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A Quick Guide To Upgrading To A More Stylish, Functional Kitchen Faucet

Kitchen faucets are the workhorse of the kitchen, and probably the fixture that sees the most use day in and day out. But a good kitchen faucet should be more than merely functional – it should be easy and intuitive to use, match your cooking and cleaning style, and elevate the appearance of your kitchen. The good news is, upgrading your faucet is a pretty DIY friendly project that won’t break your budget, and doesn’t have to be part of a larger remodel if you don’t have one planned. That said, here are a few things you should consider before you choose your new faucet.

What’s Your Kitchen’s Style?

Perrin and Rowe Double Handle Bridge Kitchen Faucet U4718X from Rohl
Perrin and Rowe Double Handle Bridge Kitchen Faucet U4718X from Rohl

In broad strokes, your kitchen almost certainly falls in one of a few stylistic categories – traditional, transitional, modern, farmhouse, and so on. Despite being relatively small in size, the right kitchen faucet can do a beautiful job enhancing and bringing out that style. The good news is, most of the cool utility features you might want to have are available on faucets that range from very traditional to very modern, so style is a good place to start narrowing your search.

What’s Your Current Setup?

Soave Series 2-Handle Kitchen Faucet In Oil Rubbed Bronze KF-AZ032ORB from Anzzi
Soave Series 2-Handle Kitchen Faucet In Oil Rubbed Bronze KF-AZ032ORB from Anzzi

If you want to replace your kitchen faucet on it’s own and not as part of a more extensive renovation, you need to consider how your current sink and faucet are laid out – specifically how many faucet and accessory holes your current sink has and how many your current faucet uses. It’s possible to cover up unused holes (though it’s not always attractive), but it’s very difficult to add additional holes to your sink and counter where there are none – which means if your current faucet is a post-style with a single integrated handle, you probably won’t be upgrading to a three-piece wide-spread faucet.

How Do You Want To Accessorize Your Sink And Faucet?

Stainless Steel Pull-Out Spray Kitchen Faucet With Soap Dispenser VG02019STK2 from Vigo Industries
Stainless Steel Pull-Out Spray Kitchen Faucet With Soap Dispenser VG02019STK2 from Vigo Industries

That said, the faucet holes in your kitchen sink do present a fun opportunity to add in some other upgrades. Especially if you have a separate sink sprayer and upgrade to a faucet with an integrated one, you can use that empty space for something cool, like a built-in soap pump or a filtered hot water faucet. Not all faucets come with these kind of add-ons, but it’s pretty easy to find faucet sets that do, and if you have the space for them they can really help streamline your counter space.

Think About The Features You Want From The Faucet Itself

Locke Single Handle Kitchen Faucet With Sprayer KF-AZ108 from Anzzi
Locke Single Handle Kitchen Faucet With Sprayer KF-AZ108 from Anzzi

It’s easy to lump all kitchen faucets together, especially if you mostly look at lower-end faucets. But while it’s true they all share features – some way to control the volume and temperature of the water, a spigot, and maybe some kind of sprayer – where they’re located and how you use them can vary a lot from one model to the next. For example, you should consider whether you want your faucet to have one handle or two. Two-handle faucets are generally considered more elegant and take up more space on your sink, which means they give a stronger visual impression and pack a nice stylish punch. But widespread faucets also force you to control the hot and cold water separately. Single handle faucets let you control both the flow and temperature with a single lever, which makes for a more compact faucet but also a simpler and more intuitive control. There’s no right or wrong style, just what works better for how you plan to use it.

Singer Pull Down Single Handle Kitchen Faucet In Polished Chrome KF-AZ041 from Anzzi
Singer Pull Down Single Handle Kitchen Faucet In Polished Chrome KF-AZ041 from Anzzi

Similarly, it’s becoming very common for faucets in all styles and configurations to feature a pull-down or pull-out sprayer that’s integrated into the nozzle of your faucet rather than a separate sink sprayer. Again, the choice between the two is a combination of style and convenience. Side sprayers can help spread out your faucet and increase that stylish impact, but it can be clunky to switch between your normal faucet flow and the sprayer. Integrated pull-out sprayers let you switch easily from one to the other, give you a little more flexibility and control, and create a more streamlined appearance.

How Much Do You Use Your Faucet?

Venetian Bronze Pull Down Faucet With Touch 2O 9197T-RB-DST from Soci
Venetian Bronze Pull Down Faucet With Touch 2O 9197T-RB-DST from Soci

If you really truly get a lot of regular use out of your kitchen faucet – if you hand wash your dishes, wash a lot of food, get your hands messy while you’re cooking, or just have a high volume of cookware passing through your sink, you might want to consider splurging for a luxury quality or even professional grade faucet. Features like touch activation or faucets with multiple spigots can be a lifesaver for people who really put their faucets to work, and are well worth the extra cost to help improve the workflow in your kitchen.