Faucets Buying Guide 2023
Meta Description: Testing the quality of faucets will ensure you find the best faucets in the market. It’s, therefore, essential to learn the tips highlighted in this article to make your shopping experience easier. Keep reading!
While shopping for the best faucets for your kitchen and bathroom, you can encounter kitchen faucet manufacturers like InFaucets – a China-based faucet manufacturer that sells top-tier bathroom and kitchen fixtures. Unfortunately, others have anterior motives and can sell you inferior quality faucets.
For instance, they can show you high-quality kitchen faucets during your trial order, but later, you receive inferior kitchen faucets for high-quality faucets after placing a massive order. It’s, therefore, important to know how to test the quality of kitchen faucets to be on the safe side.
If you’re in this predicament, don’t fret! In this article, we outline how a buyer can test out the quality of a faucet body before buying. Additionally, we’ve highlighted some tips for choosing a faucet. Without further ado, let’s delve right in!
Dangers of Using Inferior Kitchen Faucets
Cheap is expensive’ is a famous saying that applies to inferior faucet bodies. It causes more harm than good in every aspect as far as ordinary consumers and merchants are concerned. Before moving into the nitty gritty of how you can test your kitchen faucets to determine their quality, let’s delve into the dangers of using an inferior faucet body.
Prolonged usage of inferior faucet finishes like copper and zinc alloy can affect the health of your body since these materials have large amounts of heavy metals. Moreover, zinc alloys are easily oxidized; therefore, the inner part of your faucet body will corrode after a short period. Besides its brittle nature, zinc alloy can burst during winter, causing unexpected costs for maintenance and repair.
Kitchen Faucet Merchants
Merchants have a lot to lose when they sell off inferior kitchen faucets. For starters, your reputation as a brand will be totally ruined, which means low sales with enormous after-sale costs. It’s therefore evident that kitchen faucet sellers should commit to and focus on producing the best kitchen faucets in terms of quality.
Regardless of their inferiority, it’s important to highlight that the faucet market sometimes benefits from such products, especially in areas where inferior quality is needed. With that said, consumers and faucet sellers need to have some tips that’ll help them determine the quality of a faucet from exceptional manufacturers like FaucetU or InFaucets. Let’s look at how you can go about this testing process.
Testing the Quality of Kitchen Faucets
You can look at various key points in a faucet’s body to determine its quality. They include; materials, cartridges, chrome plating procedure, aerator, and hose. Let’s look at them in detail.
Kitchen Faucet Materials
Copper is a popular and the best material for faucet production. Many mainstream kitchen faucet manufacturers opt for zinc alloy and copper, popularly known as brass, to produce faucets. Usually, small amounts of lead are also added in the production phase to ensure the cutting performance of brass is top-notch. When the lead hasn’t been added in the production phase, it’ll make cutting and casting performance of the said brass difficult. Even if you’re successful at the production stage, the final product will have cracks and corrode after a while.
A new faucet made from a combination of zinc alloy and copper can only be inferior when you notice trachoma, cracks, plus other defects. Additionally, the chrome plating may have blisters, pits, and poor adhesion after a short period. It can also suffer severe corrosion or even massive fall of faucet finishes, which affects the aesthetic of the entire kitchen area.
Another key point of consideration when determining the quality of a kitchen faucet is its cartridge. Most kitchen faucets have the ceramic cartridge. If you’re trying to secure quality faucets, you’ll never miss a ceramic cartridge. This type can resist water temperature, allowing hot and cold water to flow.
Additionally, its resistance to corrosive chemicals has good mechanical strengths and excellent lubricating properties. These quality cartridges are also labor-saving, and anyone can operate them easily, a reason why more consumers are opting for them. Even so, there are inferior ceramic cartridges on the market that can completely throw you off.
An inferior cartridge will also make the opening and closing of a kitchen faucet poor after a while. You can experience leaks as the valve core spoils easily leading to low water pressure. Also, the tap won’t close up as tightly as before.
A faucet’s aerator can also help you test a kitchen faucet’s quality. A high-quality faucet’s aerator usually has a foaming effect since the water flow and the air is equally mixed. Moreover, it makes the water flow abundant while still soft and comfortable.
Another good thing about a high-quality aerator is that it’ll increase the scouring force, thereby decreasing your household’s water consumption by 20%, according to Environmental Protection Agency. Moreover, consumers will never experience low flow rates with no water noise. On the other hand, if you’re using an inferior, there’s no that soft, delicate water flow rate after using it for a short period.
You’ll always have a messy discharge with water splashes leading to water wastage. Moreover, you’ll also experience water noise after a period of using the kitchen faucet with an inferior aerator.
The best high-quality faucet plating you need to consider is the nickel brushed and chrome finish. Usually, nickel-brushed faucets have a thickness of about eight microns with a chrome plate thickness of 0.2-0.3 microns. The nickel plate will make sure your kitchen faucet is resistant to corrosion. On the other hand, chrome will harden its surface while still making your kitchen faucet shiny and bright. Always go for chrome plating that will match your surrounding fittings, like cabinets or towel bars.
