Where Form Meets Function
Where Form Meets Function
October 3, 2023
The world of kitchen faucets has evolved significantly, with innovation driving improvements in hygiene, efficiency and sustainability
In the dynamic world of kitchen design, innovations have continually shaped the way we interact with our culinary spaces. Among the many essential components, the humble kitchen faucet has undergone remarkable transformations over the years, evolving from a basic water dispenser to a cutting-edge marvel that adds both style and functionality to modern kitchens.
And, with so many options available in the market, choosing the right kitchen faucet can be a daunting task. Besides the appearance of the faucets, factors such as functionality, durability, ease of utility and budget play an important role. Investing in good quality and functional kitchen faucets can make users’ daily tasks easier and add value to the kitchen.
There are various types of faucets that are available in the market. Deck-mounted faucet is popular and generally preferred over wall-mounted as it’s much easier to install and maintain. The faucet and its accessories are easily accessible at the sink. However, wall-mounted kitchen faucets are known for their space-saving designs, and adequate water flow.
Single-handle faucet design helps to cut down on the number of holes that need to be present on the sink itself, making these types of faucets convenient for tight spaces. On the other hand, a double-handle faucet has a separate handle for cold and hot water flow that helps to control water temperature and water pressure. There is also a third type – the three-way kitchen faucet, which integrates the provision of filtered water in addition to hot and cold water in a single faucet.
Thanks to the countless tiny jets integrated into the broad base of the Hansgrohe Aquno Select M81 kitchen faucet, the water comes out in a fanned-out stream – similar to a shower – which is particularly gentle on food. Photo Courtesy: Hansgrohe
With increased focus on hygiene, touchless faucets are gaining popularity. Touchless faucets can be turned on with motion and only have one handle to control the temperature of the water. They also have the advantage of shutting off automatically to conserve water and control an overflowing sink.
Another factor driving innovation is convenience. Faucets are now available with a pull-out or a swivel spout. A pull-out spout faucet is designed to double both as a stationary faucet and as a handheld sprayer and hose which is useful for rinsing and washing items. Swivel spout faucets can swivel back and forth, enabling the water flow to be moved. This feature is ideal for wide or double sink basins, as the spout can be moved to either basin depending on where it is needed.
In the quest for ever-improving technology, not only have their types evolved but so have materials they are made of. The finish of the faucet is not limited to just its look but also its design element.
Chrome has been one of the most popular faucet finishes because of its level of durability. It is durable, scratch resistant and water spots do not show up on this finish as much as they do on other shiny faucets. Nickel, platinum, bronze and copper finish are some other alternatives that are doing well in the market. Down in the pecking order, plastic and brass are among the popular materials used in the mid and affordable range of faucets. While each of these two materials has its own set of pros and cons, brass is considered the better choice. Brass is extremely tough and can easily accommodate extreme water temperatures.
Stainless steel, like chrome, is durable and non-corrosive. For non-metallic finishes, choices include black, white, and tan or biscuit colour with a choice of epoxy or enamel readily available in a variety of matte styles. Non-metallic finishes are generally painted or powder coated, so it is likely that it may chip or scratch, revealing the material underneath. Zinc finishes are darker than other grey metallic coatings and are generally preferred in brushed or weathered style.
Blanco faucets are available in a chrome plated finish as well as colours that match the look and texture of the Blanco Silgranit sinks. Photo Courtesy: Hafele
Faucets are also being looked at as a design element. For example, Graff has introduced its Harley kitchen faucet which is an elegant reinterpretation of the industrial and mechanical shape of a luxurious car steering wheel and a motorcycle accelerator. The highlight of the faucet is its handle which is not only unique but also fits well in a contemporary kitchen.
According to Hafele, Contemporary architecture views a kitchen faucet not only as a source of water flow but also as an ornament that crowns the sink. Putting this into perspective, Hafele has introduced Blanco faucets which are conceptualised and created in line with emerging interior trends. “Blanco faucets are available in a chrome plated finish as well as colours that match the look and texture of the Blanco Silgranit sinks. The Blanco Carena-S from this range comes with extendable spouts.”
Faucets Becoming High-Tech
Convenience, hygiene and sustainability are pushing the boundaries of innovations in faucets. The sensor faucets are gaining traction. These faucets are equipped with infrared and motion sensors and can start and stop the flow of water based on users’ hand movement.
Schell offers Grandis E kitchen faucet which is a combination of a single-lever mixer and IR triggering. “Contact-free triggering not only avoids contamination of the single-lever mixer by dirty hands but also maintains a safe level of hygiene. The innovative technology is intelligently integrated into the design of the tap body,” shares the company.
Kohler introduced its touchless kitchen faucet Setra at CES a couple of years back. It facilitates touchless operation with the help of sensors mounted on the faucet. When paired with a voice assistant, in addition to on and off, the faucet can be instructed to dispense measured water. Additionally, Setra monitors water usage and lets consumers track consumption in the Kohler Konnect app.
Faucets are also being introduced with different spray modes suitable for different purposes and save water in the process. Photo Courtesy: Grohe