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Home > Projects & DIY Toolkit > Buying Guides > Kitchen Faucet Buying Guide

Kitchen Faucet Buying Guide

Whether you're replacing an old faucet in an existing kitchen or selecting a faucet as part of a larger remodeling plan, there are a few questions to ask before the water starts to flow. Make notes on your answers to these questions and take them to your local Lowe's to help you make your final faucet choice. Lowe's is happy to provide this information as a service to you.

How many holes are in your sink?

If you're replacing an existing faucet, be sure to choose a new one that requires the same number of holes in the deck of the sink as the one that's being removed. One-piece faucets (with integrated handle and spout) need one hole for the handle/spout piece, and usually require a separate hole for a sprayer. Traditional faucets, with hot and cold taps, require three holes for the taps and spout and a fourth for a sprayer. Other options, such as integrated sprayers and soap dispensers, can create other requirements; make sure you are clear about your needs.

If you're starting from scratch with a new sink, you can put any holes you need in the sink to accommodate the faucet you want. If you're replacing an old faucet, be sure to count the number of holes in your sink.

What kind of handles do you want?

Typical kitchen faucets have either one handle that rotates directionally to choose a water temperature or two handles for mixing hot and cold water. Lever-shaped taps make gripping and turning easy.

One-piece faucets can have a handle that's attached to the faucet unit or a handle that sits to the side (in the same position a traditional sprayer would be). A one-handle faucet can include an integrated sprayer.

Traditional faucets can feature the classic look of the rounded-X shaped tap, a more contemporary, cylindrical silhouette, or an easy-access lever shape. Lever taps are often easiest to manipulate. They fit in well with the concept of universal design, an attempt to make living spaces as accessible as possible to people of all levels of physical ability.

What kind of sprayer do you want?

Some newer models have sprayers integrated right into the faucet itself.

What do you put in the sink?

If you wash a large number of bulky pots and pans, choose a faucet with a tall, curved neck. You'll have an easier time sliding big pots in and out of the sink and rinsing them thoroughly.

Goose-neck faucets are perfect if you wash large pots.

Do you want a filter?

Many people choose to filter their tap water for drinking. There are a number of ways to install a filter, and some involve an attachment to the faucet itself. A few faucets come with the filtering mechanism built-in. If you choose to filter, think about the volume of water you will use and maintenance requirements. Some water filters attach right at the tap.

What style and finish do you want?

For a unified look, choose a style and finish for your new faucet that matches that of your kitchen cabinet hardware.

What are the technical considerations?

Some faucets mount from the top of the sink, while others mount from the bottom. If you're hiring a professional to install your new faucet (perhaps along with a new sink), he or she likely will be familiar with both types. If you're installing the new faucet yourself, make sure you understand all the steps before you begin.

There are four main types of faucet mechanisms: ball valve, ceramic disk, compression valve and cartridge. Which type your new faucet has won't make a big difference in day-to-day use, but some are easier to repair than others.


Tools, products, materials, techniques, building codes and local regulations change; therefore, Lowe's assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any project. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. Please visit our terms of use.

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