A guide to fabulous faucets for kitchen or bath

What will they think of next? It used to be that the faucets for your sink came in two basic styles -- hot and cold, with knobs on top to turn them on or off. But ever since the amazingly convenient mixer tap was invented (in 1880, by a Canadian, Thomas Campbell), sinks have never been quite the same. Nowadays, there are all kinds of newfangled doodads for pouring water into a pot, washing your hands, and brushing your teeth. If you're looking to upgrade your kitchen or bathroom, these are some of the faucet finds available.

Single handle

After the revolutionary single-spout mixer faucet came the single-handle version. Unlike its predecessor, this innovation was met with mixed feelings (pun intended) by sink users -- which is just about everyone in the USA. It can be complicated to move the handle to just the right position and folks sometimes end up getting either frozen or scalded, leading us to the next item on this list …

Memory position valving

Imagine a tap that remembers the exact water temperature you prefer. You'll no longer feel like Goldilocks, complaining, "too hot" or "too cold," as your faucet dispenses just the right degree of warmth, whether for washing your face in the bathroom or rinsing a few dishes at the kitchen sink.

Adaptor or bridge

If you move into an authentic period home, you may be faced with a vintage bathroom basin equipped with the original separate faucets. Quick fix: add a faucet adaptor to connect the two and give you water as comfortably warm as you please. If you want a more esthetic look, opt for an elegant double-handled bridge faucet, often designed with high arc, which is fantastic when you're working with tall, deep pots.

Pot filler

Tired of lugging huge, heavy pots of water from kitchen sink to stove? When you're planning to boil up some pasta (if that's not a dirty word in this gluten-free era) or simmer a batch of stock, a pot filler faucet plumbed into the wall over your burners is just the thing.


Pull-out faucets are rapidly gaining on pot fillers in terms of popularity. They feature a hose-type component that, as the name suggests, can be simply pulled out of the faucet spout as a sort of extension. Useful for a number of things, like filling pots -- though you still have to solve the problem of getting the whole kit and caboodle to your stove, washing veggies, or bathing an adorable little rescue dog (yes, I do clean my sink out very well afterward).

Tub filler

Technically, "tub filler" means a faucet that does not control a shower but is just for … well … filling the tub. It sounds a bit boring until you browse the newest models. Frequently paired with strikingly handsome freestanding tubs, these fixtures are often mounted dramatically on the floor or even the ceiling.

Wall mount

Not really a type of faucet but rather a way of installing them, wall mount is a new plumbing trend (as opposed to the more standard deck mount, where the faucet is attached to the kitchen or bathroom counter). Besides looking uber cool, it minimizes water spots and maximizes counter space.


WaterSense, in partnership with the EPA, labels special high-performing, low-flow faucets, which use less than 1.5 gallons per minute, saving an impressive 30 percent over the usual 2.2 gpm.


A touchless faucet seems like something out of science fiction movie, filmed when 1984 was a code word for a frightening future. Manufactured without handles, these taps turn on the flow of water when they sense someone's hands beneath. They are convenient for universal access and save water as well (since they also automatically turn themselves off). However, they do require a source of electric energy.

Drinking fountain

Here's a feature that appeals to the little kid in all of us -- a built-in drinking fountain. Fun for children to use .. and maybe it will even encourage them to brush their teeth, it's also hygienic and green, since you don't need to stock a wasteful supply of paper cups.

Laura Firszt writes for This post originally appeared here: