People always say that the kitchen is the heart of the household and chances are, the most frequently used utensil in your kitchen is the faucet above the sink. So whether you’re looking to upgrade or remodel your kitchen, getting a high-quality new kitchen faucet is sure to make your life much easier.
Fortunately, kitchen faucets have come a long way with their high-quality hardware and spotless finishes. Most kitchen faucets of reputed brands (except the cheapest ones) are super reliable these days and you can bid goodbye to the faucets of old which used to leak and drip.
So with that in mind, let’s take a look at the different types of single-handed kitchen faucets out there and the features you would want in them.
Buyer’s Guide For The Best Single Handle Kitchen Faucet
Match the faucet type to the number of mounting holes on your kitchen sink
Your sink should have at least one mounting hole on it which has been pre-drilled to install a water faucet. Depending on the sink you have, it could have one or multiple holes.
A single-handed kitchen faucet requires only the space of one mounting hole to work. This is the advantage of a single-handed kitchen faucet. The faucet has a lever next to the spout that rotates in a half-circle both forward and backward, allowing you to alternate between warm and cold water. Thus the entire operation can be done by one hand.
If your sink has more than one hole drilled in it, you could use the other holes to mount accessories (like a sprayer), another single-handed kitchen faucet or you could cover up these holes with a base-plate for your sink. Just remember, it’s never a good idea to drill any extra holes in the sink.
Consider the height and style of the faucet
When matching a faucet to your sink, it’s important to consider the dimensions of the faucet you are planning to install. There are two variables – the spout height (or how high the faucet is from the kitchen sink surface) and the reach (how far the faucet reaches towards the middle of the sink).
There are two types of faucets – straight faucets and gooseneck faucets. Straight faucets are compact and cheap, but they leave little space between the top of the kitchen sink and the tap. This type of faucet usually rises 3 to 5 inches above the sink, thus it will be hard to fit a large pot or pan in between the faucet and the sink. You’ll constantly have to move the dishes around to keep them in place.
Because of the low spout height, you also won’t be able to stack too many dishes on the kitchen sink. If the spout height is too low, there will also be considerable splashing whenever you turn the faucet on – either from the dishes or the sink floor, if your sink doesn’t have that much depth.
Gooseneck faucets, on the other hand, have an arch-shaped spout which leaves you space to work with above the sink. They usually have a height of 8 to 10 inches above the kitchen counter.
You also need to ensure that the faucet reaches at least to the middle of the sink, where the drain is. No matter what style you choose, make sure you get one that can swivel, so you can reach all the corners of the sink.
Consider pull-out or pull-down faucets
A pull-out or pull-down faucet is where the spout can be extended away from the faucet, which makes it like a hose. There is usually a spring or counterweight attached which retracts the pull-down faucet back to its original position. Some of the more premium ones even have magnetic locks that keep the nozzle head safely in its place.
These faucets help you direct the water flow and cover every square inch of the basin. They are also great for washing vegetables, meat, and other food items. You can really bring the water pressure to the food without having to take the food to the faucet and splashing water all over the place. They are also handy for cleaning the underside of plates, pots, etc.
Even better faucets are the ones which have a spray/stream selector button at the top or side of the head. This button lets you choose between these two modes and gives you even more versatility and makes cleaning a lot easier.
Consider the material for construction and the finish
The most common materials used in faucet construction faucets are brass, stainless steel, plastic, and zinc alloys. You can usually get several different choices of finishes.
Brass has been the go-to choice for most faucet manufacturers for a long time. Solid cast brass faucets are the most durable and will last a long long time. Stainless steel is also gaining popularity these days because it is lead-free and has great corrosion resistance. Just make sure there isn’t any inferior quality metal underneath the shiny exterior.
Plastic is the cheapest but is also the least reliable material for construction. This is especially true if your faucet spouts out hard water. The mineral deposits from hard water will wear out a plastic faucet much faster and to a much greater degree than metal faucets.
Once you’ve decided on a material, you would also want to get a corresponding finish. Your choice of finish should complement the color scheme of your kitchen and also protect the faucet from fingerprints, watermarks, and scratches.
Chrome or polished brass is the most popular among finishes because of its durability. However, if you despise fingerprints and spots, consider a matte finish instead of a shiny finish like copper.
To ensure your finish never fades away, get a finish that has been applied on the metal using PVD or Physical Vapor Deposition. This process involves the use of vacuum pressure and electric current to forge a much stronger bond between the metal and the finish.
If you’re looking for a basic single-handed kitchen faucet, this guide should help you realize what’s most important. You need to remember you’ll be using your kitchen sink faucet extensively multiple times a day. So, it makes sense to invest a little extra and get one that works really well.
If you want to make your life even easier, there are several accessories and special features you can choose from. For example, some filters have built-in water filtration systems. Some are automatic faucets that activate the faucet simply by placing a dish or a hand in front of the motor sensor.
Getting these accessories is often totally worth it!