Choosing faucets for a new sink or replacing your old ones can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a lot of work. There are so many different styles to choose from, and so many different important features to consider. The stakes tend to feel high, too; after all, how will you really know how much you like the look and functionality of your new faucets until after you’ve installed them?
When it comes to finding the right faucets for your needs, a little research can go a long way. If you know what to look for during your search, you’ll be able to form educated opinions on faucets and narrow down your field of selection a lot faster. Plus, you’ll be that much more likely to end up with something you like. Here are a few important things you should look for when you’re considering a new faucet.
Like most appliance investments, you tend to get what you pay for with faucets. While it’s true that great deals exist somewhere, you should expect to spend at least around $60 per sink faucet. Kitchen sink faucets are generally a little more expensive; expect to spend at least $100 on one of those.
Be wary of faucets that cost a lot more or less than this price range. If you find a deal that seems too good to be true, it probably is. Spend too much more, and you’re probably paying too much for some fancy feature you don’t need.
It might sound obvious now, but you’d be surprised how many times we’ve seen homeowners try to install a faucet that ends up being too tall to fit under their kitchen cabinets or too wide to fit in their sink.
Before you replace your current faucet, measure its height and width. Make sure the one you’re buying will actually fit in the holes built into your sink. Measure the neck of the faucet to ensure it won’t be short or too long. A reputable faucet-selling website will include measurements in the product information section of the page, and you can take measurements along to stores to consult with the sales team. Sinks come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and if your faucets aren’t exactly the right size, they won’t work, so measuring accurately is important!
While researching the more technical aspects of your new faucet, it’s easy to overlook the basics. Does your sink have one hole for faucet handles or three? You can’t use a two-handle faucet if your sink only accommodates one.
If you decide on a one-handle faucet, most will come with cover plates to hide the other installation holes in the sink. Make sure the one you choose includes them if you plan on installing it in a three-hole sink. Whatever you end up choosing, make sure the handles will work for your sink. If they’re spaced too far away from one another to fit into the holes, too tall for the sink’s clearance, or too big for the holes, you won’t be able to use your nice new faucet.
A faucet’s valves are arguably their most important component. Valves are responsible for maintaining a watertight seal between faucet and water supply pipe. You open them to let water flow, and close them to restrict flow. Good valves last a long time, regulate temperature and pressure effectively, and don’t trim or leak.
There are a number of design types of sink valve, including compression valves, ball valves, cartridges, and ceramic disks. Ceramic disks are the most durable and reliable, and they cost about the same as other types. If you can, go with a faucet that uses ceramic disk valves to avoid an annoying drip as long as possible.
There are a couple things to consider when choosing a faucet’s finish: first, will it look good in the room you’re installing it in? Will it match the rest of your appliances and decor, or clash? Don’t underestimate the aesthetic value of your faucets; you’re going to look at them pretty much everyday. A faucet that looks bad will drive you nuts if you let it.
Beyond the look, keep in mind that some finishes will last longer than others. Chromed faucets are very durable and easy to keep clean, but some people don’t like the way they look. Other common finishes include stainless steel (nickel) and bronze. Each of these finishes have their own strengths and weaknesses. Nickel gets dirty and chips more easily than chrome and bronze is susceptible to scratching, but under the right circumstances, both can be good choices.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, make sure you like the way the faucet looks and feels. Chances are you’ll have them for a long time, so you want to like them. Don’t get so caught up by the research and logistics that you wind up buying something you don’t want.
If you need some help installing those nice new faucets, just let us know. We have the expertise to get it done quickly and effectively. Plus we’ll compliment your good taste in faucets, which will be nice.