Kitchen Faucet

Six Kitchen Faucet Buying Tips

Here are six tips for choosing the right faucet to meet your needs:

1. Faucet Handles

Two-handle designs, typically priced as low as $50, enable you to regulate the temperature more accurately. Independent control of the hot and cold water makes adjusting the temperature easier.

The single handle faucets also known as post-mount, generally go for $75 to $200.  They function from side-mounted lever or a top-mounted knob. Most of these faucets have pullout spouts.

The cross-shaped design and large wing levers are the more popular. However, most faucets have different handles that can be attached to a faucet body for a custom appearance.

2.  Styles

If the faucet style is important, begin your choice with the finish. The most affordable finish is chrome which usually goes for about $60. Chrome finish comes with a long warranty on scratches.

The more colorful enamel coatings typically cost $20 to $200 more, and are more vulnerable to scratches and chipping. You can add 25 to 40% to the price of coated faucets for stainless steel faucets.

3.  Finishes

A PVD (physical vapor deposition) finish is better than plated finishes but is an additional $150 to $750. The PVD finish is accomplished by vaporizing the metal and glazing it with a scratch-resistant and non-tarnishing film.

Check out brushed chrome, oil-rubbed bronze and satin nickel for a rustic look. The brushed and satin finishes conceal scratches.

4. Spouts

There are more spouts other than standard straight faucets. High-arching goose-like spouts are terrific for filling pots. A pull-out faucet can get you anywhere in a sink with three-bowls. You can go from a spray mode to a stream mode with a touch. There are also restaurant-type models for those extra long hoses.

5.  Types

There are four variations of faucets:

a. The compression valve uses uses rubber washers. The compression valve faucet will ultimately leak but they are easy to repair.

b. The ball valve controls the flow and temperature of the water by using a steel ball. The ball valves are washer-less and easy to maintain. Replacing a ball valve is cost effective and easy.

c. The ceramic disk is a maintenance free water faucet. Because it doesn’t wear out, it is  much more expensive than the ball valve or compression valve.

d. The cartridge faucet usually does not require any maintenance. Just like the ceramic disk, it is expensive.

6.  Additional Functions

You may opt for filtering faucets, priced at $200 plus, to provide purified water. Several filters are installed under the sink while others are mounted inside the spout. To regulate the maximum water temperature, use an anti-scald faucet. An electronic faucet with an infrared sensor is also available. They save on water and ensure cleaner handles.

Fortunately, you don’t need to hand over your hard earned money to pay for quality. Most faucets have the same basic parts and even the same finish across several price lines.

For a streamlined, urban look, choose a faucet that is mounted on the wall, this is often used with vanity bowls.

Ensure your faucet connection matches your sink holes. If they don’t match, you’ll have to create more drill holes or cover the unused holes with an escutcheon plate.

Faucets generally carry at least one year warranties. Many faucets carry a warranty by the manufacturer that is more than one year.  Regardless of the faucet you choose, make sure you check the warranty and the finish.

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