Best Kitchen Faucet Reviews – Complete Guide 2016

Best Kitchen Faucet Reviews – Complete Guide 2016

Getting that perfect look in your kitchen can be a very hard thing to do if the kitchen faucet isn’t up to par with the rest of the materials surrounding it. A good kitchen faucet can make or break the kitchen, so it is vital to purchase the best kitchen faucet for the job rather than settling on something less.

There are many variations to choose from, and it is not a one finish fits all options if it clashes with the rest of your kitchen. Unfortunately not all kitchen faucets have the option of multiple finishes to choose from, so if buyers look over this list and find a faucet of particular interest they should keep that in mind.

The one thing that is definite about our list of kitchen faucet reviews is that these are all quality faucets and none of them are generic cheap brands, because once again a good faucet can make or break the kitchen.

Below is the starting point to what should be one of the foundations of your kitchen with our top picks of kitchen faucets for 2016;

Best Kitchen Faucet Reviews
  • Kraus KPF-2110
  • Color: Stainless Steel
  • Flow Rate: 1. 80 GPM
  • Installation Method: Surface-Mounted
  • Number of Handles: 1
  • Material: Stainless Steel

Best Kitchen Faucet Reviews
  • Kraus KPF-1602
  • Color: Chrome
  • Flow Rate: Not Specified
  • Installation Method: Deck Mounted
  • Number of Handles: 1
  • Material: Solid Brass

Best Kitchen Faucet Reviews
  • Kohler K-560-VS
  • Color: Vibrant Stainless
  • Flow Rate: 1. 80 GPM
  • Installation Method: Deck Mounted
  • Number of Handles: 1
  • Material: Stainless Steel

Best Kitchen Faucet Reviews
  • Decor Star TPC11-TO
  • Color: Brushed Bronze
  • Flow Rate: 2.20 GPM
  • Installation Method: Surface-Mounted
  • Number of Handles: 1
  • Material: Not Specified

Best Kitchen Faucet Reviews
  • American Standard 4175.300.002
  • Color: Polished Chrome
  • Flow Rate: 2.2 GPM
  • Installation Method: Deck Mounted
  • Number of Handles: 1
  • Material: Brass

1. Kraus KPF-2110 Single Lever Stainless Steel Pull Out Kitchen Faucet

Kraus KPF-2110 Single Lever Stainless Steel Pull Out Kitchen FaucetStarting off the list is this high priced Krau KPF-2110 that offers outstanding durability and set of features that will leave you gasping for air. The unit is composed of lead-free brass construction that performs as well as it looks over years of use. This unit uses the classic single lever design, giving you easy and full control of water flow and temperature. A single lever design is sometimes more favored, and because it is Kraus then the level of control is taken up an extra notch. You’ll also get swivel access from left to right so that if you need full access to the sink then it won’t be in the way at all. And then as if that wasn’t enough, the head of the faucet also functions as a pull out sprayer with secure docking and retractable hose with counterweight. The main thing to point out here is that usually when you get a combination of this type with a 2 in 1, there is a quality slip. Thankfully you get two high quality experiences all in one faucet without any noticeable drop off at all.

The included aerator is a high performance part that is made to work well with low flow homes, and even thrives in that type of environment. This is one of the most stylish faucets on the list, but if buyers look how past how great it looks in the kitchen they will see a workhorse kitchen piece that is built to last. A Kerox ceramic cartridge controls the main function of the unit of this rust resistant kitchen faucet.  If buyers purchase the unit with a rubber nozzle then hard water build up is not only prevented but easy to clean than other models. A limited lifetime warranty is included with the purchase, and since it is backed from one of the most popular brands in the business, the warranty is iron clad and then some. Flow rate is steady at 1.8 GPM with the faucet hole requirement being 1 at 1.375 inches with a maximum deck thickness supported of 2.5 inches. Spout reach is 9 inches and the hose length is a nice 63 inches so it will work well in all kitchens of all sizes. As the first kitchen faucet on the list, this is one of the top 5 on the list easy and will be hard to beat if you do a comparison.

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2. Kraus KPF-1602 Single Handle Pull Down Kitchen Faucet Commercial Style Pre-rinse in Chrome

Kraus KPF-1602 Single Handle Pull Down Kitchen Faucet Commercial Style Continuing with the high price mark is the Kraus KPF-1602 that comes in both chrome and stainless steel finishes. Besides having a rust resistant finish due to the lead free brass construction there is also the incredibly strong commercial style spring design that will remind a lot of people of restaurant dishwashers. This is definitely not meant to be in the kitchen, but everyone has their own style, and you can put it anywhere you want in reality. Using a single lever flow control that is light to the touch, users can operate this faucet as easily as a regular faucet therefore debunking the myth that a pre-rinse faucet is harder to operate. Smoother control is also guaranteed by the integrated two-way diverter, adding a familiar level of comfort into using this powerful faucet. This is the ultimate functionality all in one faucet, and it even includes a side pot filler to round out the luxurious features. Unlike some of the other offerings on the market, all mounting necessities are included with the purchase meaning users will not have to make an extra trip to the hardware store.

A swiveling spout means that despite the large design users will still have access and full control of their sink whenever they need it. Rubber nozzles on the head prevent hard water build up and allows the unit to easily cleaned and maintained over the years. The aerator is a low flow neoperl that gives the best performance possible even in low flow homes, while the Kerox ceramic cartridge keeps things flowing nicely. Like all Kraus products in this line the warranty is limited lifetime with fantastic customer support that not only backs most problems but is a joy to deal with. There are several certifications that have their stamp of approval on this model including UPC, CALGreen, FTC, CSA and SCC.

