There is a general tendency among us to give a purchase some thought based only on how big of an investment we are making on it. Bathtubs, for example, are both physically grandiose and on the higher end of the price bracket spectrum compared to most other aspects of your plumbing system. But the most minuscule of things hold can hold more importance than we give them credit for. Case in point: Ffaucets. I would argue that faucets are as important as getting the right bathtub, if not more so, because faucets are something you will be interacting with much more frequently and on a daily basis.
Now you might be tempted to ask yourself why you should consider me a believable authority when it comes to faucets – and to answer it, I simply say that I am an user just like you putting out honest reviews so that you have some reliable general idea about various brands and the quality of their products. As a homemaker, I have personally used numerous faucets from over twenty brands. these products have all underwent a trial by general usage – over a period ranging from roughly 1 to 5 years to monitor how much the performance changes over a couple months. Anyhow, since a singular perspective can be opinionated, I have done everything to see whether my findings in my personal experience are also similar to the collective consensus. I have read nearly all reviews related to the tested faucet products on amazon, reddit, and third-party blogs and factored them in.
The most obvious aspect that distinguishes the various categories of kitchen faucets, so to speak, is the mechanism to get the water flowing. Gone are the days of rotating a knob to tighten and loosen a valve to get the water; today’s technology allows us to have touchless faucets that will automatically turn itself on sensing hand movement under the tap. The most popular types of faucet today include pull-down faucets, smaller pull-out faucets, two-handle faucets, or the good old commercial style faucet – each with its own set of merits.
This is not to forget that there are various other core elements that makes a faucet better than the next. In the reviews, I will be focusing on the design, the finish, the user experience (i.e. general functionality), and whether these justify the price bracket.
In the series of reviews on this article, we will be looking at faucets manufactured by Kohler – a company that has the innate benefits of being in the plumbing-manufacturing scene since all the way back in 1873.
1. KOHLER K-99259-CP Artifacts Single-Hole Kitchen Sink Faucet with 17-5/8-Inch Pull-Down Spout
The Kohler K-99259 is definitely the top of the line when it comes to ranking all the products from Kohler I have had the chance to personally use. Since most kitchen setups will begin with the plumbing requirements, lets get this out of the way: one of this faucet’s strong points is how lightweight and easy the installation is. It will make do with 1-hole installations, and I had just that.
A mostly standard faucet in terms of looks, Kohler does not stand out of the ordinary with its features either – the swivel spout has 360 rotation, there are a couple toggleable spray modes, and the rest of the controls are conferred to the lever at the base of the faucet. These are pretty standard features if you know your faucets, so I will not be going into details with extravagant terminologies. To summarize quickly, it has basically three water flow modes: an aerated spray for filling water, a smoother spray for relatively delicate washing tasks, and a standard forceful sweeping spray for your dishwashing needs. Three modes is impressive, but not entirely unique to Kohler. What I felt this faucet particularly excels at, however, is handling. The actual selling point of a pull-down spout is how well it works when you do pull it down. The sprayhead is locked into place with the faucet’s docking magnet system when you are not using the pull-down feature, and I have found the sprayhead smooth and easy to handle. The swivelling ball joint at the juncture really works wonders. To top it off, the spray head works phenomenally well at every given volume – something I never found in pull-down faucets of a lower price bracket.
The faucet comes in four finish variants – you can either go for a standard polished chrome finish, oil-rubbed bronze, a more vibrant stainless, or a vibrant polished nickel finish.
2. KOHLER K-10433-VS Forte Single Control Pull-out Kitchen Sink Faucet, Single Lever Handle
Kohler K-99259 (reviewed above) is pretty much the no-brainer option if you want the all-around best pull-out faucet for your kitchen, as my experience tells me. However, if you prefer a more minimal and tube-well like look rather than an arced spout, Kohler K-10433 is a lighter pull-down alternative to the previous faucet. As a disclaimer, I have used it for only about three months, which means I cannot personally guarantee how well it holds up its end of the bargain of being durable. The general consensus affirms that it is built to last, especially given that it makes use of a ceramic disk valve, known for their long-term performance consistency. I have, however, found the finish to be of great quality. I personally use the brushed chrome variant since it is the cheapest, but there are a plethora of other variants available, including polished chrome, brushed bronze, brushed nickel, and vibrant stainless steel.
It comes at roughly half the price as a cutting-edge expensive pull-down faucet within decent pricing norms, and has less functional flair in comparison to the higher priced Kohler models. The spray head is pretty basic with two spray modes, but makes use of the magnetic docking system that makes the Kohler spray-heads great in general. It comes with 1-hole to 3-hole installation support, complete with 25-inch flexible supply hoses.
3. KOHLER K-15160-96 Coralais Single Control Pullout Spray Kitchen Sink Faucet
It is worthwhile to start with some numbers for this one: while most pull-out faucets require a large amount of overhead space, the ‘Coralais’ is of a meagre 4.8 x 3.2 x 3-inch dimension. This would have made it perfect for a smaller sink and crammed-up spaces, but the three-hole installation as a hard requirement really restricts its chance to shine there. I was initially disappointed about this, but got around to trying it out anyway to see its good temperature control options up front. The temperature-related features delivered: it has both a temperature memory when you turn the faucet off, and a customizable temperature cap resolves all scalding worries. However, there is a couple of glaring design flaws about this product: the handle hex nut is behind the faucet’s base, making it ill-adjusted for installation against the wall, the spray-head has general splashing problems that are non-existed in most Kohler models, and the threaded pipe has a small reach, making it difficult to adjust to a thick counter-top.
4. KOHLER K-72218-VS Sensate Touchless Kitchen Faucet
This is the most expensive model I have purchased from Kohler, and while a $600 price bracket seemed quite steep coming from the sub-$400 K-99259, which I used for a really long time and thought near perfect. However, a price tag like that is only to be expected for a touchless faucet with Kohler’s brand name propping it up. I should hereby warn you: once you start using touchless, it is very difficult to go back to more traditional methods of jump-starting a faucet manually. For a touchless, the largest gimmick is its sensor – and Kohler’s sensor definitely is among the best I have used so far in my faucet-testing ventures. The Kohler Sensate also comes packed with a host of other high-end features, including the signature Kohler Dotnetik (i.e. the magnetic docking system which I believe Kohler tends to oversell at times). But let us get to the important stuff: one, the response time is reasonably small, and you will virtually never have to do retries at turning the faucet on or off. Secondly, there is just one design qualm about this: the spray is somewhat splashy on all modes, and you cannot go low enough before it completely shuts off. Thirdly, there significant solenoid failure worries – so half-expect it to happen within four years of usage. If you can look beyond these problems, what you have is a solid touchless faucet with sleek looks and great features. It comes in two finish variants: polished chrome and vibrant stainless – both with optional black accents.