Remodeling a kitchen can be a daunting undertaking, and one that involves countless decisions. As with any home improvement project, it helps to break it down into separate parts, and an overwhelmingly important piece any kitchen is the faucet. Regardless of your decor style, it’s safe to call the sink the centerpiece of the room. Here are a few tips for narrowing down the list of possible contenders.
When you start shopping around for a new faucet, you first want to ask yourself what you’ll be using it for. Obviously, for washing stuff and filling pots, but how much cooking are you actually planning on doing? Do you have a dishwasher, or will you be washing everything by hand? Are you going to want a faucet you can attach a water-purifying filter to? Once you know the answers, you can decide how tricked-out you want your faucet to be.
A Goose Chase
This popular faucet style is known as the ‘gooseneck’. As the name would suggest, it has a swooping neck like a goose. Though unlike a goose, it won’t attack if you come too close or happen to have a sandwich. Gooseneck faucets are elegant and sleek, and usually mounted to the sink itself, rather behind it or on the wall. Some of them, like the one above, come with an extendable head that you can pull out to direct the flow. Increasingly, the head will attach magnetically back to the faucet when you let it go.
No, this faucet doesn’t have three heads, it just moves. An adjustable faucet might be a good choice if you have a particularly large sink, or if you’re planning on washing anything particularly large, filling tall pots, etc. It’s also a cool alternative to a retractable head or sprayer.
A Slick Alternative
Gooseneck sound less than golden to you? Classic silver faucet too last-century? Consider something a little more unusual and adventurous, especially if you’re going for a contemporary look for your kitchen. In fact, some of these choices barely look like they are part of a sink–more like part of a spaceship. The horizontal handle is pretty slick, too.
All Systems Go
Another style that looks like it could belong on some advanced piece of technology. If you are planning to get a lot of use out of your kitchen sink, a faucet with all the frills might be the way to go. It resembles the sort of sinks you might see in a restaurant kitchen. This style has two different spigots, one for filling up pots and water pitchers, and the other for dish-washing. The second can be pulled free and used as a sprayer, and rests in a cradle when it isn’t being used. Another style of faucet I might choose for my kitchen based on looks alone.
While we’re talking advanced technology, let’s talk touch-activated faucets. Okay, this isn’t actually cutting-edge–they’ve been around for awhile–but it’s still pretty cool. Different models have different levels of sensitivity–some will activate with just the touch of a fingertip to the neck, and some need slightly firmer pressure. Some will even activate with proximity, which is great for a prolific cook. I can’t count how many times I’ve needed to wash my hands after handling meat or eggs and been forced to turn on my sink with my elbow. Touch-activated faucets also have automatic shut-offs, which help save water. The drawback is that there’s no way to change the temperature with touch alone; that has to be done manually.
All of these styles have one handle–the flow is regulated by moving it up and down, and temperature is adjusted by moving it back and forth. I find one-handled sinks to be more convenient in general, even if you don’t have the precise control over hot and cold that you do with a two-handled sink.
Ultimately, choosing a kitchen faucet comes down to two factors: look and function. You want a model that showcases your decor, but that also makes your life in the kitchen as simple as it can be. If you’re planning on spending a good deal of time there, consider something a little more luxurious–you won’t regret it.