucets.
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Know the Best Faucet Brands
Before delving into the most specific aspects of kitchen faucets, start off on the right foot by getting to know the best brands of kitchen faucets today. Below are among the top names renowned for their world class quality:
- Delta – One of the leaders in the market, Delta produces some of the most technologically advanced kitchen and bar faucets today. Products are made of the highest quality materials thereby guaranteeing superior performance and long lasting durability.
- Moen – Giving Delta a run for their money is Moen, another brand famed for their stunning, stylish and multifunctional kitchen faucets. Moen was founded in mid 1900s and has since built a reputation for topnotch quality.
- Grohe – Hailing from Europe is Grohe who is considered one of the biggest names in the kitchen and plumbing fixtures manufacture. Grohe is popular for their classic and innovative contemporary faucet designs.
- Kohler – Made in America, Kohler continues to offer the market some of the best-selling kitchen faucets today. The brand has produced bold and ground breaking designs for high end options that every homeowner can easily install on their own.
- Kraus – If something more economical is what you’re looking for, look no further than Kraus. The brand has perfected the art of blending commercial grade durability with innovative designs that won’t cost you a fortune.
- Danze – Last but not the least is Danze. Though not as popular as the others, Danze has steadily built a reputation for producing ultramodern and minimalist-inspired kitchen faucets for the ultramodern users.
Types of Kitchen Faucets
There are many types of faucets to choose from but two major categories that cater to how you use the fixture every day include the following:
- One Handle Faucets: Faucets with one handle or single lever lets you choose between hot or cold by moving the lever from one side to the other. Because there’s only one lever, it is easier to use and install not to mention that it also takes less counter space. Unlike two handle and side mounted handles, however, single lever doesn’t always allow precise temperature control.
- Two Handle Faucets: With two levers for temperature control, the best two-handle kitchen faucets allow relatively more precise temperature adjustments because the two handles separate the hot and cold settings. If you want the more traditional set-up, this is the type to go for. It is, however, harder to install and it offers less clearance from back splash especially if the handles are side mounted.
Features to Consider
From choosing the best faucet maker to the right type of kitchen faucet for your purposes, you can further whittle your choices down to most suitable options by considering the following features:
In addition to the aforementioned single and two handle faucets, another type to opt for if you’re after hands-free convenience are the hands-free faucet models. These choices are single handle overrides that sense your movements thus providing extra convenience while working around i the kitchen.
The height of your faucet’s arc is another important consideration. If you often work with large pots, high arc options with height 8 to 10 inches above the sink plane are ideal. Go for lower arc faucets if you don’t the height to interrupt your window view.
To keep everything within reach, choosing the right sprayer is the key. Whether you’re working with large pots or cleaning sink corners, the sprayer is one feature that accomplishes your kitchen tasks quicker.
There are three types of faucets according to its kind of sprayer and they include:
- Pull down – Faucets with pull down sprayers feature spouts with heads facing vertically downwards. The spray is pulled down from the head to the sink and it allows greater reach and better maneuverability.
- Pull out – Spouts for the best pull out kitchen faucets are angled or curved thereby allowing the head to extend easily. It is common among single handle models and is great if you want extended reach.
- Side sprays – For this type of options, the spray is mounted separate from the faucet. It is installed on the side and thus would need a separate hole in the sink. It may not be as convenient to use but it sure does extend your reach even more.
- Spout shape – If there are different spout arc, there are also various shapes available. Among the most common choices in the market include the straight-spout models that are compact and affordable and the gooseneck options which provide greater clearance.
When it comes to temperature settings, for example, single lever faucets provide more convenience because it doesn’t lose or reset the temperature when the water is turned on or off.
With technology advancing, so do the valve mechanisms inside the best kitchen faucets. If you want excellent temperature and water regulation as well as no leak guarantee, choosing the right valve along with signature brand technologies is important. There are currently four types of valves:
- Compression valves – These types are the least expensive and they are used in two handle kitchen faucets to separate hot and cold temperatures. Though durable, the valve’s rubber or silicone washers need replacing every couple of years.
- Ball valves – Most kitchen faucets use ball valves because they are washer-less and more affordable to replace. They also require minimal maintenance but they do tend to leak more than other washer-less options.
- Cartridges – To regulate the flow of water, some faucets use cartridges which are movable either up or down to adjust water volume and right or left to set the temperature.
