some help in choosing a kitchen faucet


It's easy to get overwhelmed when choosing any fixture or finish or appliance for a new kitchen. And then the fact that you have to make so many of these choices, tile, flooring, ceiling, sink, dishwasher, just adds to the stress and confusion. I'm not sure I have a foolproof way to choose for everyone, but here's what worked for me.

kohler fairfax faucet

Start with the most important feature to you. 
Maybe you want a single handle so your faucet's easy to turn on and off with just one hand. Maybe you want to be able to turn it on and off with a tap instead of a turn. For me, this one was easy. Ever since I'd rented an amazing apartment a few years ago that had this Kohler single-handle faucet with pullout spray, I knew this was the kind of faucet what I wanted again. It was so easy to use, I could turn it on with a wrist if my hands were dirty. And a single finger or wrist could turn from hot to cold. The spray head pulled out from the faucet instead of from a side spray (keeping the sinktop open and clean) and went back in effortlessly. Done and done and done.

Decide the top three or four features you need.
You've got one feature. Now add more. For me, the single handle was important. As was the pullout spray. But I also knew the arc was not high enough on this faucet for me. So, we started looking for something with a higher profile over the sink. And started to see lots of these industrial faucets, which are incredibly popular right now.

Pick a style.
So I knew the Fairfax faucet I loved was too traditional for my taste today and for new kitchen. But I also knew that the commercial-looking faucets, while hitting all the feature marks, were also a bit too industrial (trendy?) to fit the feel of the new kitchen. I was looking for something exactly in the middle, which led us a lot closer to the one we finally settled on. Not too ornate, not too sleek and modern. By the way, now's the time to think about finish too.

Think about brand/quality.
It's no suprise I ended up with a Kohler faucet again. Do your homework. Read the reviews. I had lots of experience with this brand before deciding, so I was pretty partial to it. I know they perform well for years without leaks, breaks, flukes. And I know last. I also know that if there is an issue, this is a company that will work to make it right, few questions asked. Still, I read up and took some time deciding. And I have some opinions. Don't mess around with something that's not solid brass construction (inside; I'm not talking about exterior finish). And this is probably not a good time to mess around with a brand you've never heard of.

the one we ended up with! the kohler simplice, shown at nothing but bonfires

Decide what you want to spend.
Spend as much as you can for a good faucet, but don't break the bank. I probably would have spent much more on this faucet because it was the right one for us in all of the ways I just laid out. Luckily, it comes in at around $200, which I think is a bargain for a piece of equipment you'll rely on to work perfectly multiple times a day for many years on end. Still, I could have bought at any of a dozen stores. But it was worth looking around for the best deal: $170 at Amazon as it turns out. Ordered. That's one more decision down!


René said...

This is incredibly helpful Casey! A new faucet is on my wish list because I hate ours. The retractable feature doesn't retract and the arch isn't high enough. Plus the finish is ugly. It is probably as important to know what you don't like as it is to know what you like. Nice choice, by the way.

Pinning this for future reference.

Holly Gruszka said...

Woo hoo! Cheers for checking something off the list and a fun delivery to look forward to. We have the same type of style faucet and I absolutely love it. We have something similar to the first photo. I have a friend who has one of the touch faucets and it's the biggest headache ever in my opinion from my short use with it. We hosted two showers at her house and no one could figure out the trick to using it - that put a big negative in my book for that type of faucet.

The Vintique Object said...

You know, I've never given any thought to the idea that the faucet is probably the single most used feature in a kitchen (maybe besides the fridge.) That's a pretty important thing to keep it mind and certainly makes it easier to spend more money on it!