When it comes to kitchen renovations, plenty of factors contribute to the final wow factor. Something as seemingly basic as the choice of kitchen faucet will affect the overall look and feel of the project.
One of the most practical items is also a striking accent piece that can make or break the look for a discerning kitchen designer. Whether cleaning up after a meal, running the garb or filling a pot to make pasta, you use your faucet frequently and in addition to great esthetics, will want to select one that stands up to the demands.
Consider each of these factors when choosing a kitchen faucet:
- Design and finish
- Single-handle or two-handle?
- Valve types
- Special features and add-ons
Faucets and the Big Finish
Kitchen faucets come in an impressive range of styles and finishes. Handle designs include solid levers, crosses, loops and knobs, and spouts vary from high arc to low arc with pullout spray wands. Note that more spout designs are available among two-handle faucets, as the spout is unrestricted by temperature adjustment controls.
While it’s easy to assume that kitchen faucets are limited to the functionality of stainless steel, there are more faucet finishes to choose from, including:
- Polished brass
- Antique copper
Have some fun tying in the faucet finish with the other features in your kitchen and, no matter what finish you go for, remember not to clean your faucet with abrasive cleansers that can scratch or dull the surface.
The right faucet finish can give your kitchen renovations the ultimate customized feel. It’s also important to find a faucet that comes with a good warranty; for example, some manufacturers offer lifetime guarantees against tarnish.
Hands Down: Single-Handle and Double-Handle Faucets
The handles of two-handle faucets can be situated right next to the spout in a centre-set arrangement or placed farther apart, depending on your preference. With separate hot and cold, you have more finite control over precise temperature adjustment.
Traditional kitchen designs are often better with symmetry, whereas modern design allows for more asymmetric proportions. As a space saver, a single-handle faucet is usually the way to go. It also allows you to easily control water temperature with just two motions in the same handle and can also be nudged into action with a wrist or forearm if your hands aren’t free or are soapy or messy.
The Value of Valves
These are the parts you don’t see, the ones that control water volume and are essential to reliable, high-quality operation. Here are the 4 basic faucet valve types:
- Compression washers – inexpensive, easy to replace washers; washers do wear out, causing possible dripping before being replaced.
- Washerless ball – reliable and long-lasting; for use with single-handle faucet only.
- Washerless cartridge – for use with one- or two-handle faucets; reliable, resilient and easy to maintain.
- Washerless ceramic disc – for use with one- or two-handle faucets; basically maintenance free.
The Ultimate: Special Faucet Features and Add-Ons
Faucets with pullout spray, side spray, a soap dispenser… even built-in water filtration systems. Choices abound. To avoid becoming overwhelmed, think through the top faucet features you can imagine your family truly making use of. Just a few more options to consider:
- Pause button – a handy feature on the pullout wand, where water flow can be temporarily stopped.
- Pot-Filler faucet – mounted on the wall near the stove to allow heavy pots to be filled right on the stove top, rather than at the sink and lugged over to the burner.
- Pullout sprays – a convenient way to clean big pots and pans that may not fit in your kitchen sink. Sprayers have multiple uses and are available as a pullout from the faucet head or a side feature by the spout.
- Built-in soap dispensers – help reduce the clutter around the sink and match your faucet for a sleeker look. Hidden reservoir holds an ample amount of soap or even lotion.
Doug Kerr is the owner of Kerr Construction in Vancouver. With over 25 years of experience in the renovation and new home construction business, he has developed the Kerr System for designing and building. With this Design/Build system he has helped hundreds of clients achieve their dream homes while also winning multiple national and provincial building and renovations awards. Being a former world-class athlete…” Read more.
Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Kerr Construction.