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Buying Guide for Faucets – How to choose the Best One

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To get the best faucet, you have to know what to look and how to explore the options while purchasing. The type of finish, kind of use, configuration of sink the faucet serve, etc. has to be considered before buying to suit for your interior style and budget.

Types of Faucets

There are various types and styles of faucets available for bathrooms or kitchen by depending on their size, finish, material & functionality. Just go through these and find the best one.

1. Full Turn

Full turn knobs are traditional knob that used for hot and cold water, where the pressure of water flow was controlled by turning on and off the knob. It is widely used for basin and bath/shower.

Basin These knobs are usually fitted on the sink. They are suitable for the single hole or has one or two handles in which the user can turn the knob fully to run the water. 

Bath/Shower The type of faucet are wall mounted, which requires a separate valve and drain for installation. It won’t suitable for basins that has prevailed holes. Although, the spout is long enough for adequate basin clearance but check whether the sink is deep enough to prevent the splashing of water on the countertops or floor.

2. Prismatic

The taps which are made with technology that always allow a fixed quantity of 750 ml of water flow with every press of the knob. This provides ease of operation along with saving the water.

Sensor Faucets This prismatic sensor operated faucet comes with a standard predetermined timer in which it allows the water flow when you need to rinse your hands and stops after you remove your hands. This will help to control the water flow and prevents its wastage.

3. Quarter Turn

This type of knob will help to reduce the water consumption without affecting the water pressure or its flow. These knobs are using in the place of traditional full turn knobs why because they enable smooth movement and are durable than basic knobs.

4. Stop Cock

This basic type is used to control the water flow in the pipe line in the bathroom, which are widely used in the geyser and toilet shower water flow mechanism. Various designs and finish are available with this model.

5. Single Lever

The single lever faucet works best on both high pressure and low pressure water flow. They mixes cold and hot water by smooth movement and makes it easy to use along with adjusting its temperature and flow at a time whereas the double levers makes you mix both hot and cold water separately by depending on your preference.

Cartridge needs to be replaced after some time by turning off the stopcock and look at the tutorial to replace for its proper functioning. 

6. Pillar Cock

It is widely used in the bathrooms and kitchen basins, as it provides enough space between the basin and the faucet for washing utensil or hands. Although, there are various types and designs available in which you have to choose your best.

7. Wall Mixer

This mixer is fitted on the wall with cold and hot water knob along with a spout attached. It comes in two variations – 2 in 1 (has overhead shower with attached spout and hot & cold water knobs) and 3 in 1 wall mixers (overhead shower with a spout unit and a telephonic/hand shower). However, it is installed on the wall, you can easily change or repair the unit whenever needed. They uses the mechanism of quarter turn knob and fixed at 36 inches from the floor for convenient space. 

8. Shower Mixer

This combines both hot and cold water and supplies to the shower system for showering. It suits best for the existing toilet connections and also comes at a low cost than wall mixer. 

9. Sill Cock

It is generally fixed at the house outside wall to reach the garden hoses. This cock are made with heavy red brass. The anti-siphon frost proof sill cock will employ the back flow devices and integral back-siphon. In freezing climates, this type will allow you for the usage of outside spigot in which inside the heated building, the closing member is located. 

10. Laundry Faucet

It mounts either on the wall above the tub or laundry tubs. The fiberglass tubs will require a ledge faucet that has 4 inches centers while furnished comes with a standard 3 – 3/4 inches hose thread outlet on the spout. 

11. Tub or Shower Faucet

The cold and hot mix comes in a single arm and these comes in a variety patterns that can be built into the flush or wall mounted above bathtub. It comes with three valve shower and bath faucets in which the two valves will control water and the third one diverts water through showerhead or spout.

12. Compression Faucet

Compression faucet (or stem faucet or washer type). Whenever the spindle turns down, the disk or washer attached to the lower end. If it is tightly pressed on the smoothly finished ring then it surrounds the opening flow to close the water flow. 

13. Kitchen Faucets

They generally, comes in a combination style in which the cold and hot water mix in a single arm. They also available in several patterns. Some are listed below.