It’s important to note that, with the exception of electroplating, kitchen faucets use casting and copper technology as a base for their production. The electroplating process must follow the national standards of salt spray-nine levels of 24 hours. Ultimately, this is the differentiating factor between high-quality kitchen faucets and inferior ones.
If you’re trying to determine an inferior faucet using its chrome plating, you’ll always notice that such kitchen faucets have a chrome thickness of three to four microns. These kitchen sink faucets are prone to blistering, their coating falling off as well as surface oxidation & corrosion.
Another element you need to test out is the flexibility of your hose. How flexible should the faucet hose be? The inner tube material of your hose should use EPX materials that meet international drinking standards, which can withstand high temperatures, non-toxic and tasteless, explosion-proof, and corrosion-resistant. They’re safer compared to their PVC counterparts. Moreover, they use 304 stainless steel and nut materials that are sturdy and durable.
As seen, to acquire a high-quality kitchen faucet, its raw material, production process, assembly, and shipment process follow strict measures. To buy the right kitchen faucet for your home improvement, consider this and the following tips to be in the best position to attain the best fixtures. Here’s a buyer’s guide on choosing a faucet.
Tips for Choosing Faucets
A kitchen faucet shopping spree can quickly become overwhelming as there are many styles, materials, prices, and finishes to choose from. The good thing about buying a new faucet is that you’ll use it for years. It’s, therefore, essential to consider some factors that’ll direct you to the right kitchen faucet. Here are seven elements you must consider while searching for a kitchen sink faucet.
The shopping tips below are in reference to a popular style- the single-handle pull-down faucet that combines the spout and the spray head for user convenience and flexibility. However, these tips also apply to other types, like a single-hole faucet or a pull-down faucet. Let’s delve right in!
Match the New Faucet with the Exact Number of Mounting Holes
Most kitchen sinks have mounting holes already drilled and ready for your faucets and other fixtures like side sprays or soap dispensers. Matching your new faucet with what you have will ensure the sink remains original. You can acquire a base deck plate that’ll help you close up other holes on the sink deck.
The sink deck plate is sold together with the new faucet to close up holes on the countertop. Going for a faucet that requires more holes than what your sink deck has isn’t an option since it’ll make the installation process cumbersome. However, if you like a particular faucet with many holes, you can add more holes to your sinks by drilling.
The Spout Shape and Styles
In as much as the design and style of your faucet isn’t everything, you must still consider it while searching for new kitchen faucets to get value for your money. In cases where you’re leaning towards buying a straight spout since they are compact and affordable, you may also need to consider moving the faucet so that you can install a pot underneath it.
Other styles, like the Gooseneck model, have a higher clearance rate but can cause enormous amounts of splashing if the sink is shallow. Whichever case you go for, you must always ensure the head swings meticulously to reach all parts of the sink, particularly if you have a double bowl or wide sink. The new faucet must be directly proportional to the sink- getting a smaller or bigger faucet than your sink size can make the area look odd.
Consider a Professional Installation and Repair Process
It’s wise to consider doing a complete renovation as far as the sink, and your kitchen faucet is concerned. It will make the installation and maintenance process easier since you can install your desired kitchen faucet before installing the sink. Moreover, fixtures that can be repaired can be done during this very process.
Ensure you opt for hoses that allow a long water supply-it’ll ensure you make connections underneath the sink where using tools is much easier. Most faucets are guaranteed not to have leaks; unfortunately, some do leak after a brief usage period. The manufacturer can give you a replacement part if you have to acquire such kitchen countertop faucets. You can install this type or get a different model from another manufacturer.
Different Tips for Various Kitchen Faucet Types
There are many faucets with different shapes and designs. You’ll need to consider additional tips based on the type of faucet you have. Let’s look at some of our favorite faucet types, plus tips that will help you select the best ones.
Single Hole Faucet Features-Consumer Favorite
This One-hole faucet dispenses a mixture of hot and cold water. The good thing about these types is that it takes up less space than its dual-handled counterparts. If you’re trying to get these types for your kitchen sink, make sure you go for ones that can be easily turned off without your water losing the last temperature.
The faucet has a spray or stream selector at the side or above the spray head. This button allows you to switch between stream and spray modes. The best models to go for are those that can stay in the last desired mode without going back to the default setting when you turn off your water.
Also, pick the ones with a PVD finish; they’re scratch resistant even though they’re susceptible to staining. Most physical vapor deposition finishes are available in copper, nickel, polished brass, oil-rubbed bronze finishes, pewter, and gold. At the same time, look at the pull-out sprout, which basically combines the spray head and a sprout, plus swivels that increase the flexibility of the hose.
Make sure the sprout is extended enough, such that its hose is long to reach all areas of your sink. The base plate will cover any unnecessarily exposed holes in the existing sinks. Moreover, get longer hoses that easily connect your water supply. Ensure there’s enough counterweight to ensure the spout and hose retract efficiently on the base.
