How to Choose the Right Kitchen Faucet Based On Functions And Features

Once you’ve chosen the best mounting option (Buying Guide For Mounting Mechanism), now it’s time for you to decide on the more functional aspects of your faucet. There are three main components that you have to think about: spout, spray and handle.


You need to decide between a single-handled or two-handled faucet.

single handle kitchen faucetSingle-Handled Faucets

This style of faucet is free-standing, with a single handle or lever connected to the spout and/or spray. Some of these require one hole for installation, while others require two. It depends on whether or not the single handle can adjust the water temperature. These days, some single-handled faucets include a base plate for covering up unneeded holes before installation. You have the option of removing this plate if you want to add a dispenser or side spray.

two handle kitchen faucetTwo-Handled Faucets

Not surprisingly, these designs have two handles – one for hot water and one for cold. You need more holes to install these in your countertop or sink. In some cases the two handles rest directly on the deckplate, while in others they are an integrated part of the faucet.

There isn’t a whole lot of difference between single and double-handled faucets in terms of function. Most modern single-handled designs give you the same option to control the water temperature as you would get with a double handle.


Traditionally, the spray was separate from the rest of the kitchen faucet. Now you can get models that integrate the spray head into the spout. The traditional side spray is also still available, and spray heads also come in a few different types.

pull out kitchen faucetPull-Out Spray

These have curved or angled faucet spouts that allow the spray head to stretch out past the sink. Usually these are found as part of a single-handled faucet, and they are useful for rinsing produce as well as washing dishes and your sink itself. Some of these have a pause button on top of the spray head.

Pull-Down Spraypull down kitchen faucet

This design uses a high-arcing spout with the spray head pointed downward. The idea is that you can pull the spray head down into your sink. You can find this design in both double and single-handled faucets. They are a great feature that adds function and saves space at the same time. Again, pause buttons are often included.

side sprayerSide Spray

These are not integrated into the faucet, but are located off to the side. You need another hole in order to install them. These generally have a long hose, allowing you to fill vessels that are not in the sink, as well as rinsing food and filling pots on your counter or even on your stovetop. One good thing about a side spray is that you can use one to upgrade the faucet that you already have.


These are the faucet heads where the water comes out. Some spouts are longer, some are shorter, and some are angled. There is no limit to your options regarding spout design. You need to think about aesthetics as well as function in order to get the best faucet for your kitchen.

Remember that the spout must reach the middle of your sink. Most spouts are about 8 inches long to fit the average sink, but you can also get 12 and even 14 inch spouts for bigger sinks.

There are two basic spout designs.

Standard Spout

These spouts are typically about ten inches long from mounting to the end. They sit at about 3 – 5 inches higher than the plane of the sink.

High-Arced Spout

This design is also sometimes called a Gooseneck spout. They add a touch of elegance to your kitchen while also being highly functional. They stretch a fair distance across the sink and are about 8 – 10 inches taller than the sink plane. They typically feature 90 -100 degrees of rotation.