  • The ledge mounted faucet is generally mounted in horizontal position.
  • The wall mounted is connected to pipes which comes through the wall above the sink and they are mounted in vertical position.
  • The standard lavatory faucets are simply made with 4 inches centers.
  • The common size in these kitchen sink or faucets comes is 8 inches center but also 4 & 6 inches available in the market.
  • The wide spread faucets made with adjustable center measurements for up to 12 inches.
  • Coming to concealed faucets, they are mounted under the sink and comes only with handle flanges and spout visibility.
  • Whereas the exposed faucets are generally mounted on the top of the sink either without or with sprays.
  • The mixing faucet (or single lever) is used as swing spout kitchen taps, bath faucets and lavatory faucets, which gets operated with just the push of the upright lever straight for opening both cold and hot water and comes with an advantage of closing and opening it quickly. 
  • The Over the Counter faucets are easy to install why because it makes you not to crawl under the sink to reach behind the basin to secure this faucet. Simply factory installed flexible supply lines along with a spring loaded toggle and screw head concealed for fixing this faucet. 

14. Pull –Down Faucet

This faucet is one of the popular choices in these days. The pull down faucet comes as a gooseneck design and spout with an extension to pull down. It not only improves maneuverability but also keeps your kitchen. You have to pull the spout down and minimize splashing but may not be great for shallow sinks.

15. Pull – Out Faucet

It is an improved version that makes to pull the entire head out and move it into the desired direction. You will get maximum maneuverability but it might cause some splashes. Also, you can fill this pan or pot while it is still on the countertop.

Things to Consider for Bathroom and Kitchen Faucets

The water pressure system (high or low) will play a major role in choosing the faucet that suits best. Also, the water disposal and waste system (drainage) is also considered. Other things includes….

1. Material

In general, the taps are made of stainless steel, chrome, copper or brass in which the brass made faucets are durable and suits for the traditional look theme. The chrome taps gives aesthetic option and steel is a common faucet material. Also, there are wide range of color themes, you have to choose your best and most suited.

2. Bathroom Faucet Handles

Generally, we observe handwheels or capstans, levers and moulded grip bathroom tap handles. Let’s know them in detail.

LeversThe latest version of tap handles that used for both basin and bath faucets. It comes with many in-built features such as diverters, thermostat, etc. It is easy to use and maintain them. You can turn on or off easily by using your elbow or back of the hand, which means it helps to keep them clean and hygiene.

Handwheels or Capstans It is a traditional style that are built with 4 small handles to turn the tap with proper grip. It is in demand due to its easy fitting and handling options. 

Moulded Grip Bathroom Tap Handles These are available in plastic or metal with pre-designed moulds to provide the proper grip of the tap to turn and use. However, they give less grip than capstans but used widely for sinks and basins rather than bath taps.

Cross – head Taps – These are popular that used to add or preserve the charm in the bathroom. Although, they are sleeker than traditional handles but simply comes with easy to operate twisting mechanism. 

3. Space

Before purchasing the faucet, you have to check the space availability. In general, the basic faucets suits for small spaced bathrooms. So, avoid choosing the basin mixer if you have less space. Check the model whether it suits your space and home décor.

4. Budget

Choose the perfect faucet wisely from the various models available in the market according to your budget. Although, they come with higher price but choose the one that comes as a value for money proposition along with stylish look of the product. 

5. Finish

The chrome effect finishes are popular among basin taps. They come with a wide range of bathroom and basin styles that suits from traditional to super-sleek contemporary styles. To create a traditional look, choose brass fitting with a high gloss finish. Remember that you can easily maintain a high quality finish without getting scratched from the wear and tear. Other things to consider are.

Oil Rubbed Bronze The best fashionable finish is this oil rubbed bronze. This finish is not getting considered by the potential customers. However, it finish will definitely change the appearance of this sink or faucet.

Aspect Almost all the people choose stainless steel finish or chromed finish, which are popular in these days. They are other different finishes you have to prefer for enhancing your bathroom faucet design. So, the aspect of faucet get influenced greatly by its finish.

Polished Brass The polished brass is another finish that not suitable for every faucet but looks great on some faucets. In case like large bathroom with a traditional design, then this polished brass finished faucet will definitely make it look elegant.

