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The Choice of Faucet for the Kitchen Sink

Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase, “this speaks to me,” in an art museum or crafters fair. You also may have felt it upon first entering your newly remodeled kitchen, with sleek new countertops, impressive cabinetry and lustrous flooring. Well, if a kitchen can truly speak to you, if it could be personified into a living, breathing creature of the cooking arts, then most assuredly its mouth would originate at the kitchen sink, its words formed in water from the kitchen faucet.

The kitchen faucet is what comes to mind for most of us when we think of kitchen fixtures. And it is indeed a fixture in every kitchen. Whether added as a finishing touch to your remodel or as a replacement to spruce up the place, fixing on a faucet is a decision worth getting right. There are two general ways to separate one faucet from the next: the faucet material and how it works. You, friends, have many different spigots to choose from.

Material Choices

Kitchen faucets are going to be metal. The most popular are stainless steel and chrome. These are easy to clean and can be polished to a beautiful shine that is both modern and sleek. Brass and nickel have the ability to be both polished or antiqued, the latter providing an excellent choice for traditional kitchen designs. A more unique option is copper. It is rare and expensive but virtually guarantees a very individual kitchen. Owners of copper sinks will no doubt be very interested.

How it Works

As far as function goes, there are two types of kitchen faucet. Compression faucets are your standard faucets. You have two handles, one for hot and one for cold water. Mixing faucets have a single knob or lever, which controls both water pressure and temperature. Because they do not use washers, which wear out, mixing faucets tend to be more durable than compression faucets. There are three types of mixing faucets: cartridge, ball and disc. A cartridge faucet has a hollow metal insert, called a cartridge, that must align with an O-ring in the faucet body. How the holes in each align determines how water is mixed and how it flows.

Ball faucets have a single handle that controls a metal ball with slots in it. These slots align with water feeds to regulate water mix (hot or cold) and water flow or pressure.

Disc faucets have the familiar handle that moves from side to side, as well as up and down. This action is the result of two discs in the faucet body. The upper disc is movable while the lower disc is stationary. How these two discs interact controls the water flow and temperature. Most often, moving the handle from left to right changes temperature, while the up and down motion regulates how much water is allowed through the faucet.


The spigot is actually the neck through which a faucet’s water words flow. The spigot is the most noticeable feature on any faucet - some are short and small (ideal for small spaces, more often bathrooms than kitchens) and some are quite long. The latter style usually takes the form of what is called a gooseneck faucet. These long, arched faucets are very common in kitchens because they make it easy to fill and clean large pots, pitchers and pans.

Pullout sprayers are also common because they allow the faucet to extend beyond its rigid place at center of the sink. They make cleaning of large sinks or prep areas a breeze and often switch between spray and stream mode for the utmost in convenience. The flexible hose is typically hidden inside a faucet body, most often gooseneck in design, although models with visible sprayer and hose are available.

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