Here’s the Truth About Those Fancy Pot Fillers

published Apr 10, 2019
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(Image Credit: Emily Henderson)

I remember my first time—seeing a pot filler, that is. A couple years back, I walked into the freshly remodeled kitchen of a friend, who also happens to be an incredible interior designer. It had all the drool-worthy bells and whistles: the butcher block-topped island, a gorgeous marble backsplash, ceiling-height custom cabinets, and a breakfast nook with statement lighting.

And a pot filler.

What is that for? I asked.

Duh, she said, to fill pots—without having to lug all that heavy water from the sink. It seemed both utterly practical and totally decadent. And I wanted one, stat. But are these fancy faucets truly suitable for your space? I polled real kitchen remodelers to find out.

Personally, now that pot fillers have been around for a minute, I’m less enamored. In our long galley kitchen, the sink is maybe one-and-a-half steps from my stove. And installation can be pricey. As it turns out, my ambivalence over pot fillers is pretty common. In my unscientific poll, the pot filler sentiment is all over the map.

By and large, anyone who’s lived with a pot filler—and especially those who once had one, but now don’t—is a passionate advocate. That goes double for anyone who cooks frequently. Laura Richards, of Wellesley, Massachusetts, wishes she had one. With four boys, including three teens, “I’m cranking out the food at an alarming rate,” she says.

Ditto Allison Andrews.“I cook a lot so maybe that’s why it was worth it to me,” she says. People talk passionately about the pot fillers they once had. L-O-V-E is not too strong a word.

But if you’ve missed the boat on this design trend, you’re not alone: Some people have no idea what a pot filler is. And many had considered installing a pot filler—and then decided against it due to the added cost. A quality pot filler faucet can run under $200, but your plumbing bill can be up to five times that. And it’s one more thing to clean, in one of the grimiest spots in the kitchen.

Another common critique is that it’s only a one-way solution. Not having to fill and carry a heavy pot of water to the stove is nice, but you’re still carrying a heavy pot of just-boiled water back to the sink to drain pasta.

And there are those who’ve had a pot filler, with meh results. One woman’s friend didn’t use it enough, so the water would be rusty. “It became a vicious cycle, and a turn-off,” says Anne Holub, of Billings, Montana.

Interestingly, designers seem to be pushing against them—for the aforementioned points, but also because, as a trend, pot fillers are on the way “out.” One woman’s interior designer said they were “great in theory” but also a “useless status symbol.” Cassie Guglielmo, of Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, also had her plans vetoed. “We realized that the trend for kitchens is so much about how it functions for the individual cook instead of achieving a ‘look,’” she says.

That’s one trend I’m eager to embrace.