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Kitchen Faucets – A Fast Kitchen Facelift To Fit Any Budget

Replacing your kitchen faucet is the fastest, easiest, and least expensive way to improve the appearance and usability of your kitchen. It’s a project even novice DIYers can pull off in anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or so. And with so many kitchen faucets out there, a simple swap can mean a big change in style. Replacing an older or corroded faucet will have an even bigger impact. The best part? How much you spend depends entirely on you: what functionality you want, what style you want, and how important it is for you to shop a major brand name.

Basic, Beautiful, and Budget-Friendly

Bare bones, pure functionality, no-frills kitchen faucets can cost less than fifty bucks. If your existing faucet is in particularly bad shape, even a budget fixture can be a much-needed upgrade. That said, if the price on a faucet sounds too good to be true, you’re probably right to be suspicious. Faucets under $100 or so tend to skimp on style, materials, or both. Aka: faucets that are either unattractive, won’t last long, or both. A slightly higher price point is a better investment for longevity. Look for faucets with a solid brass construction and ceramic parts. Any listed features or certifications are a good sign; some budget faucets don’t even include an aerator! A little splurge will largely spare you from kitchen faucets that are flimsy or lack basic features; it’ll also save you in the long run versus a faucet you’d have to replace.

Big Ticket Kitchen Faucets

Beyond the structural materials, the two man things that raise the price of a kitchen faucet are design and functionality. Oddly enough, it’s often the former that will often cost you more. Luxurious, antique-style bridge faucets and unique, highly-designed modern and contemporary faucets tend to be among the priciest options out there. It might not seem like you’re getting much bang for your buck in terms of usability. But decorative faucets pay dividends in impact; a distinctive, designer faucet can serve as a visual focal point of your space. Upgrading from a basic faucet to one with some French Country flair can do a lot of the heavy lifting in redefining the style of your kitchen.

The Importance of Layout

Of course, the layout of the faucet itself is important in a few key ways. At the most basic level, if your remodel starts and ends with replacing your kitchen faucet, you’ll need to choose a model that’s compatible with your existing sink and counter. In other words, a four-hole bridge faucet and sprayer won’t work if you’re replacing a post-style sink. The number, style, and placement of handles is also quite important. As beautiful as that bridge faucet might be, if you want to be able to control both the volume and temperature of your water with a single handle? You’ll need to opt for something a little more compact. Conversely, a single-handle faucet may be more convenient to use, but won’t give you that lovely wide-spread traditional look.

Comparison Shop

That said, there are a lot of people out there making kitchen faucets. For almost any design you fall in love with, you can probably find something similar from a different company. And by that I mean both traditional-looking faucets with a more contemporary layout (and vice versa) AND similar faucets at very different price points. While it’s worth spending more for good base materials, once you hit the $150 mark? Take your time to shop around. Brand names often inflate the cost of near-identical faucets, as do smaller features (like add-on sprayers); shopping around can help you fine-tune the look you want as well as the price you want to pay.

Spray Functionality

The most common upgrade for your kitchen sink is an add-on sprayer. These can be either attached to the spigot or off to one side, and are probably the biggest functional upgrade you can get. They make it easy to control and direct the flow of water, as well as switch between “flow” and “spray” to give you more flexibility. The good news? Just about every style of faucet can accommodate some kind of sprayer, and they’re common enough that they tend to be a relatively modest bump in price. Even better, many manufacturers make integrated sprayers a stylistic element, like the industrial-style faucets from Vigo.

High-Tech Kitchen Faucets

Where things start to get a little tricky is when you’re looking for the most high-tech faucets out there. Take the Touch2o faucets. You can turn them on and off with just a touch of any bit of bare skin. That reduces the potential for cross contamination, no matter how dirty your hands happen to be. Of course, cutting-edge features will cost you more and limit your options, since not every brand has the same technology.

Splurging on Style

Ultimately, you’re going to pay the most for kitchen faucets that don’t look like your neighbor’s. If you want a faucet that’s unique, you’re going to be looking at high end designer pieces. With so many faucets to choose from, how do you pick the right one for your needs?

  • Set a Budget. Decide how much you want to spend on a faucet and try to stick to it.
  • Shop Discount brands whose faucets are reliable but almost always less expensive.
  • Shop Around. Don’t stop when you’ve found a faucet you like in your budget – see if you can beat the price!
  • Shop Online (but be aware of size). You’ll almost always get a better deal on kitchen faucets online than anywhere else, especially on newer models. Just be aware that it can be a little tough to know scale from a picture. Don’t accidentally buy a too-small faucet because it’s priced lower because it’s smaller!

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