Pull-down faucets form a gooseneck arch that curves downward into the sink. Pull-out faucets look much like a typical faucet with a wand or head that detaches as it is pulled out. They both offer flexible hoses for convenience in cleaning and filling items within their respective spaces.
Pull-down faucets are best suited to large basin sinks without overhead cabinets. They are ideal for filling large items directly in the sink. Pull-out faucets are ideal for small- or medium-sized basins or sink with cabinets overhead. This style also offers flexibility and a longer hose to reach items on the adjacent countertops.
With a variety of faucets to choose from, it can be difficult to determine what will work best in your kitchen. Read on to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of each style to help you make a decision.
What Are Pull-Down Faucets?
Pull-down faucets are also called “gooseneck” faucets because they have a high-arched shape, much like a goose’s neck.
The arch serves as the hose for the spraying end. This shape creates a dramatic height that offers an elegant or rustic focal sink in the kitchen sink.
To use this style as a manual hand sprayer, you pull the faucet head down into the sink. The end is ergonomically shaped to grip it when pulling down.
It can be used to spray and rinse off dirty or soapy dishes or to wash food particles down into a garbage disposal.
Depending upon the features, construction materials, design, and brand this style of faucet can cost anywhere from $50 to $300, with an average price of about $150.
What Are Pull-Out Faucets?
Pull-out faucets are mounted on the deck in a protruding fashion or with a slight arch. This looks much more like a traditional faucet that you may see in any style of sink.
However, the end piece pulls out to be utilized as a sprayer. The hose for it is hidden inside the unit and is seen when you pull out the sprayer.
This style fits well in a kitchen when there is not as much room above the sink, typically due to cabinetry.
Using this style to spray dishes in the sink or food down the disposal feels similar to handling a flexible shower head on a smaller scale. The flexible hose allows the user to easily maneuver it while they spray water.
As is true with all faucet options, the price can vary due to brand, materials used, and features. In general, pull-out faucets range in price from $40 to $300, with an average price of about $120.
What Is The Difference Between a Pull-Down and a Pull-Out Faucet?
Most notably, the motion used to use the sprayer is different with one moving down and the other pulling out.
The key differences between pull-down and pull-out models of faucets are related to the faucet wand mechanism, the hosing, size, how the head locks in place, and the spray type.
Read on to learn more about these in detail to help you determine which model is best for you and your kitchen.
1. Faucet Wand
The pull-down faucet wand is somewhat restricted in how far down it can reach because the gooseneck holds the hose in an arched shape.
The height of the wand allows the user to easily fill tall pots and other large items directly in the sink. This type of wand is typically used in deeper basin-style sinks.
The pull-out faucet’s wand is more commonly used in shallow sinks to reduce splashing. The long maneuverable and flexible hose pulls out of the unit with the wand.
It can reach the countertop to fill pots and vases outside of the sink.
2. Hose Retraction, Size, and Locking Method
A pull-down faucet’s hose is typically visible and part of the gooseneck design of the unit. The length can vary, typically around 20 to 34 inches.
The locking method can vary. If the hose is exposed and surrounded by a wire gooseneck cage, there is an extending bar with a semicircle “clip” that holds the faucet head. In other models, the gooseneck is a solid material that hides the hose, and the head simply clicks into place with the solid tubing.
In a pull-out style, the hose is hidden inside and extends down underneath the sink. The hose can be from 39 to 59 inches long.
Generally, the sprayer locks or clicks back into the housing unit after the hose retracts, making it look like a traditional sink faucet.
Some models for each style use a magnetic contraption to clip the sprayer head back into place.
3. Spray Type
In both models, the spray feature is utilized with the push of a switch-like button. Many models offer another button to turn off the water flow while holding the head.
Some sprayers come with options to control the speed of the water flow to use high pressure to fill items quickly or pummel food debris off of dishes.
Pull-Out Faucet Advantages
There are several advantages to using a pull-out faucet.
They save space and are great for small- or medium-sized sinks with their shorter spouts. The integrated and flexible long hose allows the user to reach the countertop next to the sink for filling items or watering plants.
1. Longer Hose
A longer hose is more beneficial than a shorter one.
The sprayer can get closer to items and cause less backsplash. It can also reach items outside of the sink, which prevents overcrowding of the sink.
