What we usually take for granted are the smaller and less expensive fixtures and controls that surround them, like switches, thermostats, shower heads and faucets.
Get the Best Kitchen Faucet You Can Afford
But when those small fixtures fail, they can cause just as many headaches and disruptions to our lives as major appliances that go down. It may be hard to make dinner without a functioning stove (unless you’re the freezer-and-microwave type), but it’s just as difficult when your kitchen faucet doesn’t work.
The bottom line: fixtures and controls are important – and it makes sense to get the best ones you can afford.
Different Styles of Kitchen Faucets
There are many styles of faucets designed to work with kitchen sinks, and the Groom+Style review team will touch on a good number of them in our best kitchen faucets top 5 list.
Most modern fixtures have one handle to control the temperature and flow of hot and cold water, but the older-style units with hot and cold knobs (and often a separate sprayer) are still available; we’re also starting to see “hands-free” kitchen faucets similar to the ones in public restrooms, which turn on when you wave your hand in front of a sensor.
Faucets with integrated spray heads can either pull out horizontally or pull down into the sink, and the enormous “fusion style” faucets you see in commercial kitchens are also now being sold for home use (and are often chosen for their looks as much as their functionality).
It’s in the Finish – Durability Is Key Inside and Out
Finishes like chrome, bronze, brass and stainless steel, or colored powder-coating, are normally selected to match a décor and a budget, but durability also comes into play.
One trend today is to place an additional “PVD” finish on metal faucets (it can’t be used on chrome), which uses metallic ions to make the fixtures highly resistant to scratches and corrosion.
The finish is different than the material the faucet has been made from; look for brass or steel faucets rather than plastic ones, if you don’t want to be shopping for replacements regularly.
It’s unusual for customers to pay much attention to the internal workings of their kitchen faucet but some types of construction, notably cartridge valve and ceramic disc, make repairs easier or faucets more durable respectively. Of course, they also cost more than simple units – as do the beautiful designer models which are the stars of the show at big box hardware stores and can elevate the look of a kitchen dramatically.
Didn’t think a kitchen faucet could be such a complicated item to shop for? Don’t worry, the Groom+Style review team have narrowed down the alternatives for you. Here is Groom+Style’s best kitchen faucet review top 5 list!
1. Moen 7175 Level One-Handle High Arc Pullout Kitchen Faucet
It’s nice when companies put most of the important details into the name of their product because it saves us time when writing the description – although to be complete, the review team consider this as much a pulldown faucet as a pullout.
Moen, as we’re sure you know, is a highly-respected faucet manufacturer which makes terrific products, and the 7175 is one of their best. The high arc of the faucet provides lots of clearance when working in the sink, the long pull-down hose and spout makes filling big pots and clean up a breeze (the hose returns to its natural position automatically when released), and the unit rotates 360° for added convenience.
You can use the Moen 7175 in either stream or spray mode and while the water flow may be a bit lower than from some high-end competitors at 1.5 gallons per minute (GPM), the performance is just as good. There’s also a convenient pause button.
This Moen faucet is built to be a workhorse. It’s a solid, cartridge-style stainless steel fixture with Moen’s signature LifeShine finish, available in either chrome or stainless, that’s guaranteed to never flake, tarnish or corrode.
There is a little plastic used in the construction of the head and hose, but it’s strong and won’t detract from the durability of the faucet. On the inside, there are flexible supply lines and two independent check valves to prevent backflow; the faucet installs easily thanks to the Moen Hydrolock quick-connect system seen on most of their kitchen and bathroom fixtures.
The “look” of a fixture is certainly dependent on a customer’s needs and preferences – but this is a beautiful faucet. It’s sleek and modern, and the chrome or stainless finish works well in most of today’s kitchen designs.
When you add the Moen’s impeccable construction, durability, functionality, ease of use and simple installation, there’s no doubt in our mind that this is the best faucet for most kitchens. It’s expensive, but you won’t be running out to buy a replacement for a long, long time.
Facts and figures for the Moen 7175 Level One-Handle High Arc Pullout Kitchen Faucet:
A note about the Moen production model. The primary business model for Moen is to manufacture (cast, forge and machine) its products in its own factories. While all Moen faucets are made in America some of the parts may have been manufactured in other countries.
