Among the top kitchen faucets, our expert ranks the Grohe Minta first.
Identifying the top kitchen faucets is important when a faucet needs replacement. Because I know one thing for sure: your sink faucet is the most important fixture in the kitchen – because — arguably, it is used more than anything else but the floor. With thousands of styles, brands, finishes, and price levels sorting through the options can be overwhelming. And because most faucets retail for less than $1000, the bigger ticket items such as cabinets, ranges, refrigerators and counters often get the attention while the faucet becomes an afterthought or sometimes even a must-get-it-done impulse buy.
My personal kitchen fixture guru, Mitchell Weissberg, owner of Krups Kitchen and Bath, on West 18th Street, in New York City, has more than 20 years of experience selling appliances and fixtures. Mitchell’s word is gospel in the kitchen industry where the depth and detail of his expertise is known.
“I told the New York Times Business section, back in 1995, that a kitchen faucet can break up a marriage,” Mitchell says. “It’s the toughest item to agree on because it’s a major statement piece. It’s also a focal point.” Couples, be warned!
Most people want single-control faucets as opposed to separate hot and cold levers or handles. “It’s a convenience factor,” Mitchell says. “You have something in one hand and you have one hand free to turn the water on.”
Franke’s popular FFPS 200 Pull-Out Faucet.
Pull-out faucets can work in traditional or modern kitchens. Essentially that means they are “transitional.” Their advantage: “You get a clean deck with one hole drilled and no side spray.”
Kohler’s Vinnata is a popular pull-down that comes in different sizes and finishes.
Pull-down faucets can be tricky because some don’t work well. “I’ve stopped selling certain of the less expensive brands,” Mitchell explains, “because they either didn’t go back up or lock back in.” If you’re going for a pull-down, which are conveniently installed like pull-outs in a single hole, plan to spend a bit more.
Barber Wilson’s classic Bridgemaster with porcelain handles. This English brand is used in Buckingham Palace.
Traditional choices such as the Rohl bridge faucets, or the English manufacturer Barber Wilson’s classic model often used with farm sinks, seem to be trending out. “I love those and that look but I haven’t sold one in a while,” Mitchell says. The market is moving towards large, single bowl under-mounted stainless steel sinks and more modern faucets, he says.
Elkay’s “profi” or “high-arc” style, spring loaded Arezzo faucet.
“Men love the whole macho pull-down profi [also called high-arc] sprayer faucets. I have a lot of them in the showroom. But they can become very overwhelming and I often talk people out of them. Unless the kitchen is expansive, it may not be right. When you walk into the kitchen you don’t want all eyes only on the faucet. You want to flow through the kitchen.”
Top-selling finishes right now are: satin nickel, brushed nickel and stainless steel. Why? “Most people match faucets to hardware and appliances. Everything in the kitchen tends to be stainless. You probably want a brushed, not a shiny finish. Once in a while someone mixes finishes but it’s unusual with a Viking kitchen to see a shiny faucet.”
Polished chrome, as a finish, is mostly reserved for traditional-style kitchens today.
What’s reasonable to spend for a good-quality faucet right now? “$300-500” Mitchell suggests. “Anything over $600 is pricey,” he says. However, many of the top brands range in price from $600 to $1500 and even higher.
Mitchell’s Three Top Kitchen Faucets
1. Grohe Minta [top photo] “An amazing faucet.” Priced, well, clean, minimalistic, functional, and a great price point at about $300-400. [Pull-down, switches from flow to spray with locking button, stainless steel braid, variable handle, 3 finishes.]
2. Rohl Country Classic with Pullout Spray. “A beautiful faucet.” Depending on the kitchen’s style, this can come with a metal or porcelain handle. $500-$600 [With/without handspray, porcelain or metal handle, 5 finishes].
3. Dornbracht Tara. “Anything from them is great.” Super quality, very contemporary and cool, but pricey – about $1500 and up. [One piece in a super high-end mix-and-match collection of faucets, sprayers and combinations]
(Source: grohecatalog.com, frankeksd.com, us.kohler.com, homeportfolio.com, elkayusa.com, rohlhome.com, dornbracht.com)
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