Most users will really love the reach of the faucet, as it stretches to 8.5 inches and has a flow rate of 1.8 GPM. Requirements for installation is a single hole of 1.375 inches with a supported maximum deck thickness of 1.75 inches. Considering the other faucets on the list, this would fall under the more specialized options. It is still an incredibly well made unit and if it is what you’re looking for then all users will be more than satisfied with the purchase. But for a more kitchen friendly look, a lot of buyers will be looking elsewhere.

Stay Updated: Top 6 Kraus Kitchen Faucets

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3. Kohler K-560-VS Bellera Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet

Kohler K-560-VS Bellera Pull-Down Taking a break away from the Kraus line will bring most users to another proven brand name, the high priced Kohler K-560 which is available in oil rubbed bronze, polished chrome and vibrant stainless. Both 1 and 3 whole installations are supported, with an included escutcheon to keep things looking neat and orderly. With a high arching design to give you more room to maneuver while using it, this model strikes the perfect balance between the first couple of items on the list in terms of height and sink room. And if you need it completely out of the way for other tasks then it has full 360 degree movement. A different system is in place for turning the water on and off and changing the temperature, which is simplistic yet ingenious in its design. It still uses a single lever, but the lever simply goes up and down, with the further down it going making the water hotter. The design is so perfect and simple that users will wonder how they have been operating without it up to this point. It’s one of the many uncomplicated touches that make this one of the better buys on the list.

One of the most innovative spray heads on the list appears, adding buttons with three functions that allows the head to stream, pause and even use sweep spray. It extends up to 19.5 inches, so you’ll get plenty of hose length to play with as you rinse off the dishes.  Flow rate is the standard 1.8 GPM with a lifetime limited warranty that rivals just about any other on the list. Using a magnetic docking system in the spout, the spray head is locked just enough to keep it from falling out while in use. The technology is called DockNetik, so points for the technology but none for the name, unfortunately.

The spray head itself feels comfortable in hands of all sizes, while the braided hose keeps traveling water whisper quiet while contouring to your specific needs. Even with the chances of rapid mineral buildup in lesser models of other brands, this model was specifically built with the MasterClean spray face that is resistant to the harmful buildup for the lifetime of the purchase, requiring only minimal yearly maintenance. It’s hard to find fault with such a superior kitchen faucet that has covered so many killer features all in one set. This is a must have kitchen faucet that will work well in any kitchen you can think of.

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4. Decor Star TPC11-TO Contemporary 16″ Pull Down Spray Kitchen Sink Faucet

Decor Star TPC11-TO ContemporaryHeading to the low price tier for the first time on the list is this Décor Star TPC-11 kitchen faucet that is a lot better than most people give it credit for. Rather than having the swivel point at the base, it has an extended base that allows it to swivel from a much higher point, giving you a lot more breathing room while working with a lot of dishes. And even at a low price the spout is extendable with buttons giving you the options between spray or stream. This is a feature found on the higher priced premium items, so it’s surprising to see it on a lost cost item, and all while working quite well. Due to the counterweight built into the faucet the hose retracts back into place, leaving you with no worry that the hose will lose function due to a malfunctioning part. Certifications include NSF, cUPC, and UPC while being ADA, CA AB 1953 lead free compliant. The finish is a gorgeous oil rubbed bronze that was inspired by Euro modern contemporary kitchens, so at a low price you still manage to get a premium design and features.

Using a single lever handle such as this one is a good start for users who are used to other types, as this one feels just about right the first time it is used. The extendable spout is an incredible 26 inches in length, which is more than enough for any setting you want to place it in.  As far as construction, it’s interesting to say the least, which isn’t bad at all depending on what you’re looking for. It has a solid brass construction that is reinforced but lacks that beautiful finish and durability of the other units on the list.

There are other finishes available like brushed nickel and chrome, but they seem dull in comparison to the other kitchen faucets that have been reviewed. The flow rate maxes out at 2.2 GPM at 60 PSI, and if installing a kitchen faucet for the first time it is recommended to consult with the manual that comes included, as it contains some important information about the install of this specific faucet. It’s still a breeze to install and is a nice addition to the best kitchen faucet list, showing that great features and design don’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

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5. American Standard 4175.300.002 Colony Soft Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet

American Standard faucetAmerican Standard 4175.300.002 is the second kitchen faucet on the list to go at around the low price range, and it offers some very nice features on top of the great price. Available finishes are polished chrome, Matte Black and stainless steel. Of the three the one that stands out the most is the Matte Black, a powerful looking finish that demands attention in a good way. Pulling out the spout gives you access to several features, including an adjustable spray pattern and pause feature.

Making room while washing dishes is easy since the swivel spout is built in and lets the kitchen faucet stay out of your way while working. The included escutcheon is completely optional and the unit can be mounted without it. Although the Matte Black finish is the best of the bunch, it’s good to know that all of the finishes are corrosion, tarnish and scratch resistant. So the faucet will not only retain a great working line, but it’ll retain the same new look it had when you purchased it. For the creative DIY buyer, you can apply your own finish as the brass makes this a perfect candidate for this particular home project.

For those in the know the ceramic disc valve is a notch down from some of the others on the list but still gets the job done. Up to one million on/off variations are possibly without damage, as that was the tested level. Meeting the NSF Standard 61/Section 9 and Prop 65 lead requirements means less harmful materials and a much better experience overall. A memory position valve feature is built into the faucet, so you can turn it on and off without messing up your perfect temperature.

This can of course backfire if multiple people use the faucet, so use with care! One of the biggest surprises is that the best warranty on all of the list belongs to American Standard, offering a lifetime function and finish limited warranty. The warranty is at its best when used on a faucet in the original home of the original purchaser. With a 2.2 GPM flow rate, users won’t be hurting for power with this at full blast. The spout reach when using the hose is about 20 inches, so nice and long enough for ideal situations in the kitchen. It’s a nice and tough braided and flexible hose that will last just as long as the faucet itself. There are better options on the list, but if choosing the Matte Black finish, then it’s really hard to ignore the beauty and practicality of this kitchen faucet.

