People laugh at me every time I show them yet another kitchen faucet that I’m trying out for Home Depot’s Seeds program. I’ve tried quite a few and I’m developing a decent feel for what’s out there. My opinions here are honest and absolutely not influenced by the fact that I received the faucet for free. In fact, the previous faucets are in boxes in the basement. I just enjoy trying new things in search of the perfect whatever.
YES OR NO – If you like the design, you should be very pleased with this faucet. It’s well built and handsome. The Sweep Spray feature really sets the sprayer apart. Yes I feel that this faucet is worth the price. The only thing I’d count against my final rating is a leaky sprayer, but read on for details on that.
APPEARANCE – Bold. Clean. Stylish. Substantial. It looks and feels like a quality faucet. More so than one half the price would, as more material is present. Again, the fit and finish are what you’d expect for a faucet in the price range. Absolutely no complaints about the appearance, materials or build quality. While not an appearance detail, there’s one really interesting thing about this faucet that I’ve never seen before. Water does not travel inside the neck directly (as in a pipe). Rather, it’s contained in a plastic hose. If you take the aerator off a powerful stream of water shoots straight down from the neck. The picture on the website is quite confusing. It makes it seem like the sprayer head is attached to the neck. Look carefully and you’ll notice that the sprayer is well behind the faucet, mounted off to the side.
OPERATION – Let’s get this out of the way first. I was disappointed by the low flow. I looked up the specs on this and my previous faucet and was surprised by the seemingly small difference on paper, but the noticeable difference in use. My old one was 1.86 GPM, while this one is 1.8 GPM. My laymen theory is that manufacturers are reducing water flow to meet California codes, and making the rest of the Country abide by the same flow rates. While I suspect that in the future we will only vaguely remember the good old days of high flow, due to ever-increasing water demands, for now I want my flow! I know for a fact that this problem can easily and cheaply be remedied by replacing the aerator. I used one from another faucet (2.5 GPM) and it’s MUCH better for me now.
The neck is reasonably tight and easy to steer. While ultra-low water flow is a bit tricky (if you want a drip), it’s not bad and in regular use the lever is intuitive. It takes no thought to get water while you’re busy in the kitchen. I’ve had faucets that I would sometimes struggle a bit with the lever orientation, but not with this one. The lever and valve work smoothly and positively. The faucet is a pleasure to operate.
SPRAYER – There’s a lot to talk about for the sprayer. First, it’s plastic. I’ve yet to see a metal sprayer and I just don’t get it. To have such a beautiful, heavy faucet that gives you one feel, alongside a light, plastic sprayer that provides completely different feedback doesn’t sit well with me. But they all do it, so I’m not taking anything off for that. The sprayer does NOT have a weight. This is the second faucet I’ve seen like this. The first time I, I used a weight from the previous faucet, thinking I needed it. This time around I am trying it without the weight. The sprayer hose is interesting. Rather than being the typical braided steel, this one is lightweight, braided black nylon. It’s attractive and won’t ever rust, but I have no way of predicting how it will hold up. I would definitely not want to put a weight on it to scrape back and forth for years. I don’t mind using this sprayer without a weight. It works fine and I don’t have to try to replace it in the base – it just goes there intuitively. Interestingly, there is a swivel fitting the bottom of the base, which improves the maneuverability. I like it.
The regular spray is typical and I won’t go into it. I REALLY like the power rinse (they call it sweep spray) function. It does not disappoint. Personally I find it a little awkward to maneuver my thumb up to it while simultaneously squeezing the sprayer, but I wouldn’t take anything off the rating for that. I really like this spray mode. It’s strong, it’s concentrated and it does work, even on dishes that have been sitting. It works really well forcing food around the sink and into the drain. A big hit in the house. My Wife for whatever reason has a problem with the sprayer engaging and spraying her when she grabs it. She definitely grabs it differently than I do, finding it easy to squeeze the level inadvertently.
My one complaint about my sprayer is that it leaks a little if I seat it aggressively. If I just wiggle it, it leaks. It doesn’t continue to leak, mind you. The problem is water forcibly splashed out of it when jolting it. Once seated it will not leak. My previous faucet had a leaky sprayer and they sent me a new one, which was perfectly tight. I did email Kohler, and am waiting to hear back on this.
INSTALLATION - This was about a five minute install for me, as I have a temporary countertop installed, plus I’m getting good at it after so much practice. Modern faucets are so much easier to install! The included hoses with this are already attached inside the head and are marked hot and cold. The sprayer is easy to hook up to the head, as well. You won’t even need instructions for this. The faucet is held on with one large brass bolt and set screws. You don’t really need a special wrench because of the screws. You can just get the brass bolt close by hand and then tighten the two phillips screws, which does the final lock down.