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An Introduction to Kitchen Faucets

kitchen faucet

Of all the fixtures in your kitchen, your faucet is one of the ones you’ll use the most. For that reason, most homeowners are interested in finding a faucet that’s practical, easy to use, and has the features that fit their kitchen needs. At the same time, your faucet is one of the more notable fixtures in most kitchens, so style is an important factor to consider. If you’re interested in getting the perfect blend of form and function, read up on this guide to choosing a kitchen faucet.

Kitchen Faucet Body Types

kitchen faucet types

Photo via Flickr by colorhome

Before you look at different faucet styles, it’s important to consider what type of faucet your sink can accommodate. Unless you’re designing a new home from scratch, your sink is probably pre-drilled for a certain faucet style. To minimize cost and labor, you can choose a faucet body type that fits the drilled spaces. However, a professional can always come in and change your sink to accommodate a different style.

The following are the basic faucet body types you can choose from:

  • Single-hole faucet: This style has the spout and handle combined into one unit. It’s ideal for a minimalist kitchen where you prefer super-sleek fixtures.
  • Bridge faucet: The bridge is essentially a bar that sits above the counter and connects separate hot and cold water handles to a central spout. It may require two or three holes depending on the design. Bridge faucets are associated with a more traditional look.
  • Widespread faucet: In this style, the bridge is underneath the counter surface, so the spout and the hot and cold water handles each protrude from a separate countertop hole. Depending on the fixture design, a widespread faucet may appear modern or traditional in terms of style.

Faucet Handle Styles

kitchen faucet handle

One of the main factors you’ll want to consider when choosing a faucet is whether you prefer one or two handles. Some homeowners strongly prefer the one-hand operation of a single handle that controls both the pressure and temperature. It can also create a sleeker look for your counter top since there are fewer knobs and fixtures protruding from the sink. However, there are also some homeowners who prefer two separate handles for hot and cold water. This generally has a more traditional look and also makes it a little easier to finely tune the water temperature and pressure.

In addition, you’ll need to consider the handle operation style that you prefer. A kitchen faucet usually has either knobs that twist or a lever that you can pull up, down, and side-to-side. Try out both types before you choose one.

Faucet Spout Styles

kitchen faucet spout

While handles are certainly important, don’t overlook the many types of kitchen faucet spouts that are available. Each one has its own unique aesthetic and functional features that makes it preferable to certain homeowners. Here are some of the main spout styles from which to choose:

  • Straight spout: This spout typically has a longer reach over the kitchen sink. The lower profile is great for tight spaces and can help to reduce splashes since the water isn’t dropping from a high point before hitting the bottom of the sink. This spout style is more traditional in appearance.
  • Gooseneck spout: This spout has a high arc that helps for filling up deep pots with ease. It sits a little higher above the sink, so you have more room to wash dishes. It has a modern style that appeals to many of today’s homeowners.
  • Shepherd’s crook spout: This unique spout style usually extends out horizontally above the sink with a slight, downward curve at the end. This spout has a rustic look that goes well with a farm-style sink.

Faucet Finishes

There are many different types of faucet finishes from which to choose. Here are some of the most popular styles:

  • Brass: These faucets are easy to clean, but they tend to be a bit more expensive. Brass faucets may come with a shiny, polished finish or a slightly matte, satin finish depending on your preference.
  • Oil-rubbed bronze: Oil-rubbed bronze faucets are durable and easy to clean, and they don’t show water spots or fingerprints. It’s a relatively expensive finish, but it’s a great match for traditional-style faucets.
  • Nickel: Nickel is durable, easy to clean and slightly less expensive than other options. It has a very modern and contemporary look and is available in a polished or brushed finish.
  • Chrome: Chrome shows water spots and fingerprints, but it’s easy to clean and is one of the least expensive finish options.
  • Copper: Copper requires a little more maintenance, but it does have natural antibacterial properties. It provides a rustic look that’s unique and chic.

Extra Features

Want all the bells and whistles for your kitchen faucet? Here are some of the cool features you can look for when shopping for a kitchen faucet:

  • Sprayer: If you like being able to direct the water spray in a certain way, get a faucet with a built-in sprayer. If the sprayer sits to the side of your main fixture, make sure you have a drilled hole in the counter top to accommodate it. Otherwise, you can choose a faucet with a sprayer built in to the end of the spout.kitchen faucet finish
  • Touchless activation: Keeping your kitchen clean is easier than ever when you have a touchless kitchen faucet. This hands-free faucet uses motion activation to turn the water on and off, so you never have to touch the handles with messy hands.
  • Water filter: A filtering faucet contains an activated carbon water filter in the spout. That way, any water that you get directly from the faucet will already be free of organic contaminants.
  • Wall mount: The vast majority of faucets are installed directly on the sink or countertop, but you can also find faucets that are designed to mount on the backsplash directly behind the sink. In addition to looking unique, this faucet style makes cleaning the countertops around the sink much easier.

There are so many options when it comes to choosing the right faucet for your home. We hope this guide helped you to narrow down your choices and find the faucet that will fit your lifestyle and home’s aesthetic.

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