Replacing your broken faucet? Looking to revamp your kitchen? Building a new home?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you’re probably looking to buy a new faucet.
But with so many different models and options in the market, it can seem confusing to pick the right one.
Luckily, we’ve made a complete guide just for you — with a list of 15 popular types of kitchen faucets.
So if you’re ready, let’s dive into it!
Table of Contents
Types of Kitchen Faucets
1. Pull-down faucet
Pull-down faucets are quickly becoming the industry standard because of their minimalistic design and extended range of cleaning. The neck has a showerhead at the tip, which can be pulled down (hence the name) at will and used to conveniently clean the difficult spots around your dishes or sink.
Most pull-down faucets also feature a spray head that retracts automatically to its original position when released. On the downside, these faucets have a limited range and can reach the bottom of your sink at best. But for people that aren’t expecting to use them over the countertop, pull-down faucets are a perfect option.
2. Pull-out faucet
Pull-out faucets are a step above in terms of convenience, range, and functionality. They have a longer hose than the former and can easily reach most places outside of your sink. This makes them highly useful for directly filling up pots and pans sitting on your countertop or stove.
If you’re a home gardener, you can use pull-out faucets to water the plants on your window sill. Because these faucets are made for maximum convenience, they usually have buttons on the spray head for directly adjusting the temperature and flow. Unfortunately, it’s also easier to flood your counters or make splashes with these faucets if you’re not careful with the pressure.
3. Single-handle faucet
Everyone has seen a single-handle faucet, and that’s probably because they have the most straightforward design of all. You can find them in various designs; however, the one thing they all have in common is the single lever. This lever is attached to the top or side of the faucet and has a 360-degree range of motion.
You can turn the level up or down to control the water flow and sideways to change the temperature. Most single-handle faucets also come with an aerator to minimize water usage while maintaining pressure. That’s why they are ideal for bathroom sinks where practicality and water conservation are a priority.
4. Double-handle faucet
The classic double-handle faucet was the only option available before all the other faucets came into the limelight. It has a design that even a 2-year-old can figure out; one tap for cold and hot water each. And because it has separate lines for both temperatures, the pressure is also much stronger than single-handle and other types of faucets.
One more benefit of having two handles is that you can precisely set the temperature of the water. And when you either want hot or cold water, you can instantly hit one of the levers without thinking. The only requirement of double-handle faucets is enough counter space to fit in both the levers and neck.
5. Side-sprayer faucet
Besides the pull-down and pull-out faucet, there’s also a third option called the Side-sprayer. It has a separate spray head beside the main faucet that comes with a longer hose and adjustable stream options. That way, you can use the regular faucet to wash your hands and utilize the sprayer to clean the tough spots in your sink or fill your flower vase with water.
Since the sprayer and main faucet are set at different pressures, you can also save a lot of water and effort by using each when appropriate. But before you decide on installing side-sprayers, check whether you have enough space on your sink for two faucets to sit.
6. Commercial faucet
Every list has one item that blows every other option out of the water (literally). For this list, it’s the commercial faucet. It is by far the most versatile and convenient faucet with the longest spraying range. On the outside, it looks like an upgraded version of the pull-down faucet. However, commercial ones have a hose that’s long enough to let you fill a pitcher on the floor.
Because these faucets are made for quick dish-cleaning, they can spray water in various patterns with a ton of pressure. This can also be problematic if you don’t have a deep enough sink. Commercial faucets also come in various designs, with some even featuring an integrated pot filler. However, these faucets would only be a good value for people that have big kitchens, cook for large gatherings, and have a decent budget.
7. Pot filler
Nothing can beat the practicality of filling your pots with water directly over the stove. That’s exactly what pot fillers are for. These faucets have dual arms that can swivel outwards over a large area with the help of a joint. Compared to regular taps, pot fillers also release water with a lot of pressure, so you can fill big containers within seconds.
The ability to fill water right over your stove can save you a lot of back discomfort if you’re frequently transporting liters-worth of water from your sink. Moreover, a stylish pot filler can add to the appearance of your kitchen and is sure to get looks of surprise from your guests. Though if you’re in the mood of getting one, you’ll probably have to get a separate water line fixed over the stove wall as most homes aren’t built with one.
8. Smart faucet
Smart faucets are a game-changer for people that value convenience over everything and are tech-savvy. Like most smart home gadgets, you can control them with your voice assistants like Alexa or Siri to perform various functions without ever touching the lever. This includes dialing the water temperature down to the exact degree, filling a precise amount of water, and even calculating your total water consumption over a certain period.
