Down and out over kitchen faucet choices

Dear Ed: I wanted to upgrade to a new kitchen faucet and wanted a faucet with a built-in spray head. I’ve always referred to this type of faucet as “pull-out”, but now I am discovering that there is also a “pull-out” style. What is the difference?

Tammy, Texas

Dear Tammy: For kitchen faucets with built-in spray heads, I’ll break your question down into three types and give some benefits to each style.

First, retractable spray: this type pulls out horizontally and has a larger handle for easy control. Also ideal for filling things like teapots and dog bowls.

Next up pull-down spray: As the name suggests, it pulls down from a curved gooseneck spout. Since it faces down, it’s great for washing dishes and cleaning the sink.

Finally Spring Loaded: This semi-professional style looks like a faucet you might see in a busy professional kitchen. The spout is basically a flexible spring and can be moved in all directions. So if you’re not sure whether to pull down or pull out, a spring-loaded variant can give you a new twist on your faucet choices.

Dear Ed: We have a large master bathroom with a walk-in shower and a seat. For years I’ve wanted to add a steamer to this shower and now the time has come. What are some bathroom basics to consider when adding a steamer?

Fred, Maine

Dear Fred: First, you bring extra moisture into the bathroom area and that moisture needs to be removed. So work with your contractor to see if your bathroom fan and fresh air intake can absorb the extra moisture. If not, exhaust fan upgrades may be required.

Next, the shower stall may also need to be updated. A seat is a good place to start, but additional tile work will need to be done on the top walls and ceiling if you don’t already have a sealed shower stall.

You can also replace your standard shower door with a special “steam shower door” to better contain the steam. For the steam generator, make sure that you have allowed an accessible space and the necessary electrical connections for the installation.

Finally, you should know that this can be a high-end project. So don’t be surprised if you add up all the costs!

General contractor / plumber Ed Del Grande is internationally known as the author of the book “Ed Del Grande’s House Visit”, host of TV and Internet shows and LEED Green Associate. Visit or write to [email protected]

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