Remodeling Reconnaisance: The Ins & Outs of Buying A New Kitchen Faucet

Remodeling Reconnaisance: The Ins & Outs of Buying A New Kitchen Faucet

(Image credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion)

So you're looking to buy a new kitchen faucet. A quick internet search and you've fallen down the rabbit hole. Finding the perfect kitchen faucet may be easy for some, but the options and availability are seemingly limitless. While we can't cover every single faucet available, here are some of the broader categories available while you search for the right fit.

First and foremost, before even considering which faucet to buy, you'll need to take a look at a number of factors to help you narrow down your options. Take into consideration: your budget, the plumbing in your home, the type of sink you want to buy, or already have, and the overall style you're going for.

Mounting Styles

These are pretty straight-forward options with any number of stylistic options to choose from.

(Image credit: Alicia Macias)

Single Hole:

On single hole faucets, the handle(s) are attached to the spout and you only need one pre-drilled hole. (For the tech savvy among us, you can also opt for a touch-less faucet these days.) This are by far the most popular choice in kitchens, as they are easier to operate one-handed.

(Image credit: Tamara Gavin)

If you are in the market for this style faucet but already have a sink with 3 pre-drilled holes, look into buying one with a deck plate to cover the extraneous holes on the sink.

(Image credit: Jacqueline Marque)


This configuration, with the spout suspended between the two handles, needs two holes for installation, as seen above. It can either be counter or wall-mounted, and gives you a nice vintage look.

(Image credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion)

Three Hole:

Three individual components: two handles and one spout are mounted into the sink or counter. With three holes you'll need to measure the distance between the leftmost and rightmost holes to get the appropriate faucet fixture. If it's 4" you need a centerset or minispread faucet. Anything more is considered a widespread.

(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

Wall Mount:

Normally, your water supply lines come up from the sink, but in this case they'll need to be installed behind the wall above your sink. They can be a nice space saver, and look very beautiful. But if you're plumbing is already in place, you might not want to pay to reconfigure the plumbing.

Spout Considerations

For any of the type above, you'll also want to think about the spout a bit more. If you have a vessel sink you want a tall spout that can reach above the basin. For a wall-mount, it needs to be long enough to reach from the wall over the sink basin.

If you have a deep sink, consider a pull-down spray nozzle that reaches down further to get to your dishes.

Extra Features

(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

Side Sprayers:

When it comes to functionality, some of us can't live without the option to spray our dishes with a high powered stream of water. Depending on the depth of your sink and the breadth of your needs, you can opt for a pull-out, pull-down, or side spray. A large or deep kitchen sink can also accommodate a professional or semi-professional spray faucet.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Water Taps:

You can often purchase these as part of a four-hole kitchen sink faucet package. But, they can also be purchased separately in a number of variations including a cold tap or hot tap (or combination of both). If you have a water filtration system, you'll need to make sure it plays well with your side tap.

(Image credit: Heather Keeling)

Pot Fillers:

And let's not forget the pot filler located above the range for quick and easy filling of pots, and bar sink faucets for pouring drinks. These aren't typically found in your standard kitchen, but if you fancy yourself a chef or mixologist, these are wonderful features to include in your custom kitchen.

Quality and Finish

When it comes to quality and finish, there are just as many options as there are styles. When considering my own kitchen sink, I narrowed this category down by color, then by finish, and finally by material. So for the sake of this guide, I've divided the different materials into broader color categories. From there, you'll want to ask yourself whether or not you want a polished or brushed/matte finish. And finally, you'll want to select the material or combination of materials based on both quality and budget. Like jewelry, it is common to find kitchen faucets made with a less expensive base metal that are then plated with a more precious metal. Of course, you can also find the real deal for a pretty penny or a tasteful look-alike if you're on a budget or need something more practical.

(Image credit: Eva Deitch)

Stainless, Chrome, Nickel:

Whether traditional or modern, you'll most frequently find a kitchen outfitted in silver-tone hardware. There are so many variations within this category that it's impossible to cover them all, but these are a few of the materials you'll most commonly find, whether polished to a shiny finish, brushed for a matte look, or "aged" with an antique patina.

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)


On its own, bronze is comprised mostly of copper and has a dull-gold color. But an oil-rubbed bronze takes on an almost black appearance.


A copper faucet will have that warm, orange red glow to match your prized collection of heat-conductive pots and pans. This tends to be a slightly more expensive option, and adds a very rich tone to the room.

(Image credit: Submitted by Erin)


The main feature of a brass faucet is the gold-tone color. A solid, un-lacquered brass will be rather expensive, and will develop a patina over time, making a bold statement. Of course, you can also go for a lacquered brass if you prefer a shiny finish, or opt for a gold-toned coating if you want the look without the heavy price tag.

(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

Black, White, and Everything Else:

For those non-traditionalists out there, let's not forget that the alternative options are just as plentiful as this entire list!

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