Getting your plumbing options right ensures efficient water flow in your home. However, it can be challenging to strike a balance between price and value, especially for parts such as faucets, where the most expensive ones can cost well over 85 pounds (US$112). So are these expensive kitchen faucets worth buying?
Most expensive faucets are not worth buying. While the faucet cost accounts for practical features such as longevity and performance, most expensive faucets have their price tag due to factors such as brand and type of finish, which do not have any bearing on functionality or performance.
There’s a lot of discussion surrounding the relationship between a faucet’s price and its practical value. For example, in their magazine on Old House Interiors, Home Buyer Publications notes that your choice of faucet fittings should be based on functionality and durability, and it’s possible to get a fitting that has both of the above and is also beautiful. Also, brand name and aesthetic value seem to contribute more to higher prices than functionality does.
Therefore, it’s better to choose inexpensive faucets that’ll give you value for money. As the Home Buyers Publication notes, a higher price doesn’t necessarily translate to more or less value in most cases.
For instance, while the difference in value between a highly-priced and inexpensive mixer is significant, the difference between a £76.30 (US$100) and a £305 (US$400) faucet usually doesn’t matter (in practical terms, at least) because in the latter case, the brand name and aesthetics affect the prices of faucets more than the ones for mixers do.
Bronchick and Dahlstrom have a similar view in their book on flipping homes. They advise buyers against getting carried away when buying faucets because a higher price doesn’t always equate to higher value, functionality, or durability.
What Makes an Expensive Kitchen Faucet?
A kitchen faucet can be expensive due to its brand name. However, other factors such as the type of finishing, colour, shape, and style can also increase the prices of faucets. It’s important to note that most fittings are made overseas, bumping up the cost further.
In other words, although the initial cost of producing faucets may be low (especially considering the cost of raw materials and labour), the final product will most likely sell at a higher price. That alone, however, doesn’t account for the hefty price tag of some faucets.
According to Hearst Magazines’ publication Popular Mechanics, many modern faucets have fantastic features that influence their pricing. Some of these features relate to safety, conservation, and design variations.
Faucets can sell for as low as £30.5 (US$40) and as high as £382 (US$500) depending on their features. As explained by Popular Mechanics, most units priced over £191 (US$250) are typically more of an investment in style than functionality. For options between £95 (US$125) to £191 (US$250), you can expect to find features such as telescopic sprouts, high-rise sprouts, and pull-out sprouts.
In other words, if you’re only looking for something that will last a relatively long time without rusting and can help provide you with adequate water supply, you don’t need to buy a faucet worth hundreds of pounds.
How Expensive Is an Expensive Kitchen Faucet?
An expensive kitchen faucet can cost as low as £30.5 (US$40), though others can cost more than £381 (US$500) for those looking for upscale options. These figures are based on numbers provided by Hearst Magazine.
Some rare faucet options can command as much as £2289 (US$3,000) or more, as noted by Kitchen Remodel Guides. These include pull down / pull out kitchen faucets, which give more space when you’re doing things like washing the dishes. They may also include the other features I’ve mentioned before (i.e., safety, conservation, and design variations).
A more recent review of the best faucets of 2022 by the Insider reveals you can get a functional faucet for as low as £46 (US$60) to as high as over £458 (US$600). In other words, you can get a faucet that has everything you need (unless you count aesthetics as a “need”) for a tenth of the price of the most expensive variants.
A quick search on sites like Amazon should pull up faucets within the price ranges specified above. Make sure to check the features list thoroughly, decide whether you need them, and consider whether they’re worth the higher price.
Expensive Kitchen Faucet vs. Inexpensive Kitchen Faucets
So, what are the differences between expensive and inexpensive kitchen faucets other than the price? As I mentioned earlier, the things that bump up the cost of hundred-pound faucets typically don’t matter much for the average buyer. But if you’re interested in getting an expensive faucet for any reason, here’s what you need to know.
One of the first things you’ll notice about expensive faucets is that they look amazing. That’s because high-end buyers place a premium on style and aesthetics. However, while finish, material, and style can factor in your choice of faucet, practicality should be your primary concern.
Specifically, your choice of faucet should account for factors such as longevity, desired features, and functionality. You can get most of these from a standard, relatively inexpensive faucet in most cases. As long as the faucet gives adequate water supply, doesn’t rust, and doesn’t give out after a few years, you should be okay.
But what if price doesn’t matter to you, and you can’t decide between an expensive faucet and an inexpensive one? According to the experts at Family Handyman, you should spend a reasonable amount on a faucet. But what’s “reasonable?” A price that may be reasonable to you may be too pricey or cheap for someone else.
Family Handyman experts say that your faucet should ideally cost at least £85 (US$65) for a bathroom faucet and at least £131 (US$100) for a kitchen faucet. You may be able to get a quality product for cheaper prices than the above, but those tend to score relatively lower than their higher-priced counterparts in terms of quality.
