Best Kitchen Faucet Buying Guide(2022)-The Most Important Tips For You
Here's the Best Ultimate Guide to Buying a Kitchen Faucet.
The following questions will be answered in the guide.
- When should you replace your kitchen faucet?
- What are the factors you need to pay attention to when buying kitchen faucets?
- Where can you buy the right kitchen faucet for you?
Faucets play an important role in your homeAs we most store and prepare food in the kitchen, we tend to spend a large part of our time in this room. For some families, their kitchen is even equipped with a kitchen table for family members to sit and eat there. As a result, it comes naturally that the kitchen faucet, being used frequently, may wear out as time passes and would be in need of repair or even replacement. A kitchen faucet is likely to face problems such as mineral deposit blockage, rust, and leaks.
Fix it or replace it?
At first, we can try to replace only parts of the faucet in order to continue using it, including the aerator, cartridge, or O-rings. However, we would suggest that you replace the whole faucet after several times of repairs. You should definitely remember to replace it before it breaks down totally. To your surprise, you might find a more appealing faucet than the old one when looking around to change your kitchen style.
Therefore, it is important to look at new faucet choices before the purchase and to learn about the details of their features as well as other aspects when making up your mind. Continue to read the article to find out how to buy a kitchen faucet.
Before Deciding to Replace Your Kitchen Faucet
If your kitchen faucet starts to leak water or show signs of mineral build-up inside, it would be recommended to look into the cause carefully before you decide to repair or replace the faucet.
As for a leak, you can just change the faucet's cartridge or O-ring to fix the problem. In this way, you can also save some money. But if the leakage problem doesn't stop, you might want to start considering replacing it altogether instead of replacing it again.
Regarding the mineral build-up, it is often the hard water that results in this problem. Although replacement of the faucet is an option, the real problem remains, so installing a water softener before the replacement of the old faucet is the true answer to solve a mineral build-up problem once and for all.
Factors to be Considered when Purchasing a Kitchen Faucet
Under the condition that you take good care of it, the life of a kitchen faucet is usually around 15 to 20 years. Thus, it is crucial for you to find out more about the product's different features and elements that could influence your final decision, for example, its flow rate, sink configuration, and finish.
Flow Rate (GPM)
A kitchen faucet's flow rate is one of the most essential factors to be considered when purchasing a new one. The unit for measurement of flow rate is usually gallons per minute (GPM), which means the amount of water flowing through a faucet every minute. The flow rates of old faucets are around 2 GPM or above on average, while they are reduced down to 1.8 GPM or less now as we make efforts to conserve water.
So before buying a new kitchen faucet at a store or online, you should confirm if there is a flow rate limit by checking the local building codes. In some regions, people are obligated to install a low-flow faucet with a flow rate of 1.5 GPM at maximum. This kind of faucets do have a shortcoming, which is that filling up buckets or pots will take a longer time, but the bright side is that your water bill is likely to go down.
The installing spot of the faucet is also extremely essential. For a totally new sink, you get to decide its configuration, but for an old one, you must check the sink configuration before buying a faucet.
For some sinks, there's only one single hole for both hot and cold water while others may have four separate holes or more for the cold water, hot water, faucet bracket, soap dispenser, or an extra one for a pull-out sprayer. To choose the right faucet, check your sink first and confirm the number of holes it has. You should also remember that numerous faucets have covers or faceplates to cover the sink's extra pre-drilled holes, but don't drill another hole just so that the faucet could fit if the sink doesn't come with enough holes.
On the market, you will find various types of faucet finishes for an improvement of the kitchen style or for an existing ambiance. Chrome will be highly recommended as it fits most kitchen styles, blends in easily with the sink, and causes you less trouble when cleaning it. As appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, or toasters usually have a stainless steel finish, a kitchen faucet made with stainless steel will fit better with the place. But you can always choose a standing-out finish to make it special, such as platinum, matte black, pewter, or nickel.
Types of Kitchen Faucets
In fact, besides the finish, kitchen faucet types are also various in the number of handles and the spouts' size and form.
There are several popular types available:
including single-handle, double-handle, touchless, gooseneck spouts, stationary spouts, pull-out spouts, pull-down spouts, and straight spouts.
Touchless faucets make it more convenient for the users to turn on the water. They come in especially handy when you are busy with cooking and your hands are dirty, but they cost much higher than other faucets.
