The Kinds of Faucets Real Estate Agents Wish You Wouldn’t Install

published May 14, 2023
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Bathroom with white wooden cabinets, glass-enclosed shower and square mirror above sink in vacation rental apartment
Credit: Toyakisphoto/Shutterstock

Great for washing hands, doing dishes, running a hot bath, or filling up a water bottle, faucets are a ubiquitous (and super-useful) home design feature that most people probably take for granted. But these days, they come in a dizzying array of finishes, colors, styles, shapes, and configurations — so much so that you may find yourself totally melting down in the faucet aisle of a home improvement store.

Fortunately, there are a few styles of faucets you can immediately cross off your list. Whether you’re preparing to list your home for sale as soon as you finish remodeling or you plan to stay a few more years, these are the types of faucets that real estate experts really wish you wouldn’t install in your house.

Faucets with Clear Knob Handles

Although you’ll often see clear knob handles in rentals and hotels, they’re guaranteed to give prospective buyers “the ick” when they wander into your bathroom.

“The single-handle, crystal-cut look screams ‘dated’ to me,” says Jenn Klarman, a real estate agent in Maryland.

Faucets That Show Water Spots

While guests are washing their hands, the last thing you want them to be thinking about is when you most recently washed the faucet (or cleaned the bathroom). This can happen if you pick a faucet that shows water spots, says New York City real estate broker Ellen Sykes

Highly polished chrome faucets, as well as those with flat surfaces, tend to be the biggest offenders. If you really can’t resist, just be prepared to do a lot of upkeep.

“To make the bathroom look presentable, it’s necessary to wipe them down constantly,” she says. “Spotted handles and spigots just make the bathroom look unclean.” 

Credit: PhotoMavenStock/Shutterstock

Trendy Faucets

Sure, you’re remodeling your kitchen and bathroom in the here and now, when today’s hottest looks and gadgets are all over Instagram, Pinterest, and your favorite home improvement store. But when deciding on a new faucet, it’s best to stick with the tried-and-true finishes, shapes, and styles, says New Jersey real estate agent Megan Fox.

“I warn clients about overly trendy faucets that have too many functions and look glitzy in the home,” she says. “If they decide to list their home at any point, they should consider that such faucets are not to everyone’s taste and they can be more complicated than they need to be. It is easier to stick with classic faucets that most buyers can appreciate, aesthetic-wise and in terms of functionality.”

Automatic Faucets

Automatic, or touchless, faucets are great for airport bathrooms and restaurants. And while a wide variety of these high-tech models are available for home use, they’re generally not worth all the hassle, says Ana Cummings, an interior designer and home stager based in Calgary, Alberta.

“Hands-free faucets can be frustrating if they don’t work,” she says. “The flip side is that they can also be too responsive. Some of these styles have sensitivity settings, and if you set them too high, then each time you walk by the kitchen island, the water will start pouring out.”

Faucets That Are Not Accessible

Although aesthetics are important, accessibility trumps all. If a member of your household or a guest cannot use the bathroom faucet because of a health condition or physical limitation, then you’ve missed the mark.

“A single-lever faucet will be easier to operate — for example, if someone suffers from arthritis — versus a faucet that has two handles,” says Cummings.