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Best Kitchen Faucet Reviews
  • Moen 5995SRS
  • Color: Spot Resist Stainless
  • Flow Rate: 1.5 GPM
  • Installation Method: Deck Mounted
  • Number of Handles: 1
  • Material: Brass,Metal

Best Kitchen Faucet Reviews
  • Kraus KPF-1622SN
  • Color: Satin Nickel
  • Flow Rate: 1. 80 GPM
  • Installation Method: Surface-Mounted
  • Number of Handles: 1
  • Material: Solid Brass

Best Kitchen Faucet Reviews
  • Moen 7175
  • Color: Chrome
  • Flow Rate: 1.5 GPM
  • Installation Method: Not Specified
  • Number of Handles: 1
  • Material: Stainless Steel

Best Kitchen Faucet Reviews
  • Moen 7594ESRS
  • Color: Spot Resist Stainless
  • Flow Rate: 2 GPM
  • Installation Method: Deck Mounted
  • Number of Handles: 1
  • Material: Metal

Best Kitchen Faucet Reviews
  • Delta 9178-AR-DST
  • Color: Arctic Stainless
  • Flow Rate: 1. 80 GPM
  • Installation Method: Deck Mounted
  • Number of Handles: 1
  • Material: Metal

6. Moen 5995SRS Arbor One-Handle High Arc Pull Down Single Mount Bar Faucet

Moen 5995SRS Arbor One-Handle High Arc Pull DownThe popular Moen brand offers Moen 5995SRS high priced luxury kitchen faucet in a variety of finishes included spot resist stainless, chrome, Matte Black and oil rubbed bronze. Usually the pull out heads on these kitchen faucets work very well in execution, but users who decide on this model will be treated to a better reflex system when using the spray functions. Putting the spray head back in place is easy, and it is guaranteed to stay in place no matter how many times you take it off.

With the included escutcheon, users have the option of installing it in 1 or 3 holes, whichever fits their current setup better. An included lifetime limited warranty is more than enough to keep most buyers feeling safe, and as Moen is a top brand they will make sure that you’re satisfied with your purchase. The base uses the much loved one handle bar that’s the easiest type to operate when it comes to kitchen faucets. You’ll get plenty of coverage with the hose that equals up to 68 inches, covering the room you need and then some.

Installation can sometimes be a pain which is why Moen created the Hydrolock quick connect installation system, meaning that even users who have never installed a faucet before will have no trouble installing this one. If cost is an issue, having a faucet that can be installed by anyone is a big plus to the bottom line. Water flow restricts at 1.5 GPM and the intuitive pullout spray operates with both stream or spray functions to round out the entire package.

For buyers that are afraid of having a hose as long as the included one, Moen took the extra effort to make sure that it returns to the docked position on its own without being too jerky, all in one smooth motion. This eliminates wear and tear with models that forcefully set it back into place, which in some cases can even lead to injuries. The amount of detail that went into this product is amazing, and it remains one of Moen’s finest accomplishments in the kitchen faucet market. Buyers looking for a wonderful solution to their kitchen that has the beauty and function all wrapped into one package need to look no further, as this is definitely tops on the list.

Stay Updated: Top 8 Listing of Moen Kitchen Faucets

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7. Kraus KPF-1622SN Single Lever Pull Down Kitchen Faucet Satin Nickel

Kraus KPF-1622SN Single Lever Pull Down Kitchen Hitting at the more mid-range of the prices would be this Kraus KPF-1622SN, available in Satin Nickel and Chrome with a lead-free all metal construction. The usual single lever design is used, but the strength of this model lies in the quality of the materials. This is another faucet that puts the swivel at a higher point in the base, so you have a lot more space to maneuver while using it. There is also the option of moving it to the side so you have full access to your sink period. A counterweight infused hose allows users to take advantage of the spray head and dock it back into position without worry that it will become loose or detached over multiple uses. Everything about this product speaks high quality, even the low flow neoperl aerator that is one of the best on the list, even without this being a high priced item. Buyers will get years of drip free use thanks to the precision ceramic cartridge, and in the case that something does go wrong there is a limited lifetime warranty attached that is more than dependable.

Even with only two finishes, those two fit in just about any kitchen setting available. They look very pleasing to the eye and will make most onlookers think that your kitchen faucet is twice the price that was paid for it. Hard water build up is prevented with easy clean rubber nozzles, but may not be available on the particular model you purchase. Prospective buyers are encouraged to inquire about that at the time of purchase, as that’s a very important feature and a bit of a game changer when comparing this to others on the list. The finish is corrosion and rust resistant, with an expectancy to last for years if taken care of correctly.

Certifications include cUPC, ANSI, CALGreen, FTC, CSA, ADA and more. For the flow rate it comes in at a steady 1.8 GPM, with a total water consumption of 2.2 GPM. Users looking for a long hose for the spray head will be pleased to know that it stretches to 59 inches, which is more than enough for most kitchens. And the requirements for installation is a single hole of 1.375 inches with a maximum deck thickness of 1.75. It’s hard to find faucets of this quality at this price, so make sure to give this one a good once over as it is a hard deal to pass up.

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8. Moen 7175 Level One-Handle High Arc Pullout Kitchen Faucet

Moen 7175 Level One-Handle High Arc PulloutGoing back to the high priced level is the Moen 7175 that goes a little further than some of the others on the list to distinguish itself as a premium purchase. The chrome finish is the only one available for this model which may be a letdown to many users, and the escutcheon is sold separately at a modest price. This of course makes the purchase look bad right at the start, but there are plenty of saving graces with this particular model. A very nicely done high arch spout gives buyers more sink space, leaving more room in that area for when the dishes are piling high. The one handed lever used in this model is a bit smaller than other models, providing even more space saving features. None of the functionality is lost in having the smaller handle, and it actually helps control a little better having it in that size. Pulldown functions with the spray head uses buttons on the spout for pause, stream or spray modes. Up to 1.5 GPM is available using this setup at 60 PSI, so there is plenty of power to go around when using this at full capacity.