2. Kraus KPF-2110 Single Lever Stainless Steel Pull Out Kitchen Faucet
Kraus USA isn’t as well-known as Moen, but it should be. They produce wonderful fixtures for the kitchen and bath. The KPF-2110 is a more standard pullout model that doesn’t look as sleek as the Moen 7175, but is still modern-looking while being extremely heavy and durable in its construction.
As a pullout, this faucet doesn’t provide the same high-arc convenience as the Moen, but it’s still higher than most competitive models.
As for its other functions, they’re comparable to those of our top-ranked faucet. The spout rotates 120° and the hose has a slightly lesser reach because of the horizontal style of the fixture; the one disappointment is that the hose is made of nylon braid rather than metal.
However, the water flow is rated at a stronger 1.8 GPM, there are stream and spray functions controlled by a button on the top of the head, and the hose retracts automatically.
This drip-free ceramic-cartridge Kraus faucet is made from lead-free brass with a corrosion-free stainless steel finish, and a Neoperl low-flow aerator comes standard with the fixture. Installation can be a bit dicey if you don’t have plumbing experience, but go slowly and follow the picture instructions supplied with the faucet and you shouldn’t have any major issues.
We discuss the Kraus Nolen model towards the bottom of this article – it is slighly more expensive but boasts a spot-free finish with sweeping lines and soft curves!
What’s a plus for some people could be a negative for others; this is one of the heavier kitchen faucets you’ll find, making it very durable.
The heavy hose, however, is somewhat unwieldy for people who prefer a lighter fixture that’s easy to maneuver or those who are dealing with issues like arthritis.
But if you want a very good pullout faucet with a solid feel, it’s hard to beat the KPF-2110.
More detail on the Kraus KPF-2110 Single Lever Stainless Steel Pull Out Kitchen Faucet:
A note about the Kraus production model. The primary business model for Kraus is to sell very good quality Chinese made products under its own brand. Kraus have made a concerted effort to apply stringent quality and production processes so as to separate themselves from other lower quality, lower cost Asian made faucets.
3. Delta Faucet 9178-AR-DST Leland Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet
Delta is another manufacturer with a famous name and a reputation for making quality kitchen and bathroom fixtures. The Leland pulldown unit fits comfortably into their lineup, at a lower price than our first two choices in the top 5 best kitchen faucets – the chrome-finished model is the best value while the stainless steel and bronze finishes carry an additional cost.
The 9178-AR-DST is made from brass and has what’s called a “teapot” design, with the curved handle placed to the side of the pulldown faucet. Some think this design is modern while others consider it traditional, but it’s definitely an eye-catcher.
You can toggle between spray and stream modes easily, and Delta uses what it calls its MagnaTite docking system for the head in order to keep it firmly in place over the long haul. One other innovation the company uses in its upper-end faucets is coating the valves with a substance containing small pieces of diamond in order to prevent leaks.
The spout on the Leland swivels a full 360°, and while the hose isn’t quite as long as the one on the Moen, it gives you plenty of range to work in a large sink. The water flow is a very respectable 1.8 GPM. The only issues to be aware of are that this faucet has a nylon braided hose, and over time the plastic connector at the bottom of the hose can break.
Everything else about the Delta says “quality,” though, and it is good value if you are after a reasonably priced faucet. One additional nice addition to the package is the included escutcheon to make three-hole installation easy.
Looking deeper at the Delta Faucet 9178-AR-DST Leland Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet:
A note about the Delta production model. The primary business model for Delta is to manufacture (cast, forge and machine) its products in its own factories. All its faucets which contain the Diamond Seal Technology ceramic disk cartridges, such as the Delta 9178, comply with the Buy America Act.
4. Peerless P299578LF-SS Choice Two Handle Kitchen Faucet
There are many who still prefer old-fashioned “hot and cold” handles on their kitchen faucet but want a more modern-looking fixture than the ones they grew up with. The Peerless Choice two-handle model is the perfect answer, at an easy-to-take price.
