Upgrade your Kitchen or Bathroom with a new faucet. Whether your taste is traditional, contemporary or eclectic our Design Consultants will help you narrow down your search for the perfect faucet.





A kitchen faucet's configuration refers to things like quantity of faucet handles, mounting style and spout structure, such as conventional or pull-out/pull-down.

When choosing a faucet, you will need to decide whether you want a two-handle or a single lever configuration. Two-handled faucets generally have a more traditional look and provide one handle each to operate the hot and cold water.

A single lever faucet combines the operation of hot and cold water together through the operation of a lever. The orientation of the lever will govern the amount of water coming out of the spout as well as the temperature. Also, it only requires one hole if no other accessories are added.

Single Lever Pull Out Faucet


The style of kitchen faucet refers primarily to its functional and aesthetic design. It's a safe bet that this factor is usually the primary determinant in choosing a kitchen faucet, at least initially. When you start shopping for a faucet, the typical tendency is to look for an aesthetic style that appeals to you and then proceed to the other deciding factors.

Style features to consider include things like spout design (conventional, gooseneck), lever locations for single handle faucets (on the side, behind the spout), faucet handle shape and size (smooth, multi-lobed, minimalistic) as well as design motif like traditional, contemporary or commercial/professional style.

Even how a kitchen faucet is styled has some bearing on its function. Conventional faucet spouts, the kind that project out are roughly a 45-degree angle, usually have good reach but may be limiting when trying to fill large pots. Gooseneck faucets on the other hand typically accommodate larger cook pots better because of the higher location of their spout opening relative to the sink.

Gooseneck Faucet


Faucet finish refers to the surface coating that you see on the spout and handles. It not only gives the faucet its decorative appeal, it also provides a protective coating.

Their are numerous kinds of faucet finish and they include chrome, brushed nickel, bronze, hand-rubbed bronze, stainless steel, brass and others.

Bridge Faucet in Rubbed Bronze Finish

Beyond these "colour related" coatings is the process by which some of them are applied. More and more faucets today receive a "PVD" finish, which is just a fancy acronym for a less-understandable process called "physical vapor deposition".

In short, this space-age process deposits metallic ions in vaporous form on the surface of the faucet. High tech aside, the practical aspect is that it provides a very tough surface protection, making the faucet very resistant to corrosion, tarnish and even scratching.


In contrast, certain finishes that are meant to "age" like hand-rubbed bronze, don't have a PVD finish. Chrome faucets don't usually have them either as the chrome provides it's own tarnish-proof protection, although tests have shown that PVD coatings are over 20 times more abrasion resistant than chrome. Some types of PVD finishes include brushed bronze and nickel as well as polished brass, gold and nickel.

Another type of faucet finish includes colored coatings, usually applied using a powder-coating process that's baked on. They offer an alternative to the metallic finishes.

Colored Faucet


Faucet Construction and Valve Type

A kitchen faucet's construction involves what it's made from, how it's made and the type of valve it uses to control the flow of water. All the beauty and style aside, this is what determines how well the faucet operates and how long it will last.

Kitchen faucets are made from stainless steel, brass and even plastic. Plastic can come in non-metallic colors, but in the long run, it's durability won't compete with a good brass or steel faucet.

Brass faucets come in two varieties: cast brass and tubular brass. Of the two, cast brass is typically thicker and robust than tubular brass. Brass also needs to be coated to prevent tarnishing. Common coatings include chrome plating as well as any of the PVD coatings mentioned above.

Stainless steel offers strength and durability, combined with excellent corrosion resistance. It also provides a good match to kitchens with stainless appliances and/or sinks.

The mechanism that actually controls and delivers the water through the faucet is the faucet valve. If there's any part of the faucet that might eventually wear or cause problems, it's the valve.

There are four types of faucet valves: compression, ball, cartridge and ceramic disk. The important distinction between these types of valves is the relationship between their construction and their overall level of reliability (in other words, how long before you have to get your faucet fixed).

Compression valve faucets are noticeable by separate hot and cold water handles. They're the oldest and simplest form of valve, controlling the water by turning a screw-like handle that compresses a valve against a seal, usually a rubber washer. These valves tend to wear out the fastest, causing drippy faucets. However they're usually easiest to fix.

