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Hey! Which Way Do You Spray?
June 7, 2017

Admit it. Your kitchen sink has occasionally been used for things it was not necessarily designed to handle. Remember giving your Shih Tzu a good scrubbing in there? And washing your hair? Maybe even giving your baby a bath? Well, you couldn't have done any of those things, comfortably, without a sprayer nearby. Most of us like water sprayers in the kitchen, even if it's just to rinse dishes. And the proof of this can be seen in the design of today's kitchen faucets. Almost every style has a spray device built into the faucet stem itself, or has one provided as an accessory to be mounted nearby.

If you are in the market for a new faucet, you need to know that built-in spray models are available in three key forms: pull-out, pull-down, and fusion. Similarly, many traditional faucets, whether short or tall, single or dual-handled, are designed with matching side sprayers. And if not, a generic sprayer with a reasonable resemblance to your faucet should be easy to find.

So which faucet style is right for you?

Pull-out faucets are generally recommended for smaller sinks. As the name states, the faucet spout pulls out from the main stem in a horizontal direction, attached to a retractable hose. A press of a button on the handle switches the flow from a stream to a spray. If you frequently use large pots and utensils that don't fit in your sink, this may be your best option. The longer hoses in these models let you handle chores a short distance from the sink itself.

Pull-down is the design best-suited for larger, deeper sinks. Its spout pulls down into the sink, connected to a flexible hose, and is primarily aimed for use within the sink itself. A button or switch on the spray head allows changing the type of water flow. The faucet itself is typically high and arched; which adds to its aesthetic appeal, but can slow down the water pressure a bit. Many models swivel 180, or even 360, degrees, making them easy to maneuver.

Mimicking commercial faucets, more and more manufacturers are offering what are called fusion or spring-loaded faucets. Visually these are very distinctive faucets: very tall, with a spring coiled over an exposed flexible tube connected to the spout. Most swivel from their base up to 360-degrees and have a squeeze-style grip to activate. If you want professional appeal in your kitchen, this is the faucet for you.

Traditional faucets are still very popular and a spray accessory can be installed separately next to any style. The shape, grip, and flexibility of sprayers can vary; with hoses measuring from three to five feet. The only drawback is the awkward space the hose occupies under the sink.

If you happen to also be considering a new topmount sink purchase, your faucet choice can be a factor in this decision. The addition of a side sprayer, or not; as well as a single or double handle faucet; determines whether the sink needs two, three, or four pre-drilled holes to accommodate them. With topmounts, choosing a sprayer should be a forethought, not an afterthought.

No matter what form it takes, a sprayer performs a number of convenient functions. Don't install without one!