- By Signature Home Services
- In Aging in Place/Universal Design, Bathroom, Faucets, Kitchens, Remodel, Sinks
Choosing a faucet is tricky. The variety of styles, materials and finishes (AND prices) can be enough to overwhelm anyone!! And technology is always evolving, too…even in faucet options!
So, where do you start?
The thing is, you’ll probably live with your faucet for a long time, so you might as well LOVE it.
That’s where we come in. This week, I’m going to spell out some of the TOP considerations in your hunt for the perfect faucet. Bookmark this blog right now and use it as your go-to for the next time you have to make a faucet selection…even if you can feel a LITTLE more confident in your next faucet choice, that’s a win!!
Let’s dig in…
Here’s your number-one rule when choosing any faucet finish:
Choose a finish that matches nearby cabinet hardware, towel bars, etc.
If you do plan to replace existing hardware in your kitchen or bathroom remodel, your choice of faucets opens WIDE up. I’ll get you a summary of your finish options below…
Expert tip: The most common faucet finishes are found in chrome, nickel or bronze. These are each durable and keep their good looks for years. But that just gets you started…here’s a little more you need to know about each of these faucet finish options:
• Chrome is the most durable faucet finish. It’s also the easiest to match between brands, and one of the easiest to keep clean! If you’re selecting a faucet for a room with heavy use (like the kitchen or master bath), chrome will be one of your safer bets for easy cleaning later.
• Nickel finishes usually give you a few attractive options: “brushed,” “satin” or “stainless steel.” Each of these features a dull shine. They are durable, but they can also invite fingerprints and water spots. They’re easy enough to clean, but you do have to clean them regularly.
• Bronze faucets have a distinctive brownish You’ve probably seen descriptions like “oiled” or “rubbed” bronze in your search for the perfect faucet. The coating on these options, however, is not real metal. And while it’s usually made of tough stuff, bronze faucets will scratch more easily than the real-deal metal options.
Expert tip: If you do want everything to match in your kitchen or bathroom (and I certainly hope you do), ensure that the manufacturer you’ve chosen for one selection has all the other things you need, too! For example, you’ll want the shower, tub and vanity selections to match. Matching is easiest with chrome (where you can mix-and-match brands because of their almost-identical finished look), but for other finishes you’ll want all your selections to all come from one place! Trust me…
Start by counting the holes in your sink! Most have three holes: one for the “hot” handle, one for the “cold,” and then one for the spout. Most single-handle faucets will include a cover plate to hide the extra holes, though, so you’re not necessarily limited by the build of your sink!
When thinking about a two-handle or one-handle faucet, one of the biggest considerations is who will be using it? For anyone upgrading to include a few aging-in-place luxuries, a single-handle faucet will be easier to operate. This is true of households with kids, too.
Now, about the kitchen…if you want a kitchen faucet with that fabulous pull-down sprayer, you’ll have to check the number of holes in your sink. If you do have three holes and found a pull-down sprayer you LOVE that doesn’t have a cover plate, the kitchen is a FABULOUS place to install a new soap dispenser! An extra hole can go to good use after all…
Expert tip: Vanity faucets are the easiest to switch out later if you’re not looking at a “forver faucet.” Looking through these opens up options that help you refine the “look” and feel you’re going after, too.
You need to think about how easy a faucet will be to clean…and that requires a good look at two factors:
- The finish you choose
- The elaborateness of design
Plain and simple, chrome is going to spot. For bronze finishes, it’s when you get into the “old-world” and rubbed bronze that you’ll want to clean your faucet more often. And if you select a faucet with an elaborate design, brace yourself for more precise cleaning and a little more elbow grease!!
The GOOD NEWS (and best expert tip we can give you) for cleaning faucets is to use the same soap you do to wash your hands. If you choose ANYTHING harsher, you’ll risk rubbing the finish off that you spent so much energy to select!
4: Handles and heads
I’ve talked about one-handle or two-handle faucet installations. I’ve even mentioned the people who benefit the most from one-handle options (kids and anyone aging in place). But there’s also the reality that one-handle faucets will usually look more contemporary.
Expert tip: Faucets with one handle are also usually less expensive!
And…what about the shower? We’re talking about those faucets, too!! We have a BIG advantage in Texas, because there are other states (like California or Florida) with laws restricting what types of shower heads can be installed in order to conserve water…but here around the Fort Worth area, you can have your pick.
You’ll just want to be sure your shower head selection matches in look and finish with the other selections in your bathroom or kitchen.
A note about stationary shower heads…this comes down to a CRUCIAL question about use. OK, not EVERYONE wants to spend the money on a detachable or sliding shower head. But do you have kids? Dogs? Plan on aging into your home over the years? That sliding bar will come in really handy! Basically…if you are going to think about a detachable shower head, it will make a LOT more sense to have it on a bar and not just a hook. On a hook, you’re undoing some of the biggest advantages a sliding shower head can bring!!
We’ve covered a lot of ground here. And now you have the basics of faucet finishes, installation, cleaning, handles and heads. Did I miss anything? What faucet questions do you have? Find us on Facebook or send me an email today!! I’d love to update this article with your questions and answers!