When you think of all of the areas in your kitchen, the faucet is arguably the one that gets the most use. There are several types of kitchen faucets that work to provide you with virtually every function you may need, and a faucet change as part of your kitchen remodel is a great way to upgrade the whole look of the space. If you’re on a budget, changing out the type of kitchen faucet you have can give the space a facelift without having to gut the entire room.
We’ve arguably taken the kitchen faucet for granted, and you’ll either find one that puts your current one to shame or the current one will eventually stop working and send you looking for an upgrade. A great kitchen faucet with a sink can give you the perfect spot to wash dishes, prepare food, and fill pots to make it an integral part of a smooth meal-making space. It’s not a kitchen without a sink and faucet, just like appliances, lighting, fridges, floors, and ceilings. As this is a high-maintenance room, it’s no wonder there are various types of kitchen faucets available.
You want to match your new faucet to your room’s aesthetic and decor, and this is why you should compare your options before you pick one specific one. New Faucet by Karin Dalziel / CC BY-NC 2.0
You can choose from double or single-handle faucets, multiple spray heads, or a pull-down model that improves your water flow while making washing up easy. There are also different finishes like stainless steel or bronze, and you can choose from a host of functional features to help upgrade your space.
Since you have so many choices available, it can be very overwhelming when it comes time to compare different types of faucets with all of their features, options, designs, and functions. This is why we’re going to outline nine popular types of kitchen faucets for you and answer a few common questions to help you search with confidence.
1. Commercial Style Faucet
As the name suggests, you’ll find this type of faucet a lot in commercial-grade kitchens. It has a longer flexible design to it. Depending on the model you pick out, you could find that it comes with multiple taps to suit different needs. It will work to create a more modern design in your kitchen, and it has a very sleek look to it. It’s a heavy-duty option too, and it allows you to tackle a huge range of dishes with ease.
2. One-Handle Faucets
A one-handle type of kitchen faucet is usually a gooseneck design, and you get a single handle for it on the side or in the middle of it. You move the handle from left to right to get hot or cold water out of the faucet. It has a very good ease of use rating because it only takes one fingertip to control the handle to adjust the water flow or temperature.
However, you should note that it can take a while to get used to this type of kitchen faucet, and it can be frustrating to get the water to the specific temperature you need or want. However, these faucets are easy to repair, reliable, and they’re a great option to save a few dollars during a kitchen remodel project by DIYing the installation. If you pick out this type of kitchen faucet, try to go with one that has a taller profile. This will let you easily maneuver the heavy pans or pots under the spout to clean them.
3. Pot Fillers
This nice type of kitchen faucet sits on the backsplash behind the range top to help you fill up your pans and pots. Having the faucet right over or next to your stove removes the need for you to fight with a heavy pot in the sink and try to carry it to the burner without spilling it. Also, who doesn’t want a second option to draw water from your tap if you need it?
The downside of this option is that the filters get put far away from the plumbing that is underneath and behind the sink. So, they usually require professional installation, and this can mean putting in completely new plumbing behind the wall. It also drives up the price of the repair costs.
4. Pull-Down Faucets
This elegant type of kitchen faucet usually comes with a gooseneck spout for a very good reason. This faucet makes it much easier to get the spray or water flow into every corner of your stainless steel sink, and it’s easy to get it into the pots and pans to clean them. The faucets come with a fixed head that you can maneuver in a downward motion, and this gives you a little flexibility when you use it. However, they don’t give you the range of motion that you’ll get with a pull-out faucet.
You will need a deeper sink for this type of kitchen faucet. If you try to use it in a shallow sink, you can end up with water everywhere due to splashing. Also, tight quarters make the best features of this faucet type all for nothing.
5. Pull-Out Faucets
Your faucet doesn’t necessarily have to stay in the sink. This type of kitchen faucet gives you a huge range of motion because it has a detachable head, and the head comes with a range of spray or flow options. It can easily get into all of the difficult corners in the sink, and it may even be able to reach over the countertop to fill up a big pot that you can’t fit comfortably into the sink. However, this depends on the model.
You’ll usually get a single handle with this type of kitchen faucet, and it allows you to adjust the water temperature and flow with one hand while taking advantage of the pull-down function with your other free hand. The downside with this faucet type is that you have a lot of range to accidentally splash water around if you’re not careful when you use it.
6. Separate Spray Faucets
If you want something a little more flexible in your outdoor kitchen, this type of kitchen faucet can be a smart pick. This faucet has a separate handle with a trigger on it that can avert the water flow away from your primary faucet and into the spray nozzle. The handle on this model gets linked to a water supply from your regular tap. When you switch the normal tap on, the spray nozzle will be active because it’s quick to reroute the water to the tap without any issues. This gives you options with more flexibility.
7. Smart Faucets
The smart faucet is a gadget that will switch on the water when you tell it to, dispense a set amount, and find whatever temperature you tell it to. If you need just a cup of water, this type of kitchen faucet will then dispense it to the precise point without falling short or putting too much in and overflowing it. There are also a huge amount of options with this type of kitchen faucet that you can customize, including water-saving features to keep track of how much water you pull from the tap and digital displays that show you the water temperature.
