Pull-out spouts do double duty, and dual-mount sinks can double your options.
Q I'm planning to have a new kitchen faucet installed and always had a separate spray hose. Now I'm thinking about getting the new style, with the spray hose built right into the faucet spout. I know they are fancy and cost a little more. So, other than style, what benefits will I get for spending the extra money?
A You're describing what is called a "pull-out" or "pull-down" kitchen faucet. The pull-out style pulls straight out from the spout, while the pull-down has a candy-cane-shaped spout and the spray head pulls down. These faucets give kitchen sinks a very clean look, because the spray-head assembly is removed from the sink rim.
Pull-out faucets offer normal or spray-flow water settings for filling or washing, and can be pulled out a few feet. With one spray/spout unit, the faucet is a lot easier to control than having a separate spray head and separate faucet spout.
As an added bonus, not having a separate spray hose frees up room for a soap dispenser, giving the user an additional kitchen-sink feature. With all these features, it's easy to see why many homeowners pull out their wallets and spend the extra money for a pull-out faucet.Dual-mount sinks double options
Q My husband and I are planning a kitchen remodel and we're trying to do it over time so we won't have to take out a loan. We have a nice layout for the new kitchen in mind, and have already purchased the cabinets. Now we want to purchase the plumbing fixtures. But we still haven't decided on our countertops yet since that step is more than a year away. Is there a sink you can recommend that will work with any countertop that we may pick out?
A You're in luck. Recently, a new-style stainless-steel sink has hit the market and is becoming very popular. This type of sink is called a dual-mount kitchen sink because it can be mounted as a "drop-in" sink or an "under-mount" sink.
This will give you a lot of flexibility when the time comes to pick your countertop. If you go with a tile or laminate countertop, you can use it as the drop-in style because of its ultra-flat sink rim. This flat rim can help seal the edges of the sink hole, and the low-profile flat rim also makes it easy to wipe from the counter directly into the sink.
As an under-mount, the top side of the ultra-flat rim attaches easily to the bottom of solid-surface countertops.
Look for a dual-mount stainless-steel sink with built-in sound-absorption pads. These pads can reduce disposer and dishwasher drain noise -- a good feature for any kitchen sink.
Master Contractor/Plumber Ed Del Grande is known internationally as the author of the book "Ed Del Grande's House Call" the host of TV and Internet shows, and a LEED green associate.