What is important to look for when buying a faucet? That is, after making a decision on the style and finish you want!
- Material the body is made of; that is, the spout and controls.
- Solid brass bodies last longest and require least care; these start at about $150. The box should read “all-brass body” and will be heavier than other faucets.
- Die-cast zinc-alloy bodies provide good durability and cost considerably less, starting at about $70. The box should read ZMACK for brass or chrome plated fittings.
- It is recommended to avoid purchasing faucets with plastic bodies, as they do not hold up well. These can range in price from $25 to $50.
- Finish can determine how easy it is to care for and clean the faucet.
- Electroplated chrome on a brass or zinc faucet looks good and lasts.
- Pewter, nickel and satin finishes are also easy to maintain.
- First measure the holes in the sink to be sure to get a faucet that fits your sink. Small lavs typically have 3 holes that span 4 in.; other possible dimensions are 6, 8 or 12 in spreads, although these are less common.
- For older users or those who have difficulty turning knobs, a single lever faucet, or blade type handles are best.
- For homes with small children, single handle faucets are recommended, as they are less likely to get full hot temperature.
- The valves inside the faucet:
- Sleeve-cartridge valves are used in one and two handle faucets. These are easy to replace. Cost is between $10 and $20.
- Ball valves are used in single handle faucets only. These are durable, but when they do need replacing, use metal with a kit – guess what? They last longer than plastic. Cost is around $10.
- Ceramic disk valves. This is considered the best, but the other types work just fine; the ceramic valves cost around $20.
For more information, including tub faucets, you can go to http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,214006,00.html