What To Look For When Choosing A Kitchen Faucet
In days past, the choice of a kitchen faucet was almost an afterthought. Options were extremely limited. One possibility? Single handles or dual handles. Then there was the pull-out sprayer option which often leaked. Fast forward to today’s world of kitchen design. There are thousands of kitchen faucets to choose from. So how do you choose a kitchen faucet?
Let’s start with the finish.
Long ago in a galaxy far far away… there was basically only one finish option: polished chrome. Enhancements in technology have now enabled a wide variety of finishes. All of these new finishes will stand up to the rigors of a well-used kitchen and manufacturers offer a variety of warranties on them. Make sure to check into that warranty if you buy a kitchen faucet online, though. Sometimes buying a kitchen faucet online voids the warranty.
Some clients tell me they prefer shiny finishes over matte finishes. Others like a pop of color. I do not believe there are any rules here. Choose what’s functional, what you like to look at and what works with the other finishes in your kitchen. A kitchen faucet can blend in or be an outstanding focal point. These next two images are the same faucet. One is polished chrome [ shiny ] and the other is brushed satin nickel [ matte ]. This truly is a personal choice.
Kitchen Faucets: Mixing Styles
Many clients ask me if they can mix a traditional kitchen with a contemporary faucet or if they can mix kitchen faucet styles. Why not? I love to mix styles, shapes, and finishes. Here is a lovely kitchen I designed with two kitchen faucets in two different shapes. I think it adds interest. What do you think?
Kitchen Faucet Finishes
Here I paired a traditional craftsman-style kitchen with a dark Venetian bronze faucet. The beautiful handmade copper sink called for the dark metal faucet. There is something very comforting about this kitchen. This kitchen gives you that warm fuzzy feeling inside. It is like going home again.
In the kitchen below, my client wanted to blend the traditional and the contemporary. Her home is early 20th-century cottage-style. I selected this traditional wall-mounted faucet design to compliment the farmhouse sink, but chose this style for her due to its sleeker, more modern lines. The highly polished chrome of the faucet is a showstopper against the reflective mirror, glass and marble backsplash tile.
The next two images are perfect examples of successfully mixing materials. I have said this before. “If it is good enough for Cartier, it is good enough for me”. Three different metals, matte black, honey bronze, and stainless all work together in this small kitchen space. Not just the finishes but the texture on the faucet handle and the pull-down sprayer add the perfect functional yet decorative touch.
This kitchen also shows a mix of metals. The honey bronze light fixture sparkles with warm tones which balance the matte black faucet as well as the satin nickel cabinet door hardware.
Consider The View
Most kitchen faucets are viewed from the front. The typical installation is in front of the window. But what if your sink is located on an island?
In this kitchen, the sink is located in front of a “pass-through” window that goes from the family room into the kitchen. The finish selection and style of the faucet were very important, in order to ensure it worked with the family room, too.
The selection of this kitchen faucet, with its satin stainless finish, was a great balance to the subtle design theme of the kitchen and worked with the family room, as well. The faucet has just enough detail to stand on its own while being a beautiful, understated focal point.
Touchless faucets have come a long way. First, the technology has improved immensely since its introduction. Secondly, how nice it is to operate the faucet without touching it with dirty hands? Next, you do not have to worry about power outages, these faucets are battery operated.
Aerators are the screen at the end of the spout which adds air to the water stream and reduces debris. The benefits are less splashing, improved taste, and better water conservation. You should clean the aerator regularly which is a DIY project.
Personal Style is all about personal preference. Whether you choose a single stem faucet with a pull-down or sprayer or a traditional widespread or bridge faucet, there is no wrong answer. Roleplay at the plumbing supply showroom. Imagine using the faucet for food prep or clean-up. What makes sense to you will be the perfect choice when selecting your kitchen faucet.
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Sharon L. Sherman, ASID, NCIDQ, CID, CKD
Sharon is the founder of Thyme and Place Design, headquartered in Wyckoff, New Jersey. She’s been practicing kitchen and bath design for the past 40 years and is a Past President of the American Society of Interior Designers – New Jersey chapter. She is a current member of the editorial board of KB&B Magazine, the official magazine of the National Kitchen and Bath Association.
Her award-winning designs and editorial comments have been featured in Forbes, The New York Times, Design Milk, Bergen NJ magazine, Kitchen & Bath Design News, Woman’s Day, Country Decorating, Design NJ, New Jersey Home Magazine, 201 Magazine, The Best of Bergen, Savvy Living, The Vue, The Record, The Star-Ledger, and Aspire as well as several books.
Her blog “Tips from the Trade” appears in digital form on DesignNJ.com and KBBonline.com. She has also appeared on HGTV’s My Big Amazing Renovation and episodes of House Smarts with Lou Manfredini. In 2022, she was a featured *Voices From The Industry* speaker at the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s international convention and is available for further speaking engagements nationwide on all topics related to running a successful kitchen and bath design business.
I love all the options you’ve shown here, Sharon! Mixing metals and finishes is a favorite options that adds so much depth and style!
Such an excellent blog post Sharon on all the different faucets and finishes there are our there. I totally agree that mixing then up for kitchen faucets adds visual interest!
Great post and I agree with you about mixing styles, why not?! Great post with great reference photos.