|Compression faucets: Plink, plink, plink...|
With all the little annoyances the world has to offer, the last thing you need is a cheap, leaky faucet driving you crazy. Unfortunately, the market is now flooded with junky foreign-made products—as well as a few U.S.-made dogs—that are hardly worth taking the time to install. One simple test for quality is knowing how long a manufacturer has been around. While I can’t mention names, I can tell you this: If the brand wasn’t around ten years ago, forget it—let someone else be a guinea pig.
Another basic indicator of faucet quality is whether it uses compression valves (rubber washers) or ceramic disc valves. Basically, there's no point in buying faucets with washers anymore, and in any case, only absolute bottom-of-the-barrel models have them. Avoid these unless you're nostalgic for the sound of dripping.
|These little ceramic discs are what prevent modern faucets|
Now, a quick rundown on what’s available.
|Note the awkward hand movement required to|
operate this faucet. Try it before you buy it.
• Lavatory faucets can be had in the same range of finishes outlined above, as well as in a bunch more proprietary finishes. However, unlike kitchen faucets, most of which are reasonably good-looking, lavatory faucets range from inoffensive to hideous. Look for the cleanest, simplest design that still suits the style of your house, and think twice about choosing high-maintenance finishes such as brass and gold.
|No, this manufacturer isn't kidding.|