All of these features make smart faucets perfect on occasions when you can’t touch the tap or if you’re serious about your cooking. They also come in minimalistic and sleek designs that can elevate the look of your kitchen or bathroom. On the contrary, smart faucets are the priciest of the bunch and can set you back several hundred bucks, if not more. Plus, they can only be installed or repaired by a professional, so tinkering is out of the question.
9. Touchless faucet
You’ve probably seen these in restaurants and modern homes, but there’s a good reason why you should invest in one as well. Touchless faucets are not only incredibly convenient, but they’re also more hygienic and affordable compared to smart faucets.
They operate through a motion sensor integrated into their base, which activates water flow whenever you bring your hands underneath the nozzle. For temperature control, the faucets have a small lever beside the spout.
In situations where your hands are covered with food or you’re in the middle of an intense cookout, touchless faucets can be a lifesaver. They can also potentially save a lot of water if you have a habit of accidentally leaving the water running.
10. Widespread faucet
Ever imagined hiding all the extra pipes of your faucet under your sink? If you have, the widespread faucet might be an excellent option for you. With this faucet, the spout and two handles are installed directly over the counter in their separate holes. All of the remaining plumbing goes underneath, leading to a cleaner and more minimalistic look.
As you have more freedom with spacing widespread faucets, you can also install accessories like a sprayer or soap dish. However, this look comes at a cost. Since each piece goes in a separate hole, you have to do extra measuring and drilling to fit them precisely. If you’re getting the faucet installed by a plumber, the extra work will rack up charges. Plus, you will have more holes to fill in your counter if you want to add new hardware.
11. Wall-mounted faucet
As you can guess from the name, wall-mounted faucets are fixated to the wall instead of your countertop. And while this may only sound like a different placement, it actually has a big hygiene and cleanliness benefit. Since most traditional faucets sit on the countertop, the splashing water collects around their handles/spouts. If not dried, hard water buildups can form around them and corrode your expensive plumbing.
With wall-mounted faucets, the water usually runs down by itself, helping your fixtures last for longer. That’s why you often find these faucets over bathtubs, where the potential of mineral buildup is higher. But if you also want to install them in your kitchen, you will likely have to bring a new water line as most sinks are built for over-the-counter faucets.
12. Dual pillar taps
Though most modern bathrooms use a single-handle faucet for the sink, dual pillar taps used to be the standard in older times. Even today in the UK, many homes use dual pillar taps to get hot and cold water from separate faucets.
While this was useful in simultaneously collecting hot and cold water in the sink, it had one big design flaw — no central spout for mixed water. You either had access to extremely hot or freezing cold water. If this problem doesn’t bother you, or you’re installing the taps in your laundry room sink, dual pillar taps could be an excellent option.
13. Bridge faucet
Bridge faucets can be an ideal choice in two situations; when your sink is made for dual pillar taps or you want to achieve a vintage look. The purpose of the bridge faucet is to combine two water lines into a single spout. Thus, if your sink already has dual taps installed, you can combine the two lines with a bridge faucet if the distance between the fixtures is the same.
But for people that want to install this faucet completely anew, some drilling will be required to make space for the separate lines. This also means extra plumbing charges since most people don’t possess advanced tinkering skills. But if you’re serious about a vintage look, then all the better for it.
14. Two-handle one-hole faucet
Similar to the bridge faucet, the two-handle one-hole faucet has the same vintage design with classic pronged handles. But unlike the former, these faucets only need a single hole in the sink for installation. This allows you to pull off the same aesthetics without any additional drilling or plumbing.
Despite that, these faucets do have one weak spot. If one of the handles becomes faulty, you will likely have to replace the entire fixture. So if your area gets hard water, it might cost you a lot to repair and service these faucets.
15. Filtered faucet
What’s better than having water filtered directly from your tap? These faucets can be extremely functional for cities and areas that receive cloudy or hard water. Once you turn on the tap, the filtration device attached to the tip runs the water through a screen that blocks dirt and sediments. After that, the water gets processed with carbon to remove any bacteria and contaminants invisible to the eye.
All of this happens within seconds, and you get clean, healthy, and filtered water directly into your sink. You do have to replace the filtration system every two to three months, but for what it’s worth, these faucets can save you a lot of hassle and extra cost in installing a separate filter in your kitchen.
Guide to selecting a faucet
To an ordinary person, a faucet is just another piece of hardware. But when you’re a professional chef, a serious architect, or a hardware store owner, selecting the right one can go a long way.
