Replacing kitchen and bathroom faucets can be a great way to update the look of your home while improving the fixtures for your better enjoyment. While function outweighs appearance in terms of making a selection, there is a huge selection, offering a design to please everyone. Its best to avoid faucets with plastic bodies or handles. They may be cheap, but sometimes you get what you pay for. Here are some things to consider when choosing:
Construction and Types: Instead of using washers to manage the flow, new faucets typically use balls, cartridges or ceramic disks.
- Ball faucets have a rotating ball inside that moves over water inlet holes to regulate the flow.
- Cartridge faucets come both single- and double-handle and are made to be low maintenance with a cartridge that can be replaced when leaks occur.
- Disk faucets use a pair of ceramic disks that slide over each other to regulate water flow and temperature. These are typically the most durable.
Be sure to choose a faucet that matches the existing hole openings if you’re renovating, or look for a faucet with a wide base plate that will cover any old holes no longer used.
- Single-hole faucets combine the spout and mixing handles—often a single lever—into one unit that requires only one drilled sink hole. They often work well in a small area.
- Center-set faucets fit standard three-hole sinks (with outer holes drilled 4 inches apart). They’ll have either a single lever or two handles mounted on a 6-inch plate.
- Widespread mounts have three separate pieces: Two handles and the spout. The standard distance between the handles is at least 8 inches, and the three pieces tend to be larger than other types of bath faucets. Smaller versions, called minispreads, are designed for standard holes drilled 4 inches apart. Often a separate spray nozzle can further extend the span These are typical on large sinks or kitchen sinks. I use this style on my free standing tub.
- Wall mount faucets can work well with unusual sink shapes or designs. Some wall mounted faucets aren’t advised in cold locations on an exterior wall.
- Vessel sink faucets either need to be top mounted on the sink itself or mounted behind the sink on the counter, depending on the kind of sink. Long spouted wall mounted faucets work well mounted at the right height too There needs to be room between the sink and the mirror or wall so the handles don’t hit the mirror or back splash. The faucet should ideally be mounted so the spout is no more than a few inches above the rim of the vessel after the sink is installed to prevent too much splash.
- Free standing faucets have regained popularity in a new take on an old fashioned look and are beautiful standing next to the new modern free standing tubs. You need to accommodate extra space for these.
- Pot fillers are wonderful behind the stove if you have the existing plumbing, and are available in wall mounted or deck mounted styles. I love mine.
- Spray Nozzles are great in the kitchen for rinsing the sink, either as a pull-down or separate. I put spray nozzles in each of my bathroom showers and tubs as well, to make cleaning the showers and tubs easy.
Finish: I chose stainless steel for my home because it is timeless in style. There are many trendy choices available as well, but I don’t want to be replacing them all in ten years just to not have a “dated” looking home, so I chose modern or contemporary styles in a timeless finish. We’ve all seen how brass can date a home.
Style: I have eclectic taste, and tend to combine modern with traditional, but when choosing faucets its best to go with the general style of your sink, tub or shower. A vintage style faucet would look out of place with a modern sink. However, there are modern twists that broaden your selection. For instance I chose a modern goose neck faucet for my kitchen sink, but with a bridge style base simply because I love those old fashioned faucets from years gone by. In this way I maintained the modern look of my home but with a touch of that old fashioned charm.
Here are a few styles I love:
Rohl U.4719L-PN-2 Perrin and Rowe Deck Mount Bridge Kitchen Faucet with Sidespray with High C Spout and Metal ALSace Levers, Polished Nickel
I love the combination of old fashioned charm and modern look of this faucet. Its the style I use in my kitchen island sink, which is a huge sink, so I like the high goose neck to allow very large pots to be washed. The separate sprayer is great for rinsing dishes or the sink.
Ana Bath SS5450CBN 5 Inch 5 Function Handheld Shower and Showerhead Combo Shower System, PVD Brushed Nickel Finish
I put handheld shower and showerhead combos in my bathrooms because I love having the handheld wand to clean the tub and shower with, but the stationery shower is convenient. Apparently these are really easy to install.
If you’re doing substantial kitchen renovations, I would highly advise accommodating a pot filler. Its great to be able to fill a large pot of pasta water right there on the stove rather than carrying a full pot from the sink. I like my deck mounted pot filler because it only takes about two inches of counter space at the back behind my utensils holders, and swings out of the way when not in use. leaving space for utensils on a back splash.
Rain showerheads are very popular because of the tranquil aspect of the shower experience they provide. They offer a beautiful modern look which would really help to update the look of a bathroom. I like having an adjustable nozzle on mine to regulate water flow for a more efficient rinse after shampooing.
I chose a simple design for my bathroom faucets, modern yet timeless in style. I don’t think I will be finding them outdated any time soon.
Some other beautiful faucets available
Click pictures for details and current prices.