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Instant Kitchen Upgrade: Add a New Faucet

Six things to think about before buying a new kitchen faucet.

If you want a fast personal makeover, get a new haircut. If you want a fast remodel for your kitchen, a new faucet will do the trick. Here are six key considerations to keep in mind when shopping.

1. Your Obsession

If you fancy yourself the next Food Network star, look for features that make prep easier, such as a pull-down spout for washing parsnips. Hate a dirty kitchen? A Touch2O® faucet keeps cooking messes on your hands and not on the faucet with its tap-on-tap-off technology. And for the serious neatnik, look for a spray wand with MagnaTite® docking—it snaps precisely into place.

2. Your Kitchen Style

It used to be that everyone followed the same rule: Match the new faucet to what was already in the kitchen (cabinets, pulls, appliances). Not anymore. Today, mixing and matching for an eclectic look is the rage, says Melissa Rasico, showroom manager at Aurora Winnelson, a bathroom and kitchen center in Aurora, Colo. But one rule should drive your choice: cohesion. So go for that terrifically traditional faucet in your contemporary kitchen—just get it in a sleek finish to keep the visual peace.

3. Your Finish Philosophy

Drill down on your finish. Chrome may speak to your heart, or you could be feeling the bronze thing. Or perhaps yours is a split personality, a sucker for Delta’s two-tone Fuse™ collection, marrying stainless with a pop of color (black, red or white). Again, you’ll want to make sure the finish works with the room as a whole to avoid a look that’s more “huh?” than hot.

4. Your Budget

Don’t overlook the obvious: your price range. Rasico points out that faucets run the gamut in terms of price, style and special features. Look for the sweet spot where your faucet must-haves meet your (monetary) comfort zone.

5. Your Countertop

In the category of “I never thought of that”: The material and thickness of your kitchen counter will impact what faucet can be installed. The faucet’s proportions are also key. “If a faucet is too large, there may not be enough space front to back with the back splash for the handles and the movement of the spout,” points out Linda Kirby, owner of Kirby Design and Consulting in Indianapolis.

6. Your Sink

Replacing a faucet in your old sink? You’ll need to get one that works with the existing holes for handles, spout and soap dispenser. Kirby advises that you don’t buy a faucet, be it single-hole or widespread, until you’ve figured out the configuration.