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Faucet frenzy: a multitude of finishes and pullout styles rules the kitchen. (Kitchen Products)

Anything goes in kitchen faucets these days, from contemporary single-lever models, to traditional two-handle styles, to sleek, modern pullouts. And there is a plethora of finishes at all price points to satisfy every taste. According to builders and remodelers, the beauty of the “anything and everything” trend is that it’s easy to please homeowners nationwide.

“You see darker finishes, like Venetian bronze in the West, pearl and satin nickel finishes in the Virginia and Maryland area, and some of everything in the East, but you can find these finishes anywhere,” says Mike Smith, assistant vice president of purchasing and product standards for Toll Brothers builders in Huntingdon Valley, Pa.

Dark finishes look wonderful on vintage-style faucets, which are growing in popularity, notes Kate Schwartz, an editor at Kitchens.com, a Chicago-based Web site that provides kitchen product information to pros and homeowners.

Although traditional shiny chrome is an old standby, professionals point to a brushed metals trend. “I’m seeing lots of brushed chrome in all styles,” says remodeler Mark Brick, president of BNE General Contractors in Glendale, Wis. Lee Ottenbreit, a designer with Winans Construction in Oakland, Calif., says that brushed finishes are wonderful because they have a softer look that blends with most appliance finishes.

However, one finish you probably won’t find much of anywhere is brass. “I can’t remember the last time I put in brass. Even with [tarnish-resistant] PVD coatings, brass is just out,” says Don Sever, owner of Oakton, Va.-based Sever Construction, which specializes in plumbing installations.

No matter where you live, economic factors often dictate what finishes your clients choose, notes Jay de Sibour, president of the Alexandria, Va.-based Color Marketing Group, an association of professionals from various trades who predict what colors will be popular in all markets each year. Right now, “People are looking toward long-term value so they’re looking for subtler and universal colors” like brushed chromes and silvers, de Sibour says.

POPULAR PULLOUTS

As far as style goes, pullout faucets are a common favorite across all finish preferences because homeowners recognize their functionality, says Angie Coffman, director of marketing for Delta. The manufacturer recently introduced the Saxony line of pullouts being offered as an upgrade by Toll Brothers. “People like the extra mobility, the side-to-side motion, and the spray” says Coffman.

What’s more, pullouts can be easily integrated into the work area, says Schwartz. “All the pieces of the kitchen have to interact with each other,” she says. “The whole sink area is becoming more practical, and you have to be able to [multi-task].” But some builders and remodelers are concerned about callbacks with pullouts. “The head came off a $400 to $500 faucet I had put in three years ago,” says Sever. He also says the hoses tend to get stuck under the sink, and that water may flow after the fitting is turned off as the hoses empty.

Others contractors point to “faucet droop,” a phrase used to describe the way a pullout looks slack at the base. Delta’s Saxony line guards against droop, Coffman asserts, with a tight wand connection and a reinforced steel hose. Faucet droop isn’t a result of improper installation and won’t necessarily cause performance problems, manufacturers and pros say.

Manufacturers also are making pullout installation easier. To help speed setup, Grohe offers stainless steel braided flexible supplies that won’t twist, while Delta’s newest pullout makes an easily heard click when the water supply valve is attached to the spout. With all the benefits they offer homeowners, advocates predict that pullouts will to grow in popularity. “Many people do like them,” says Smith.

HANDY DETAILS

If your client’s budget allows, you can complement the kitchen with a variety of specialty faucets and handy accessories. Here are some suggestions offered by Lee Ottenbreit, staff designer for Oakland, Calif.-based Winans Construction, and Katie Schwartz, an editor at Chicago-based Kitchens.com.

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  •  Pot-filler faucets over the stove or the cooktop alleviate the need to lift heavy pots from the sink and help keep the kitchen cleaner.
  •  Soap and lotion dispensers keep necessities typically found in the bathroom close at hand.
  •  Side sprays aid with cleaning and maneuverability.

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  • Bar and prep sinks with matching faucets offer extra room to work. –S.H.

KWC. The stainless steel Primo soap/lotion dispenser was the inspiration for the Suprimo faucet. The faucet’s sleek design complements modern kitchens, says the maker. The faucet features a pullout spray and comes in a choice of five spray head colors. 877-592-3287. http://kitchensinkfaucetsland.com. Circle 275.