Ball valves are used with single lever faucets. Slots within the ball valve regulate and mix the hot and cold water flow through the back and forth, side to side motion of the lever on top of the valve body. These valves don't have washers but do have more parts making them a bit more complex.

Cartridge valve faucets utilize a brass and plastic cartridge that's more reliable than the washer system used in compression faucets. They're also less complex than the ball valve which means fewer chances of problems and easier repair when something does go wrong.

Ceramic disc faucet valves use two highly polished and very hard ceramic disks that slide across each other. This movement controls the water flow by opening or restricting the passage of water through openings in the disks. This type of faucet construction is considered the most durable and long-lasting, though it is more expensive than the others types.

Considerations To Think About When Making Choices

Now that you're a little more familiar with the particulars of a kitchen faucet, let's take a look at some basic considerations you should think of when choosing one.

  • Single Lever Faucets Offer Several Conveniences

    Single lever faucets leave one hand free to hold dishes, food or whatever, while the other adjusts the water control. Two-handled faucets require you to use both hands to turn on the water and regulate temperature (or use one hand to operate one handle, then the other).

    Fewer requirements for faucet holes (as with a single-handle faucet) also mean fewer holes to be drilled in a countertop, making for a slightly easier and cheaper countertop installation, particularly if your countertops are stone.

  • Choose A Faucet Size That Complements Your Sink

    The size of your kitchen faucet should be in proportion to the size of your sink. A large faucet will tend to overpower a small sink while the reverse is true when a small faucet is used with a large, three-bowl.

  • Choose A Faucet Size That Complements Your Sink

    The size of your kitchen faucet should be in proportion to the size of your sink. A large faucet will tend to overpower a small sink while the reverse is true when a small faucet is used with a large, three-bowl.

  • Make Sure The Faucet Has Adequate 'Reach'

    The faucet you choose should sufficiently cover your sink, meaning that it can swing in an arc large enough to dispense water to a good portion of the sink's basin(s). The faucet's reach is determined by the horizontal distance from the spout opening to where it connects to the sink or countertop.

    This really isn't a problem with pull-out and pull-down faucets since these features effectively increase the range of where the water can be delivered.

  • Know/Understand Delivery "Lead Times"

    Unless you choose a faucet off the shelf, the faucet you want may have a 'lead time' which is the time it takes between actually ordering it and getting it in your hands. This is true both when ordering online and sometimes through a bricks-and-mortar supplier. Keep this in mind relative to the timing of other facets of a kitchen remodel so the faucet won't be holding up any aspect of the project.

  • Getting A Feel For The Faucet

    Getting to know the feel of operation of various kitchen faucet configurations can help with the selection process. That doesn't mean you necessarily have to feel every type you're interested in. But understanding that you prefer single lever faucets with larger, more rounded handles vs. smaller handles that can poke you will help you gain long term satisfaction with your purchase.

Technologies & Innovations - What You Should Know

Kitchen faucets have truly developed into one of the key tools of the kitchen and while its primary purpose is still to deliver the water, today's faucets do so with an amazing array of conveniences and functional options.

So before you make your final faucet decision, make sure you're up to speed on the various features and technologies that are available.

  • Motion Sensors/Hands Free Operation

    Hands-free faucets provide added levels of convenience. Got raw chicken juice all over your hands? No need to gunk up the faucet handle. Simply run your hands in front of the faucet to turn on the water and wash them off.

    Motion detectors are operated by a remote electronics package that operates off of household current or batteries (battery power will work during a power outage whereas systems tied into the home's electrical system won't). Water temperatures and flow times can be pre-set giving you additional control over faucet operation.

  • Touch-Sensitive Operation

    If motion sensing faucets don't appeal to you, how about touch sensitive faucets? The Touch2O faucet from Delta Faucets and the Pascal faucet from Brizo Faucets turn on and off with just a touch to the handle or the spout. It's another way to avoid contaminating the handle from soiled hands because you can just touch the spout with your wrist or forearm to control the water. They're also helpful for children who may not be able to reach the faucet handle but can reach the spout.

