A Complete Look at Kitchen Faucet Styles and Types

Whether you have a broken faucet that needs replacing or you’ve decided that it’s time for an upgrade to improve your kitchen’s appearance, it’s a good idea to carefully examine your options so you can make a well-informed decision. Of course, the design team you work with can provide insight into selecting the perfect faucets during a remodeling project.

Before you get together with your design experts, you can take a moment to become familiar with what’s available today. To help you with the decision-making process, we’ve compiled a comprehensive look at kitchen faucet types and styles:

Main Types of Kitchen Faucets

Kitchen faucets can be divided into four categories based on the type of valve being used: ball, cartridge, ceramic disc, and compression.

Ball: You will find ball valves used in faucets controlled by a single lever. Instead of using washers (as is the case with compression valves), ball valves are made with slots that adjust the ratio of hot and cold water pouring out and the water pressure. As you reposition the handle, you regulate the flow with one hand.

Cartridge: This type of valve is known for being durable and long-lasting. The moveable stem cartridge moves up and down to control flowing water. It works by having a hollow sleeve that is fastened to the sink’s water supply, moving up and down inside another sleeve to block or open holes to let water pass. If this type of faucet develops a leak, you fix it by replacing the cartridge.

Ceramic Disc: This is a sensible option for kitchen upgrades because of its durability. But ceramic disc valves do make for more expensive faucets. Typically used with a single control lever, ceramic disc valve faucets have a wide body. Two discs made of ceramic slide across each other to change the size of the opening through which water flows, as well as to control the temperature.

Compression: You will usually find compression valves with separate handles to control hot and cold water. Compression valves have a screw inside the handle, which exerts pressure on a rubber washer to allow more water to flow. This is the most basic type of faucet valve, and as such, you will need to do maintenance more often than the other valve types.

In addition to picking the type of faucet to install, you’ll need to select a configuration.

Some kitchen faucets use a single hole, which in turn means you use a single-handled faucet to adjust temperature and the level of water pressure.


Another typical configuration employs a 4-inch center set. This type of kitchen faucet is designed so the spout and handles form a single unit. It fits a sink made with three faucet holes, which, as the name indicates, measure 4 inches apart.

For kitchens with more sink space, a widespread or 8-inch configuration makes sense. Use them for sinks designed with three faucet holes spanning 8 inches to 16 inches from left to right.

A wall mount faucet is a configuration for you if you have or are installing a vessel sink or an undermount sink.

Kitchen Faucet Styles

Once you’ve got a good idea of what type of kitchen faucet to install, the next step is to select a style. Kitchen faucets serve a utilitarian purpose, but they can still look good while you use them.

You have several styles to consider, including brass, bronze, chrome, nickel, and stainless steel.

Brass faucets will bring a traditional look and feel to your home. They can pair nicely with the wooden elements in the kitchen to provide a rustic feel but work equally as well with a modern-looking kitchen sink. Brushed or polished brass fixtures are quite versatile.

Bronze that is treated by rubbing it with oil is one of your pricier options. Still, you can’t beat it for the traditional look it provides, giving your kitchen a strong and classic appearance.

Chrome is great for minimalist kitchens. With a bold, shiny finish, chrome faucets are favored by many home renovators. Look for quality chrome, which resists tarnishing while being long-lasting and easy on your budget.

Nickel faucets are available in a matte or shiny finish and give a subtle warm orange glow. Accordingly, you’ll want to decorate your kitchen in earth tones. Also known as pewter, brushed nickel works nicely to bring soft tones to the kitchen. However, the beauty of nickel faucets requires some maintenance. Periodic polishing of nickel faucets keeps them beautiful. Brushed nickel does resist tarnishing better than polished, so keep that in mind when weighing your options.

Stainless steel is ideal for kitchen faucets when you have young kids since it possesses antimicrobial properties. It’s shiny like chrome is while lending a more sophisticated look. So, for a more luxurious looking kitchen with sturdy, enduring faucets, stainless steel may be your preferred option.

Selecting Faucets for Your Upgrade

After considering the various choices for kitchen faucets in your upcoming kitchen remodel project, you are bound to have some questions. Start by visiting our Kitchen Portfolio for ideas and then sign up for our free home remodeling seminars, which will give you more insight into preparing your own home to look magazine-cover worthy.

To learn more about selecting kitchen faucets or to consult with a designer, contact Riverside Construction today at 765.838.1644.