6. Maintenance

A faucet with beautiful finish will give a good look but when it is perfectly maintained or else the faucet looks bad and thereby make your bathroom look worse. Some finishes comes revealing the spots better than other types. So, check how frequently you have to clean the faucet before buying.

7. Matching the Other Fixtures

Always choose a faucet and its fixture to get fit for all other fixtures, either for a new one or existing one. So, check the availability for the other fixtures before you buy the faucets.

8. Faucet – Style & Design

Always consider the design and style of the faucet before buying them. Here are some designs of bathroom and kitchen faucets. Just go through them.

a. Bathroom Faucet – Style & Design

Have a look at the designs and styles of bathroom faucets and choose your best. 

  • Classical Design These faucets suits best for bathrooms that are traditionally styled and they placed at the centerpiece of the room. Install this faucet on a classical looking sink to get the look of the faucets that people used at 19th century.
  • Modern Design These faucets are perfect for modern bathrooms which are straight or curved lines and they may come with one or two handles. They can be a centerpiece of the bathroom. So, install it on the sink which has modern look or straight lines.
  • Hybrid Design These faucets is used in both modern and classical bathrooms. They come with either one handle or two and also available in different finishes. The drawback of using this faucet is that you can easily install them on any kind of sink to look great. 

b. Kitchen Faucet – Style & Design

There are 3 main styles available in the kitchen faucets. Let’s know them in detail.

  • Traditional Style – It comes with vintage touch with some modern features that make you not to go out of the style.
  • Transitional Style – It is a combination of modern and traditional. This allows the users to have some more creativity when it comes to decorating the homes. Just like a stainless steel faucet with a natural wood cabinet. 
  • Contemporary Style – The simple shape and ample open space is ideal in which the faucet should be as minimalistic & simple. 

9. Latest Trends

Always keep your eye on the latest trends and models. Simply, a 3 in 1 wall mixer comes with various functions in a single operated system. Sensor faucets and wall mounted faucets are always trendy.

10. Installation Holes & Plumbing

Before purchasing, you have to know how many mounting holes the sink has. In case, if it has one mounting hole then prefer to buy a faucet that needs 3 mounting holes, in which you can drill the holes easily. But be careful while drilling a hole through a cast iron or marble is not an easy task.  Also, some sinks are thick and need the help of nut extenders to reach the supply lines.

The number of holes suggested are 4 holes – Single hole (faucet with a single handle), two holes (use this configuration for single handle and accessory), three holes (two for handles and one for the spout) and four holes (single or two handle design and have enough space for side sprayers, soap dispensers, etc.).

11. Ease of Installation

You should know how to install the faucet without any professional help. Although, some models comes with an easy installation while others have difficult installation. If you’re unable to fix this then you can take the help of professional plumber. 

12. Number of Handles

In general, we divide the faucet handles as three categories – single handle, two handles and touchless faucets (especially in kitchen). Although, the lever handles are easy to use and control the temperature better but for traditionally designed kitchens, a cross handles offers a unique T-shape.

Single Handle FaucetThe simple mechanism is that turn the handle to one side if you want cold water and turn to opposite side to get hot water. You have to check the space whether it has proper space to rotate the handle. 

Two Handle Faucet This design is that the two handles comes on each side of the tap in which one is for hot and the other is for cold water. It will give you a complete control over the temperature. 

Touchless (or Hands-free) Faucet These are generally seen in shopping malls, restaurants and commercial facilities. Just simply place your hands below the tap and the sensor will make the water running. In this type, the faucet or handles won’t get dirty why because we don’t have to touch anything.

13. Warranty

A warranty is the guarantee of the company about their product. So, always choose the product that offers a minimum warranty so as to fulfil your expectations. Products from well-known brands are somewhat quality products that comes with a warranty.

14. Measurements

Before purchasing the faucets, you have to access the entire sink and a spout that has swivel 360 degree. Also, check the height of the spout whether it is too short or too high (high arc or low arc). If high then it causes splashing and if low then some pots not get fit properly.

