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Everything You Need To Know Before Buying a Kitchen Faucet

A display of kitchen faucets in a store

Choosing a kitchen faucet seems trivial, but it can make or break the functionality and aesthetic of your cooking space. With many kitchen faucet options on the market, from sleek pull-down models to classic two-handle designs, picking the suitable model for you can be more complicated than it first appears.

That’s why we’ve provided this overview, covering everything you need to know before buying a kitchen faucet to help you make an informed decision and elevate your kitchen’s aesthetic appeal.

Table of Contents
Types of kitchen faucets
Faucet finishes and materials
Mounting options
Kitchen faucet spout styles and heights
Considerations for sink depth and user preferences

Types of kitchen faucets

The demand for kitchen faucets has experienced a consistent upward trend in recent years. Projections from Grand View Research suggest that the industry is poised to surge to USD 36.7 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 7.4%.

As manufacturers continue to release kitchen faucets with unique designs and features into the market, it can be challenging to know exactly which one is right for you. First, let’s take a look at some common types of kitchen faucets:

1. Single-handle faucets

A modern single-handle faucet on a white background

Single-handle faucets feature a single lever controlling water temperature and flow. They offer a modern look and easy one-handed operation.


  • Sleek, contemporary appearance
  • Easy to use
  • Simple cleaning


  • Less precise temperature control
  • May require complete replacement if the handle or cartridge fails

2. Two-handle faucets

A curved chrome faucet with hot and cold taps

Two-handle faucets have separate hot and cold water controls for precise temperature adjustment. They come in various styles, from traditional to transitional.


  • Accurate temperature control
  • Wide range of styles
  • Individual parts can be replaced


  • Require more space
  • More challenging to clean
  • Less convenient one-handed operation

3. Pull-down faucets

A person's hand holding a pull-down spray head

Pull-down faucets have a high-arc spout with a pull-down spray head for flexibility. They offer excellent maneuverability and multiple spray modes.


  • Great maneuverability
  • Ample clearance for large items
  • Versatile spray modes


  • Prone to drooping or slow retraction
  • The hose and spray head may leak or wear
  • Tall spouts may not suit all kitchens

4. Pull-out faucets

A matte black pull-out kitchen faucet

Pull-out faucets have a compact design with a pull-out spray head. They are ideal for smaller kitchen designs and offer directed water flow.


  • Suitable for small spaces
  • Can be directed to adjacent areas
  • Easier maneuverability


  • Shorter hose than pull-down models
  • Spray head may not dock securely
  • Less comfortable spray head grip

5. Touchless (hands-free) faucets

A matte black touchless faucet on a white background

Touchless faucets use motion sensors for hands-free operation. They are hygienic and often feature advanced controls.


  • Hygienic and germ-reducing
  • Convenient hands-free use
  • Advanced temperature and flow control


  • Require battery or electrical power
  • Potential sensor malfunctions
  • Higher cost than manual faucets

Faucet finishes and materials

Kitchen faucets have different finishes and materials, each with perks and downsides. Here are the standard finishes on the market:

1. Stainless steel and chrome: Stainless steel and chrome resist stains, rust, and corrosion, making cleaning a breeze. However, fingerprints and water spots can stand out on their shiny surfaces.

2. Brushed nickel: Brushed nickel is incredibly durable, hiding fingerprints and watermarks exceptionally well. Though it costs more than chrome, its elegance endures over time.

3. Oil-rubbed bronze: Oil-rubbed bronze effortlessly masks streaks and spots. This unique finish develops a rich, antiqued patina that many find desirable as it ages. But you’ll pay extra for oil-rubbed bronze’s good looks and low maintenance.

4. Matte black: Matte black faucets make a bold, contemporary statement. They excel at hiding fingerprints, though scratches may be more visible on this trendy finish. Also, matte black tends to demand a higher price.

5. Brass: Brass faucets have natural antimicrobial properties. Their polished or brushed surfaces match most interior styles. However, brass needs more care to maintain its shine and typically costs more than plated finishes.

Mounting options

An up-close of a dripping water faucet

You can choose between deck-mounted and wall-mounted faucets depending on the sink compatibility. 

Deck-mounted faucets

Deck-mounted faucets are the most popular style. They sit on the counter behind the sink and come in one, two-, three, or four-hole configurations. When selecting a deck-mounted faucet, ensure it’s compatible with your existing sink’s holes.

Wall-mounted faucets

For a streamlined, modern look, consider wall-mounted faucets. These faucets attach directly to the wall behind the sink, freeing up counter space. Wall-mounted faucets need in-wall plumbing, so installation is more complex.

Kitchen faucet spout styles and heights

A row of different faucet styles and heights

When choosing a new kitchen faucet, don’t overlook the perks of choosing the right spout style and height for your space and needs.

High-arc spouts

High-arc spouts allow easy filling of large pots and cleaning of oversized items. Their clearance is perfect for deep sinks or busy homes that frequently handle large cookware.

Low-arc spouts

Low-arc spouts carry a streamlined, minimalist look. Their modest height keeps them out of the way in shallow sinks or tight spaces. Low-arc spouts also prevent clashes with overhead cabinets.

Gooseneck spouts

Gooseneck spouts are known for their signature swan-like curves. Their medium height accommodates most kitchen tasks while still leaving room for pots.

Considerations for sink depth and user preferences

When choosing your spout height, consider your sink depth and habits. Do you regularly handle large stock pots or bakeware that need extra clearance? Then a high-arc spout can optimize your workflow. A low-arc spout keeps everything flowing without crowding a shallow basin or limited space.


With the many styles, finishes, and configurations on the market, modern kitchen faucets blend both form and function. To select the right one, consider your space, habits, aesthetic, preferred mounting, spout style, finish, and controls.

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