As a bonus, this type of kitchen faucet also comes in combo models that give you 100% hands-free operation. However, you do have to keep in mind that this faucet isn’t something you can install yourself. Any repairs you need have to be professionally-done, and they’re usually expensive. The smarter your faucet gets, the more you can expect to pay for it.
A touchless faucet is great for anyone who doesn’t want to make a mess when you’re cooking or baking and you have to rinse your hands. The sensors stop you from having to physically touch the faucet to turn it on.
No More Drips…Almost by Bart / CC BY-NC 2.0
8. Touchless Faucets
If you’re a serious cook who hates touching your faucet to turn the water on and off and creating a mess, this type of kitchen faucet is for you. It’ll start the water when you move your hand without the need to touch anything. They come with tiny sensors inside that activate the water flow when you wave a pot, pan, or your hand in front of them. You’ll most likely see this type of faucet installed in public bathrooms.
It’s a great solution for any time where you’ve just touched ingredients like raw meat and you may have bacteria on your hands that you don’t want to transmit to your faucet. You should note that adjusting the flow or temperature will require that you touch the lever handle, and this is usually on the base. The higher price tag is also a considerable drawback with this model.
9. Two-Handle Faucets
The final type of kitchen faucet on the list is a two-handled model,and it has a centrally-located spout with two handles. One handle controls the cold water and one controls the hot water. The style works well with virtually any kitchen design, depending on the finish you pick out. Having separate handles means that you get quicker hot water than you’d get with a type of kitchen faucet with a single handle. Two handles also give you the chance to fine-tune any water temperature, and it’s great for people who love to bake and need precise ingredient temperatures.
There is a downside to this type of faucet that you should know about though, and it’s the dual handles. It means that you have to use one hand to go back and forth to adjust each handle, or you can use both hands at once. This can be inconvenient if you’re trying to cook but pressed for time.
Important Faucet Parts and Their Functions
Now that you know the nine popular types of kitchen faucets, it’s important to know the two main parts and what they do. Each component is important to ensure that the faucet works correctly.
Most faucets come with one or two handles. The handle or handles are what help you turn it on and off and adjust your water temperature and flow. They can be centrally-located or along the side.
The neck is the “tube” or part of the faucet that carries your water to the spout from the mount location. Generally, speaking, there are three broad types of faucet necks available, including:
Knowing the various parts of a faucet can help you pinpoint possible issues that can speed up the repair process if something goes wrong. Faucet by Brian L. Griffin / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Understanding Faucet Size and Installation Location
When someone talks about the size of your kitchen faucet, you want to pay close attention. You have to note where the cold and hot inlets are when you install the faucet to ensure they fit. The inlets are usually eight-inches apart, and this helps to create an industry standard where most types of kitchen faucets are eight inches long if you go for a standard model.
The faucet itself can sit between 8 and 12-inches up from the base. This should be more than enough to go over your sink basin. It can also range between 12 and 18-inches high, depending on what model you pick out. Check and see how the manufacturer organizes any potential faucet you like to ensure that you get something that isn’t too complex design-wise and easy to use.
Additionally, remember that installing your type of kitchen faucet will depend on the number of holes you have to make in your counter to install it. The hole number can range from one to four, and it all depends on what already exists on your countertop and the design you pick out. You can always alter it too. The install location will also come into play because you can mount your faucet on the counter as a deck-mounted setup or right to the wall.
Common Faucet Finishes and Materials
It’s a good idea to pay attention to your faucet materials and finishes. The materials and finishes will impact how long your faucet functions in your space. The most popular options include:
Bronze gives you a darker tone with a very rustic look and feel. They give your kitchen a very cozy and quaint look to it, but this is a higher-maintenance option. However, it requires a lot of polishing for maintenance to keep it looking nice and blemish-free.
Copper is a darker tone to it, but it still gives you a refined look to your space. It works well for classic-inspired sinks. You have to polish it regularly to help it stay blemish-free. You also want to have it in a kitchen area where you don’t have a lot of light. The shiny surface on this faucet can cause a lot of light reflections, depending on what you have.
A plastic faucet is a cheaper alternative that you can get in a range of colors, you have to be careful with it. The faucet can break or chip due to the plastic makeup, and it also won’t look nearly as refined as other choices unless you’re 100% sure that it comes nicely fitted to your available space.
Stainless steel is one material that will fit nicely with a large number of sink basins. Additionally, any type of kitchen faucet with this material will come with a shiny finish that is very easy to clean. However, you can scratch it if you’re not careful.
Stainless steel is an extremely popular choice for kitchen faucet materials because it’s durable and easy to clean with a nice shine to it. New Kitchen Faucet by elizabeth aja / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Zinc alloy is a mixture of copper and zinc that creates a brass-like style. You can also paint it to a nice silvery tone if you prefer it. Since it doesn’t rust or corrode easily, it works well in a huge range of kitchens.
