Choosing a Kitchen Faucet: Read this First!

By thewriteDuffy •  Updated: 06/07/24 •  9 min read

For many families, the kitchen is as much a gathering place as any in a home. While the cupboard knobs and floor tiles might play an integral part of the design scheme, no one thing in the kitchen sets the mood so much as the faucet. The terrific news is, not only do kitchen faucets come in a variety of style choices, the finishes can be nearly endless due to the advent of powder-coated enamel.

Whether you are replacing your old faucet, remodeling, or building a new home, the trick is to not only make sure that you find the right faucet to suit your needs but also that of your surroundings. If your mahogany cupboards are fitted with brass hardware, a stainless steel faucet isn’t going to cut it; likewise, a Victorian-style kitchen is not going to suffer a very angular, modern piece.

Take time to assess your kitchen for the common denominators – get a feeling for whether your room is warm or cool, the predominant colors of your visible appliances and what sort of decorative aesthetics the room has. This is all assuming that you want to maintain unity of course – bottom line, choose what pleases you most.

Now that you have some basic ideas of what might look right in your kitchen, you can move on to the more practical aspects of what will fit… and then we’ll get right back to the fashionable side of faucet selecting with a more detailed look at the finishes you can expect to find.

Mounting Questions

Unless you are drilling the countertop for a specific faucet, you probably want to keep your current installation in mind while reading this section. Please remember, if you are interested in accessories (such as side sprayers, air gaps, soap dispensers, water filtration devices, and instant hold/cold water dispensers), you will need additional holes.

A Handle on Things

Handles come in a variety of different types – round, lever, and cross are the standards, with even further variations upon these. If you prefer a more minimalistic look, you might want to consider a single-handle option.

The choice of a one or two-handled faucet is purely a matter of taste. With one handle, you enjoy convenient, single-handed control of water temperature and volume. Two-handled faucets offer more handle styles and spout designs.

One other thing to keep in mind is that many manufacturers offer handle accent color finishes in addition to the standard hardware finish, which is not only a perfect way to draw attention to their styling but also allows a greater degree of personalization. You can read more about finishes further in the guide!

Spouting Information

Spouts can be either aerated or nonaerated. Aerated spouts use a screen and resistor in combination with air to create limited water flow in addition to better overall pressure. Nonaerated spouts do not have that screen, and therefore water can flow more quickly and freely.

Another important factor to note is spout reach. How many bowls is your sink going to have? Water should be able to go directly from the spout into the center of the sink(s); a faucet too small for your needs could spell disaster and not allow you to clean large dishes and pans properly, and a large faucet might be a bit messy… not to mention get in the way a lot.

Finally, let’s consider the height of the arches. This will vary with each faucet, so be sure to read each product page carefully while searching for your perfect new fixture. There are primarily two types of arch: standard and high. The standard arches generally run anywhere from 3 to 5 inches; these are best for everyday pots and pans. High arches start at 6 inches but average 8 to 10 inches. They are wonderful for washing large pots or oversized dishes.

Fluid Mechanics

Four different valve types used in the construction of faucets today. While they won’t make much of a difference in your day-to-day use, some are easier to repair than others.

Finishing Touches

The sheer variety of finishes available makes it very easy to find something to coordinate with your kitchen. Brass, the rust-resistant alloy, is the material most commonly used to create faucets in modern times, but that’s just the basic material. Here are a few of the more popular options available:

Look for a long-lasting, low maintenance finish to complement your decor.

Seal the Deal with the Perfect Faucet

In a nutshell, picking the right kitchen faucet is like adding the cherry on top of your kitchen’s design sundae. It’s not just about finding a faucet that looks good – it’s about finding the one that feels right, works right, and fits right into the heart of your home. Remember, the faucet you choose can set the tone for your entire kitchen, so choose wisely!

But hey, why stop at just the faucet? If you’re diving deep into kitchen makeovers, why not explore the world of sinks too? For those who want their kitchen to be the envy of the neighborhood, don’t miss our Buying Guide for Kitchen Sinks.

And if you’re feeling hands-on and ready to tackle the installation yourself, we’ve got your back. Swing by our step-by-step guide on How to Install a Kitchen Faucet for all the tips and tricks you’ll need.


At home, April is a mom, wife, and DIY darling. Among other home projects, she helped her husband Dan renovate their 1986 bungalow and is currently designing and decorating the 2023 custom home they are building themselves. Professionally, April is a writer, author, and online marketer with 15 years of experience writing for newspapers and magazines, building online authority websites, and publishing books.