2. Low Profile
A low-profile faucet is ideal when you have cabinetry over the sink or a smaller sink. These work well with sinks that have two compartments in the basin as well.
Using a low-profile faucet is beneficial because it leaves room for maneuvering within a smaller space without making a watery mess.
3. Less Splashing
Less splashing means less wasted water. It also means that staining food debris is less likely to splash out onto the countertops.
Using less water saves you money over time. You may also avoid spending money on extra cleaning products to remove stains from countertops.
Pull-Out Faucet Disadvantages
There are a few disadvantages of using a pull-out faucet for some users. These include low-arching design, limited style choices, and ergonomics.
1. Not ideal for filling taller dishes
Pull-out faucets are not ideal for filling taller dishes.
It may be difficult to fit a large pot into the sink with the protrusion of the unit into the basin.
While you can stretch the facet wand out, it may be difficult to maneuver items in the sink with part of the unit protruding into the basin.
2. Limited range of style and design options
Generally, this type of faucet is limited in its design and style options.
If you are looking to find something to compliment your decor, your faucet will likely look generic and not updated.
3. Not ergonomic
The longer, skinnier handle of the sprayer head may feel awkward when handling it. It can be difficult to maneuver into smaller spaces because of its longer extension.
Pull-Down Faucet Advantages
There are several benefits of using a pull-down faucet.
These primarily are attributed to the ergonomic design, ability to fill larger items, and for use in deep basin-like sinks. This makes dishwashing and accessing the sink easier and more convenient, keeping water and messes contained.
1. Ergonomically Correct
The grip on a pull-down faucet is designed with comfort in mind.
Typically, the head offers more control over spraying and some models also offer temperature control, while using only one hand.
2. Great for filling larger pots and pitchers
A pull-down faucet makes it easier to fill larger pots and pitchers.
The arm that holds the sprayer head in place swings out of the way. Then the tall arched hose allows you to fill up big items in the sink. In case you spill or overfill with water, there’s no need to clean up.
3. Perfect for frequent use and deep sinks.
The arched hose is protected from extreme twisting and bending, making it ideal for frequent use and longevity of your faucet.
With a deep sink, the arched design allows you to have more space for cleaning and filling items.
Pull-Down Faucet Disadvantages
The typical disadvantages of using a pull-down faucet are only a few things.
These include dangling, detached heads from overuse in cheaper models, poor function with low water pressure, and a shorter reach due to a shorter hose.
1. Cheap models are problematic.
A cheap pull-down faucet might not have features that maintain the unit over time.
If the weights or locking mechanisms are faulty or insecure, it can cause the head to dangle from the unit. Opt for designs that use a magnetic clip to keep the head in place.
2. Not ideal for low water pressure.
If a home has low water pressure, this style is not ideal. Water has to move up, against gravity, to move through the hose.
If the water pressure is low, the flow will also be low. This means it will take longer to fill items, or you cannot get enough force to clean items efficiently.
3. Short hose.
The hose on a pull-down faucet is considerably shorter than on a pull-out faucet.
This can make it difficult to reach items at the bottom of a sink or in its furthest corners. You cannot extend the hose to the countertop to easily fill items either.
Which One Should I Get?
The faucet that is best for your home depends upon your preferences related to sink size, kitchen aesthetics, and your water usage and needs.
If you have a big kitchen sink, without overhead cabinets, you can most likely accomplish your kitchen sink tasks with a pull-down faucet. This convenient style also adds an attractive focal point in the kitchen.
However, if you have a smaller sink, or overhead sink cabinets, or wish to have increased flexibility in using water outside of the sink basin, choose a compact pull-out faucet.
Pull-down faucets offer many design options and work well with deep sink basins and filling larger items with water (source). If a home has low water pressure or overhead sink cabinets, these can be difficult to use efficiently.
Pull-out faucets work well for compact sinks and smaller spaces. Their long hoses allow for an extended reach to the countertops. These are not available in many different designs, limiting buyer choices considerably.
If you are unsure about which style is best for your home, you can contact a plumber or design specialist from a home improvement store.
Ruben has a diverse background in the home services industry, with experience running a construction company, a kitchen and bath showroom, and a moving and relocation company. This breadth of experience has provided him with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in various areas of home improvement in general and specifically in the heating and plumbing niche.