After deciding on the appropriate mounting option (you can refer to the Buying Guide For Mounting Mechanism) it is time to figure out the functionality aspect of your kitchen faucet. Unlike the mounting mechanism, here you need to consider three different but related components of a typical faucet namely, the handles, sprayer and the spout.
Kitchen faucets are strictly available as a single or double handle unit.
Single Handle Units
These free standing or faucet base connected faucets use a single lever or handle, knob or button to root water through the plumbing into the spout or sprayer. They may either require a single hole or two holes depending on whether it can moderate temperature of water. Some single handle designs today come with an additional base plate to cover up extra holes that are not being used. You can later remove the cover and integrate a side sprayer or dispenser.
Double Handle Units
As the name mentions, double-handle units provide separate handles for both cold and hot water, plus they require three different holes to affix the unit to the sink or countertop. The handles may be directly integrated into the faucet or may rest on their own deckplate.
Honestly, there isn’t much difference between double and single handle faucets other than the fact that a double handle lets you control water temperature manually. Many modern faucets today can do the same with a single lever that moves 180 degrees.
Usually a sprayer is a separate component of a kitchen faucet. Some models however integrate the faucet head and sprayer together, which are called pull-out spout sprayer. Therefore, you can find faucets with the sprayer located to the side or integrated into it. Accordingly, there are a few versatile types of sprayer heads.
Such sprayers use a faucet spout that is angled or curved letting the head come out easily and extend over the sink. They are usually found with single handle units and are great to clean veggies and dishes or even rinse pots and the sink. A few units even come with a pause button located directly over the faucet head.
These faucets have spouts that rise high in an arc while the head rests facing vertically downwards. Basically, you pull down the sprayer from the spout head into the sink. They come as both, single and double handle units saving space and improving usability. A pause button helps with these sprayers when it rests directly on the sprayer head.
Such sprayers are mounted separate from the actual faucet and they need a separate hole of their own in the sink. Water flow from the plumbing lines to the kitchen is diverted into this hole letting you reach far-off places in the kitchen and clean out pots, prepare food etc. directly on the stovetop or kitchen countertop. The best part about side sprayers is that they can be used to accentuate an already existing kitchen faucet.
Spout refers to the head of the faucet or rather the neck and head. You may have seen some with long spouts, some shorter, a few angled and so on. Thankfully, your options are never limited by the choice of mounting mechanism and handle design when it comes to the spout. Just decide on the right kind of spout based on what looks good and what will serve your kitchen the best.
You must keep in mind that the faucet spout should be able to reach as close as possible to the sink’s center. Typically 8 to 10 inch spouts work fine with average sized sinks but for larger sinks try 12 to 14 inch spouts.
There are basically two types of spouts.
Typically these spouts extend no more than 10 inches away from the mounting point towards the sink center and rise 3 to 5 inches above the sink plane.
High Arc Spout
Such spouts are better known as Gooseneck spouts and can add elegance as well as functionality to your existing kitchen. They extend a good distance over the kitchen sink and rise 8 to 10 inches high with the ability to rotate anywhere from 90 to 180 degrees.