Designing and remodeling kitchens can be one of the most rewarding and trying home projects you’ll take on. From paint colors to countertops and cabinetry, there are choices to be made at every turn. Finding the right faucet for your kitchen is no different, and with so many styles to choose from, we’ve created an easy guide to help you narrow down the best faucet for your design. Read on for tips to find the best faucet for your style, budget, and performance needs.

Installation Types: 1-4 Faucet-Hole Installs

Deck-Mounted Faucets (faucets mounted on the sink) are a popular choice for those who love options and lower costs. These mounts are generally easier to install and offer more features and styles. Many sinks come with 1-4 pre-drilled mounting holes, and most deck-mounted faucets come with decorative deck plates (escutcheon plates) that will cover any hole you don’t need, allowing you the option for double-handled or single-handled sinks with or without built-in soap dispensers and sprayers. Before you begin choosing the right faucet, it’s important to check the plumbing on your current sink and count the pre-drilled holes it has.

Single-Hole Installation: For those who appreciate clean lines and spacious countertops, single-hole installations offer the convenience of a faucet that takes up the least amount of space. These fixtures are an all-in-one faucet that come with a single handle for water adjustment and the option of an attached, pull-out sprayer.

Three-Hole Installation: Three-hole faucet mounts come with two primary options: a single-handled faucet with accompanying side sprayer, or a two-handled faucet. Both of these options make a more prominent design statement with a larger fixture to catch the eye. These faucet styles have maintained their popularity over the decades, and when keeping costs in check, many homeowners choose to upgrade their faucet with a fixture that uses the already-existing holes.

Four-Hole Installation: A four-hole installation is a luxury when it comes to design choices, allowing you the high-end options of a double-handled sink and separate side sprayer or built-in soap dispenser. For those who love built-in accessories, the four-hole installation allows a variety of options for your space.

Additional considerations: Plumbing is a major consideration when choosing which faucet installation works best for you. Because most kitchens are plumbed for deck-mounted sinks, keeping the original plumbing and pre-drilled holes in place can save a lot on cost and time.

Faucet Handles: Double or Single-Handled

Once you’ve narrowed down your faucet mount, you’re ready to think performance and style. One of the most eye-catching design elements in faucets is the handle style.

Double-handled faucets are most often chosen for their aesthetics. They maintain a timeless, elegant design that pairs well in formal or farmhouse style kitchens. Double-handled faucets are also praised for their ability to better fine-tune the water flow and temperature.

Additional considerations: A double-handled faucet will require more holes to be drilled into your sink or countertop. Counter surfaces like granite can be harder to change from their original, pre-drilled design.

Single-handled faucets are ideal for the minimalist or the home chef that prizes efficiency. Offering a more sleek look for the modern kitchen, single-handled faucets take up much less counter space, require less counter drilling, and let you adjust temperature and flow with ease. It’s little wonder why these faucets continue to grow in popularity.

Additional considerations: Single handle faucets can sometimes be sold with a deck plate to cover existing three hole configuration creating a seamless look.

Faucet Finishes and Features

Choosing a faucet finish is the most rewarding and key element of kitchen design. The color you choose will impact the finishes throughout your kitchen, from hardware to lighting, as you’ll want to keep a cohesive look throughout the room. The following finish guides are not the final authority as you should always choose the color and style you love, but they are a general guide as to what finish pairs well in kitchen design.

Polished chrome: works well in kitchens with brighter wall colors and lighter countertops
Brushed nickel: works well in nearly all kitchen designs, an ideal choice for maintaining a traditional style and matches hardware and fixtures easily
Oil rubbed bronze: works well with neutral and beige color palettes and brown speckled granite countertops
Matte Black: works well with modern, Scandinavian, white kitchen designs, and even traditional designs.

Spray Options: Pull-out, Pull-down, and Side Spray

Pull-out sprayers offer the biggest advantage when it comes to convenience. They offer a seamless transition between faucet stream water flow to spray and are easy to operate with one hand. These sprayers are part of the faucet itself which keeps the overall look of the sink and counters streamline and visually minimalistic.

Pull-down sprayers are most often paired with a high-arc faucet. The hose itself makes up a majority of the faucet arch, and the sprayer is the main (rather than secondary) function of the sink. These are most often seen as a commercial design element and make an excellent tool for pre-rinsing with the added benefit of more working room above the sink.

Side sprayers are a traditional choice commonly found in residential kitchens because of their convenience. Homeowners can upgrade or maintain their current faucet fixture and still add a built-in spray feature to their kitchen sink. Side sprayers can be added to either side of the faucet mount which allows homeowners to place the sprayer where it can be most beneficial.

Faucet Features are what truly cater your sink to meet your needs. Besides sprayers, popular features include faucet height and arcs, swivel heads, temperature limits and flow rates. In today’s market, homeowners have more choices than ever, and there’s no reason you can’t have all the features you’re looking for with the many faucet styles there are to choose from.