Typical Faucet Cost
Depending on how many parts your faucet has and the materials, the average faucet can cost between $100 and $300. A faucet that comes with more parts will have a higher price tag. A more elaborate and shinier type of kitchen faucet made with high-end materials will also have a higher price tag. A copper or bronze faucet can cost between $300 and $500, and it can also cost roughly $200 for labor to have someone to install your faucet for you. The installation process goes as follows:
- Carefully removing your old faucet
- Putting your new faucet together
- Securing everything once you get it in the right place to prevent leaks
- Managing each supply line to the faucet, and this includes having to reroute any existing lines, depending on where you want to install your new type of kitchen faucet
- Cleaning out all of the old debris from your previous faucet
- Testing to ensure that you don’t have any hazardous materials around the area where you want to install the new faucet. Some older homes can have asbestos or lead in them.
Your total cost will vary based on how much effort the person has to use to install it. You want to take a hard look at the installation process before you buy it to get a rough estimate on how much the labor portion will cost you if you don’t plan on doing it yourself.
Common Special Features on Types of Kitchen Faucets
You can choose from a range of added features when you decide on a type of kitchen faucet that can make it easier to use and slightly more functional. They include but are not limited to:
- Adjustable Angle – You can easily adjust some faucet’s angles to make them reach further.
- Adjustable Stream – It’s possible to buy faucets with different stream options. Two popular ones are spray streams and regular streams.
- Built-In Water Filter – If you want to have access to filtered water, you can get a faucet that comes with a filter inside of it.
- Garbage Disposal Button – You can get a button for your garbage disposal installed on the side of your faucet. You could have it placed right near the faucet and flat on the surface to help trigger it.
- Small Tap Button – This button can allow you to adjust your water’s flow. It works very well if you don’t have a separate nozzle trigger on your type of kitchen faucet.
- Soap Dispenser – You can add a soap pump to your faucet, and you can match it right to your faucet’s design to put it right alongside the main parts.
- Spout Swivel – A spout swivel will allow you to easily swivel the faucets between 180 and 360°.
Five Frequently Asked Questions
Delta Faucet \ Brizo 2010 by Charles & Hudson / CC BY-SA 2.0 It’s common to have questions when you start looking at the different types of kitchen faucets, and we picked several to answer for you below.
1. Do kitchen faucets have standard sizes?
Holes for kitchen faucets have a standardized size all over the world at 1 ⅜-inches or 35mm. The most common accommodations are one or three holes, and the single hole works for any faucet with a single handle. The triple hole setup works for types of kitchen faucets that have the faucet and two handles, one for hot and one for cold.
The two outer holes are usually eight-inches apart, but you want to double-check your measurements before you buy anything. If the replacement faucet you picked out has fewer holes than the original one, you can use escutcheons or plates. If the new faucet has more holes, you’ll have to drill holes into your sink or hire a professional plumber to install it to get a secure fit. You’ll want to take the following three measurements when you buy a replacement faucet:
- The countertop thickness where you plan to install your new faucet.
- The number of holes you currently have in your countertop.
- The spacing between each hole. You measure them from center to center.
2. Can you paint kitchen faucets?
Usually, you can paint your kitchen faucet without a problem. However, it’s easier to paint metal faucets. If you have a plastic one, you’ll need the correct type of paint. No matter if you have a plastic or metal faucet, you’ll want to apply a primer first before the paint, and consider using a spray paint over a brush. Your paint and primer must also be for metal surfaces unless it’s plastic.
Covering the area right around the faucet will protect the surroundings, but you shouldn’t need to isolate the area since your faucet is smaller. You won’t have to remove the faucet before you paint it, but you shouldn’t actually use the faucet until it dries completely to prevent smudges, chipping, and cracking.
3. What materials do kitchen faucets have in their makeup?
You can find types of kitchen faucets made out of die-cast zinc or chrome-plated plastic. The large majority of them are brass. A metal or plastic core is very popular in single-lever faucets, but most faucets that go in residential homes have single or dual controlled cartridges. Most cost-effective faucets feature plastic, but they’re much less durable than metal ones. Die-cast zinc is slightly more durable than plastic, but it can’t beat brass.
4. How long do kitchen faucets last?
How long your type of kitchen faucet lasts will depend on the construction, usage, and the installation process as well as your faucet’s quality. Most kitchen faucets will work well for 15 or 20 years, and some come with a lifetime warranty. If the faucet drips, you may need to do minor repairs instead of replacing it.
5. Can you repair kitchen faucets?
You can repair many types of kitchen faucets. However, if the faucet is leaking, it could be a more cost-effective choice to replace it. A single-handle faucet comes in three types, including a ball, ceramic disc, or cartridge. You have to know what type of faucet you have before you start the repair process. Removing the faucet itself is the first step, and taking it to the local hardware store to diagnose is the second. Take a picture of the faucet when it’s still installed and when you remove it to show the employee.
We’ve outlined nine types of kitchen faucets for you, and you can compare them to see which one will work best in your kitchen. You can also look at the quick guide to help you pick out a material and ensure that you get the correct size and finish to help tie the room together.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.