installed kitchen faucet
Photo: Courtesy of Moen
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Before You Buy

Follow these steps to avoid unexpected pitfalls on installation day.

1. Settle on a sink first. Its size, shape, and features will determine where the faucet should be mounted and how much "reach" the spout should have. Look for this information on manufacturers' websites.

2. Shop in person if possible. Visit home centers and kitchen showrooms to see faucets on display. Make sure handles turn easily and features like pull-out and pull-down spouts work comfortably for you.

3. Measure the spout's height. There are no hard-and-fast rules, but ideally the spout will be tall enough to clear your deepest pot but not so tall that water splashes everywhere when it hits the sink's bowl.

4. Check clearances. Make sure there's enough room behind and beside the faucet to clean around the body and to use the handle without scraping your knuckles.

5. Choose the accessories early. Order extras, like a soap dispenser or separate sprayer, with the faucet, and add a hole in the countertop or sink for them. Shown: Finley in spot-resistant stainless, about $480; Moen
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