It’s fun to ogle sleek gas ranges or spacious refrigerators. But the unsung hero of the kitchen has to be the sink—especially the faucet, which tackles tasks as various as cleaning produce, rinsing grains and scouring pans. (Make sure you’re not making this cleaning mistake on your faucet.)
The good news is that designers are finally giving the kitchen sink sprayer the attention it deserves. These are just some cool new features to look out for at the hardware store. You may be inspired to upgrade.
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Old-school sink sprayers used to have one setting, and home cooks just had to make it work. New faucet designs have multiple spray settings, each tailored to a specific task.
Kohler sinks have a Berry Soft spray setting, which is gentle enough to wash fragile fruits, like ripe raspberries. For tasks that require more horsepower, like scouring a dirty sink, there’s a more powerful, broader Sweep spray. American Standard takes the choices even farther, offering a classic spray, powerful jet, and gentle mist in addition to the standard stream.
Our verdict: Expect to see expanded spray options available from most faucet brands. Some variation in spray power is helpful, but an excess of settings might actually get irritating to cycle through.
Splatter Reduction Technology
One problem with a powerful sink sprayer? The inevitable splashing. Spray a dinner plate, and you could soak your countertop—or your shirt. Some brands are developing splatter-reducing sprayers. Delta’s ShieldSpray, for example, claims to reduce splatter by 90% by encasing a powerful water jet within a gentler sphere of water.
Our verdict: Nobody likes to make a mess while cleaning up a mess. Reducing splatter and splash is worth a try…provided it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
Do or don’t: the farmhouse sink.
Some brands, including Kohler and American Standard, offer a pause button, which stops the water flow without fully turning off the faucet—potentially handy if your hands are busy and you’re in and out of the sink. When washing vegetables, for instance, you can save water by pausing to scrub rather than continually running the water.
Our verdict: This could be handy, if not an everyday necessity. If your sink already has a handy tap-to-turn-off feature, a pause button could be redundant.