How to Choose the Best Kitchen Faucet
It can be differentiated by body type, spout style, and mounting varieties
How long did it take you to pick a kitchen faucet? We’re sure it didn’t take long. Many homeowners choose a fixture depending on the home’s theme and how it will complement the rest of the pieces in the cooking area. Similar to how you should be shopping for a kitchen sink, it pays to know the different faucets available in the market and the pros and cons of each.
Body types include the most common single-hole faucet, center set and widespread. Meanwhile, spout styles range from straight, gooseneck, pull-out and pull-down, while the mounting varieties include surface and wall mounts. Any three of these attributes make for your typical kitchen faucet, the most popular being the single-hole, straight, and surface-mounted. Familiarize yourself with the different types of faucets below:
Single-hole: A popular, versatile faucet
You can recognize one faucet type from another just by the reading the names—it’s quite literal. Say, in body types, a single-hole only needs one hole for installation, as it suggests. This usually has one valve and one handle that operates cold water only. This type can be installed at the center, on the side or corner of your sink. Designs vary from classic to contemporary, and are available in any hardware store or depot.
Two-hole or center set: Classic choice
The center set is composed of two-hole faucets (this requires two holes for installation), for hot and cold water supply. The faucet actually comes with two handles on each side. The center set is characterized by a metal plate that holds all these elements together.
While the widespread faucet is similar to the center set, it is distinguished by the lack of the metal base that connects everything together. The center faucet and each of the handles are installed separately and can be spaced as much as 6” to 16” apart from each other, thus the name “widespread.” You will also need multiple holes for installation but this type is advantageous as you can customize your faucet layout based on your needs and can even add accessories like sink sprayers or soap dispensers.
Straight faucet: A modern touch
Spout styles are another way to categorize faucets. Straight faucets usually have a low profile, with either a short or long neck. A farther reach is preferable for this type of faucet as it tends to splash the water in the middle of the sink.
Gooseneck and pull-out: Great for cleaning
The gooseneck type gets its name from the high arch of the faucet. What makes this faucet advantageous is its height and wide neck, aside from added features like being able to turn the body sideways as it makes for easier maneuvering around the sink.
Pull-out faucets have a retractable spout, often a hose that you can pull from the neck. Favored for the flexibility as it can move up, down and sideways, it is useful for cleaning, and is great for kitchen sinks. This type of faucet is usually tall and has a longer reach. Pull-down faucets are similar to this but the retractable spray is less maneuverable as you can only pull it down.
Lastly, mounting types consist of surface and wall mounts. A surface mounted faucet is the type that is installed directly on the kitchen countertop or on the sink (if there is a provision) itself. This is more typical of the two types as it is easier to install water lines and to maintain as well. The wall-mounted faucet is installed on the wall and is great for small bathrooms because it frees up valuable counter space.
Choosing a kitchen faucet as like anything else depends on preference, material, and look which of course you will prioritize. But aside from the types of faucets as explained above, take note of these things when you go shopping as well:
It is important to choose a faucet with ample height to have enough clearance for the items that you will be washing, such as big pots and pans. Consider the clearance of shelves and window sills when choosing a tall faucet.
This is the horizontal distance from the spout of the faucet to the sink. This is often a neglected factor, but naturally, you should choose a longer reach. Do consider the size of your sink when measuring the reach. A smaller sink can’t be paired with a very tall and wide faucet.
This is the distance from the end of your sink to the backsplash, and this detail is also important when choosing a faucet because with some faucet styles, the handle cannot be turned completely because the lever hits the backsplash.
Interior designer Vera Villarosa-Orila is an alumna of the University of the Philippines and is one of the go-to designers for the Real Living Makeovers. You can get in touch with her through e-mail: vera.villarosa[at]gmail.com.
Do you have questions or concerns about your home's layout, furniture, and color scheme? Send your questions to reallivingonline[at]gmail.com with the subject: Expert Advice. We might answer and feature your queries online.
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