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Buying Guide

Best Kitchen Faucets for Your Home

Things to Consider
A single handle kitchen faucet.

When you're shopping for a new faucet, there are a few factors to consider.

 

  • Cost: Always factor in your budget when shopping. With kitchen faucets, things like features, finish and type will cause prices to vary. 
  • Size: When it comes to how to purchase and how to replace a kitchen faucet, the size of your kitchen and the amount of countertop space you have are the most important factors to consider. Your hot and cold-water inlets will always be about 8 inches apart, and the faucet should stick out no further than 12 inches from the base. So be sure to measure your counter area. 
  • Special features: Take into account if you want special features like a garbage disposal button or a built-in water filter. These features offer convenience and less effort. 
  • Care: How you care for your faucet will depend on the finish. For daily cleaning, we recommend soap and water; however, you can deep clean using a mixture of white vinegar or baking soda and water. You can also purchase faucets that already include antimicrobial protection.
Sink Body Types
A widespread kitchen faucet.

One of the most common types of kitchen faucets, single-hole faucets are also referred to as bar faucets because their narrow body style makes them a great selection for a wet bar area or any room in the house that has one hole in the countertop. It features just one handle for both hot and cold water. 


Sometimes referred to as “two-hole” faucets, this type sits in the center of your sink with all parts connected on one metal plate. Features separate handles for hot and cold water. This is a good choice for homes with families, since the water temperatures are controlled with designated handles. 


  • Widespread
    While they resemble centerset faucets, widespread faucets include pieces that have to be installed separately, so you will need multiple holes in your countertop. Typically, widespread faucets are spaced from 6 to 16 inches apart, so it’s important to measure before you begin shopping for your new faucet. 


These types of faucets are installed on the wall rather than the inside of a sink. Wall-mounted faucets are great if you are limited on countertop space or live in a smaller space. 


If you want to learn more about how to install a single-handle kitchen faucet, take a look at our guide. 

Faucet Holes and Deck Plates
A standard two-hole deck plate faucet with side sprayer.

Kitchen sinks and countertops typically have between one and five holes to accommodate various configurations of handles, spouts and any accessories like side sprayers or soap dispensers.


Deck Plates:

  • Kitchen faucets can be mounted either with or without a deck plate, which contains your faucet’s spout and handles in one mounting plate. These units can cover up to three holes in your sink.
  • Faucets without deck plates require each component, such as the spout, handles, sprayer and lotion or soap dispenser, to be mounted individually on the sink or countertop.


  • One hole – Sinks with one hole typically fit single-handle faucets. Some double-handle units can accommodate sinks with a single hole.
  • Two holesBridge faucets or two-hole configurations are typically suited to single-handle faucets and an accessory such as a sprayer or soap dispenser.
  • Three holes – Double-handle faucets require three holes, one for each handle and one for the spout. You can install units with or without deck plates in three-hole sinks.
  • Four or five holes – Sinks with more holes allow you flexibility during installation. Install a single or double-handle faucet and use the remaining holes for accessories. Or, cover any unused spaces with sink hole covers. You can also install units with or without deck plates.


Tip: If you've found a faucet that requires fewer holes than are available in your sink, use sink hole covers to conceal any unused spaces. 

Handles and Accessories
A kitchen faucet side sprayer.

Once you know the number of holes your faucet requires and which mounting option you prefer, you’re ready to consider handle, sprayer and spout options.


Handles: 

  • Single-handle faucets can be attached to the faucet base or can stand alone, and require one or two sink holes. Many models come with a mounting plate to cover up to three unused holes and are ADA compliant for people with disabilities. A side sprayer can be integrated in the main faucet deck or as part of the faucet spout.
  • Double-handle faucets have separate handles for hot and cold water and require three sink holes. The handles may be integrated with a deck plate or mounted separately. The sprayer is typically separate from the faucet head.


Sprayers:

Sprayers may be located on the faucet spout or to the side. Some faucets incorporate pull-out or pull-down spray heads into the spout that allow you to direct water wherever you choose, providing added convenience and versatility for cooking and cleaning.


