How hot is your faucet? And by hot, we mean stylin'!

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The days when a spigot and spout where enough to claim you had the latest in indoor amenities have gone the way of the Model T. For the modern household, calling forth water in your bathroom is a technical triumph as well as a design indulgence. You may be what you eat, but more and more, your home is defined by its built-in fixtures. From shiny to matte, imported to domestic, your faucet says a lot about your style and probably your finances, too.

New materials, designs and multi-media add-ons are making showering and even just filling a water glass an event. It may be simple H2O, but if you're into design, embrace green technology or like the idea of getting the latest and greatest, your bathroom faucet may be ground zero for realizing your unique vision. Remember that commercial in which a well-heeled matron challenges her architect to build a house around her futuristic looking faucet? Never underestimate the value of getting the details right.

Let's take a look at the world of bathroom faucets, their exterior finishes, inner workings and the ways they bring water to your fingertips with the turn of a knob -- and sometimes not even that. We've come a long way from priming the pump and waiting for the water to run clear. Whether you want a light show with your morning shave or a sink that looks like a crystal serving bowl, faucets help deliver the goods.