More than ever, the kitchen is the activity center of our home. In addition to fixing and eating meals, the kitchen has evolved into a social hub, study hall, family gathering place and one of your home’s most important entertaining rooms. At times, it seems activity around the kitchen faucet never ends, so a sturdy, hard-working faucet is essential to meet contemporary kitchen needs.
This article will show you what to look for when choosing a kitchen faucet and how easy it is to install one. The benefits from a new kitchen faucet begin with your creativity and needs, and it will serve you well for years to come.
What You Should Know First
Sink, meet faucet. Faucet, meet sink
For starters, determine the kind of ktichen sink you have. The most popular bowl choices for a sink are single bowl sinks, equal double, 1 ½, triple and 1 ¾. Only after you determine what kind of sink you’ll be using can you move on to your faucet.
Other questions to ask before replacing your faucet include:
- What’s the theme of your kitchen? Numerous faucets to match your décors await including art deco, classic, country, functional, modern, retro, rustic, traditional and Victorian.
- Do you want to carry the theme throughout your home or keep it in your kitchen? This is something to consider when shopping for a kitchen faucet.
Choosing your kitchen faucet.
It’s no surprise that the most versatile fixture in the home has so many available options. Here are just a few things to consider when shopping for a kitchen faucet.
Which is better for my sink, a single-handle or double-handle faucet?
This one’s up to you, and with a bit of research, you can decide what’s right for you. While a single-handle faucet offers convenient control of water volume and temperature, double-handle faucets offer additional styles and spout designs.
Will the faucet fit my sink?
Determine your basin configuration (i.e., the number of holes in your sink). If your sink has three or four holes, determine the space between the holes. If your sink has three holes, determine the spacing of the holes.
In addition, be sure to measure the exact dimensions of your kitchen sink so that your new faucet will fit properly.Also:
- Avoid a petite faucet on a big, bold sink, and vice versa.
- A spout that’s too short may not reach far enough, so choose a faucet that directs water into the center of the bowl (a fixture with a high-arc spout or pull-out spray are wise choices).
- Make sure your new faucet matches the correct hole drillings in your sink: four-inch centers, eight-inch centers or single-hole.
Look for a long-lasting, low-maintenance finish to complement your kitchen décor. Numerous manufacturers offer a variety of finishes to match any interior décor. Desirable features Contemporary kitchen faucets make cleaning easier and safer, save you money and are environmentally conscious.
- Ceramic disc cartridges
- Scald protection
- Eco-friendly options
Ceramic disc cartridges
It goes without saying that your new faucet should work without dripping. Trends in designs have improved significantly in just the last decade. Taking the place of rubber washer gaskets are to ceramic disc cartridges which last a lifetime. Considered the industry’s hardest, most reliable valving material, single-cartridge and washer-less valving systems use ceramic discs to control water flow and are designed to last a lifetime.
Anti-scald features helps protect you and everyone else who may use the kitchen faucet against hot water burns. For example, American Standard offers a couple solutions:
Hot-Limit Safety Stops offer adjustable settings that restrict how far the handle can be pushed toward hot. This easy-to-adjust feature and particularly useful in households with small children.
Pressure-Balancing Valves protect users from drastic temperature changes should someone operate a washing machine or flush a toilet while someone is showering.
Would you like your kitchen faucet to match your garbage disposal flange or sink’s basket strainer? A number of complementary items are also available to coordinate theme, finish and color and tie your entire kitchen together.
Following in the footsteps of the lighting industry, plumbing manufacturers are increasingly offering eco-friendly products. Elements of Design and KWC offer environmentally conscious kitchen faucets, and Kohler offers its Wellspring line, including its sensor-driven touch-less fixture.Back To Top
Getting to work
So, you’re ready to install your new kitchen faucet. Just follow a few easy tips to give your kitchen a new and exciting look for many years to come.
Note: Please consult directions provided by the manufacturer, as these may differ from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Step 1: Disconnect old faucet
Pay attention, since this is a good indication how to install the new faucet. Look under the counter and notice the shanks with the supplies. Turn off the water supply, detach the lines and remove the nut, then use a pipe wrench to disconnect lines.
Something more to consider: Often times faucets are changed out once every 10 years. Because of this, it’s recommended that supply lines are replaced along with the faucet. Since rubber degrades over time, you may not be able to tell if the lines are still good—until it’s too late. Prevention is the best protection.
Note on one-hole vs. three-hole faucets: One-hole and three-hole faucets are essentially the same, but instead of the shanks being close together, they’ll be farther apart.
Step 2: Same faucet, same lines. But…
If your new kitchen faucet is the same type as the one you’re replacing (one-hole or three-hole), you can most likely use the old lines. However, if you’re a going from a three-hole faucet to a one-hole, use an escutcheon plate to create the illusion of a three-hole faucet. And if you’re going from a one-hole faucet to a three-hole, you may need to drill new holes. We suggest calling a contractor. Don’t risk marring your countertop.
Step 3: Connect the faucet to the deck
Pipe wrenches are specifically designed for this job. In addition to securing the connection with a washer, Teflon plumbers tape or plumbers putty will help create a water-tight seal. If you choose to use the Teflon tape, simply wrap the tape around the threads of the shanks, pull, and tear. Similarly, plumbers putty will seal any defects in the threads and prevent leaking in the future. This is one of those easy steps that will ensure the project is done correctly, so it’s recommended you take the time to do this.
Also, if needed, use a shammy to wipe down your faucet.
Step 4: Connect the lines
Connect your water lines using the pipe wrench. Tighten and secure the connection, but don’t strip the nuts. Whether you’re installing a one- or three-hole faucet, be sure you attach the lines to the right shank. Otherwise, you’ll mix up your hot (which is on the left) and cold (on the right).
Step 5: Done already?
After the faucet is strapped in, tighten the bolts that secure it to the deck. It’s that easy.Back To Top
Cleaning and maintaining your faucet
To care for your faucet, wipe with a clean, soft, damp cloth. The ideal cleaning technique is to always blot dry any water from metal surfaces as often as possible. In addition, buff drying should keep your product looking beautiful. Occasionally apply a non-abrasive polish to prevent water deposits and remove build-up of household soaps, creams and sprays to all finishes.
Finally, never use abrasive cleaners or pads, or chemical cleaners of any kind (including window cleaner) on any product with a protective coating or custom finish. Such cleaners will attack the protective coating and use of products like these will void the finish warranty.