Whether you’re doing up a bathroom or a kitchen, there is no doubt that faucets make for a quick and easy upgrade, with the least amount of grind and investment. Faucets are the most essential aspect of setting the tone in any kitchen and they come in more varieties than you can think of.
In Mexico also faucets come in many shapes and sizes. Even though Puerto Vallarta condos are getting more modern and city’s infrastructure is been ramped up, it’s very much possible that what you’re used to in USA might not be available in your vacation home in Mexico. Read on as we give you a complete lowdown on faucets to help you find one that best suits your needs:
Mechanically, there are 4 types of faucets: Compression, Ball, Cartridge and Disc. Each of them has different mechanisms for controlling water flow and while some work better than others, some are more lasting and reliable.
A compression faucet is the most inexpensive kind of faucet. It has separate knobs for both hot and cold water and you need to twist these knobs to either open or stop the water flow. You will normally find this kind of faucet in older homes and even though they are still available, they are no longer as favored as they once would be and that’s mainly because of the maintenance required. It uses rubber seals or washers that will ultimately wear out, causing the faucet to drip. These seals are located at the end of a compression stem that stops the water flow when the handles are tightened. When the seal or washer weakens, water gets past it and causes a leak. The good part is that it is extremely simple to replace a seal.
The other 3 types of faucets – Ball, Cartridge and Disc, are “washerless.” These are more in demand as they tend to leak a lot lesser than compression faucets.
A ball faucet is quite commonly used in kitchen sinks. It has a single lever controlling a slotted ball that is aligned with the cold and hot water. The water pressure can be controlled by lifting the lever, which lifts the ball to let the water flow. The temperature of the water is controlled by moving the lever from one side to another As compared to the other ‘washerless’ faucets, a ball faucet tends to leak a lot more.
A cartridge faucet is typically found in bathrooms and kitchens. It can have one or two handles. A ‘Single-Handle Cartridge Faucet’ needs to be pulled up or down to adjust water pressure and back and forth to adjust water temperature. A ‘Double-Handle Cartridge Faucet’ works on a pretty much similar mechanism as that of a compression faucet, the only difference being that they are much easier to use as you do not need to apply force to turn it on and off. It has a hollow metal cartridge that seals the faucet and controls water flow and temperature. All the parts of the cartridge are subject to wear and tear, so a leak or drip is a sign that the cartridge needs to be replaced.
Ceramic Disc Faucet
Ceramic Disc Faucet is the latest and the most reliable development in the world of faucets. In this faucet, the flow of the water is controlled with two fire-hardened ceramic discs. One disc is stationery and the other moves sideways or up and down. These discs can be controlled by turning the handles in a double-handle faucet or lifting the lever in a single-handle faucet. The movement causes the mobile disc to move across the stationery disc. By sliding across each other, the discs control both water flow and temperature. Disc faucets tend are quite reliable as the cartridge rarely needs to be replaced. Priced steeply, they often come with lifetime cartridge guarantees.
If you are looking for ease of use and low maintenance a Cartridge or Ceramic Disc faucet is the best bet. A Compression or a Ball faucet could also be good investment but you must take into account the maintenance before actually purchasing one.
Faucets can also be classified as PULL-OUT and PULL-DOWN faucets. A pull-out faucet has a faucet sprayer that pulls out towards you whereas a pull-down faucet features a tall sprayer that pulls straight down into the sink.
If you wish to revamp, replace a broken faucet or freshen up the look of your kitchen or bathroom with a new faucet, you should make a decision based on more than just the looks and price.
Here are some other important features to consider that can affect durability and functionality of these kitchen essentials:
1. The Finish
Physical Vapor Deposition
(PVD) finish is the toughest. The PVD process involves shelling the faucet with charged metal atoms that adhere to the surface, producing a variety of extremely reliable metallic finishes. Chrome finish is also quite durable. Without the PVD finish, a bronze finish would be least resistant to abrasion.
2. Shape Of The Spout
Straight-spout models are quite compact and low-cost. Gooseneck models provide more clearance, but they can cause water to splash in a shallow sink. Whichever you choose, make sure that the faucet head turns enough to reach into all corners of the sink.
3. Spray & Stream Buttons
Convenient buttons on the side of the spray head allow you to change easily between spray and stream. The buttons should stay in the mode you set even after you turn the water off and back on.
4. Temperature setting
Single-lever faucets that allow you turn the water off and on without losing the temperature setting are more convenient than those that require you to reset the temperature every time you turn on the faucet.
About the author: Martin Cowell is an expert in Akumal real estate. When he is not buying & selling homes and condos, he is traveling or cooking. You can reach him through his website www.iownakumal.com