And for that, you need someone to guide you through all the jumbled information on the internet. Lucky for you, we’ve prepared a complete guide that touches on everything related to faucets. So, the next time you’re in the store, you know just the one to go for!
Parts of a faucet
The first step on your road to selecting a faucet is to know each of its parts. A simple faucet is made out of only three parts;
The largest (and the longest) part of a faucet is its spout. It can be described as the long neck of the faucet through which water travels from your lines to the sink. The spout is installed directly into the counter or wall and comes in various designs and shapes.
The second most important part of a faucet is its handles. They are used to control the pressure and temperature of the water. Traditional faucets have two handles; one for cold and the other for hot water.
However, some modern ones feature a single lever instead of a handle. This lever can tilt vertically to control the water flow or sideways to change the water temperature.
Lastly, the third main component of a faucet is its head. This can also be called the spray head or nozzle, and it comes in both detachable and non-detachable options. In pull-out and commercial faucets, this spray head is detachable and gets water from another hose hidden inside the spout. Some detachable spray heads also have buttons to trigger the water flow.
In contrast, the head on conventional faucets is fixed. However, some of them do have a rotatable dial on the tip that allows you to change the pattern of the water stream.
Types of spouts
Being the largest and most important part of a faucet, the spout comes in various shapes for users to choose from. Each one is ideal for a certain function and has its pros and cons. Here are the three common spout shapes that are available in the market:
The standard spout shape is the perfect balance between style and functionality. It looks like an upside-down J with a soft curve that usually directs water at a diagonal angle. In this spout shape, the spray head is usually placed much higher above the sink.
This allows users to fill up taller containers, but can also create some splashing on the counter. Despite that, standard spouts are the perfect option for average users and are commonly seen in pull-down style faucets.
In professional kitchens, the gooseneck spout is the most common shape due to its higher arch and focused stream. The neck has a very strong 180-degree curvature that can be described as a perfect U shape.
Gooseneck spouts are also longer than standard ones and come down quite deep into the sink. Their tall arch allows space to fit in even bigger pots and pitchers. Because of their enhanced functionality, you can find this spout shape quite frequently in commercial faucets.
An arm spout looks like a half arch, with a slightly tilted neck that aims towards you. It has a nozzle on the bottom of the arm that points downwards toward the basin. Because the neck does not have a u-shaped curvature, it can be difficult to fit tall pots underneath these faucets.
That’s why they are more common with single-lever and pull-out taps — where your either have to wash your hands or have the option to detach the showerhead for extra maneuverability.
As the name suggests, this spout shape involves a dead-straight pipe sticking out of the wall or mount. The best example of a straight spout is the pot filler, which includes two pipes connected through a pivot running directly into a wall.
The best uses of these spouts are either as a basin tap or pot filler. Otherwise, they barely give any space to stick a container underneath. Many advanced commercial faucets feature this straight spout as an extra tap along with the main gooseneck hose.
Types of materials and finishes
Although the main priority with faucets is maximum functionality, you simply can’t ignore the aesthetic difference they make in your kitchen. Here’s a range of materials and finishes you can choose from when purchasing a kitchen faucet:
1. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is the premium standard of faucets and is the toughest material out of all other options. It also doesn’t need additional finishing and is usually just polished with a protective coating to enhance its appearance. But with all this rigidity comes a higher price tag.
Being one of the oldest alloys in history, Brass has become the go-to material for manufacturing all kinds of plumbing fixtures, including faucets. They are extremely durable and highly resistant to corrosion, making them ideal for areas that receive hard water.
It also gives off a unique vintage look loved by many people. Another cool feature of brass is that it’s germicidal, meaning it naturally prevents the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms. All of this comes at a lower cost than the more premium stainless steel.
3. Zinc Alloy
Zinc alloys are becoming a common material of choice due to their rigidity and affordability. They can be as tough as steel and brass, but are easier to mold and manufacture. Besides that, these alloys also support a variety of finishing and coatings. Even though they might not survive as long as other alloys, the lower price makes them an excellent option for budget buyers.
Plastic is the cheapest and also the least durable material to make a faucet. They are typically available at lucrative prices and stunning finishes. However, they barely have any rigidity and will start leaking after a while. It is only recommended to buy plastic faucets if you’re on an extremely tight budget or need a temporary replacement.
Chromium is the most popular finishing for hardware in modern times, such as faucets, doorknobs, and even cutlery. It has a very distinct metallic silver appearance with light hues of blue.
