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Kitchen Faucet Buying tips

Aug 17, 2007
A durable and stylish kitchen faucet or bath faucet blends together function and aesthetics. The well made faucet makes life a lot easier. Excellent valve mechanism and more durable finishes boost longevity and looks.

Here are six steps in choosing the right faucet for you:

1. Two-handle designs, generally goes for as low as $50, allows you to regulate the temperature more accurately. Having independent control for the hot and cold water makes adjusting the temperature easier.

The single handle faucets also known as post-mount, generally goes for $75 to $200, operate from side-mounted lever or a top-mounted knob. Most single-handle faucets have pullout spouts.

The cross-shaped design and large wing levers are the more popular designs. However, most faucets have different handles that can be attached to a faucet body for a customized look.

2. If the style of the faucet is important, begin your choosing with the type of finish. The most affordable finish for a faucet is a chrome finish. Usually priced around $60. The chrome-finish has a long warranty on scratches.

The more colorful enamel coatings generally will cost you from $20 to $200 more, and are more susceptible to scratches and chipping. Add 25 to 40 percent more to the price of coated faucets for stainless steel faucets.

3. A PVD (physical vapor deposition) finish is better than usual plated finishes but add $150 to $750 more in costs. The PVD finish is done by vaporizing the metal and glazing it with a scratch-resistant and non-tarnishing film.

Look at brushed chrome, oil-rubbed bronze and satin nickel for a rustic appeal. The brushed finish and satin finish cleverly hides scratches.

4. There are more to spouts aside from the standard straight faucets. There are high-arching goose-like spouts, great for filling pots. A pull-out faucet can get you anywhere in a sink with three-bowls. You can go from a spray mode to a stream mode with a touch. There are also restaurant-type models for those extra long hoses.

5. Know that there are four kinds of faucets.

a. The compression valve:

The compression valve uses rubber washers. The compression valve type of faucet will eventually leak but they are typically easy to repair.

b. The ball valves:

The ball valve controls the flow and temperature of the water by using a steel ball. The ball valves are washerless and easy to maintain because of this. Replacing a ball valve is readily affordable and easy to do.

c. The ceramic disk

The ceramic disk is virtually a maintenance free water faucet. It is guaranteed not to wear out but is obviously much more expensive than the ball valve or compression valve.

d. The cartridge faucet

Much like the ceramic disk, the cartridge faucet usually does not need any maintenance. Just like the ceramic disk, it has a hefty price tag.

Regardless of the type of faucet you choose. Always check the warranty and the finish.

6. You may opt for filtering faucets, costing $200 plus, to bring in purified water. Several filters are placed under the sink while others are fitted inside the spout. To set the maximum water temperature, an anti-scald faucet can be used. An electronic faucet with an infrared sensor is also available. They save on water and allow for cleaner handles.

In general, you don't need to hand over your hard earned money to pay for good quality. Most faucets have the same basic parts and sometimes even the same finish across several price lines.

To have a streamlined, urban look, choose a faucet that is mounted on the wall, this is often used with vanity bowls.

Be sure that your faucet connection matches your sink holes. If they don't match, you'll have to provide more drill holes or cover the unused holes using an escutcheon plate.

All faucets in general carry at least one year warranties. Even the low-end models carry at least one year of warranty. Many faucets carry a warranty by the manufacturer that is more than one year.

Good luck choosing the perfect faucet for you.
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