- Ceramic discs – Another option are ceramic discs which are common among the best single lever kitchen faucets. Housed inside the faucet are two ceramic discs in a cartridge housing that slide over when controlling water flow and temperature.
Like any kitchen fixtures, faucets are available in different price points. There are the low range varieties which are priced below $100 and the mid to high range options which may offer more features and innovative technologies priced between $100 and $500 or higher depending on the finish, material and style among other things.
Sink Holes and Mounting
The number of holes in your sink as well as the type of mounting is also important when scouting for the best kitchen faucets. Don’t commit the mistake of being too caught up with different styles and finishes that you forget about your sink’s configuration. When it comes to sink holes, there are four varieties:
- One hole – Simple, clean and more common in home kitchens.
- Two holes – The second hole is usually intended for a side spray, a separate handle or a dispenser.
- Three holes – Older kitchens usually have sink with three holes to accommodate traditional faucet models.
- Four holes – Sinks with four holes are ideal for two handle faucets with accessories like a side spray or dispenser.
In terms of mounting, two of the most common options available in the market are deck mounts and wall mounts. Deck mounts are typical of home kitchens with the faucet center mounted on the sink area surface. Wall mounts, on one hand, are recommended if you plan to use pot fillers and if you’re always working with large pots and pans.
Style and Finishes
When it comes to the different styles of the best home kitchen faucets, there are several choices to choose from. Your choice, of course, depends on your preference and taste. Just make sure that it will match your kitchen’s current style and feel. Whether you lean toward the more traditional or ultramodern and something between, faucet models sport these common styles:
In conjunction with style are the different kitchen faucet finishes that will not only affect the overall aesthetic but also the price of your faucet. Among the most popular finishes available today include:
- Chrome – For contemporary kitchen styles, chrome particularly polished chrome is a durable and inexpensive finish which features a lustrous and shiny look. Other softer chrome options include matte or brushed which are compatible with a variety of kitchen styles.
- Nickel – Just like chrome, nickel finishes are durable but less shiny. It can withstand scratches and water spots better than chrome and thus more expensive. Nickel may be available in satin or brushed and it’s best for transitional style kitchens.
- Bronze – Perfect for Old World and traditional style kitchens, bronze finishes including brushed and oil rubbed lend a rustic element to your kitchen because of the finish’s darker color. Probably because of the aesthetic value, the best bronze kitchen faucets are more expensive than chrome and brass.
- Stainless Steel – If modern and minimalist is more your style, stainless steel is an ideal finish that will blend and match stainless steel sinks and modern appliance. The finish also requires less maintenance and proven durable like chrome. In terms of price, it is closer or similar to nickel.
- Brass – Available in a variety of textures including satin, high gloss and traditional, brass finishes are great for old style kitchens. It is also durable and can withstand wear and tear for years.
- Mixed Metallic Tones – Other brands use mixed metallic tones for their finish to add more character to the faucets. Some of the most common combinations in the market are brass with nickel, chrome with nickel and white and nickel.
- Solid colors – Other faucets particularly the most affordable varieties don’t use metal finishes but instead use enamel or epoxy finish to reduce the cost. Common choices in the market include white, black and ivory.
At this point, you should already have a pretty clear idea of the best and top kitchen faucets for your taste, needs and budget. You know exactly what kind of statement you want to make and which style best suits your kitchen. But if you still want to go the extra mile, here are extra fixtures aside from your kitchen that can make add more form and function to your workspace.
- Pot Fillers – If you cook often and you work with large pots, fillers are great fixtures that will make pot filling quicker. The fixture may be placed above the stove so there’s no need to lug around heavy pots from the sink to the stove.
- Filtration – This added fixture may be situated right next to your kitchen faucet which provides separate filtered water.
- Lotion & Soap Dispensers – Another touch you can add to your sink workspace are lotion & soap dispensers for added convenience while working around.
- Pulls & Knobs – For the sake of enhancing the look and feel of your kitchen, you may use pulls and knobs that complement the entire kitchen’s style.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to finding and buying the best kitchen faucets, it’s not just about finding the perfect style, type, finish, price or design. It’s also about all the other important features and factors that you need to consider and balance together to match what you want. Remember that while there is no one best option for everyone, there are the most suitable choices for individual users. Your job is to know your needs first then let this definitive guide steer your to the right choices in the market.