Faucet Buying Guide: How to Choose a Faucet for Your Stainless Steel Sink
So you need a faucet, huh? That seems like a simple enough quest, but then you search "faucet" on Prima Supply and find there's thirty billion different options for faucets (really, I got six pages of results). There's lots of terminology and options and sizes and materials, but which one matches your needs? Let me give you a quick rundown of some of the main things to consider when buying a faucet. Just a heads up before we begin, I'm loading this guide up with product links. If you need pictures (like I do) to understand, they should serve you well to see what I'm talking about.
First and most importantly, where are the holes in your sink to mount a faucet? You're going to want to get a faucet that fits those pre-drilled holes. There's two main configurations. The first is on the deck, the flat part right behind the sink bowl, so that the faucet stands vertical. A lot of residential faucets are this way, think about the one you used in your bathroom this morning - that's likely a deck mount. Typically you will see these on dish tables and underbar sinks.
Deck Mount 2-Hole Hand Sink
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The second, more common commercial faucet is a splash mount (also called a wall mount) faucet. You need one of these if the holes for your faucet are on the backsplash of your sink, standing up against the wall. Most standard 2, 3, and 4 compartment sinks like the 3cs-101410-2 are this way.
Splash Mount Sink
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Often a deck mount faucet will only have one hole drilled in your sink - sometimes it has two, but splash mounts will almost always have two holes. The distance between those holes is what's being referred to with "centers" or "on center." Eight and Four inch centers are the most common here. So if it's an 8" separation on the splash, you need an 8" on center, splash mount faucet like the BKF-8W-12-G. Or, if it's only 4" centers, grab a 4" on center faucet such as the BKF-W-8-G. The same concept holds true for deck mount faucets. If you have one hole, get a faucet that only needs one hole instead of two.
Now that we've gotten the mounting lined up, it's time to think about the spout. Remember "pi x r squared" from high school geometry? Yeah, me neither. But that’s something that we actually might need from math class (unlike x = (-b ± √b^2 - 4ac)/ 2a, which I was told I'd use all the time!). But I digress. Simply put, you want to make sure that the faucet will pour into all the compartments of your sinks, but not go over the front onto the floor. Let me explain with two examples. One note first: most faucet bodies will stick out about 2", so it's good to add that into your planning.
You're buying a 3cs-101410-0 for your food truck. Each compartment is 10" wide and 14" front to back. Considering that it will stick out 2", anything that's 12" or more will pour over the front onto the floor. Also, from the center of the center bowl, it needs to be at least 5" to get out of that bowl and into the side ones. So, an 8" or 10" spout is going to serve you best. Anything longer will pour onto the floor, anything shorter won't hit all three bowls of your sink.
Since we did the smallest sink, let's do a big one too - a 3CS-181812-2. Each bowl is 18" x 18", which means our max length is 16" before it hits the front and our minimum to get to all three bowls is 9". If you picked a 10, 12, or 14" spout, you're in good shape.
If you want to get into the circumference of the spout's orbit and get really technical here, you totally could. But if you think simply like me, the two considerations for maximum and minimum length will work out just fine.
And with that, we've picked out our faucet. Unless of course you want a sprayer...
Sprayers / Add On Faucet
In the words of Emeril Lagasse, "let's kick it up a notch. BAM!" Sometimes a simple spout isn't enough, you need a pre-rinse sprayer. They're great for cleaning off dirty dishes, washing produce, giving your dog a bath, or making your coworkers really mad at you (though spraying them is hilarious). When you're shopping for a sprayer, don't forget your training. We still have to ask the questions of deck vs wall mount, 4 or 8 inch spread, and the size of your bowls. You'll also want to think about the vertical space available (don't but a 4 foot tall sprayer in a food truck with 6' ceilings).
One more consideration: Add on faucets. That is, do you just want to spray, or do you want a sprayer and a standard faucet? If you add on a standard faucet spout as well, you need to take into consideration all the sizing information we already talked about. You can buy a sprayer/faucet combo, or add one on later down the road.
Ok, one last question for you… Do you want to install the faucet on your sink? Assuming you do, you will also need a mounting kit. This is the the hardware that holds up the faucet onto your sink and connects it to the water line. Typically you will want one with elbows that bend the water lines down instead of having them come straight out of the wall. This lets your sink sit flush against the wall without cutting out drywall to accommodate the pipes and hardware.
So there you have it: faucets in a nutshell. Please, give us a call with your other questions about which faucet or sink will work best with your application, and as always, check with a local plumber or inspector in your area to make sure that all your plumbing is up to municipal codes.
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