Feedback on Kohler Karbon faucet

ellessebeeAugust 8, 2013

Hi - I'm looking for feedback on the Karbon faucet - before I plunk down my money I want to be sure it's not going down the drain. I also would like some feedback on the lever arrangement - I've always had single lever faucets where the level is on the spout, not mounted separately on the deck. Does this arrangement lead to lots of water on the countertop? My sink is in the island and I'm not sure how I'd contain water puddles. With my current Grohe, I can pull the lever over the sink basin to turn it off so my wet hands don't drip on the counter deck but with the karbon it looks like it's unavoidable. Any thoughts on this issue? Thanks.

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I have two kohler karbons - one at my clean up sink and one at my prep sink. I love them - they work great and look great. But, I do get a lot of water on my counter from turning on and off.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 12:22AM
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Thanks, Califkitchen, that was my fear. Beautiful, functional but messy. Do you have any suggestions on ways to contain the water? It will be in my island which I'm sure will be covered with mail and newspapers etc. so much of the time. I have never had an island sink before and was dubious but it's the only place we could fit a second sink for prep that would be out of the way of clean-up and cooking but convenient to both. I'm now faced with finding a way to screen the view from the adjacent dining area and keep the water from splashing all over the stuff that accumulates on the island. It seemed like such a good idea a year ago when we were designing our new house. Now I'm getting nervous as the cabinets are being installed.... Thanks for all ideas.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 12:36AM
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I have one too. I absolutely love it and think it's one of the best things we purchased for the kitchen. You can maneuver it anywhere you need it to be and it stays there. No need to pull out a sprayer and then hold it yourself. Have you seen one on display somewhere? Playing with it at a showroom really sealed the deal for us. Yes, it does get a little wet around the base, but when I'm done doing dishes or drying my hands, I just wipe it up. It's just a small amount of water around the base of the lever. I don't think it's out of control at all. Here's a pic of it in action.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 12:49AM
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It is really fabulous! I have one at my prep sink. Note that the countertop hole for the joystick handle is larger than the faucet hole. The default flow was pretty weak but based on advice here from Oldbat2b, I called Kohler and got a new piece that make the flow much much better. You can install the lever where ever you want around the sink. Look at will2ksz's prep sink. He installed it to right of the sink while the faucet itself is in a corner.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 12:35PM
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You rang?...
I had to get an extension hose from Kohler to separate them this much, but it was worth it. Also be sure to remove the aerator BEFORE you turn on water and flush it good. My low flow was due to sediment deep inside the unit that I had to get out with prejudice and meticulous dismantling.

I'm not picky about splashing water, I'm a wiper. I have towels on either side of this prep sink as with wood, water is the enemy. I also don't find my hands wet that often in this sink as I'm not washing pots there.

As far as function, I agree with all of the above. I do like my pull out spray for my dish sink as I like to wiggle the water stream a bit to blow off chunks, and I like to chase food down into the disposer which means holding the spray head nearly parallel with the sink bottom. You can't do that as well the the Karbon.

But I do get big faucet functionality in a small spot. I also pull the faucet straight out parallel sometimes to hang a wet towel on after drying out the steam oven. World's most expensive clothesline.....

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 2:03PM
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laura mcleod

I agree with everyone - I love this faucet! We have a pair for the 45" Stages and it is uber functional. I don't know that there's any more water on the counter than with previous faucets but i am not sure this would be something I would notice (drips maybe but not puddles). Worth every penny and then some.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 5:14PM
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Thanks for all the ringing endorsements on the karbon faucet - and the suggestions for improved flow and installation. has anyone ever tried pitching the countertop towards the sink so drips from the lever ran down into it - or, better yet - created a ledge for the faucet to mount on similar to the Indio sink Kohler makes specifically for this faucet with a special deck? I'd love a sink like that but of stainless steel and much smaller for prep.

Here is a link that might be useful: Indio sink

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 6:24PM
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It's only a little bit of water on the lever base, not huge puddles needing a different slope. If you want to test it out, put your hand in water like you washed your hand and then drip onto the countertop as if you're turning off the lever. That is the approx amount of what will drip onto the lever base.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 7:54PM
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Ours was just installed today. And yup- low flow.

So I should just call Kohler and ask for the high flow valve? Somewhere I remember reading someone found another possible culprit for low flow, but I can't remember what it was.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 11:49PM
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Oliver twist - I called Kohler a couple weeks ago and they shipped the high flow valve to me free. Took my plumber 20 mins to change. The new valve had a time height difference making it harder to get the button to work but my plumber was able to fixit. I love the silent stream on this faucet. The spray is quite a lot. I have the same sink as will2k and don't really experience splashes unless the faucet is close to the edge or too high.

Will2k - I love the idea of the towel drying.. I am going to totally try it too.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 12:17AM
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Hooray GWlolo, so glad you got yours fixed! Yes olivertwist, get the high flow valve. DH installed it himself, not sure a plumber is needed if you are remotely handy.

ellessseebee - perhaps you've heard of the OTK? I call this the OTF and like to photograph my little honey :)

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 7:01AM
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Before you send it back for low flow, tell us how the sprayer works. If it is strong, you may be thinking the solid stream is weak when in fact it is just not aerated. It produces a quiet gentle solid stream with no bubbles. The Sprayer should be vigorous. The culprit I had was small pieces of sediment in the aerator and these could only be gotten by blowing the nozzle apart with compressed air and taking a pin to the little slots deep inside. I did this because Kohler sent me the wrong replacement piece and I didn't want to wait any longer. Scientist in real life, so forgive me for being inquisitive.... Anywho I got it to work.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 7:50AM
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We have had ours for 2 years now - also on the island with the prep sink. It is one of the best things we purchased for the new kitchen. I love this faucet - worth every single penny! As others have said it is not like there is water everywhere - it is only the drips off your one hand that turns the faucet off. No need to worry about the water traveling all over the place , or a slope to the stone or a drip tray - it's not that much water and is easily wiped up with a dish cloth and many times I just leave it - its only a little bit.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 8:37AM
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Just looked at it again with GC. He said the flow is not low. The sprayer is strong! And if you take off the aerator tip completely, it is super powerful. GC showed me the aerator- no debris or anything. I know what you mean about the "illusion" of a quiet smooth stream, but it just doesn't seem strong enough to wash a dish.

Will2kz, was your sprayer strong or weak when you had the problem?

What should I do?

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 8:39AM
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My spray was weak to non-existent. The solid stream, when functioning, will arc gently into the sink if you have it at a horizontal position. The spray should be vigourous. I use the solid stream to fill things without splashing but the spray for anything I'm cleaning. Sort of makes sense doesn't it?

And unless he dismantles the whole valve you aren't going to see the spot I'm talking about.
I'd live with it for a while, and if frustrated call Kohler. They were easy to deal with even though the sent the wrong part to me.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 2:57PM
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I had the exact same experience as will2kz with both my Kohler Karbons. My plumber kept telling me that the problem was with the faucet and that I should call Kohler to get a replacement part. While I was waiting for the replacement "insides" my very handy father in law was over one evening and dismantled both of them getting tiny prices of sediment out and they have worked fine ever since.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 12:35AM
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