  • Pull-out faucets have spouts that are curved or angled, allowing the head to be pulled out and extended. They are available for single-handle faucets, useful for washing dishes and vegetables and for rinsing the sink. Some units offer an additional spray and/or pause function located within the main faucet head.
  • Pull-down faucets have spouts that rise into a high arc, allowing the head to be pulled down into the sink. They are available for single or double-handle faucets and allow more space and flexibility in the sink. The pull-down feature often includes a spray and/or pause function.
  • Side sprayers mount to the side of the faucet and require a separate hole in the sink or countertop. They extend water flow to hard-to-reach areas and make cleaning large pots or preparing food easier since they retract when not in use. Side sprayers can often be matched with your existing faucet.


Tip: A word of advice on what to know when replacing a kitchen sink sprayer; you don’t need to purchase an entirely new faucet. Most sprayers are mounted either on the faucet body plate or on the side of it, so removing and replacing is fairly easy. 


Spouts:

  • Select a faucet with a spout that reaches as close to the center of the sink as possible. Average-size sinks require an 8 to 10-inch spout, while larger sinks and sinks with multiple bowls may require a 12 to 14-inch spout. 
  • Standard spouts commonly rest 3 to 5 inches above the plane of the sink. High-arc spouts, also known as Gooseneck spouts, are commonly 8 to 10 inches above the plane of the sink. They add an elegant look, provide more work room and increase range by rotating as much as 180 degrees.
Finishes
A two-handle faucet in a gold finish.

Your faucet’s finish is the surface coating on the spout and handles. Consider a finish that complements your kitchen’s decor and coordinates with your lighting and appliances. Many manufacturers have special processes that make their finishes highly durable and resistant to abrasion and discoloration. Some of the more popular finishes are chrome, satin nickel, stainless steel, bronze and brass. 


Many also provide lifetime guarantees that protect the faucet against tarnish, so look for a finish backed by a strong warranty.


  • Chrome faucets may have a polished, brushed or matte finish. Durable, economical and easy-to-clean, they resist oxidation but do show water marks more than some other finishes.
  • Stainless steel faucets may have a polished, brushed or matte finish. Like chrome faucets, they are durable, easy-to-clean and resist oxidation.
  • Nickel faucets may have a brushed or satin look and are stylish, durable and easy to clean. Look for units with a titanium finish to better resist scratching and tarnish.
  • Mixed colors and metallic tones can be matched to your kitchen’s color scheme. Striking combinations include satin nickel and polished brass, brushed nickel and polished chrome, satin nickel and black faucets, and more.
  • Brass faucets may have a high gloss, satin or antique finish and are ideal for traditional decor.
  • Bronze faucets complement neutral color palettes and are popular choices for those looking to achieve a rustic look. They may have a polished, brushed or darker oil-rubbed look with highlights. They resist scratches, tarnishing and corrosion.
  • Solid-color faucets may be epoxy or baked-on enamel. They typically clean easily. Popular options include white, black and ivory.
Specialty Sinks and Features
A pot-filler faucet.

Secondary sinks and bar faucets provide added convenience for preparing food or entertaining. When selecting a faucet for a secondary sink, choose one that complements the style and finish of your primary faucet.


  • Faucets for food preparation should have both hot and cold water and sprays with high functionality.
  • Faucets for entertaining may require cold water only, enhanced with a water filtration system.


Features:

  • An adjustable flow-rate restrictor provides complete control over how much water you use. These are ideal for areas where water supply is limited or if you’re concerned about conserving water.
  • Dishwashing chores are made easier with a sprayer that features a scraper or brush.  
  • Pot-filler faucet: A faucet mounted over the stove allows you to fill heavy pots without carrying them back and forth to the sink. Many of these faucets feature a double-jointed spout that makes it easy to fill pots on both the front and back burners. This design also allows the unit to fold back against the wall when not in use to keep it out of the way. Some units offer both hot and cold valves.
  • If you have an extra sink hole, consider installing a faucet component that dispenses immediate hot or chilled water. 
  • While most faucets require the addition of a separate filter, some feature a built-in filtration unit that strains impurities such as dirt, rust and chemicals to provide better-tasting water for drinking and cooking. Upscale models combine a pullout sprayer with a filter and some have an LCD indicator that monitors filter life.
  • Touchless faucets turn on automatically using light and infrared sensors. They offer convenient operation when hands are soapy or dirty, help stop the spread of germs and save money and water.