The metal is usually applied to faucets through electroplating, after which it can protect the material underneath from corrosion. It also has a very versatile look and will likely complement the remaining décor of your kitchen. The only downside to chrome finish is that it can easily develop water spots and has to be wiped regularly to stay in pristine condition.
2. Brushed Steel or Nickel
In the silver category, the second most popular finishing is brushed steel or nickel. It has a slightly matte appearance as the surface is finished with a low grit belt. This also makes brushed steel resistant to developing water spots and gives it a self-cleaning property.
Unlike chrome, brushed steel and nickel also have a toned-down shade of silver with dark gray hues. They also give off a ton of elegance and look a bit more premium than chromium finishes.
A faucet with dark, chocolaty bronze finishing is perfect for a kitchen built around a vintage or Mediterranean theme. You can also get bronze-finished faucets in lighter shades that are closer to the color of brass. Because of the darker hues, this finishing also hides marks and water spots very discretely.
In terms of durability, bronze is equally rigid as stainless steel or nickel. However, the price tag with this finishing is also typically higher than both of them.
4. Satin Black
Satin black faucets are becoming very popular as more and more homeowners are adopting a modern theme. They go perfectly with wooden and marble countertops and possess excellent water-repelling abilities. Water spots are also nearly invisible on matte black finishing.
5. White Porcelain
Like metals are electroplated, porcelain can also be enameled on faucets. The finishing can give your kitchen a very elegant look and will perfectly go along with contemporary settings, just like satin black. However, porcelain is prone to chipping and is slightly less durable than metal finishes. It also requires regular cleaning and isn’t very good at hiding marks.
Types of valves
For those who don’t know, a valve directly controls the flow and temperature of your water. If you choose a bad one, it could start leaking early and require frequent repairs. However, a good one could save you from plumbers for a long time. Here are the four common types of valves used in faucets:
1. Compression valve
Most faucets that exist today, especially the cheaper ones, use a compression valve system. This type of valve is controlled by a rubber washer that opens or closes the path of the water running through your faucet. It’s a very simple mechanism and a very cheap one to produce. However, compression valves are also highly unreliable and can leak once the washer starts breaking down.
2. Ball valve
A ball valve system uses a spherical metal or plastic ball with two oppositely placed holes. When you open the faucet, these holes allow water to pass through and shut it down after closing the handle. Single-handle faucets typically make use of this valve system. But like compression valves, they are also prone to leaking once the rubber seals start to corrode.
3. Cartridge valve
Cartridge valves work just like ball valves. But instead of a spherical ball, they have a cylindrical cartridge inside them with multiple holes to channel the water through. Because these cartridges have a single rubber seal at the end, the valve lasts for much longer. You can also swap in a new cartridge if the valve starts leaking without tearing down the whole faucet.
4. Ceramic disk valve
Ceramic disk valves contain the fewest parts and are also last the longest. They control water flow with two rotating ceramic disks, each having two holes. Because ceramic is more durable than rubber, it wears down slowly and doesn’t leak as often. Though when it does need replacement disks, the cost and effort involved in opening the entire valve can be a bit costly.
Other features in faucets
It’s worth mentioning that faucets also come with many bells and whistles. Many premium brands like Kohler and Moen have integrated various features into their faucets that make them even more practical, convenient, and beneficial towards water conservation. Here’s a list of some common faucet features to look out for:
1. Adjustable stream patterns
Some high-end faucets come with a rotatable dial on the spray head that allows users to change the stream patterns with a flick. This feature can prove helpful when you’re trying to get bits of food off your plates and need a powerful and focused stream. Or, you could also switch to a wider stream to rinse the soap off your dishes more quickly.
Purchasing a faucet with a pre-installed aerator can have many benefits. Firstly, it reduces your water consumption by a significant margin by mixing air with the stream. Secondly, it makes the stream feel more powerful in areas that receive lower water pressures. And lastly, it prevents splashing as the decreased water flow also reduces the amount of water deflecting from your hands.
3. Adjustable height
A faucet with an adjustable neck makes it incredibly easy to fill water in larger containers and pitchers. This feature is more common with single-handle faucets but can also be found in other types.
4. Touch-enabled handle
We previously reviewed a faucet that detects motion, but there’s another type with a touch-sensor integrated into the handle. It can be turned on or off with a single tap and is a bit more accurate than a motion-enabled faucet.
5. Swiveling spout
A swiveling spout is perfect for kitchens equipped with dual sinks as it allows you to utilize both spaces simultaneously. You can switch from one sink to the other very easily and wash a larger number of dishes in one go.
