You spend more time in today’s kitchen than you think. As such, you want to look for a kitchen faucet that works with you, not against you. But to get there, you need to consider many factors to find the right kitchen faucet for your home. Starting with the type:
- Single-Handle Faucets
- Pull-Out Faucets
- Pull-Down Faucets
- Pre-Rinse Faucets
- Bar Faucets
- Bridge Faucets
- Pot Fillers
- Water Dispensers
Each kitchen faucet we offer fits a specific function in today’s kitchen. Whether you want a gooseneck pre-rinse faucet for your farmhouse sink, a pull-down faucet with magnetic docking for your prep sink, or a stylish traditional bridge faucet, we’ve got the best faucets for your kitchen.
Function Meets Form: The Types of Kitchen Faucets
A kitchen faucet often exists in multiple types – a single-handle faucet is often a pull-down faucet. So rather than focusing on a single type, we’re going to focus on the function and convenience each type is designed for.
Single-handle faucets are the most popular type of kitchen faucet, and it all comes down to convenience. In one motion, you can turn on the water, adjust the temperature, and the flow with one hand. Just imagine how often your hands are full in the kitchen, rinsing vegetables in a colander or filling a glass of water. With a two-handle faucet, simple tasks like this are more difficult.
Single-handle faucets are also easier to install, usually only requiring one hole with minimal connections whereas Two-Handle Faucets require at least three holes and connections. That said, single-handle faucets do tend to leak more than their two-handle siblings, though choosing one with a ceramic valve minimizes the risk.
For high-end single-handle faucets, consider models with touch sensors or touchless. Taking the convenience further, you can turn the water on with a motion or a touch. Look for touchless models with the sensors high and in the front, as it can be more difficult for your hands to find the sensor if it’s in the back near the base. Touch models are also good, but still requires you to touch the faucet, usually with a forearm or elbow.
Pull-Down Kitchen Faucets typically have a gooseneck spout with a spray nozzle you pull down and away from the spout. Functionally, it takes a standard spout and a side-sprayer and combines into one faucet.
The hose length on pull-down faucets is often shorter than a pull-out faucet, though lengths vary. You need the length of the hose to allow the spray head to reach each corner of the sink. And since pull-down faucets tend to have heavy spouts, look for models with magnetic docking, such as Delta’s MagnaTite docking feature, to hold the spray in place when docked.
Also, look for pull-down faucets with a spray button that stays in place when the water turns off. Often when you’re cleaning dishes or performing other tasks, you turn the faucet on-and-off multiple times. As much, you don’t want the spray to reset to stream every time you turn it off.
A kitchen faucet with sprayer is like pull-down faucets in function – both feature spray heads connected to hoses you can pull away from a spout. However, the two faucet types are functionally very different. While pull-down faucets typically feature a tall gooseneck spout, pull-out faucets have a shorter spout, making them ideal for kitchen without as much headway. Also, because the spout is shorter, the hose on a pull-out faucet tends to be longer than a pull-down, though this is not always the case. But it’s important to keep in mind that the longer the hose, the more flexibility you have with the spray head.
Much like pull-down faucets, you want to make sure you choose a pull-out faucet where the spray head’s function remains in place when you turn off the water. You can also consider a magnetic dock, though it’s not as important as a pull-down faucet because gravity.
A downside to pull-out faucets is the tendency for the hose to kink. This is because you move the spray head around a lot more than you would with a pull-down faucet, causing the hose to twist and turn.
Once found only in restaurant kitchens, pre-rinse kitchen faucets have found their way into the home because of their high-pressure water performance. While the flow rate is excellent for cleaning debris from dishes, it also helps to conserve water, as it uses less water to clean dishes than a standard faucet. The high flow rate also works well to fill pots quickly.
Most pre-rinse faucets are made with a roto-flex gooseneck spout – it features the same gooseneck shape as other faucets, but the curve is made of a spring, making it a lot more flexible and adjustable for cleaning dishes and filling pots.
A good pre-rinse faucet adds value to your kitchen because of its versatile functionality. If you’re someone who spends a lot of time cooking, the extra cost is worth it.
Bar faucets are much like a standard kitchen faucet, only smaller. Bar faucets come a wide variety of styles, from classic bridge faucets with two handles to goosenecks. If it’s for the prep sink in your kitchen, you should try to match the style of the bar faucet with the kitchen faucet – if your kitchen faucet has a gooseneck spout with a matte black finish, the bar faucet should have a gooseneck spout with matte black finish. However, if it’s for a wet bar in your entertainment room, then the style of the faucet should match the décor of the room. You can be more adventurous with the style.
For prep sinks, a bar faucet with a pull-down spray head is a great choice, allowing you to easily rinse vegetables for prep. The key, however, is to make sure the size of the faucet is proportional to the sink. If your prep sink is quite large (a growing trend), then a standard faucet may be necessary.
