How to Choose a Kitchen Faucet

Understanding Kitchen Faucet Styles

Now that you've navigated through the basic faucet features, it's time to think about materials and style. If you're aiming for longevity (and you should be), focus on faucets made of solid brass with ceramic disc valves that control water flow. Style is obviously more of a personal thing -- chrome-plated brass has been the most popular finish for years, but the less-shiny satin nickel and bronze have been catching on recently. Spouts with stainless-steel hoses tend not to kink as much as others.

Prices are all over the place -- you can spend as little as $50 on a model with plastic internal components, or $3,400 on an artisanal faucet inspired by "1920s French country kitchens" [source: Pandolfi]. In general, though, you should be able to score a solid, reliable faucet for $200 to $300.

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