Faucets: Kitchens and Beyond
There are several different kinds of faucets. Do you know which kind you have? Do you know which one is right for you now? Dated taps can be problematic in more ways than one. The good news though, is that they are easy to switch out, reasonably affordable, and make a big difference in the look of your kitchen.
Types of Faucets
Ball faucets are washerless faucets on a single handle. A rounded ball-shaped cap sits above the spout and moves back and forth to adjust the flow of water. Due to the number of parts in ball faucets, leaks are a common problem.
Ceramic disc faucets are also single-handled, but are the more modern cousin to ball faucets. Raising and lowering the handle controls water flow. Hot and cold water are mixed inside a pressure balance cartridge, which is controlled with a side to side motion. Disc faucets have far fewer repair issues.
Cartridge faucets are two handled. They look like compression faucets, but have a much smoother turning radius. A half turn easily adjusts water flow on and off.
Compression faucets are the oldest style of faucets. They typically have two handles and require a tight rotation to turn the water on and off. Usually, they are found in older homes, but still show up in utility rooms. Their drawback is being prone to leaks.
Styles of Kitchen Faucets
Beyond the types of faucets there are a range of options when it comes to kitchen faucets. Nowadays, you can choose from two-handled, pull-out, pull-down, and more. They all have their perks and drawbacks to consider;
These are the original kitchen faucet styles found in homes. Two-handled faucets have a hot and cold water tap, with a single spout for water. The benefits of two-handled faucets are that if you have issues with one handle, you still have another handle to operate. With advances in technology, this is a less important feature nowadays though.
Side sprayers were the first generation of spray nozzles for faucets. They have a separate hose and nozzle from the main spout. Like two-handled faucets, people like side sprayers due to the risk of mechanical failure of your faucet, but the advance of newer technologies means that risk is low. While the price of side sprayers is very economical, as compared to pull-out or pull-down faucets, they are more at risk of drooping hoses and imbalances inherent in their older technology.
Pull-out faucets are a popular option for kitchen faucets with not a lot of sink space. A long hose means that you can fill pots on surrounding counter space, even if room in the sink is limited. Typically, the arc of the faucet is also lower, making clearance less of an issue as well.
Pull-down faucets are among the most popular kitchen faucets currently available. They have the advantage of better ergonomic design, the capacity to fill large pots, better clearance, and are more efficient for frequent use. If space is an issue or you have water pressure concerns, pull-down faucets may not be the best option for you though.
The newest in kitchen faucet design comes with a touch—or sometimes not at all! Motion detection and touchless faucets are activated with the wave of a hand. Have your hands full? Not a problem, as you just move a hand or object in front of the sensor to turn it on. Sensors are either on the top of the faucet or located at the base of the spout. This reduces the risk of contamination between the tap and whatever else you are touching as well. As far as temperature goes, you set the water temperature and it automatically comes on at the pre-set temperature. Touchless faucets require either batteries or an AC adapter, which you need to consider before purchasing. All in all, they are an attractive faucet on many levels and worthy of consideration for your next faucet.
So which kitchen faucet is right for you?