Bridge faucets are two-handle faucets with a heavy dose of style. Reminiscent of traditional nineteenth century homes, the faucet exposes the plumbing usually hidden below the sink to create a faucet where you can see the pipes for both the hot and cold. As such, you don’t buy a bridge faucet for the functionality. You buy it because the traditional style speaks to you and the look you’re trying to achieve.
Bridge faucets are functionally not as good as a single-handle faucet. That said, you can add a side-sprayer to achieve the functionality of a pull-down or pull-out faucet. And some more modern takes on the bridge faucet include pull-down sprayers in the traditional style spout. You still need to operate both handles to find the right temperature, but a pull-down sprayer or side sprayer gives you leverage over the direction of the spray.
Pot fillers are riding a trendy wave in kitchen remodels, though they’ve been around for decades. These are typically wall-mounted faucets installed over the stove top. They feature a spout on an articulating double or triple jointed arm, allowing you to fold the pot filler against the wall when not in use while extending the spout to fill any pot on the stove.
Pot fillers have robust water flow rates ranging between 2.5 and 5.5 gallons per minute, making them the ideal faucet for filling large pots and pans quickly. Imagine never having to fill a pot in the sink while carrying it to the stove, being careful not to slosh water along the way. You can fill the kettle directly from the stove. It makes tasks like canning, boiling potatoes, cooking, and water plants much easier. In this way, pot fillers are all about convenience, but convenience when high-volume cooking is concerned. Much like the pre-rinse faucet, the pot filler is a domesticated version of a pot filler in an open-concept kitchen in a contemporary restaurant.
Installing a wall-mounted pot filler is a complicated task, as you need to have a water line installed behind your stove. As such, we recommend consulting with a professional.
A water dispenser is made for providing clean drinking water. This means they are typically paired with a water filtration system, a reservoir, a reverse osmosis system, or other systems, such as a water temperature control system to provide instant hot or instant cold.
Water dispensers are most often found near a prep sink or on the side of the sink, with the bulk of the dispenser, such as filters and reservoirs, hidden below. They are excellent in areas where you want better control over the taste of the tap water.
Water dispensers typically have a low water flow with a thin spout. Often, when sharing a sink, the spout of a water dispenser is very small to minimize the space it takes.
Excellent for all kinds of drinks, water dispensers are also excellent faucets to include in wet bars. Since you have greater control over the water temperature and taste of the water, it’s ideal for homes where tea, hot cocoa, coffee, and other mixed drinks are popular.
Choosing the Best Type of Faucet for Your Kitchen
Kitchen faucets come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and functions. If you feel overwhelmed with all the choices, don’t worry! That’s why we’re here. Check out our room planner to find the best kitchen faucet for you! Use the tips below to help you narrow down your search.
Matching the Faucet to the Sink
Your kitchen faucet should be proportional to the sink. If you have a farmhouse sink, you want a large faucet to match. To make sure it’s proportional, start with the spout’s reach – how far the spout extends over the sink. Ideally, the faucet extends between a quarter and half of the sink’s width. This means the water stream falls either over the drain or near the middle of the sink.
Next, look at the holes in your sink. Your sink likely has one to four holes already installed for a faucet. Most sinks have three holes – hot, cold, and the spout. However, most single-handle faucets only require one hole. That said, you can still install a single-handle faucet to a sink with three holes, so long as you make sure the faucet includes a deck plate to cover the other holes.
Considering the Spout Arc
Kitchen faucets have either a high-arc swivel spout above 8” tall or a low-arc spout. High-Arc swivel spouts, typically gooseneck shaped faucets taller than 8”, are popular in kitchens because they provide more room for you to work in the sink and move out of the way easily. However, a high-arc spout is not always the best option. If the kitchen sink faces a window, you may not want a high-arc spout obstructing the view. If there is shelving or cabinets above the sink, you may not have enough room for a high-arc, gooseneck spout. In this case, a low-arc spout is better. That said, not all low-arc spouts are swivel spouts, which means you can’t move them out of the way.
Motion detection is the latest technology to reach kitchen faucets. Whether you’re cooking or cleaning up, your hands are often full in the kitchen. To make it easier, touchless features have permeated the faucet industry, allowing you to fill pots, wash hands, and more – all without touching the handles.
Other kitchen faucets have touch sensors. Rather than rely on motion, you simply touch the spout to turn the water on. It’s less convenient than motion detectors, but both are ideal for situations when your hands are either full or dirty.
Don’t Overlook Finish
If you’re not changing the hardware of your cabinets, you should pick a finish to match. If your cabinets have chrome handles, choose a chrome faucet. But if you’re planning on replacing your hardware, then it’s worth considering the quality of the finish before you buy.