Faucet Features and Technology:

Aerator / Water Efficiency These are in-built component of high end bathroom taps and are automated system if the bathroom taps to save water. Or simply attach the flow controllers (or flow regulators) or aerators that reduce the water usage while operating. You have to clean them occasionally or replace them over time. 

Touch Sensors These are seen mostly in washbasin taps to prevent clumsiness and to use measured water.

Thermostatic / Temperature Control These are prevalent in mixers in which they help in maintaining and moderating a preferred temperature. Generally, the ideal tap will heat the water to set temperature. Also, some companies provide temperature control pads to pre-set the temperature. 

Looks You have to choose the faucet that matches perfectly for your home décor. There are wide range available which is made from brushed stainless steel, polished chrome and porcelain. Also, check the shapes, colors, style and your budget before buying. 

Ease of Use When you are purchasing the tapware, you should thoroughly check them by turning them on and off to know whether they are user friendly and turning easily or not. 

Fixtures and Accessories of Bathroom Taps

1. Valves

It should be compatible with the shape of square or round and comes with either brushed, painted, matt, antique or polished finish. Although, replacement valves make as an easy solution for repairing leaking taps, dripping taps but you have to be careful while choosing this valve to meet the water pressure requirements. It need to complement the tap hole configuration and thereby to connect them to the appropriate outlets and inlets. 

2. Spouts

Choose the tap with right size of the spout for your basin is essential to ensure the proper usage of basin. Spouts can be deck mounted, wall mounted, floor standing or ceiling mounted which can be used with manual valves, side bodies or thermostatic shower valves with diverters to support the bathroom taps. Longer spouts are generally recommended for large bathrooms and they comes in different colors like brass, gold, copper, chrome, black, silver and white. 

3. Diverters or Single Lever Diverter

These are space efficient and are concealed inside the wall in which the spout and the lever (knob) are different parts but not like wall mixer. It comes with an automated safety lock or manual to moderate the water temperature. Some comes with built-in mixers for proper installation.  The aluminium sheet with lever, spout and overhead shower is visible. It is installed at 18 inches from flooring, which is quite less than wall mixer spout.

Tips on Buying the Faucets/Taps:

  • Some experts suggests to pick a single levered faucet for the washbasin and double levered faucet for bathing why because the double lever regulate cold and hot water flow properly.
  • The faucets which are turned open will tend to wear out faster than normal. So, opt for the faucets that open by simply lifting up the lever.
  • You can soak your combs or hairbrushes, etc. in the faucet with a stopper for the drain before washing them.
  • Invest in a best quality showerhead that allow you to adjust the water pressure, especially if you are interested in showering to soak in a bathtub or else choose a simple showerhead.
  • You can avoid the telephone (or hand) shower that depends on your bathing style (OR) simply choose an adjustable overhead shower that will double up the telephone shower.
  • Try to avoid dropping the objects into the sink to reduce the likelihood of the damage. 
  • A high arc faucet is better than low arc in such a case when we wash the face or teeth or hands then they tend to hold above the sink’s rim and more water get splashed.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the difference between diverter and wall mixer?

The diverter is an alternative to wall mixers and can comes in different variants in which its usage will avoid the use of bulky wall mixers and operate the same functions (both spout and shower) by using one lever. Whereas the wall mixers used in bathroom has provision for cold and hot water in which it comes with 3 separate levers to control the flow of water in shower and spout.

2. What to know while fixing a bathroom tap?

Here are a few things which you have to know before fixing the bathroom tap. *Type of preferred bathroom taps *Number of tap holes *Water pressure in the home *Color scheme of the bathroom *Need for any wiring or electrical connection *Choose a wall mounted, standalone, deck mounted or ceiling mounted tap.

3. How to fix a bathroom tap?

Here is the detailed process on how to fix a bathroom tapes. *Although, most of the bathroom taps come in assembled units in which you can fit it easily into the bath tub or sink (or) simply use an instruction guide to assemble the tap properly. *Attach the tap connectors by screwing it into the base that includes length of copper tube with a brass thread fitting. *Now place the new taps in that hole but be sure you have to place the perfect seal between the sink and tap. Connect the hot water connection on the right hand side whereas the cold water co

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