The lever rotates 100 degrees meaning that it can be installed on either side, a plus for buyers that have a specific setup in mind for their kitchen. With the installed 1255 Duralast cartridge you get a heavy duty unit that can take a lot of punishment over the years without springing an unfortunate leak. Hoses with these models continue to get longer, and buyers will be treated to a 68 inch hose, offering coverage well above and beyond your needs.

Using the Moen Reflex technology that is built in, you’ll get full control of the spray head and hose without struggling to get it to maneuver the way that you want it to. On top of that when it needs to be docked back in, it does so effortlessly and as smoothly as it became unlatched in the first place. Moen stands behind the quality of the product and takes the design very seriously, guaranteeing that the chrome will not corrode, flake off or even tarnish. What this model is lacking in features, it makes up for with incredible durability and ease of use. It’s one of the prettiest on the list, and will remain that way for years.

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9. Moen 7594ESRS Arbor With Motionsense One-Handle High Arc Pulldown Kitchen Faucet Featuring Reflex

Moen 7594ESRS Arbor With MotionsenseAs the second to last on the list, Moen 7594ESRS pulls out the big guns with one of the highest priced faucets that comes with a dizzying array of options. Starting with the available finishes users can choose between spot resist stainless, chrome, oil rubbed bronze and Matte Black. Where things get interesting is with the MotionSense feature, allowing users to start the faucet with a simple no touch hand motion. There are two versions of this faucet, one with it and one without. For obvious reasons the one with motion is the absolute best on the list, especially if you do a lot of cooking in the kitchen and are worried about germs and bacteria. Buyers still get the great reflex system from Moen that grants them easy control of the spray head and a docking system that makes it both easy to attach and detach the hose. The unit can be lower on costs due to the easy duralock quick connect system, meaning the buyer can hook everything up on their own without the need for a professional. Mileage may vary of course, but this is still one of the easiest systems to set up on the list.

The escutcheon is included with the purchase and the unit can be installed with 1 or 3 hole systems. When using the spray head the 68 inch braided hose covers just about the entire area, and it’s worth noting that if you plan on using the spray head a lot more than the actual faucet itself, then the motion sense technology becomes less of a must have feature. At that point it would be better to go with another model on the list, since that is the one killer feature that puts this faucet over the top. When installing keep in mind that the lever can only be mounted to the right side, just in case that confuses your configuration some.

The usual functions are included with the spray head, with a pause, spray and stream mode easily at your fingertips. Water flow limit is nice and high at 2 GPM with a water consumption rate at a similar 2 GPM. Surprising the warranty is digital parts friendly, offering 5 years on digital components to keep buyers protected. Batteries are included and have a great lifespan, and if the multiple sensors on the faucet is too much for you, then you can independently disable one from another. Without a doubt the best on the list if you plan on using the motion functions on a daily basis, don’t miss out on this.

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10. Delta 9178-AR-DST Leland Single Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet

Delta 9178-AR-DST Leland Single Handle Pull-Down KitchenLast on the list is also one of the best designed faucets, a high priced Delta 9178-AR-DST available in artic stainless, Venetian bronze and chrome finishes. Besides the breathtaking design it also has the best finishes of all the other faucets, making it really stand out in a kitchen setting. Taking a note from another faucet on the list, the docking system used for the spray head uses an integrated magnet that never wears out. It works remarkably well for both attaching and detaching the spray head multiple times, and does not weaken at all. Using diamond seal technology Delta made a valve embedded with diamonds to ensure the life operability of the faucet. That feature alone is an impressive feat, and can’t be matched by any other faucet in the market. Hard water buildup won’t be a problem with touch clean spray holes to prevent buildup, and with light maintenance it’s easy to just wipe it off and move on. One or three hole installations are supported with the purchase, and for interested buyers the system is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Flow rate is 1.8 GPM with a limited lifetime warranty that covers faucet and finish. There is a downside when it comes to the complete system, and that is even though an escutcheon is available it can only be purchased separately. Considering how great the design of the product is, the escutcheon more than likely will be a required purchase to make everything look perfect from top to bottom. Using the spray head functions is a breeze, with easy to use stream and spray modes.

An interesting addition in place of the missing escutcheon is the InnoFlex PEX supply lines that are included and used mainly to keep water inside the faucet and out of contact with outside contaminants. There is even a color indicator on the base that changes depending on the temperature of the water. Delta created a very modern faucet with this system, and one that is built to last a lot longer than its rivals. As the last faucet on the list it’s nice that it’s also one of the best, with little to no issues. The installation is not as user friendly as the Moen’s on the list, but if buyers can get past that then this is really a great deal.

Stay Updated: Top 8 Delta Kitchen Faucets

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Best Kitchen Faucet Reviews Comparison Chart

Kitchen FaucetTypeFinishMaterialReview
Moen 7175Pull-OutChrome Stainless-Steel Yes
Kraus KPF-1622SNPull-DownSatin NickelSolid Brass Yes
Moen 5995SRSPull DownSpot Resist Stainless Brass, Metal Yes
American Standard 4175.300.002Pull-DownPolished ChromeBrass Yes
Decor Star TPC11-TOPull DownBrushed Bronze Brass and Zinc alloyYes
Kohler K-560-VSPull-Down Vibrant Stainless Metal Yes
Kraus KPF-1602Pull DownChrome Solid BrassYes
Kraus KPF-2110Pull OutSilver Stainless-Steel Yes
Moen 7594ESRSPull DownSpot Resist StainlessMetal Yes
Delta 9178-AR-DSTPull-DownArctic StainlessMetal Yes

Kitchen Faucet Buying Guide

Included in the list is also a nice buying guide to help move along your purchase so that mistakes aren’t made, and you can choose the best unit for your purpose. Of note there is only one system on the list with a no touch sensor and that’s the Moen 7594ESRS Arbor With Motionsense. It’s in a league of its own, but it’s important to point out that Motionsense technology may not be for everyone.