The curves on the rotating, gooseneck spout and the two ergonomically-designed handles are what give this faucet its updated look, along with its stainless steel finish and the matching stainless-finished hand spray that sits to the side of the main unit.
The faucet is constructed from solid brass with ceramic disc valves, the water flow is an efficient and satisfying 1.8 GPM, and while this model doesn’t have the rock-solid feel of the more expensive faucets we’ve looked at in previous reviews, it is strong enough to last quite a while and has a limited lifetime warranty to back it up.
As with other less-expensive kitchen faucets, the plastic gaskets and connectors are prone to developing leaks after a few years of use, but that’s part of the bargain when you buy a price-friendly faucet.
This Peerless model is a good compromise between “guts” and price when you need or want a two-handle faucet.
Specification of the Peerless P299578LF-SS Choice Two Handle Kitchen Faucet:
A note about the Peerless production model. Peerless is Delta Faucet’s line of lower-priced do-it-yourself faucets. This Peerless faucet is therefore manufactured overseas under contract to Delta. Having said this it still carries the same lifetime warranty as the high end Brizo, and mid-range Delta faucets.
5. Kraus KPF-1602 Single Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet Commercial Style
The Groom+Style review team closes our best kitchen faucets top 5 list with a fixture that’s in increasing demand: the commercial-style faucet that has an enormous pull-down, open-coil swivel spout with a high arch. The KPF-1692 can swivel 360° and effortlessly reach several sinks in the kitchen – while giving the room the high-tech, industrial look favored by many gourmet cooks.
The manufacture of this Kraus beauty is as solid as you would expect, with lead-free brass and a choice of commercial-grade stainless steel or chrome finish, full O-ring fittings, a high-performance neopearl aerator and a drip-free ceramic cartridge.
The real beauty of this faucet, though, is its functionality. There’s a high-pressure pull-out spray nozzle with an integrated two-way diverter to seamlessly control water flow (nominally 1.8 GPM) between the spot and the powerful pre-rinse spray, with a single lever to control everything. And the spray head has rubber nozzles to prevent limescale buildup over time.
The Groom+Style review team wishes we had a kitchen where we could use this fabulous faucet, and would gladly pay the price (which is about half that of some competitive commercial-style home models).
Most readers probably don’t have a use for this faucet either, but those who do will find the Kraus KPF-1602 an indispensable fixture in their gourmet kitchen – and a terrific conversation piece.
More details on the Kraus KPF-1602 Single Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet Commercial Style:
Kraus Nolen Spot-Free Pull-Down Single-Handle Kitchen Faucet
A bonus model!
Once again the Kraus Nolen is heavy and durable and beautiful addition to any kitchen sink. The stainless steel KPF-1673 Spot-Free model is a great choice for more décors with its brushed nickel finish, but other variations are available (for slightly higher prices) in chrome/white, stainless/matte black, chrome and matte black finishes.
The review team loved the Spot-Free stainless option, which prevents water spots and fingerprints from marring the look of the faucet.
There’s an 18-inch pull-down hose with a silicone spray nozzle, giving you a choice of an aerated stream or strong spray. It has a counterweight to provide reliable automatic retraction and docking; the one disappointment is that the hose is made of nylon braid rather than metal.
The high arch of the 16” gooseneck spout gives you lots of room to work underneath the steam, and the faucet swivels a full 360°.
Also notable is the fact that the water flow is stronger than that of the Moen, rated at 1.8 GPM but still California low-flow compliant thanks to the eco-friendly aerator. Installation can be a bit dicey if you don’t have plumbing experience, but go slowly and follow the picture instructions supplied with the faucet and you shouldn’t have any major issues.
You can’t go wrong with either of Groom+Style’s top two Kraus choices. But if you want a beautiful pull-down faucet with a solid feel, strong water flow – and no fingerprints or water spots – it’s hard to beat the Kraus Nolen.
More detail on the Kraus Nolen Spot-Free Pull-Down Single-Handle Kitchen Faucet:
The Groom+Style team hopes you found this review useful – while you are looking at improving your kitchen why not look at replacing that old toaster with a top of the range toaster oven?