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How to Choose a Kitchen Faucet

Add style & function with a new kitchen faucet. One of the most functional kitchen fixtures also doubles as the perfect accent piece — your kitchen faucet.

Whether you're washing dishes, running the garbage disposal or filling a pot to boil water, the faucet is continually being turned on and off.

Because of the constant use, you'll want to select a faucet that can stand up to the rigours of its daily routine.

Choosing the Right Kitchen Faucet

Consider the following when selecting your kitchen faucet:

  • Design and finish
  • Special features
  • Single-handle vs. two-handle
  • Valve types

Kitchen Faucet Design and Finish

Kitchen faucets are available in a wide array of installations, styles and finishes. Choose from centre-set, single-hole, two-hole or wall-mount configurations. Kitchen faucets generally include a deck plate or inserts to accommodate use with three or four-hole sinks.

Handle designs vary from solid levers and crosses to loops and knobs, while spout designs vary from high arc with 180° swing to low arc with pullout spray wand. A greater variety of spout designs can be found among two-handle faucets as the spout is unhindered by the temperature adjustment control.

Faucet finishes are abundant and can give your kitchen that sought after customized feel. Some popular finishes include chrome, stainless steel, blackened/ bronze, nickel and more. Look for a faucet backed by a strong warranty; many faucet manufacturers provide lifetime guarantees against tarnish.


Stainless Steel



Regardless of which finish you select, avoid cleaning your faucet with harsh abrasives, as they can scratch the surface.

Special Features: Sprayers, Soap/lotion Dispensers and Built-in Water Filtration Systems

Sprayers and built-in soap/lotion dispensers are popular features for kitchen faucets; sprayers are available as a pullout from the faucet head or as a side feature next to the spout. A built-in water filtration system is a relatively new feature and offers the convenience of filtered water at the kitchen faucet.

Advantages of pullout faucets include one-handed control of the water flow and sprayer, as well as the variety of kitchen sinks they can accommodate. Side sprayers can be purchased separately and installed in sinks that feature extra holes. However finding a perfect match for your existing faucet may take some effort; even those which come with the faucet are sometimes made from different material than the faucet itself.

  • Sprayers can be used to wash dishes, rinse sinks and clean vegetables
  • Sprayer hoses installed separately can exceed 4' in length for maximum reach

Built-in soap/lotion dispensers not only help decrease the clutter around your kitchen sink, they also match your faucet for a sleek uniform look. Neatly hidden under the counter, the reservoir can hold an ample amount of soap or lotion; some dispensers include a refill funnel for your convenience.

Single-handle Vs. Two-handle Kitchen Faucets

The placement and style of handles, and the ease of use vary from faucet to faucet. Handles of two-handle faucets may be placed immediately next to the spout in a centre-set arrangement or they may be placed farther apart in a widespread configuration. With independent hot and cold controls, you can easily achieve precise temperature adjustments.

Single-handle faucets allow you to quickly and easily adjust the water flow and temperature with one single motion, using one hand. Since the handle requires little effort to operate, it can be nudged with your wrist or forearm if your hands are occupied, dirty or soapy.

Kitchen Faucet Valve Types

Valves control the volume of water and are crucial to consistent, high-quality operation. There are four types of faucet valves

Value Type Benefits Points to Consider
Compression Washers
  • Washers are inexpensive and easy to replace
  • Washers eventually wear out
  • May begin to drip over time
Washerless Ball
  • Durable and reliable
  • Must be used with a single-handle faucet
Washerless Cartridge
  • Durable and reliable
  • May be used with single or two-handle faucets
  • Easy to maintain
Washerless Ceramic Disc
  • May be used with single or two-handle faucets
  • Virtually maintenance free
  • More expensive


Pause Button (on Pullout Wand)

Some faucets offer a pause button feature where the water flow can be temporarily paused from the pullout wand.

Pot-filler Faucet

Pot-filler faucets mount on the wall by the stove to allow heavy pots to be filled on the stove rather than filling them at the sink.

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