As groundbreaking a technology as it is, there are some households that would be hindered by it more than helped. In a home with children there is also the worry that they will play with it and run up the water bill, or worse break it completely. Breaking the faucet may be a bit of an extreme example though, since every single one of these are built to last with an iron clad warranty.

Once installed, they are the ultimate set it and forget it item, and in some cases the installation can even be done by the buyer without need for a professional.

Water Flow

Water FlowSince a typical kitchen faucet uses less than 30% of the water in a household, it is important to pick a good kitchen faucet that is built solidly and installed right the first time so it doesn’t leak. Restrictors that help with the air flow called aerators (more on that later) are also put in place, usually keeping water below 2.5 GPM. Kitchen faucets are made to be as efficient with water than any other faucet in the house, and yet they can also be where the most water is wasted. Do an experiment if you live in a home with more than one person.

Check to see if when they run the kitchen faucet if they always put it on high, and if they ever walk away from it momentarily while it is still running. Now piece that together with the thought that a leak can cost you hundreds of dollars a year, and in some cases can even be not undetectable to the naked eye. These leaks are caused by bad installations, older installations, broken materials, and the worst of all offenders’ cheap materials. There are plenty of places in the house where you can cut corners on spending, but the kitchen faucet is not one of them.

A steady leak of one drip a second can end up to about 3,000 gallons per year if you want to put it into perspective. That is why this list is stacked with only quality kitchen faucets that get the job done, especially when it comes to proper water flow. Another helpful tool in all of the kitchen faucets on the list that help with water flow is the easy to use lever, that not only makes choosing the temperature easy, but getting the perfect water flow easier. If using the spray head there are usually buttons in place that lets you pause the water flow while you tend to other things, thus not wasting water and your bill. There are also buttons on the spray head to cycle through certain water types like spray and stream, so you get the best of both worlds and don’t have to compromise. Before proper kitchen faucets were introduced the water flow was insane, but in today’s age things are a lot more controlled and better for the overall setup. Make sure to take advantage of this by purchasing the best kitchen faucet within your budget and watching the magic work immediately after installation.

Spray Heads Over the Years

What a valuable piece of equipment the spray head is to the average consumer, especially in the modern age. Older versions of the spray head had it sitting beside the kitchen faucet as an add on accessory, that not only took up valuable space and couldn’t be moved, but had a limited reach that didn’t even go beyond a few inches. There was also the bothersome way it shut off the main kitchen faucet whenever you used it, which led to some really interesting setups for the creative consumer. Older spray head setups also didn’t possess the same durable construction of their kitchen faucet counterparts and suffered from leaks, bad water adjustments, uncomfortable spraying angles and of course cheap hoses. There was also no way to change the power of the spray, with a single mode that had a rinse function and nothing more. On the very worst of the designs the spray head would lose the ability to retract to the base, leaving the very familiar limp spray head laying down all over the kitchen counter waiting for an expensive fix. Things have changed tremendously, and all for the better.

The first thing you’ll notice about this list is that all of the kitchen faucets have their spay heads built into the actual faucet itself, so you can pull it out. It’s a 2 in 1 system that works wonders, and has been steadily improved to perfection over the years. Besides cutting out on wasted space in the area by doing this, it also helps with the design aspect of kitchen faucets. With the spray head being built into the faucet itself, it seamlessly works with the design rather than against it, like a generic looking spray head sitting on the side of it would.

There are no leaks to worry about, and less clutter where an extra hose would’ve been required. By using a built in spray head it gets all of the benefits and durability of the kitchen faucet without any of the weakness of the older spray heads that haunted kitchens. Buyers also get a very handy pause function, and at least two other spray functions that maximize the water for rinses dishes or filling pots. Hose length is off the charts, and it isn’t uncommon for the industrial strength braid hose to go 50+ inches in length. All of this is included in one single kitchen faucet, and the icing on the cake is the hose retracts perfectly every time without worry of it wearing out over the years. It’s a wonderful sign of how things can improve over the years with steady progress.

Design

faucet modern designsHave a specific style in mind that looks great in theory but when installed completely clashes with your kitchen? Trying to install a traditional kitchen faucet in a modern kitchen setup? How about the troubles of deciding if the actual design has functional issues in a tight space and won’t operate correctly? Design concerns are just as much a priority as functional ones, because buyers usually operate behind a theme, one that something as simple as 1 appliance can completely wreck. The kitchen faucet at its best can either blend in with the elements around it or stand out as the prettiest piece in the room. Either way is great, since the worst thing you would want for your kitchen faucet to be is a constant eyesore for everyone. Of the most important styles there is transitional, contemporary and traditional. It’s important to understand the differences between these styles and how they can affect the illusion you’re trying to give off with your kitchen faucet. Of the most used styles, traditional can be the most misused one since it looks the safest. While it is true that traditional is probably the most compatible style with kitchens across the world, it doesn’t always mean that safe is the most distinguished option.

Some great tips to consider when going by the style of the kitchen faucet is that balance rather than the actual style is the safest bet. Traditional kitchen faucets often mimic some of the best designs of our past, showing a timeless craftsmanship that breaths comfort and balance into an existing kitchen. Users will notice that ornamentation on tradition designs is very to the point and clean, as if there are hidden layers underneath that show a bigger secret to the design. Traditional kitchen faucets are so quiet yet comfortable in their design that they often upstage the other areas of the kitchen based on their simplicity.