Chrome is usually considered the most durable and easiest to clean. It’s also resistant to fingerprints and polishes up well.
Stainless Steel is like chrome but has a flatter shine. Stainless Steel finishes also usually cost a little more.
Nickel finishes have a variety of textures, from brushed to satin to polished, but nickel is notorious for collecting fingerprints and water stains, making them more difficult to clean.
Finally, flat finishes like matte black and oil-rubbed bronze are very trendy, but the epoxy coating used to create these looks is prone to scratches and chipping than metal finishes.
What’s Your Style?
Once you know the size faucet and how it fits into your sink, you can start looking at the style. Faucets come in a wide range of styles, from sleek contemporary to traditional farmhouse. The key is finding a style to match your kitchen or a style to fit your personal aesthetics. Faucets come a wide variety of styles meant to appeal to contemporary kitchens, farmhouse designs, classic styles and more. If you’re not sure what style to look for, chat with our free expert designers.
Adding a Soap Dispenser
A soap dispenser is easy to install and affordable. So rather than keep a disposable soap dispenser (which always seem to find their way into the sink with the dishes) on your counter, you can match your kitchen faucet with a sleeker soap dispenser.
Frequently Asked Questions About Kitchen Faucets
What is the best kitchen faucet?
If you asked 20 different experts what the best kitchen faucet is, they’ll probably give 20 different answers. Some features make a faucet better than others, such as a high water-flow rate, ceramic valves, magnetic docking, and touchless convenience. However, because each kitchen is different, there isn’t a true answer to the best kitchen faucet.
As such, think more in terms of what’s the best faucet for your kitchen. This considers how you intend on using your kitchen, your budget, and your personal aesthetics.
How much is a kitchen faucet?
Kitchen faucets vary widely in cost. On the low end, the cheapest faucets cost around $20, but these are typically used in commercial settings. You can expect to pay around $100 to $300 for a good, high-quality kitchen faucet. If you want the best kitchen faucet loaded with features like touchless sensors and magnetic docking, you can expect to pay between $500 and over $1,000.
Why do some kitchen faucets cost so much?
A lot of factors go into the cost of a faucet – materials, technologies, size, high water flow rate, and more. But with the most expensive kitchen faucets, you’re paying for performance and convenience features, such as touchless motion sensors like MotionSense. Highly stylized faucets are also priced at a premium.
Do sinks come with faucets?
Most sinks and faucets are purchased separately. However, some manufacturers bundle sinks with faucets, making it easy to match your faucet and sink together. You can usually save some money in these bundles. Check out our selection of sink and faucet combos.
What is the standard height of a kitchen faucet?
There really isn’t a standard height for kitchen faucets. Rather, high-arc spouts, often called goosenecks, are over 8” tall while low-arc faucets are under 8” tall.
What is the Difference Between a Bar Faucet and a Kitchen Faucet?
A bar faucet is smaller, as it’s installed to a secondary prep sink or wet bar. However, if your primary sink is small, a bar faucet works just fine.
How Long Should My Kitchen Faucet Last?
Under the right circumstances, kitchen faucets last between 15 to 20 years. But this largely depends on several factors. How hard is your water? Was it properly installed? Is it a low-end faucet or a high-end faucet? Was it used a lot?
Why is My Kitchen Faucet Dripping?
Kitchen faucets drip for a variety of reasons – problem with the 0-Ring, a corroded valve seat, a corroded washer, or a worn-out washer. However, fixing a drippy faucet is not as expensive as you might think, so long as you shut the water off before dismantling the faucet.
Are Kitchen Faucet Holes Standard?
The standard size for a faucet hole is 1.38”. However, brands vary somewhat. Delta, for example, ranges between 1.25” and 1.5”.
What Type of Valve is Best for Kitchen Faucet?
Kitchen faucets use one of four valve mechanisms – ceramic disc, cartridge, ball valve, and compression valve. Of these, ceramic disc valves are considered the best because it’s the most durable and long-lasting.
Should I Go with a Sprayer?
Having a sprayer wand makes cleaning dishes and your sink much easier. You can go with a pull-down faucet, a pull-out faucet, or a side sprayer. The faucets with the sprayer wand built in are the better option because they always maintain the same flow rate. Side sprayers are affordable in comparison but lack the high performance.
Choose the Perfect Kitchen Faucet
The best kitchen faucet for your kitchen is one that matches your sink, fits in with how you use the kitchen, and looks in place among the cabinet hardware. With a wide variety of kitchen faucets, ranging from budget friendly to the premium models, we have the right kitchen faucet for you, right here.
Check out our room planner, consult with our free interior designers by calling 855-483-2629, or email us at Kitchen Faucets | Best Faucet for Your Home in 2020