As aptly summarised in Family Handyman, spending more means you’re shelling out more money than necessary for style and extra features. You can always invest the cash you save into other fixtures like your bathroom or kitchen sink, countertop tiles, filtration systems, etc.
How To Save Money on Expensive Kitchen Faucets
If you want to buy an expensive kitchen faucet, there are ways to keep your spending to a minimum. Here are tips to save money on expensive kitchen faucets.
The first step to saving money on expensive kitchen faucets is to have a budget. Plan your budget based on the amount you can reasonably spend on faucets as well as your personal preferences. That way, you can avoid impromptu purchases.
Choose the Right Material
According to the fittings experts at Need a Plumber Inc, the faucet’s material has a significant impact on its price. For example, solid brass faucets are durable and good-looking compared to others. If you want a lower-priced faucet that’s just as sturdy, you can go for the stainless steel ones. You can also save on expensive faucets by forgoing added features that significantly impact price without necessarily bolstering performance.
Know What Features You Need (and Don’t Need)
For example, touch-sensitive features, having an extended neck (like in pulldown faucets), and spray options can bump up the cost. It’s always important to think about which features you need in a faucet and whether anything additional will provide value for money. Otherwise, you’re better off with the less expensive offerings.
Advantages of an Expensive Kitchen Faucet
Despite what I’ve said so far, expensive kitchen faucets aren’t entirely a waste of money. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be a market for them at all. Here are some of the things that may make expensive faucets a worthwhile investment.
Unlike their cheaper counterparts (which are predominantly made of plastic materials), higher-priced faucets use sturdier materials like stainless steel or brass. This means you won’t pay as much (or as often) for repair or replacement costs when you choose higher-priced faucets.
Also, many expensive faucets have higher-quality valve construction, so you don’t have to worry about valve-related mishaps such as leaking.
Most expensive faucets also have longer warranties than the cheaper option. In fact, some brands even offer lifetime warranties for their products. That comes in handy for when you need repairs for fixtures like faucets that can last for years before breaking down.
As previously explained, most faucets priced above £153 (US$200) have special features like touch sensitivity, motion sensors, and other designs that make the faucet more convenient to use. If convenience is your most important consideration, adding a few hundred pounds to your faucet budget can get you what you need.
Better Aesthetic Appeal
Let’s face it: Expensive faucets add a touch of elegance and luxurious appeal to your space, setting your kitchen apart from the rest. With their beautiful finish, unique designs, and style, your kitchen will definitely be the envy of your neighbourhood.
Disadvantages of an Expensive Kitchen Faucet
The most glaring disadvantage of an expensive kitchen faucet is that past a certain price point, you’re essentially investing in style over functionality. You can buy low-cost options that can perform the same way minus the higher price tag. Also, many reasonably priced faucets have warranty options that can be just as attractive as their pricier counterparts (not to mention you don’t have to worry about hefty repair bills to match).
Unless you’re the sort of person who literally bathes in gold, there’s not much point in favouring style over function when it comes to faucets. If the faucet is made of an expensive material, it’s possible you’ll have to spend just as much money repairing them when they break down. While style-related factors are an affordable luxury for more affluent buyers, expensive faucets can inflate your plumbing budget without offering much in the way of practical benefits.
Also, most of the special features in conventional faucets do little to bolster performance or longevity, like motion sensors and touch-sensitive technologies. You’ll often see these faucets in fancy buildings or shopping areas. While they should make the faucet more convenient, most of these features are not practical for the everyday buyer, especially considering that they usually amount to over £229 (US$300).
Are Expensive Kitchen Faucets Worth Having?
An expensive faucet is not worth having for the most part. While these faucets deliver upscale appeal, style, and aesthetic value to your kitchen, they don’t contribute significantly to performance, durability, and other practical considerations.
That’s not to say you should buy the lowest-priced faucet possible. It’s still important to strike a balance between value and cost. Many of the cheapest options are prone to breakage, perform poorly, and have a high probability of leaking. Getting the low-end plastic faucets is therefore not recommended even for the average buyer.
If you want to set yourself apart from the pack and have plenty of cash to spare, there are many options that can suit you. This also applies if you’re looking for unique and special features such as motion-sensing technology or touch sensitivity. As mentioned earlier, these are great options if (for example) you own a luxury establishment and want to make your clients feel exactly how luxurious your place is. These extra features can also add oomph to an everyday kitchen.
Regardless, you should consult with a plumber on the best offerings available within your budget. Chances are, the plumber will tell you to focus on performance-related features when selecting a faucet rather than beauty and aesthetic appeal. At any rate, it’s possible you’ll spend much more on repairing expensive faucets than their cheaper counterparts, even if you account for the lifetime warranty.
An expensive kitchen faucet is definitely not a wise investment for the everyday buyer. You have so many options that offer just the right amount of durability and functionality for only a fraction of the cost of their pricier counterparts. At the same time, you don’t want to scrimp so much on quality that you end up spending more for repairs or replacements than the actual faucet.