How much to spend on faucets?
There are several different price tiers in faucets, ranging from $50 up to $1,000. But not everyone needs to spend the same amount. Your budget will vary with how much you use a faucet, the design you prefer, and many other factors. Let’s take a look at each of those price tiers and what you should expect after spending so much:
1. Budget range — $100-$200
If you’re on a tight budget, you should ideally look for faucets within $100-$200. At this range, you can find various brands and high-quality fixtures that will easily last you several years. Finishes and features will probably be limited, but the material will be robust.
Faucets in this range might require maintenance from time to time but shouldn’t cause frequent trouble. Always go for simpler models from well-known brands on a lower budget, even if you have to compromise a little on extra features.
2. Mid-range — $200-$500
In this range, you have access to the widest range of styles, finishes, materials, and brands in faucets. You can easily get a high-grade tap that will last for years without showing any signs of wear and tear.
Leaks and deposit buildups are also non-existent in this range because most manufacturers use high-quality ceramic valves and special finishes. If you’re looking to buy advanced models like pull-out and pull-down faucets, this range is perfect.
3. High range — $500+
Anything you spend over $500 will get you premium features like adjustable streams, temperature control, motion sensors, and other bells and whistles. This range is also ideal for buyers who use their faucets rigorously or have to install them in restaurants and industrial kitchens.
You can get the best commercial faucets in this range from brands like Kohler and Moen in various finishes and styles. Smart faucets also typically lie within this range.
Other tips for buying faucets
When you’re at the hardware store, remember these few important tips before selecting a faucet. Implementing these will ensure that you get the best value for the hard-earned cash. Here’s a list of those tips:
1. Measure the spout dimensions before purchasing
The worst thing that can happen with a faucet is to buy one that doesn’t fit or direct water towards your sink. These mistakes can cost you a lot of time and effort in disassembling the faucets and returning them to the shop.
To avoid them, take measurements of your sink and the space above it. Compare them with the spout dimensions and see whether it will fit perfectly and direct water right over your sink.
2. Consider the holes in your sink
Every faucet requires a certain number of holes in the sink/wall for installation. Most faucets fit into a single hole, but widespread and bridge faucets need two, three, or even four.
Make sure you have enough space in your sink to fit in all of the components of the faucet you plan to buy. For bridge and widespread, check whether the holes are spaced the same distance as your faucet or pre-book a plumber for drilling in advance.
3. Select the right finish
When selecting a finish, we recommend that you try to match it with the rest of your kitchen’s hardware. This includes the handles on your drawers, cupboards, and towel handles. You could also take some finish samples from the store and match them against your countertop to check whether it complements your kitchen.
4. Pick a faucet with a ceramic valve system
Most high-end faucets contain ceramic valves these days. And that’s because the system has proven its reliability by avoiding leaks for the longest period amongst all others. Ceramic valves also cost nearly the same as others, but come with a guarantee that you won’t have to call the plumber every week for repairs.
How frequently should you replace faucets?
A good quality faucet will typically last for 10-20 years. This depends on your usage, the quality of your water supply, how aggressively you use the faucet, and how much you maintain them. Generally, when your faucet starts needing too many repairs too quickly, it’s a good sign that you should replace it with a new one.
Do you need a plumber to install a kitchen faucet?
Not necessarily. You can replace a kitchen faucet if you have decent experience with tools and can precisely follow a video tutorial. Still, we advise you to contact a licensed plumber for this job as a poor fitting can potentially result in damage to your faucet or flooding in your kitchen.
Do tall faucets create more splashing?
Yes, a taller faucet will release water from a greater height and create a bigger splash when it makes impact. To prevent this, make sure there’s no more than 8-10 inches of distance between your spout and sink. You could also install an aerator or buy a height-adjustable faucet to curb this issue.
How long do cartridge valves last?
The average cartridge valve system can last anywhere between 15 to 20 years, depending on your water supply and cartridge quality. If you want to replace it, you can get a high-quality cartridge for $20-$30 that can last up to 30 years in optimal conditions.
Which part of a faucet fails the most?
The rubber washer is the part that fails most in faucets. They repeatedly come in contact with water and can corrode after some time. If you notice water leaking from under your faucet handle, chances are the rubber washer has worn down.
How do you stop faucets from dripping?
Faucets usually drip or leak due to the following reasons:
- Corroded rubber washer
- Worn or loose O-ring
- Worn valve seat
- Poor installation
Most of these are cheap and easy to fix, but an improperly installed faucet might require the help of a plumber.