Thursday, January 19th, 2017
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Hi folks, Dave here with another carpentry tips blog.
In my time, I’ve worked in a lot of kitchens with nice cabinetry under the sink, and let me tell you, a good kitchen cabinet set can be the pride and joy of a house. But if there’s one thing that can spoil quality woodworking fast or slow, it’s a bad faucet. A lot of my kitchen jobs have been ruined by people who put in a crappy faucet that leaks water all over the wood and starts rotting things away. I’ve also seen a lot of people just totally downgrade the quality of the whole kitchen by putting up a crappy faucet that drags down the class of the whole cabinet and wall. So it’s a bit thing to make sure you get right.
As a handyman from time to time, I’ve gotten good at installing sink faucets and doing basic plumbing jobs. That’s also meant I’ve had to get pretty familiar with the nightmare faucets as well as the really nice ones. So, this blog is about how you want to choose your kitchen faucet.
First things first, one rule I have whenever I’m helping people put in a plumbing fixture is that there should be no chrome plastic in your house. A lot of faucets and shower heads these days are a really bright and shiny metal that’s called chrome, and what that basically means is they’ve taken a piece of PVC, sanded it smooth, and slapped some metallic paint on it. That’s the best case scenario, because the paint will just chip, but the PVC will work, as long as you don’t mind having an incredibly cheap feeling faucet that looks like hell. The worst case scenario is that they’ve taken a cheap metal and dressed it up, so it corrodes under the paint and stops leaking.
Whatever you want your faucet to look like or feel like, you have to stay away from chrome. You can avoid it by looking for real metal tags. The common ones you can buy are nickel, brass, and bronze. There are knock-off versions of all of those, but they’re easy to spot, and they’re way less common than shitty chrome. So always choose a real metal that’s solid, not painted on. Definitely best to avoid plastic components inside wherever you can, but you should know that PVC is pretty common these days because it doesn’t rust.
I also tell all my clients to look for long warranties on faucets, because you shouldn’t have to replace something like that. I usually end up with lifetime warranties, as long as I’m sticking to one of the big brands.
That brings me to my next piece of advice, which is to always know that big brands are safest: Moen, Delta, Kohler. They’ve been making faucets a lot longer than any newer brand, and they have reputations to maintain, which makes them puts some more effort into making good products that last.
Remember, no matter how good a faucet looks or feels, it’s only as good as its track record. That’s why I read a lot of reviews online to see how faucets hold up over time, because it’s not worth my time or your money to put in something that’s going to let you down before you know it. kitchenfaucets.reviews is a good source for that sort of track record research, and you can also ask a plumber or handyman which ones they’ve had luck with.
Oh, and one last tip: go analog instead of getting one of these fancy touch-less faucets. They’re a good idea in theory, but they don’t work very well and I’ve seen too many of them develop problems and ruin my carpentry work to be able to recommend them. I’d stay away until they’ve had a few more years of refinements.
Ok, so here’s a list of some faucets I’ve had good luck with, if you want to look at a few specific ones, but for the complete list and reviews, go to http://kitchenfaucets.reviews/best-bathroom-lavatory-sink-fixture-brands:
Delta Essa is a good pull-down one for modern looks
Premier Sonoma is a nice piece for folks who want a lot of class for not a lot of money–these are some of the most popular ones I install
Delta Peerless in stainless is what I put in houses where people have a tighter budget, because it’s so inexpensive
These are all on that review site I mentioned if you want to have a closer look.