Single-handle faucets use less space and need fewer pre-drilled holes in the sink, compared to double-handle faucets, but maybe you will find it a little bit easier to adjust the flow and water temperature with a double-handle faucet.
Double-handle faucets have better flow and water temperature control as users are able to control the hot and cold water separately. However, if your sink only comes with one pre-drilled hole, double-handle faucets are not an option. Also, they do take up more space in general.
Gooseneck spout faucets are shaped like a gooseneck with their curve extending from the bottom until the spout faces down. Though this type of faucets are elegant, it is not suitable for a small kitchen or if there's not enough space above the sink.
Stationary spout faucets are movable from side to side without a pull-down or pull-out sprayer. Actually, these faucets may have a sprayer on the side or no sprayer at all.
Pull-down spout faucets are more or less the same as pull-out spout faucets. More precisely, the spout pulls down from the faucet head and you can return the hose back into the faucet after use.
Pull-out spout faucets typically have shorter spouts and longer hoses than pull-down spout faucets. For this style of faucets, there is a built-in sprayer pulling out from the faucet head and they can also function as a stationary faucet without using the sprayer.
Straight spout faucets extend out horizontally from the body of the faucet. They come in varying lengths and can be used for small single sink setups or larger double sink setups, depending on the length of the spout.
Installing a new kitchen faucet generally costs you less if you do the job yourself and a bit more if you decide to hire a plumber. For those who are skilled and equipped with the necessary tools for installing the faucet, they will only have to pay for the faucet, but its price varies from $50 to $2,000. If only the tools are needed, an extra cost of the kit will be involved. A whole package kit is composed of channel locks ($10-$30), tape measure ($5–$20), an adjustable wrench ($10-$40), basin wrench ($15–$20), flexible supply lines ($3-$10), and plumber's putty or tape ($5–$10).
To complete the job on your own is a perfect way to save money because a professional plumber would cost you up to $3,200. This price is calculated with the labor costs, normally $100 to $200 per hour based on the company, location, and difficulty of the installation.
Therefore, if your budget is limited and you happen to be not able to install the faucet yourself, a simple stationary straight spout faucet might be preferred as it costs less and a chrome or stainless steel finish which is less expensive.
Naturally, you think of the local home improvement store first to buy a kitchen faucet. However, you will be surprised by the variety of products available online, just as high-quality as those in a store. When confused about where to purchase a new kitchen faucet, you can think about the pros and cons of in-store and online purchases before making the decision.
In-store purchasing has the benefit of professional advice provided by the salespeople. Also, you will be able to actually see the faucets rather than viewing pictures on the screen. If you decide to shop in-store, all you need to do is to gather the needed information to make a one-stop shopping.
If the option of online shopping prevails, you will be glad to find out a wide range of faucet products that come in different styles, types, and finishes. What's more, a product page online is somewhat more detailed with information than the in-store product description, and you can lay back in your comfortable chair to view and choose instead of heading to the store. Nevertheless, all you can see is product pictures or videos online and it is possible that the shipping causes problems, for instance, the package might go missing before delivery.
Final Decision of Shopping Place
Indeed, while some of us prefer shopping in-store and rely on the professional help of employees there, others might choose to shop online even if it means they will have to use their credit cards online and depend on the delivery of a shipping company. After all, you are likely to get the same result by buying a kitchen faucet in-store or online, so just figure out which way suits your needs the best and purchase a faucet from a store or a reliable online shopping website.
What is the right time to replace a kitchen faucet?
You will know you need a new kitchen faucet in many ways. First, if there are leaking problems, check the existing faucet to see if there are mineral deposits built up which would reduce the water flow. Although a leaking faucet can be repaired, it will be time to get a new one after several repairs. Also, you should replace your faucet if rust piles up.
How long is the life of a kitchen faucet?
Generally, a kitchen faucet can be used for 15 to 20 years on average. Remember that good maintenance and effective repairs can help your faucet last longer even though some problems might occur from time to time.
Should I hire a plumber to install a kitchen faucet?
A plumber is not necessary if you are capable of installing it by yourself. Anyways, it is not that difficult to complete the job, so you can also learn to install it by watching videos online and following the steps indicated. However, if your faucet is already leaking, it will cost more water and bring you a more expensive water bill, so a plumber might be called for in case of emergency.