For most people, kitchen is not just a place for cooking. In the real life, we use our kitchens for relaxation, socializing, studies. Modern kitchens are also arranged accordingly to allow for multiple activities. They now accommodate not only the things we need for cooking and wash-up but also TVs, music centers, bookshelves, adjustable furniture and many more. The kitchens are different, and so are the things they are equipped with.
But there is one thing that nearly every modern kitchen has. It is always there, silent and unpretentious. We usually take its existence for granted. Yet there is hardly any other thing that has as huge an impact on the overall quality of our kitchen.
A successful faucet makes the kitchen look great and function well. We love to stay longer in such a kitchen and come back more often. Or, on the contrary, when the faucet is a failure, we cannot love the kitchen quite as much.
I did an online research, compared the most popular models, read the product descriptions and customer reviews, and I found the seven things that make a great faucet.
1. A great kitchen faucet has a brand
Honestly, I do not understand why should anyone even consider a non branded faucet as an option. Do people think they are saving? But that is not true. In fact they are wasting big. The non branded faucets wear out soon. They break, drip, leak, waste the water and keep their owners busy and spending for good.
It is not just the name we are paying for. It is reliability, the newest technologies implemented, customer service ready to help in case we run into problems, warranty that for most faucets is lifetime. Save a few bucks and lose all these. Ready to go?
There is a wide choice of brands and manufacturers that make beautiful, efficient and reliable faucets. Just pick one according to your taste and needs. Just keep in mind that “Made in China” is not a brand name.
2. A great kitchen faucet harmonizes well with the interior of the kitchen
Well, you might think this aspect would have to come much lower in the list. Isn’t the functionality and reliability much higher priorities? Yes, they are. But being functional and reliable is now really common for the faucets from all the respected brands. So design has become one of the most important factors determining the choice. Being confident in other things, we may now afford to view the faucets with much more relaxed eye and pay greater attention to the appearance.
The shapes are countless. At a closer look, however, five categories may be distinguished:
- nature inspired
- a fusion of the upper two
The modern industrial design mainly consists of strict cylindrical or conical shapes. Nature inspired designs resemble plants and nature objects. Not many faucets, however, feature such a pure style. Most often we meet a fusion of those two.
Retro faucets are continually popular and used for period style kitchens while modernist ones are equipped with unexpected combinations of springs, hooks and lots of other daring attributes and accessories. They both require a corresponding style kitchen and are much less of universal use than the simpler models.
3. A great kitchen faucet is easy to install and operate
Installation should not take more than 10 minutes for a person with very basic DIY skills, dismantling of the old faucet not included. Basically, it is getting the hoses through the hole in the sink or the countertop, putting the faucet in its place, fastening it from underneath with screwing on a nut (or nuts) and attaching the ends of the hoses to the warm and cold water supplies. There is normally no mess with tightening, rubber gaskets and similar things since the connections are now watertight as they are.
The handle adjusts temperature and the strength of the stream smoothly and precisely. It is possible to direct the stream all over the sink and even beyond.
In the faucets with detachable spray head the hose slides out with no effort. It does not touch the body of the faucet on the inside and easily runs through the bearings installed in the spout. The spray head reconnects with certainty, and there is never the feeling of it being loose. Some faucet models even use a strong magnet to hold the spray head in place.
Pull-down faucets normally use a spring that makes them return back to the holder when having been pulled out. In a good faucet, the spray head will tend to return back to the holder without being directed by the human.
The swiveling range is wide enough to position the spout in the exact position you want it to be.
4. A great kitchen faucet is leak free for lifetime
The business with changing washers and gaskets belongs to the past. The valves have evolved. Hard ceramic discs, in some cases covered with diamond, make the faucets practically impossible to wear out. They do not leak all through their lifetime, and the handle adjusts the temperature and stream very precisely.
5. A great kitchen faucet has a clearance that allows even the biggest pots and pans go under it
If a faucet is low, it does not necessarily mean that it is bad. Depending on the depth of the sink you may be still able to place quite large pots under it and wash. But due to limited height of the faucet, you may have to get it out of your way now and then. Not a big deal, I agree. But since you are now after a really great faucet, it may be worthwhile to get the largest kitchenware item that will be washed under this faucet, and measure how high the arch of the faucet needs to be to allow you the freedom of movement even when you are washing those large items.
But take care not to overdo. As in all situations, commonsense is a good adviser also here. If you, for example, have one huge size frying pan and all the other items are much smaller, choosing a faucet for the pan size may be an overkill.
6. The stream from a great kitchen faucet can be directed to any point in the sink and even beyond
It is convenient and speeds up the washing quite a lot if you are able to direct the stream of the water where you need it. Instead of juggling the pot under the spout, a good faucet will allow you to direct the stream itself.
The technologies used to achieve that may be different. I find that there is no uniform definition across the Internet as to what a pull-out or pull-down faucet is. I would call a faucet pull-out if its spray head can be detached from the spout and the hose slides out of it whereas a pull-down allows you to bow and bend the spout itself in the direction you want.
Only be careful since, as I said before, I find that the Internet stores do not use these terms consistently. Consult the available images instead. They will tell you at times much more about the faucet than its product description. You may ask what to do if the store has not provided an image for the item you consider buying. My answer would be: “Run!” Just run from there and never come back.
There are also faucets, the lower arch models as a rule that manipulate the direction of the stream by turning a part of the nozzle. In certain situations, they too can be a good solution.
It is, after all, not the technology that determines whether the faucet is great or not. It is its ability to reach with the water stream all the spots you would need.
7. A great kitchen faucet is easy to clean
With just a few wipes of a sponge or cloth, we should be able to get the faucet clean. A good kitchen faucet does not develop stains that can be removed only with special cleaners. Fingerprints do not stay on it either.
Finally, I wish you to get your perfect faucet, install it and forget it so that it may do its humble job for years and turn your kitchen in an even nicer place without requiring any more attention from yourself.