How to Choose a Kitchen or Bathroom Faucet

Faucet choices

They say that one’s home says a lot about the person’s taste and style. An extravagant centerpiece in your living room may provide a glimpse of your current finances, but expensive doesn’t always translate to having refined taste. Do you know what to look for when choosing the right type of faucet for your home? Are you a smart spender? Is your home efficient? Those qualities can be quickly picked up by discerning outsiders when they first visit your home.

Shopping for a new set of faucets for your home can be both fun and tricky. Just when you’ve memorized the design, features, and style of your chosen piece, a trip to the nearest home depot strikes you back to the drawing board–overwhelmed with a dizzying array of new brands and design upgrades. You can smart talk your way out of this and claim that the right faucet for your home is the one you like. But, simple answers are not always enough to address the important questions in life.

We have come a long way from manual water pumps and hand-dug wells. With great choices and improved features comes the pain of choosing the right product. If you still haven’t found the answer to that, let us give you a short rundown of the important aspects of choosing the right type of faucet for your household.

Looks aren’t everything

A faucet is not a magical object that can work on its own — drawing water out of thin air to please you. It is attached to a sink and a variety of other elements. Which is why you shouldn’t blind buy a unit without first inspecting the area where it will be installed, the configuration of the old equipment (if you are replacing an old set), and the existing design of your kitchen or bathroom.

More importantly, your faucet works in conjunction with the sink. The predrilled holes in the sink must match the unit you’re planning to purchase. Upgrading the whole system saves you the hassle of looking for the right match, and gives you more freedom to choose a different design, but it comes at a higher cost.

Other faucet specifications to consider

Wall-mounted – this setup is becoming popular again in bathrooms. It creates a “wow” factor since not a lot of modern homes have this setup. You may need to replace your sink if you want to upgrade your faucet into a wall-mounted one.

Hands-free faucets – This type is convenient and easy to clean. It comes with motion sensors that activate water. Models with activators on the front are a good choice. If the activator is hidden at the bottom, it will be hard to activate when your hands are full.

Single handle – more practical and convenient than multiple handle types. It takes up less space and provides a no-fuss temperature adjustment.

Learn about the different faucet types and their features

There are four basic types of faucets: Ball, Disc, and Cartridge do not have the typical rubber or neoprene washer. A Compression Faucet is the old and basic washer faucet. They all have good design varieties, aesthetic wise; but they require different maintenance and repair.

  • Compression Faucets — this type of faucet has been around for years, and you will commonly see them in old houses and buildings. They can get the job done for a low cost but they are also prone to leaks, thus, frequent maintenance is a must.
  • Ball Faucets — commonly used in kitchens, the single handle of a ball faucet is attached to a ball joint by a set-screw. Being the first type of washerless faucet to be introduced, they are more prone to leakage than another type.
  • Cartridge Faucets — they are often indistinguishable from double handle compression washers. You will only know you’re operating a cartridge faucet by the feel of the handle. Compared to compression washers, you don’t need to exert pressure in turning a cartridge faucet off — the action is smooth and consistent. It comes with a single or double handle.
  • Disc Faucet — among these types, discs are the latest development in faucet technology. First made popular by luxe European manufacturers and later entering the US market under Kohler, Price, and other American manufacturers. It comes with a pressure balance cartridge that mixes hot and cold water, with two ceramic disks to control the volume of flowing water. Rotating the handle on each side controls the temperature of the water. This type is very efficient and doesn’t require frequent maintenance.

Your faucet finish should match your cabinet hardware

You are free to choose from a variety of specialized and decorative finishes, but it should match nearby cabinet hardware, knobs, drawer pulls, and towel bars. Mismatches are an eyesore, and they will make your kitchen appear cluttered.

If you are planning to upgrade your cabinet hardware as well, take advantage of durable and low maintenance finishes (i.e., the basic but ever-reliable chrome) and stylish ones (e.g., bronze and gold tone) that will transform the less interesting area of your kitchen. Polished brass can be expensive but is easy to clean and complements most fixtures and accessories.

Go ceramic if you want to avoid those pesky drips

Ceramics are known for their long-term reliability. Now that ceramic valves are being incorporated in different types of contemporary faucets, drips and leaks are becoming a thing of the past. There’s no reason not to choose a faucet with a ceramic valve, even if you’re on a limited budget. They are priced slightly higher than basic faucets, but reliability and low maintenance cost are two things you can’t put a price tag on.

Know what comes with the set you are buying

Most faucets sold in kits may have different hardware included depending on the manufacturer. Before purchasing, inquire what is included in the box and if the set requires purchasing extra parts. Discounted sets that require a lot of extras that should have been included in a typical set are not a good value for the money. Also, take brand warranties into consideration. Make sure that the particular design or finish you’re buying is covered by warranty — some manufacturers only extend their warranties for standard kits.



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