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How to Shop for Kitchen Faucets
How many times a day do you turn on the water faucet in the kitchen? Dozens? Hundreds? It is difficult to imagine what the average kitchen faucet has to endure over its lifetime, so it needs to be high quality to last through the years. This will minimize the possibility of leaky faucets and reduce your repair bills.
Although kitchen faucets come in numerous styles, there are few basic designs. Many faucets come with a hot and cold tap, but rather than getting a two-handle unit, choose a single-levered faucet. They are usually pricier than models with two handles and a spout between them but are convenient to grasp and adjust with one hand and can be easily used by children and arthritic sufferers.
Single-handle faucets use a ball, cartridge, or disc mechanism, while two-handle units are disk, cartridge, or compression. Out of these kinds of kitchen faucets, compression models are the most prone to dripping since they use seals or washers than can wear out. Disk-type units are usually the strongest and most trouble-free, and cartridge-type faucets with an easily replaceable cartridge allow for easy repairs.
It is typical to install a separate sprayer in addition to the main faucet but if you prefer your kitchen to be minimalist, there are modern combination units with a sprout that can be pulled out to become a sprayer. Such a model makes it easier to water plants, notably those in large pots, and can be used to rinse out the sink. And if you need to fill high pots, pans, and kettles, consider a traditional gooseneck faucet that can fill even lobster-cooking pots.
Kitchen faucets are available in different styles and finishes, including polished chrome, polished copper, brass, brushed nickel, brushed chrome, brushed bronze, black iron, powder enamel and antique brass. Most of these units have a contemporary appearance with polished chrome being the most common finish since it is durable and suits any kitchen décor. However, there are models with antique styling and finish that work especially well in a traditional kitchen. Moreover, brushed or patina finishes might be preferable to polished shiny surfaces since they do not show water spots.
With kitchen faucets, price is typically an accurate indicator of quality. Avoid faucets equipped with plastic handles or shells of dubious durability. Do not get lured by the price tag: high quality kitchen faucets will repay you in continued trouble-free operation, water savings and low maintenance.