Choosing the Best Faucet for You

Buying the right kitchen or bath faucet may sound like an easy thing to do. Find something you like for the price you want to pay and you’re done, right? While price is important you also want to consider:

Function, Appearance, Usability, Construction, Expectations, Time

It’s a little cute, but this is a way to help you remember what’s important to consider.  It will help you find the best faucet for your home.

Your Best Faucet Choice Checklist:

Function refers to how well a particular faucet will work in your kitchen.  It can include:

  • spout length (is it appropriate for the sink?),
  • faucet height (is there a window or other view that the faucet impacts?),
  • handle design (easy to reach, grip and turn?),
  • overall size (does it physically fit into the space available?),
  • spout style (straight or gooseneck?), and
  • spray options (no spray, side spray, or pull out or down spray?).

Appearance includes the shape, style and finish color.

  • Is it important to you that the faucet have a certain style?
  • Are you looking for something traditional? Contemporary? Transitional?
  • Do you want fancy or plain?
  • Consider the color. Do you like shiny or matte finish? Chrome, nickel, or bronze?

Find something that you like the look of, and that will look good in your space.

Usability concerns the degree of ease of use. A product may be well designed, but still not easy to use. For example, several years ago Grohe introduced their new “Ladylux” faucet, which featured a high gooseneck spout and a handle located on the side of the faucet body.  It was a well-designed product, and we had one installed in our kitchen at work.  The sink was placed in a way that required a reach from the left side to turn the faucet on. That meant my arm was under the spout, so I ended up getting water halfway up my sleeve. Not highly useable for me. It’s important to consider who will use the faucet, and how they’ll use it. In this case a faucet with a top handle would have been a wiser choice.

Construction is something that is often overlooked.  I could write several pages on the subject. Broadly speaking, this is:

  • what the faucet body is made of (zinc alloy, brass, bronze, stainless steel),
  • which operating system is  used (washers, washer-less cartridge, or ceramic disc),
  • which metal finishing process (plating, PVD, powder coat),
  • how it was built (casting, machining, hand-finishing, etc).

These factors have enormous influence on performance over time, when choosing the best faucet for your home. So it’s important to learn a little bit about how your faucet is put together.

Expectation means how you expect the faucet to perform. For example, someone who doesn’t use their kitchen much may just need the faucet to turn on and off. While someone with a cook’s kitchen full of expensive equipment may require a faucet that’s capable of subtle increments of temperature and volume. Buying a product that’s unlikely to meet your expectations leads to disappointment.

Time refers to the life of the product. How long do you need the faucet to work for? Buying a faucet for a house you are going to sell within five years is one thing, and can be purchased for a relatively low cost. Buying a faucet for your dream kitchen, in the home you expect to live in for the rest of your life, is another matter and should be budgeted for accordingly.

So, the next time you’re in the market for a kitchen or bath faucet, remember F.A.U.C.E.T.  You’ll be sure to bring home the specific faucet that’s best for YOU.

If you’re looking for the best faucet choice, or another decorative plumbing product, please visit our showroom. I’ll help you pick out the best product for you. We’re located in American Canyon, just 10 minutes south of Napa and 25 minutes north of San Francisco. You can download our map and easy directions to our showroom here. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

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2 thoughts on “Choosing the Best Faucet for You

  1. Hey Kate: Read a couple of your posts. Nice job. I didn’t know there was so much to know about faucets. Nice touch – tying what to do with the subject: F.A.U.C.E.T. Keep it up.

  2. Kate-

    You created a very informative and helpful checklist with a great mneumoic in F.A.U.C.E.T. to make it meaningful and memorable.

    I have always been intimidated by “construction” when choosing fixtures, especially when in the past I have tried to keep costs down by shopping at Home Depot. A couple of years ago, I was told that HD places enormous price pressure on many suppliers to the point some will cut corners such as replacing the inner copper tubing with plastic, yet still marketing it under the same brand name and model. I have been lead to believe that this is one key reason for the price differential between HD and a better kitchen and bath retailer, who will not sell such an ersatz product. Is that still true?

    Ed

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