Choosing the Perfect Faucet
Have you ever actually looked at all of the available faucet options out there? There are several types to choose from, so how do I know which one will be my best fit?
Here we take a look at a variety of different faucet type options and what some of the major pros and cons are of each kind.
1. Single-handle faucets are increasingly becoming the more popular option compared to two-handle faucets. They tend to be easier to use and have rather simple installation instructions since they only require one hole. This faucet type should be the go-to option when the existing wash basin is small, as it only requires a minimal amount of working space.
It should be notable that single-handle faucets are are more likely to found in areas where the weather doesn't change much throughout the year. People who don't necessarily need strong definition between hot and cold water will likely benefit more from this faucet type than those who need strictly controlled hot and cold water.
- Easier to use and install
- Takes up less space than two-handle faucets
- Can be very stylish (has a more modern feel)
- Technology improvements have evolved to allow for the same level of control as two-handle faucets
- May not allow for as precise temperature adjustments as two-handle faucets (it may take more practice to master water flow)
- There is only one water valve connection so, in the event of a leak, the single valve would need to be shut down (no access to water)
- User reviews have reflected complaints of experiencing a "sloppy" or "mushy" feeling when turning on these faucet types
2. Two-handle faucets are thought to be more traditional than single-handle faucets. They contain separate hot and cold handles to the left and right of the faucet for temperature control. These handles can be part of the base-plate or separately mounted. Spray nozzle heads are typically purchased separately for two-handle faucets.
- May allow for more precise temperature adjustments than single-handle faucets
- Nice, classy aesthetic (can look more elegant and inviting)
- Better water flow rate
- Best option for cold and hot weather (access to controlled hot and cold water)
- There are two water valves so, in the event of a leak, you can simply turn off the valve of the leaking handle while still having access to water from the other handle
- Less likely to cause accidental scalding since the handles are typically well marked for hot and cold water
- Can be harder to install since it needs 3-holes and (in several cases) an escutcheon plate
- Needs both handles to adjust to the desired temperature
- Two handles increases the likelihood of an eventual leak
- Can be more expensive than single-handle faucets
- Does not typically include a spray nozzle head
3. Pull-down faucets have a spray head that pulls downward and away from the fixture. A counterweight helps the hose and spout retract neatly and efficiently. Pull-down options are more commonly found on single-handle faucets.
Pull-down faucet types are increasingly becoming the most common kitchen faucet and are the preferred model for professional cooks. They are the ideal option for deep sinks.
- Considered the "golden child" of the kitchen faucet industry
- Ergonomics come in to play because you only need one fluid motion
- Very handy when rinsing vegetables or the sink itself
- Comes in a wide variety of designs and styles
- Pull-down spray heads are considered to be the best option available since they have a wide variety of functions (not included in pull-out faucets)
- Less likely to get kinks in the hose since you don't have to maneuver in different directions
- High arc spout gives more clearance for large pots and pans
- If you have a small sink you may not need the pull-down feature (small sinks may also cause issues with installation measurements)
- Would not be ideal in limited space since the height of the spout may cause clearance issues
- Not typically equipped to swivel at 360 degrees
- Homes with weaker water pressure may have some problems (the spray head functions may not work as needed)
4. Hands-free faucets first became available on the market during the late 1980's and have quickly grabbed the attention of buyers. Their first public launch was done on airport lavatories, accentuating their stand-out features such as ease of use, water conservation, and reduction of the spread of bacteria. They are now often used by living establishments for the elderly and handicapped, shopping malls, and other public establishments.
Aside from being used in public areas, hands-free faucets are more commonly being found in the home. They come in options that offer sensor or touch activation.
Usually activators are found in the front of the faucet for easy accessibility. The touch-to-start features are typically located on the spout. Either option should come with manual operations, as well.
- Convenience and cleanliness (dirty hands won't be touching the fixture as much)
- Less/controlled water output means better water conservation. The design of sensor faucets is to have a low flow rate, an aerator in the spout and system or material that prevent leakage, and a solenoid valve that would be closed by default
- Saves much more energy as compared to traditional faucets that can be used with a preferred flow and temperature
- Possible to have power come from a renewable source
- Reduced back-splash due to low flow rate and less contamination caused by not touching the fixture makes the faucet more hygienic
- Some sensor designs hide the activator toward the bottom or back of the faucet where it's harder to find when your hands are full or messy
- It it's touch-to-start faucet you may end up having to clean up the spot you touched, making the hands-free option irrelevant
- Higher prices than standard faucets which can be problematic for those on a budget
- If it's operated by electric power rather than a battery, if the power goes out you won't have water
We would love to hear from you:What faucet type do you like best?