You might be in this situation: Instead of commuting into Seattle each morning, you’ve been working from home for the last few months. You’re thankful for the extra time with your family, and as much (drip) as you love your house, if (drip) you have to listen to (drip) that kitchen faucet drip one more time (drip) into your empty coffee cup (drip), you’re going to lose it!
It sounds like you could do for a mini kitchen remodel.
The great thing about the kitchen faucet is that it’s a relatively inexpensive way to breathe new life into your kitchen, and most of the time you can even do the install yourself.
But what makes a good faucet…good? Here are nine factors to consider when you start looking for a new faucet.
1. The Sink
Before you can even start comparing faucets, you need to take a good look at your sink. If you have an undermount sink, it is possible to drill additional holes into your countertop to accommodate a faucet that has more holes and accessories, but it can get costly, and you’re better off hiring a contractor. If you have too many holes (ex: going from a three-hole to a single-hole faucet or nixing the sprayer), you can always install a deck plate or a sink blank to cover the extra holes. Many single-hole faucets come with an optional deck plate because this is such a common problem, but you will want to check the packaging just to make sure. If it doesn’t come with a deck plate, you can buy them separately for a low price.
Additionally, the location of the holes should influence which type of faucet you buy. Most sinks have the hole in the center of the sink, but there is the rare exception that has the hole off to one side. If that is the case for you, you need to make sure that you purchase a faucet that has an extended reach, so it’s easy to get your whole sink clean.
2. The Handle
The faucet handle can say a lot about you as a homeowner because they come in so many different styles. The first thing you have to decide is if you want a single handle or a two handle system because each way has its pros and cons. Single handles let you adjust the temperature faster, but it’s harder to be precise compared to a two-handled faucet that lets you customize temperature but requires both hands. You then need to decide if you want the handles to be mounted to the sink or to the wall behind the sink (a cool look, but one that often requires you to move plumbing and drill holes in the wall).
3. The Sprayer
A sprayer used to be a thing of luxury, but now it seems like it’s harder to find a faucet without a sprayer option. Nowadays, there are pull-down sprayers, coil sprayers (a particularly trendy option), and separate pull-out sprayers. You also get to choose between sprayer settings of regular, flood, and power scrub so that each cleaning session is customized for the task. Additional things to consider with your sprayer are the length of the tubing and how the sprayer docks (weighted, unweighted, snapback, or magnetic locking). One of the most annoying things with an incorporated sprayer is when it doesn’t stay put inside its faucet holding area.
4. The Material
What your faucet is made of should matter when you’re selecting a new one, too. The finish should match the other appliances and fixtures within your kitchen, and ideally, it will match the style of your home. Keep in mind that certain finishes will show water spots more than others, so if that’s important to you, you should look for one that boasts a spot-free finish. It’s worth noting that a lot of faucets now have a metal body, but the deck plate and sprayer head are plastic. It’s not a huge deal, but if your kitchen gets a lot of use, you might want to spend that extra time shopping around for a faucet that is completely metal.
When you’re shopping brands, you’ll find that they’re all over the place. The best known and generally best quality are Delta, Kohler, and Moen, but those can cost a pretty penny. Pfister, American Standard, and Glacier Bay are a little more economical (while still being trustworthy) and readily available without having to special order, but if you’re shopping online, you’ll probably run into a lot of brands you’ve never heard of before. Be careful when you’re looking at unknown brands and read a lot of reviews before purchasing because while they can be a great deal, they could also cause a lot of damage from leaking or quick-wearing parts.
Faucet pricing is all over the map, too, so how much should you expect to spend? Unfortunately, with faucets, you often get what you pay for. Faucets can run as cheap as $50, but when you get into the fancier options with metal parts and nice finishes, the price can balloon to several hundred dollars. For the average homeowner, you should expect to pay about $120-250 for a faucet that will last you many years.
Gone are the days when the faucet came up just a few inches from the top of your sink. Now they can rise to heights close to two feet, so you need to be sure that your faucet will fit if you have cabinets or a window above your sink.
Faucets come with all kinds of fancy accessories, so you can probably find something that tickles your fancy. From sprayers to soap dispensers, water filters to touchless tech that keeps raw chicken off of your handles, faucet accessories can make your kitchen both easy to use and incredibly convenient.
The last thing to consider when looking for a new faucet is the tools and extras that you’ll need. Make sure to read through the specifications to ensure that you have the right size of supply lines as well as all of the nuts and bolts to get the job done.
If you’re changing it out yourself, the Ridgid EZ Change Faucet tool is a cheap addition to your toolbox that will make switching out the faucet a breeze. If you aren’t confident in your home remodeling skills, contact Washington State Kitchen and Bath in the greater Seattle area, and one of our expert installers will help you on your way to a fresher (and drip-free!) kitchen.