Fixtures: Hot and Cold Running Style
Whatever your faucet fancy, from Old World to contemporary, there is a fixture for you.
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Jeff Settle says the biggest technological advance in modern faucets is the quarter-turn ceramic-disk valve. Turning the handle moves the holes in both disks into alignment, allowing water to flow.
Unlike compression valves, which use rubber washers, sleeve-cartridge valves and ball valves, the ceramic-disk design is slower to wear out. "Manufacturers (of high quality faucets) offer lifetime warranties on mechanical parts and the finish," says Jeff. "If something goes wrong with the disks, they'll replace them free of charge."
Jeff says modern faucets are available in 30 finishes. More than 20 major foreign and American manufacturers have created hundreds of different designs to meet virtually every decorating need. "If you want a faucet with a 24-karat gold swan for a spout, you can find it," he says.
Most high-quality faucets cost $200 to $1,200, says Jeff, although there are faucets available for substantially less than $200 and for substantially more than $1,200. The more expensive the finish material and the more labor required in manufacturing, the more expensive the faucet. A 24-karat gold fixture can cost more than $2,000.
Here's how to design and install a decorative tile accent for the kitchen.