How to Choose a Kitchen Faucet

Understanding Kitchen Faucet Features

Even if you have a general idea of the faucet you want, it helps to be specific when you're faced with an enormous selection online or at your local big-box home improvement store. Here are three basic points to help narrow things down:

  • Spout type -- The trend is definitely for a pull-down spray attachment, but you can also go for a side-mounted spray hose.
  • Spout height -- High-arch spouts (10 to 18 inches) are in right now. Consider the size of your sink here -- how big of an area does the spray need to cover?
  • Number of handles -- If you choose a pull-down faucet, you'll have only one handle, but you can still get faucets with traditional hot and cold handles.

So, those are the fundamentals, but there are many mind-boggling (and high-tech) choices beyond that. You can pay extra for spray volume control, water pause buttons, built-in water filters, touch-sensitive controls and hands-free operation, among others. For example, the Kohler Karbon faucet is a futuristic apparatus that boasts five pivoting joints for "precise water delivery."

Next up: faucet styles, materials -- and prices.