Pull-Down Kitchen Faucets
Two nearly identical models offer a lesson: Cheap isn't always a bargain, and expensive doesn't always mean better in every way
First, the good news. Lots of pull-down faucets have an attractive profile and some sort of warranty. Most are made mainly of brass with a stain-resistant finish and have a valve with ceramic discs, which is just what the plumber ordered. Now for the hard part. There are dozens of brands, with prices all over the map. So This Old House looked at a luxury pick and its bargain counterpart to identify the qualities to ask about when you consider all the options in between. Surprises included an extra-long spray hose on the bargain model for easy maneuvering around a supersized roasting pan, and the DIY-ready fittings on the high-end model. Check out their other features to help guide you through your next purchase.
Kallista's Vir Stil Pull-down Kitchen Faucet
Is It Worth It?
If you value sleek designer lines, prefer the heft of a solid-brass spray head, and want to invest in a faucet for the long haul.
Height: 17 inches
Weight: 5¾ pounds
Warranty: 5 years
About $1,170, Kalista
Heavy solid brass, with corrosion-resistant rubber spray nozzles; docks by clicking into place. Pause button stops water flow midstream.
Smooth braided-nylon hose extends 18 inches.
Nickel: three layers electroplated over brass. Warmer looking and more costly than chrome.
Easy-grip ribbed lever with sure action. Valve cartridge is equipped with long-wearing ceramic discs.
Leak-resistant braided-steel hoses come ready to connect to supply lines.
All plastic with a painted chrome finish. Less durable than brass but lighter, making it easy to dock. No pause button, which limits usefulness of extra-long hose.
Standard chrome electroplated over brass.
Lightweight chrome-over-zinc lever with easy action. Valve cartridge is equipped with ceramic discs.
Brass fittings on copper tubes; steel hoses for water-supply connection are
"Buy the best faucet you can afford—you're going to use it every day. Ceramic discs are key. And stick with a known brand so that you'll be able to find replacement parts down the road."
—Richard Trethewey, TOH plumbing and heating expert