How to Pick Pro-Quality Sinks and Faucets
If you want to cook like a chef, you may need to dispense water like one, too, with commercial-style fixtures.
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A POX ON POT FILLERS?
Placing a big pot on the stove and swinging a pot filler over to fill it with water is cool, fun and can make you feel like a big-time chef, says Applewhite. "But I'm pretty practical. I wouldn't put a pot filler in the kitchen just because it's cool. Most people who have them don't ever use them. And if you don't have a need for a pot filler — say, you're not a gourmet Italian chef who cooks pasta every day — they're not worthwhile and they're certainly not inexpensive."
And if your kitchen's small, a pot filler can throw the scale of the design out of whack, says Crossman of Costa Quality Kitchens. "If you have a smaller space, it's pretty easy just to carry the pot of water from the sink to the stove," she says.
FOCUS ON QUALITY FAUCETS
With her New England practicality, Sue Adams cringes at the sight of giant sprayers and huge faucets in a home kitchen. "They're a little excessive and the giant sprayers may be what the pros use but they're not as easy to get in and out of the holder as a smaller, more user-friendly model."
Some smaller versions can still offer a pro feel, says Adams. "Grohe has several models that are great looking in that commercial, techy pro way and KWC has loads of special looking, ordinary proportion faucets that are still ergonomic for home kitchens," she says.
Pay particular attention to the finish on faucets if you want a clean, professional look that will last a long, long time, says Applewhite. "In the Bay Area we're getting away from chrome and brass and seeing more oil-rubbed bronze and satin nickel," she says. "The nickel has a brown cast that's clean looking but warm and the oil-rubbed bronze is superior to the brass because you don't have the issue of tarnishing — it looks great indefinitely."
And while you might want to scale down the size of a faucet for a pro-style kitchen, don't scale back that particular part of your budget, urges Adams. "People are amazed that 'just a faucet' might cost in the hundreds of dollars, but the faucet is the item you use and touch most often in the kitchen and you really need one you like that's durable," she says. "Don't be afraid to spend big dollars on a quality faucet. It will pay off."
Costa's Quality Kitchens
South Dartmouth, Mass.
Interior Designer, Sue Adams Interiors
Interior Designer, Linda Applewhite and Associates
Drowning in a sea of kitchen sink and faucet choices? Here's how to make sense of it all.