Transitional kitchen faucets sit somewhere in the middle, offering a more relaxed design that won’t turn into the centerpiece of the kitchen and instead focusing on offering modern touches that make focus on ease of use and let you to avoid wasting water. The transitional style is perfect for buyers that want a traditional look but with the features of a modern kitchen faucet. Contemporary is the ultimate in modern design and features, often making bold statements in any kitchen they are put in. A contemporary faucet will often draw major attention in kitchen it is placed in, and has some of the most complicated lines, shapes and forms of any of the kitchen faucets. Of the three designs it is has the most up to date features, and with the right setup can be the best of the three.

Faucet Escutcheon

Faucet EscutcheonAn escutcheon is an optional accessory to the kitchen faucet that acts as a decorative plate to cover extra holes in the sink. Since this entire list consists of one hole setups, it can be argued that the escutcheon is a required accessory in order to maintain the professionalism of your setup. Why pay over $200 on a kitchen faucet only to have an unmatched escutcheon or no escutcheon and two big gaps on either side of your kitchen faucet? Most on the list come with their own escutcheon plates that match the design of the faucet itself, so it serves just as much an aesthetic purpose with matching the décor as it does with covering up non-needed holes in the setup. For users that have never had an all in one system this may be a bit jarring at first since after installation the setup will look so clean and simplistic that they will almost feel like they are missing something. Escutcheons come in all shapes and sizes, and for the more adventurous user that wants to try something new, they can always purchase a different style than recommended for kitchen faucets that come with them, trying out bold new design combinations.

There are some downsides to an escutcheon, since it covers vital parts of the kitchen sink that won’t be available to the naked eye anymore. Leaks won’t be easily seen, and a lot of buildup can happen in the uglier parts of the kitchen sink when you least expect it. A good example of this is the user that is doing a self-install for the first time in a decade, and after removing the escutcheon discovers not only a small leak, but disgusting build up over the years that has been hidden from underneath.

Besides the years of a higher water bill there is also an issue with plumbing that may put the entire kitchen faucet project on hold. In some cases the buildup is so bad that buyers don’t want to risk contaminating their new product and opt instead of have the area professionally redone. Higher cost and a longer completion time due to the escutcheon hiding some very important problems. Kitchen faucets of today don’t have that problem due to the differences in durability and construction, so once you clear the area and put on the escutcheon for the new faucet then you’re good to go for years. Newer hoses, ties, and bases mean less worry about leaks and buildup that you can’t see until it is too late.

Installation

The ultimate DIY project involves any kind of plumbing project, since everything is insanely easy to hook up but a disaster if it is done wrong. All of the kitchen faucets on the list have the ability to be installed by a single non-technical person by just reading the included manual. Obviously some installations are easier than others, like Moen, but regardless of the brand it’s important to have a nice set of tools nearby in case something goes wrong. A good set of pliers, wrenches, safety glasses, gloves and a towel is recommended for all setups. This is even if the instructions don’t mention it, by having those items on hand at all times it will save you a big headache down the road. Keep in mind that the below instructions may differ depending on the kitchen faucet, and this is just a generic set of directions. Make sure to alter them to fit your specific situation. Typically the first thing you want to do is to obviously turn off the water at the valve and drain any excess water from the faucet. This is one of the parts where the towel comes into play just in case you happen to forget this important little step.

One of the hardest parts of the install is removing the old faucet, as this is the point where you find out if the project is going to continue or if it needs to be stalled. Check for leaks, buildup, or anything that could compromise the installation of the new faucet. If everything is clear remove the old faucet and begin to install the new one, paying close attention to the differences in connections. In the manual this is where users will learn if a new assembly by the manufacturer needs to be set up a specific way, which is common when going from a 3 line system to the all in one.

Don’t make the mistake of forgetting the escutcheon if you plan to install one, then seat and connect everything in place including tightening a good bit to make sure everything is sturdy and in place. You don’t want anything to be loose, as this can mess up your entire kitchen if done wrong. After turning on the water again test everything out and check the connections, which at this point the towel is still ready for you if you need it. Professional help is recommended in some situations, but for the most part this is a very straightforward installation that just about anyone can do if they carefully follow the directions.

Faucet Cartridges

Faucet CartridgesWith all of the units on this list being one lever systems, the faucet cartridge is a lot easier to maintain with repeated use. A faucet cartridge regulates water flow as well as controls the temperature by manipulation of the lever. They are directly tied together and probably one of the most common pieces that can be repaired if broken. A leaky faucet is usually the cause of a worn out cartridge that needs replacing, and not a sign of a bigger problem. For consumers that are lucky enough to only have a cartridge issue, it’s as simple as purchasing a cartridge replacement kit and doing it yourself. The replacement kits are very well priced, with a set of informative instructions included with each purchase. Some will opt for professionals to do this procedure, as in reality it can be a bit more daunting than installing the kitchen faucet. More tools are also required with the procedure, and some of them aren’t standard. It’s recommended to have a flathead, Philips, needle nose pliers and a utility knife to maximize whatever needs to be done in your particular situation. In the case of older faucets the fix can be a lot more complicated, which is why it’s beneficial to have a newer up to date faucet.

Purchasing a newer kitchen faucet from the list makes this a minor worry, as the tests for the installed cartridges are exhaustive in their nature. The faucets on this list will last for years without the cartridge wearing down, with new mechanics in place to ensure long-term flexibility with all setups. Keep in mind the warranty on the products on the list cover a lot of things, so look to see if the kitchen faucet cartridge is under the list of covered items and that will pretty much give consumers all the information they need to know about a particular brand.

If a brand is a little iffy about covering the cartridge then chances are it isn’t built to last, and could be cause for concern for the life of the product. Generally on these newer models the cartridge is one of the last things to go, and has been improved upon for years. It’s still not perfect, obviously, but it is light-years ahead from where it used to be. One of the next big things in the industry will be kitchen faucet cartridges that are easier for the consumer to replace, possibly to the point of it being as simple as clicking and unclicking a button on the side of the unit.

