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Choosing Bathroom and Kitchen Faucets

When Selecting Plumbing Fixtures, Consider Quality, Cost, Functionality, and Interior Decorating Style

© 2012 by all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without author’s written permission.

A Bathroom Sink Faucet

A bathroom sink faucet

This article was updated on 08/05/20.

There is a larger array of bathroom and kitchen faucets than ever. It doesn’t matter if you choose to shop at a specialty plumbing fixture store or Home Depot, it’s easy to locate just the right item. But why go to that trouble? I like to shop online with

Faucet installation is an easy task for the average homeowner using just a few common household tools that you probably already own. The “good old” days of sweating copper pipes and leaning on a pipe bender are long gone.

In fact, technologies such as PEX tubing, flexible braided supply lines, and push-in fittings and connectors make installation a snap and less messy than ever before.

Remember that Faucet Construction Determines Quality

Even though it’s true that aesthetic quality is what’s certain to impress your guests, it’s how your plumbing fixtures are built that really matters. For example, solid brass construction gives you the best bang for the buck.

Sure, you’ll have to pay for the better materials up front, but in the long run you will benefit due to long-lasting durability as well as less periodic faucet maintenance.

Next, consider any internal valves and moving parts. These are present to control the water flow and they represent the “guts” of the device.

Typical types you will find are plastic or ceramic disc faucets (both single and double-handled), diaphragm (double-handled), rotating ball (single-handled), cartridge (single-handled), and compression or washer-type (double-handled).

You’ll find that most professional plumbers consider ceramic discs to be superior in terms of durability, and they carry the added benefit of offering versions of either one or dual handles.

Don’t be Overwhelmed by All the Style Choices

You’ll discover that today’s selection is very diverse. Although it can be intimidating, the upside is that it makes it easy to coordinate with other bathroom and kitchen fixtures or decorating styles.

The style you choose does not have to specifically be determined by aesthetics; functionality is just as critical. As an example, you will find that goose-neck (high-arcing) faucets with a sprayer do a great job with your kitchen sink.

Why? Primarily because it is much higher so it makes dish-washing much easier. Although I'm sure you don't let them pile up. Ahem.

There are three primary components that relate to the style you pick. First, consider the pre-drilled holes in your sink or bathroom vanity. This will likely be the most constraining factor for replacement purposes.

This is one thing that will lock you in to available choices. Of course with new construction you’ve got much more flexibility because you can specify your configuration up front.

The second thing to consider is the physical shape. As mentioned above, the goose-neck is a good choice in the kitchen.

But preference is important and so similar choices are mid-arc and low-arc. In addition, each of these can be found in round or oval shapes, or they can be found with squared-off corners. The combination of geometries really gives you some options.

Finally, consider the finish. You will find that for most people, this is where the interior decorating aspect enters the picture. Polished chrome is arguably the most traditional finish but other styles are gaining in popularity.

For example, you see more examples of polished brass, brushed nickel, bronze, and even black all the time.

The bottom line here is that it is not simply one or two things that you will need to take in consideration, but the totality of the several different aspects of the different models you will look at.

When choosing bathroom and kitchen faucets, this combination of options will ultimately determine your dollar outlay at the checkout counter and the amount of periodic maintenance you can expect to be facing in the future.

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About the Author:

Photo of Kelly R. Smith and Frankie, Southern Black Mouth CurKelly R. Smith was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation and financial and energy trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.

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© 2012 all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without author’s written permission.