Faucet Types- Buyer's Guide
Most consumers know about single-handled, single-lever, and two-handled faucets; however, they’re other kitchen faucets designed for particular uses like wet sinks, filling pots on a stovetop, and as prep sinks. Let’s look at some tips for buying these faucet types.
Single Handle Faucets
If you’re looking to buy a single-handle faucet, it’s wise to confirm the distance to the window sled or backsplash. This is important since the rotation of the handle may come in contact with whatever is behind it. However, if you have more sinkholes, you should buy a separate nozzle or a soap dispenser.
One unique thing about these faucet types is that they take up small space and are easily installed. However, they’re precise temperature adjustments, just like two-handled faucets.
Two Handle Faucets
Opposite to single-handle faucets, two-handle faucets have two separate handles that allow hot and cold water flow. The handles are situated on the right and left sides of your faucet. These handles can come as part of the base plate or can be separately mounted.
Using this type of faucet allows a more precise temperature adjustment when compared to a single lever faucet. Its drawback is that it’s pretty hard to install, plus you’ll need two hands to adjust the temperatures.
Pull Down Faucet
Also known as a pull-out faucet, pull-down faucets have spouts that can be pulled out or down from the single-handle head on the hose. The pull-down taps have a counterweight that ensures the spout and the hose can retract nicely. A pull-down spout is advantageous when it comes to rinsing most sinks, plus vegetables.
Just make sure your hose is long enough to get into all corners of your sink. Unfortunately, the pull-down feature may not work well if you have a small sink.
These touchless models have an activator in front of the faucet that’s easy to locate. You’ll be able to switch your faucet from manual to touchless by sliding a movable panel to cover the sensor. The awesome thing about these faucet types is its convenience and cleanliness.
The movement sensor easily activates water flow. It comes in handy when you have dirty hands, as you’ll not need to touch the faucet. The hand-free faucets have drawbacks, including hard-to-find sensors located underneath the faucet. This is quite hard, especially when the hands are dirty.
Moreover, other models require you to tap the faucet to make water flow. Afterward, you’ll have to wash the part you tapped on.
Pot Filling Faucets
Pot filler faucets are common in hostels and restaurants. They’re also great for home improvement as they’re scaled for use. You can choose different styles like those installed on the deck or wall-mounted near the stove area. They come with peculiar arms that can fold and be tucked away when not used.
The upside to using these types is the ease of use and convenience. You can use a large-sized pot on a stove without them lugging across your kitchen. The only drawback of pot filler faucets is that they must be connected to the water supply behind the stove. The faucet is recommended for those that cook seriously at home.
These types are excellent high-end faucets that free up space at your sink area and ensure that the prep work is made easier, particularly if more than one person is cooking in the kitchen area. If you don’t have a smaller sink, don’t worry, there are still bar faucets made for these sinks, and they would often come with styles that match the main tap.
The best part about using bar faucet types is that you can easily connect them directly to a hot water dispenser and a filtered cold-water dispenser. One of its drawbacks is space consideration. It requires you to create enough countertop space for installation; therefore, you must consider this factor before installing them.
Good Hydration is Everything
When it comes to faucet features, you must select advanced features that can resist wear; such features affect the functionality and durability of the faucet. Here are some additional features you need to consider.
Most faucets have tough finishes except for cheap ones. Various faucets are plastered with charged metal atoms in a process called physical vapor deposition. We have various metals that produce different finishes with various characteristics.
For instance, oil-rubbed bronze oozes a rustic finish, whereas brushed stainless steel isn’t susceptible to stains and scratches. The PVD version always gives the best outcome for whatever metal you choose.
Ensure you go for button friendly stream selector located at the top or side of the spray head. It helps you to switch to different modes easily and remain in the desired mode when the tap is turned off.
For people with a single-handle or a two-handle faucet with extra holes, you can cover them with a metal stopper. However, you can also add a side sprayer to the sink. The installation process is straightforward, so there would be no obstacles.
This feature is partially apparent, but some single-handle faucets are designed to hold a particular temperature even after the water is turned off. It comes in handy when you’re using the tap at intervals. This will ensure you don’t have to adjust the water temperatures every time you turn on your faucet. Various manufacturers, like InFaucets, have specifications for such features.
The above feature is quite helpful in pull-down faucets. If you detach the nozzle from the base, the faucet can retract all the way back but not into its lock position. This magnetic lock will hold the faucet in place and lock it up.
Getting Drip-Free Faucets
Did you know you waste gallons of water each month through dripping? It’s, therefore, essential to check out how many faucets in your household are dripping and at what rate. The estimates can be intriguing, like a home can lose 10,000 gallons of water a year through a leaky faucet.
You can cut off the flow of water with compression valves on a washer or when the seal is closed. Old faucets will drip when the washer spoils or degrades. Getting modern faucets that have ceramic discs will ensure you curb dripping. This is because such taps don’t have washers that can erode.
Most faucets manufactured by InFaucets come with this high-end feature. Therefore, you’ll not have to worry about the dripping menace.