  • Pull-Down, Pull-Out and Pull-Off Faucets

    Taking the concept of the old side spray a few steps forward, these faucets provide a removable spout head connected to a hose that snakes through the spout, greatly increasing the reach and accessibility of the faucet stream.

    Pull-down and pull-out faucets differ primarily in the orientation of how the spray head comes out of the faucet spout but both serve the same purpose.

    Hornbeam Ivy makes a "pull-off" style in which the gooseneck spout is really just a channel that houses a steel braided hose with a spray head. The gooseneck doubles as a receptacle for the hose as well as a conventional "spout" when the hose and spray head are placed back in the spout's channel.

  • Easy-Clean Surfaces

    Surface coatings like the EverClean™ from American Standard faucets offer a finish that resists spotting and soiling and enables easy cleaning with a dry cloth. Coatings like these make your faucet look clean longer between your actual 'scheduled' cleaning times.

  • High Temperature Limit Stops

    Kohler kitchen faucets, like the Kohler Forte®, incorporate a temperature limit stop that allows you to set the maximum temperature to eliminate the risk of scalding. The stop restricts the movement of the handle so that it's impossible to run water that's too hot. Delta Faucet's DIAMOND valve faucets also possess this feature.

  • Aerator Faucet Heads

    These nifty faucets heads add air to the spray stream for a more gentle spray when you need it. Use it for washing fragile fruits or other delicate items or just when you don't want as much splash.

  • Water Conserving Faucets

    Faucets like the Grohe Ladylux with WaterCare technology use less water without conceding any reduction in water pressure or flow.

  • Commercial and Pro-Style Kitchen Faucets

    Commercial kitchen faucets are available to add to the arsenal of commercial grade kitchen appliances and fixtures. Characterized by pull-down sprays and high gooseneck styles for clearance, these faucets make for a serious kitchen.

  • High Style

    If you're looking for the unconventional, and willing to spend more than what the average kitchen faucet costs, there are cutting edge designs that await you. Kohler's Karbon faucet is an articulated design with a "spout" (better described as the 'tube that delivers the water') with 5 joints. You can bend it and position it just about wherever you need to and then fold it back up when you're done with it (or just leave it as it is).

    The Price Pfister Kenzo faucet is another style departure, with an open, squared-off U-shaped channel for a spout. You'll pay more for these design innovations but you're at least guaranteed that your kitchen will be a style leader.


Pulling It All Together - How To Choose

There can be a lot to consider when choosing a kitchen faucet. Granted, if you're looking for just a simple, conventional two-handled faucet, the considerations aren't as great.

Everyone's decision-making process is different and we all arrive at conclusions, including buying decisions, by various means. However, to help in that process, the following information attempts to pull this information together to help provide some guidance in making a good kitchen faucet decision.

  1. Become familiar with styles and finishes you prefer

    Browse online stores that sell faucets, go to manufacturer's websites to look at styles, and look through home-related magazines to see the kinds of styles (traditional, contemporary, transitional) you like. Consider how your choice blends with your kitchen's style.

  2. Determine what technologies, features and configuration you want

    Once you've narrowed down some styles, determine whether you want to spend for more reliable valve technology (like ceramic disks) and if you want features like pull-down attachments, etc. Do you want single-handle functionality or a two-handle configuration? Consider how often the faucet will be used and who will use it to help make these decisions.

  3. Know what sink is going to be matched up with the faucet

    If you're just replacing an existing faucet, you already have the sink and know that you'll need a faucet configuration to match (e.g. the faucet doesn't require more access holes than your sink currently has).

    If you're buying a new faucet and sink, such as during a kitchen remodel or for a new home, make sure the two are compatible, both functionally and aesthetically (one doesn't overpower the other).

  4. Know when you're going to install it

    If this if part of a kitchen remodel or some larger project, understand when you'll need (or want) to install the faucet because there may be a time lag between ordering one and getting it.

  5. Go ahead - make the leap and buy!

    Decisions don't have to be that excruciating. If you've actually thought about the considerations above and used some form of process like this, you've done your homework. Feel good about your choice and enjoy your new faucet.





Mediterranean bronze two-handle low arc bathroom faucet




Chrome two-handle high arc bathroom faucet