Faucet Aerator

Faucet AeratorAn often overlooked part is the kitchen faucet aerator, which is the easiest of the faucet parts to replace on your own but also one of the most important pieces to the puzzle that is your faucet. An aerator has several uses in terms of what it does, but is basically at the tip of your faucet and functions as the last line of defense for controlling the stream of water. This becomes even more important with the all in one systems, as both the faucet and the spray head share the same aerator. The aerator also prevents splashing of water while using the system, and shapes the water to the correct stream when using the spray head device. The filter side of an aerator saves water and even increases water pressure to an acceptable level for some homes with low water pressure. Besides the total control and energy/water saving costs, an aerator silences the noise coming from a kitchen faucet and makes it whisper quiet. All of this from a small little device that plugs into the tip of your water faucet, and is barely noticeable by the average consumer. In essence the aerator in a kitchen faucet is one of the most complex devices in plumbing and rarely gets the appreciation it deserves.

Over the years the aerator has gone through some massive changes to make it into the champion it is today. Besides a longer shelf life, consumers also get the pro of better hard water management. Hard water can often clog even the best of faucets over the years, and in some cases when added to the many minerals an aerator catches it would lead to the aerator actually popping off, unable to be screwed back in. These older aerators would pretty much run their course and either pop off, or stay on working at half of its capacity. Besides newer hard water resistant aerators, there are also ones that are easy to clean than their older counterparts. Cleaning a newer aerator is sometimes as simple as whipping the rubber head with a cloth a couple of times over. A longer lasting aerator means less of a disaster when it does decide to degrade in performance, as it will be a lot more noticeable. Thankfully the replacement of these valuable tools are easy, and extremely cost effective. In most cases a user can simply uninstall the problematic aerator themselves and install the new one all without the aid of a professional.

Expensive VS Lower Priced

On this list alone there are very few low priced kitchen faucets available, and even the low priced ones are considered to be high by normal standards. This serves as both a blessing and a curse, with clearly definable quality lines across all brands that are worth their salt. A great kitchen faucet isn’t supposed to be cheap, so at the lower part of the ladder customers will notice a lot of really bad options that don’t belong in any kitchen. Even in cases where generic purchases would be acceptable, a kitchen faucet is not one of those areas, and generic items should be avoided at all costs. Every single piece on the kitchen faucets in this list scream quality, and all are backed by a specific guarantee and warranty. Even on the worst end of it if something fails, the consumer will be covered for years without worry of any major overhauls. Part of that guarantee is making sure that the product doesn’t break in the first place, which is why generic manufacturers can’t really compete with the brand names in this area. If you have the option of purchasing an expensive kitchen faucet vs. a cheap one, always go with the high priced brand name model.

If for some reason you end up with a low priced no name brand model that isn’t on this list, then before committing to the purchase by installing it make the time to compare your purchase to one on this list. Do a feature breakdown side by side and see what is missing, and for the features that are comparable, see how they stack up against the higher priced brand names. There will be a big difference, one that will most likely end with having a normal consumer sending back their generic purchase after this big revelation. Brand names rule the kitchen faucet marketplace and that will probably never change due to quality and service reasons. Add to that the fact that the frustration free installation options and it really is a no brainer why cheap is never the way to go in this market. As a last bit of consideration, think about how important the plumbing is in your house and how many lines and exists you have in your house that this plumbing system runs through. Then think of installing a cheap kitchen faucet that wreaks havoc not only at the point of install, but in the entire plumbing system. It’s a delicate balance that deserves the better of your pocketbook, and not the short end.

Cons of Some Features

Possibly one of the best features out of all the kitchen faucets on the list is the inclusion of Motionsense, a motion detector technology that makes the kitchen hands free when using the faucet. In theory this is a fantastic inclusion that is worth the entry price, but in practice, some households may be a bit unhappy with the feature. As it runs on batteries it can easily last up to a year without replacement, so that isn’t a problem normally. The problem comes when there are kids or guests who play with the system to the point that it not only wastes water, but drains the battery quicker than normal. So at the point where you’re depending on it to work and it stops working, and you don’t have a backup battery, you’re left with a normal everyday faucet that runs by the lever until you replace the battery. High traffic households where the Motion sense feature can be abused may not be the best place for it, even if it is a beast of a feature. It’s a cool technology that is not as green as it can be due to the way it can easily be abused by third parties.

Speaking of green, kitchen faucets are very environment friendly. Besides the aerator that restricts water it also keeps a good chunk of harmful minerals out of your water. The feature is fine as is, except that it only keeps some of the harmful materials out, and not all. The market for PUR and Brita faucet add-ons are still huge because of the lack of built in purification from modern kitchen faucets. In this day and age it is a bit baffling why a better purification system (or a purification system period) has not been included in the initial setup, and why at this point customers are still looking to third party options.

It is a patch up to a feature that should’ve been included in the first place, and here’s to hoping that the bigger brands take notice and start including it in their mainstream products. The add-on that would be integrated wouldn’t add much more to the production cost, since Brita and PUR only run for $19-$25 and with included filters. It’s an uncomplicated system that is made complicated by not including the option at all, and leaving the customer to do the dirty work.

Choosing Finishes

faucet finishes If you’ve poured money into your kitchen and added a brand new kitchen faucet that matches the design of the kitchen, what is the one thing that can still throw it all off? The finish of course. All finishes aren’t created equal, just like silver paint from one painting company is vastly different from the other. Same color, but completely different results when looked at side by side. This is the general thought with some kitchen faucet finishes is that the kitchen would look good with a chrome finish, but the consumer never actually checks in to look at what the chrome finish on their new faucet will look like before purchasing. All brands allow you to get a nice close up zoomed in view of how the color will look, whether it is sparkly or dull, and ultimately whether it will match up with what you had in mind. Some of the kitchen faucets on the list only come in one finish, which severely limits their compatibility with the décor of some kitchens. There are a couple of DIY users who know how to add their own finish to get around that problem, but in doing so you miss out on a lot of the stain resistant, corrosion resistant and rust resistant properties of the original finish.