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Watermark. Available in more than 33 finishes, including variations of nickel, brass, chrome, copper, and gold plating over brass, the pot-filler kitchen faucet has an expandable-retractable design and a single-lever handle for easy maneuverability, says the maker. Numerous other faucets, lighting fixtures, and door hardware also are available. 800-842-7277. watermark-designs.com. Circle 276.

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Dornbracht. Featuring an exaggerated gooseneck and pendulum spray head, the Meta.02 Profi faucet saves water with an automatic change-over switch that senses the use of the handspray and diverts water from flowing through the main tap, says the maker. Once the lever for the spray is released, water flows out of the tap again. 800-774-1181. www.dornbracht.com. Circle 277.

American Standard. Culinaire faucets are available in satin chrome, polished chrome, stainless steel, blackened bronze, white, and polished brass finishes. Available in four designs, options include a pullout spray spout and a gooseneck pull-down spout. Coordinating sinks, soap dispensers, colanders, and grid racks also are available. 800-442 1902. www.americanstandard-us.com. Circle 265.

Blanco America. The Madison IV wide-spread faucet is available in an antique copper finish. It also comes in polished chrome, PVD brass, stainless satin nickel, and antique pewter finishes. Bar faucets and composite and stainless steel kitchen sinks also are available. 800-451-5782. www.blancoamerica.com. Circle 267.

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Kohler. The Vinnata and Clairette pull-down faucets feature high-arc spouts and swivel joints at the end of the spray heads to easily direct water flow. The Vinnata, shown here, is suited for traditional kitchens, while the Clairette is designed for contemporary kitchens, says the maker. The faucets are available in a range of tarnish-resistant finishes. 800-456-4537. kohler.com. Circle 269.

Moen. The high-arc Aberdeen faucet features a pause button that allows the user to interrupt the water flow as the wand passes over the sink and a single-button spray switch that can change the water flow to a spray for rinsing. The faucet is available it seven finishes in single-and double-handle styles. 800-289-6636. moen.com. Circle 266.

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Grohe. The stainless steel Ladylux Plus faucet features a dual-spray pattern and a high-reach spout. It has stainless steel flexible supplies for quick installation and ceramic cartridges for one-finger flow control. A smaller version of this kitchen faucet is available for prep sinks. 630-582-7711. groheamerica.com. Circle 268

Delta. Taking its cue from the firm’s Victorian kitchen and bath collections, the Saxony pullout faucet offers classic styling for traditional kitchens, says the maker. Saxony features a reinforced 59-inch-long steel hose that resists bursting and twisting in the line and a SnugFit patented wand connection to prevent the faucet from drooping when sitting in the base, the firm says. 800-345-3358. www.deltafaucet.com. Circle 270.

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Price Pfister. The Parisa ceramic-disc valve single-control kitchen faucet features a high-arc spout, a matching side spray, and a 2-inch deck clearance. It comes in stainless steel, polished chrome, and white finishes. The line also has products for lavatory, tub, and shower applications. 800-732-8238. pricepfister.com. Circle 271.

Harrington Brass Works. Shown in a polished nickel finish, the Victorian single-hole pullout faucet blends classic styling with a modern finish so it looks appropriate in traditional or modern kitchens, says the firm. It’s available in 19 additional finishes and also can be used in bar sinks

Newport Brass. The bridge-design kitchen faucet features cross handles and a curved metal spout. Model 945, shown in the gun metal finish, is available in more than 33 finishes and colors, including antique brass, oil-rubbed bronze, satin nickel, polished silver, European white, and weathered copper. Tarnish-resistant PVD finishes also are available

Kallista. Part of the For Loft collection, this kitchen faucet is available in lever, cross, and wristblade handle options. The collection comes in chrome, nickel silver, and brushed nickel finishes. A wide-spread basin set, a deck bath set, and a wall-mounted bath set also are available in the collection.

Hansgrohe. Part of the Interaktiv line of faucets, the 1901 four-hole kitchen faucet is one of five styles that encompass traditional and contemporary European looks. The 1901 faucet comes in chrome, polished nickel, brushed nickel, and polished brass. Handles can be changed within the collection, but spouts and internal valves remain intact

Soho. The Bridgemaster is the first bridge-style faucet to incorporate a pullout spray, says the maker. The faucet, which is crafted in London, is available in a range of finishes. The firm also imports additional styles of faucets, towel bars, bath accessories, and bathroom furniture

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