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Kitchen Faucet Buying Guide

 

 
 
With so many options available, selecting a kitchen faucet can be overwhelming. While your final decision ultimately depends on personal style, knowing some basic information makes the process a little easier. Ask yourself the following questions to determine your needs and find the perfect kitchen faucet:
 
  How is your sink used?
If you are regularly washing large pots and pans, you want to make sure that your faucet is not only beautiful, but functional as well. Selecting a faucet with a tall, curved neck will provide ample room to access the sink and allow you to rinse large items thoroughly.
 
  How many handles do you prefer?
Consider how your sink is used and determine if one or two handles is the best option for you. Kitchen faucets commonly feature one handle that rotates to adjust water temperature. However, it is usually easier to regulate and control water temperate with two separate handles. While two-handle faucets have more style options, each type is available in a plethora of styles and finishes.
 
 
 
  Is a hand spray needed?
It is always good to select a faucet that features a pull down or side spray. Hand sprays provide extended reach and extra maneuverability that will help reach all corners of the sink for proper cleaning, and best utilize your sink and faucet for everyday kitchen tasks.

Installation Options
Deck-mount faucets rest directly on the countertop. These faucets provide an appealing look that is well-suited to any design style.

A deck-mount faucet will occupy space on the countertop, so make sure that your area is large enough to accommodate your selection. Dirt or water may accumulate between the faucet and the wall. Leaving at least a finger width behind the faucet will provide ample room for cleaning.

Wall-mount faucets are mounted to the wall above the sink. These faucets are a great option if you want to preserve countertop space and provide for effortless cleanup. Installing a wall-mount faucet may require relocating your existing plumbing and should be completed by a professional. When selecting a wall-mount faucet, it is important to take into account the distance the water spout projects to be sure that the sink and faucet are compatible.
 
   
 
Deck-Mount Styles
 
   Widespread  
  Widespread faucets are designed for three-hole installation. They have three separate pieces, two handles and a spout, and the spacing between the handles ranges from 6 to 16 inches.  
     
   Single Hole  
  Single-hole faucets are installed through one hole in the countertop. They may have a single handle or two handles and are often available with decorative plates to cover any unneeded predrilled holes.  
     
   Bridge  
  Bridge faucets mount to the countertop and feature an above-counter “bridge” that connects the hot and cold water supplies.  
     
   Centerset  
  Centerset faucets are also designed for three-hole installation and have handles that are 4 inches apart. Centerset faucets typically feature two handles mounted to a 6-inch plate, or escutcheon.  
     
 
Water Line Info
 
Sink faucets typically come one of three ways: with flexible braided hoses, with copper supply tubes, or with threaded shanks. Each variety is tried and true, however there are differences between them that are important to know.
 
   Flexible Braided Hoses  
  Flexible braided hoses are most commonly used in plumbing today because of their ease of manipulation. Their adaptability make them perfect for tight or cluttered spaces, as they can be routed and connected to the shutoff valves as needed without the risk of cracking or breaking. This type of water line is made of a rubber tube wrapped in meshed and braided stainless steel.  
     
   Copper Supply Tubes  
  Copper is an extremely durable, rust-resistant metal that has been used in plumbing applications for decades. Copper supply tubes are pre-attached into the base of the faucet. Although not as flexible as the braided hose alternative, copper can be slightly manipulated to attach directly to the water source. Bending should be carefully done to avoid kinking or cracking the metal. In some applications, it may be necessary to use braided hoses to attach the copper supply tubes to the shutoff valves if they cannot be directly attached.  
     
   Threaded Shanks  
  Some faucets will not come with water lines provided, and will possess a pair of threaded shanks from the hot and cold stems. If this is the case, then you are provided the opportunity to decide which type of water line you would like to use in your setting. Water lines can be sourced from any local hardware or plumbing supply store, and both copper and flexible braided options should be available.