Matte Black when done right is truly a spectacular kitchen faucet finish, but can look bland in some kitchens. Interior designers worldwide would lose sleep if they knew how popular this finish was in the wrong kitchens. Second of the most abused finishes is chrome, which can sometimes work better when it is understated. A chrome that isn’t too shiny is just as good as a shiny chrome, and really brings out a nicely planned kitchen. Chrome is often overused in places where a consumer can’t decide on a less offensive finish, even though the particular chrome they pick is probably the most offensive finish possible. Oil rubbed bronze is meticulous in its look, and can be considered a bit of a neutral choice for the more careful planner. It won’t clash with many things in the kitchen, but it also won’t stand out as much as the first two finishes. Besides the silky smooth appearance, oil rubbed bronze has a finish that is so attractive it requires admiration at least once a day. There are other notable finishes, but another important thing to remember is that if you decide to use an escutcheon then it should also blend well with the kitchen faucet it is being attached to, unless the buyer is one of the more adventurous types.

Things to Remember

A Guide to the Best Kitchen FaucetsAll of the brands on the best kitchen faucet list are trusted and deliver on quality, honesty, and warranty promises. But a lot of damage to the kitchen faucet is done on the initial installation by the consumer, which will in turn void the very same warranty. If you feel this particular project is a bit too daunting for your particular tastes, then getting a professional to do the installation is the best thing to do to keep your investment intact. No one wants to blow a couple of hundred dollars and then get stuck with broken parts during the installation process, which is a more likely occurrence than it should be.

Professionals typically don’t charge more than $100 for an install in all areas, and in some great cases buyers will be able to secure someone for half that price. It’s a cost effective, safe, and probably the best way to ensure that everything goes as planned. This is also beneficial for finding other problems with your setup that you didn’t know about. An installer can let you know if your old setup had problems that will be transferred to the new setup.

When thinking of the two most important pieces on a kitchen faucet, the aerator and the cartridge should be your top two choices. Choosing a kitchen faucet that has a performance driven piece in both of these areas will guarantee a long running lifecycle with little to no problems. There may be hiccups along the way in other areas, but if your aerator and cartridge are working then it will be small potatoes in comparison. Most of the faucets on the list are built with a resistance to hard water by using rubber nozzles on the end of the head, but they still require some maintenance by wiping it clean occasionally.

Neglecting to do this can completely mess with your cost savings, with a clogged up faucet giving you an erratic water throughput and letting some really bad minerals and debris through that would normally be stopped at the head. A truly neglected faucet could even potentially break down period, with no chance at all of repair without a complete replacement. Some minor upkeep goes a long way, and even if it has to be developed into a habit, it will really help the purchase.

Finishes can’t be changed, although they can be painted over. But as previously mentioned, painting over a finish gets rid of a lot of the special touches that keep the faucet looking brand new and pristine years down the line. The finishes on the list are made with a lot of resistances, and traditionally if the faucet was bought with a shiny chrome finish then 5 years down the road that finish is going to be still shining, with no chipping.  This same luxury isn’t brought over when the DIY job requires painting over this premium finish in order to match the décor.

Besides paint chipping and sometimes an uglier output than expected, users will have to deal with keeping up the finish on a yearly basis just so it doesn’t look cheap. Painting over a finish isn’t a job that should be taken lightly, and requires planning before and after the job is finished. Even the most professional painter should give a pretty thorough walkthrough to the consumer before even starting this job, as expectations will be hard to keep once it is finished and the painter has left the house. Long story short with the finishes is to get what you want in the beginning so you don’t have to deal with a headache like this later on.

Last thing to remember is that if you’re a consumer that is hiring a contractor to do the install, for insurance purposes always take a before picture long before the contractor gets there. This is to protect both sides, and can help in settling disputes. This is the #1 thing that people forget to do when using an installer, and it really is a simple gesture that shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially considering that anything can go wrong, even with a professional.

Horror stories range from the kitchen faucet being installed in the wrong direction to the pipe exploding after the water was turned on, causing thousands of dollars of damage. Even if this is an unlikely scenario for most people, it has happened enough to where it doesn’t hurt to have a before picture just in case. It takes less than a second, it’s a foolproof method, and no one wants to deal with an unhappy party on either side. In cases where your insurance needs to step in the photos will even serve as a way to speed up the process so it doesn’t sit in limbo on someone’s desk for the next couple of months. Protect yourself as a buyer, and protect the installer as a professional.

Summary

When trying to decide on the best kitchen faucet for your home then this exhaustive list should be just enough to get you going in the right direction and choosing that perfect setup. For consumers that are doing a self-install, remember to have all of the necessary materials ready and to read the manual before starting work. Inspect the area that the new kitchen faucet will be installed to and if something isn’t right then use your common sense in deciding the next move. Also keep a handy set of notes that shows the replacement numbers for the cartridge and aerator, the two most important pieces of the puzzle with a kitchen faucet. After installing the new kitchen faucet it would be a good idea to save your water bill for the next couple of months so you can compare it to your old bill and see what has changed. Not only will your water bill have a nice big change for the better but you may be inspired to try this project with the rest of your house, with even better results.

The two main things that can’t be changed are finish and design, so if one of those is something you don’t agree with then making the purchases is probably not a good idea. Settling for a finish or design that is average in your eyes will leave most consumers with regrets later of what could have been. Choose the best of both and then work your way down, with the knowledge that the two things you can’t change are now of the highest quality in your eyes. And most important of all don’t be afraid to ask for a professional installer, since they are not only worth the money, but sometimes essential in making sure that everything goes 100% correctly. Choose the best kitchen faucet and watch as your kitchen and your entire house is fully transformed.