All About: Pull-Out or Down Spray Faucets

updated Jun 5, 2019
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If you’ve already renovated a kitchen or are just beginning the process, you know how overwhelming the details can be. Our Fittings and Material Spotlights are quick guides to basic kitchen fixtures to familiarize you with terminology, pros and cons, and relevant reader reviews. We’ve covered sinks and countertops, and now we’re moving on to faucets. From basic single and two-handle faucets we move to today’s focus: pull-out and pull-down spray faucets.

Faucet Style: Pull-Out and Pull Down Spray

Distinctive Features: Though the terms are often used interchangeably, technically pull-out and pull-down faucets have slight differences between them. While they both integrate the high-pressure sprayer into the faucet itself, as opposed to having a separate sprayer on the side of the sink, a pull-down faucet features a tall faucet head/sprayer (usually with a shorter hose, but not always) that pulls straight down into the sink. A pull-out faucet has a faucet head/sprayer that pulls out towards you. Which one is better is really dependent on your aesthetic preference and what kind of functionality you’re looking for.

Pros + Cons of Pull-Out: Pros: Has a longer hose than a pull-down, so you can swivel it to the side to fill pots on the countertop (a hands-free activity); lower profile, which is preferable if you’re working in a small area or have a low counter for which a high spout wouldn’t work; less overall splashing than a pull-down. Cons: Not great for filling tall pots.

Pros + Cons of Pull-Down: Pros: Usually has a tall arc spout and multiple spray options, so it’s good for filling bigger pans and pitchers; considered more ergonomically correct, because it’s one fluid hand motion (pulling down) without having to twist and maneuver the hose to the side. Cons: The additional spout height can further decrease already low water pressure; faulty weights on cheaper models can cause the spout head/sprayer to dangle.

Installation: How to Install a Pull-Down Faucet, via This Old House

Price range: Starts at $120 – $500, depending on finish and features.

Kitchn Reader Reviews:

A built-in pull-out sprayer is nice. This also frees up a faucet hole that you can use for an under counter water filter, soap dispenser, or something else. – Ilovebutter

A pull-down multifunction sprayhead is a must have. And be sure that the button on the sprayhead aren’t too cheapo. – EMYQC

We went with one (Kohler?) that has a single handle, spray/flow button, pull down spray head and with a high arc (so you can get large stuff under it) and love it. I can’t think of any other features I’d add. – Kaz

Related Kitchn Posts:
• All About: Dual or Two-Handle Faucets
• All About: Single-Handle Faucets

Readers, what are your experiences with pull-out or pull-down faucets?