My fantasy Waterstone - amazingly functional? Or just butt-ugly?

MizLizzieNovember 19, 2012

I'm one of those people who usually can't be dissuaded from first opinions, and I loved this Waterstone kitchen faucet out of the gate. The dh said it looked like it needed a bunsen burner and some beakers to go with. My sister said she thought it was just plain ugly.

I think the problem is, I really don't need a new faucet. We have decided to keep our lowers because we couldn't find a granite we liked better than what we have. And I love my Kohler cast iron sink. So maybe I'm suffering guilt, not doubt. :-) Anyway, would love to hear thoughts on design and functionality of this faucet. If I buy the suite and add my dream prep sink and hot water dispenser, I'm looking at a minimum of $5K of faucet configuration.

Here is a link that might be useful: Waterstone Towson Suite

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I think it is lovely! Definitely has that character of a unique piece.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 8:50AM
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Gantry faucets are functional and right now they are on trend. Your husband is right, they are going for a "functional" and even vaguely scientific appearance. But that is not necessarily bad.

What do you think of your sister's taste? I have friends whose tastes are so different than mine, that if they like it, I know it's bad and if they don't like it, I know it's good.

I tend to be pretty function-first when it comes to things like faucets, so I personally find the exaggerated function of this one a bit much. I don't think most residential kitchens need a faucet that can stretch beyond the sink or fill a 2 foot tall pot, but maybe you do. I personally see a lot of joints that could leak, and expensive repairs or maintanance. It's a great faucet, all in all, but an indulgence, rather than a need in my book.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 9:04AM
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I like it! It's a very interesting piece of plumbing. How does it fit in with the rest of your kitchen? You wouldn't want it sticking out like a sore thumb.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 9:08AM
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I was looking at Waterstone faucets over the weekend and they are beautiful, but out of my price range unfortunatey. I like the faucet you show here - it's really gorgeous, but I have no idea how functional it would be - have you touched it yet? I have to touch pretty much everything, and check user reviews, before I commit to buying. Having said that, if you can afford it, and if it functions well (as a faucet and with the style of your kitchen overall), I look at this sort of how I would view a handbag in a bright color I love - maybe not everyone loves it the way I do, but if it makes my heart happy every day it's a good thing!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 9:22AM
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I love the faucet and wish I'd seen it
when picking a faucet for my own kitchen.
It has a lot of style and seems very functional.

It would be gorgeous in the right kitchen.
In the wrong kitchen, it could look ugly and affected.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 9:31AM
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Sophie Wheeler

What's the setting that this would go into? Pics? That's a pretty powerful look, and a lot of the rest of the choices would need to take a visual back seat to it. Or else the kitchen could end up giving you a headache with too many "look at me" things.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 10:08AM
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Good thoughts, all. My kitchen is (and will be) very neutral but fairly traditional. Ivory cabs, Kohler "sandbar" sink. Backsplash, I hope, will be Rixi crema. Cherry island with Crema marfil and a small prep sink. The only remotely contemporary bits will be a 2" stripe of dark stone and metal accent tile with the Rix, and an Electrolux induction range. Granite is just Giallo ornamental. Medium oak hardwoods. So the faucet will be the one "stand out" element," unless I go wild with the cab hardware or something.

MarinaGal, no one has this faucet on display. No one. I can find only a couple of pics of it over at Houzz. So I am flying blind. The other option would be, I guess, the Waterstone pulldown. In which case, I'd give up the prep sink and stick the HWD in the extra hole. So, a significant cost savings.

Here is a link that might be useful: Waterstone Pull-Down

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 11:05AM
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I have the Waterstone PLP Traditional at my main sink and a Hampton kitchen faucet at my prep. The prep faucet gave me some pause as I couldn't decide what to put there. I'd thought the Towson (the one you're considering) was ugly until I saw one in person. Oh my! That is one gorgeous faucet in person! The movement is so smooth and solid. I would have used it but it was just too much faucet for my 18" prep.

Don't design your kitchen for your sister. Who cares if she doesn't like it? I bet she'd change her tune if she saw it in person.

I also wanted to say that the whole notion that your kitchen has to be plain and simple in order to support this faucet is, IHMO, just silly. That is a matter of taste. I've never understood that whole "one clown" theory people like to throw around here. Personally, if I went to a circus with just one clown, I'd be bored to tears.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 11:29AM
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Poohpup, sounds like you live large!! Good on ya. I'm glad to know someone has actually seen this thing in person. I want a good-quality faucet I can die owning, and I don't mind paying for it. Waterstone seems beloved for their quality.

The Kohler Lakefield sink is big -- 30" with small/large bowl config. I have no doubt the sink can take this faucet visually. If I go with Towson suite, and add the prep sink, I'll install a Towson hot/cold filtration system. That will be the area and sink for cat food prep. (Just don't ask; we have a houseful of feral cats who eat raw delicacies twice a day . . . )

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 11:52AM
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I was leaning against it until you wrote that you will have a coordinating set dedicated to serving the kitties. They get top billing in this house too - nothing is too good for them! :)

Do you have hard water? In our household all the little recessed areas would fill in with minerals, yuck. Also, budget-wise, are there other needs competing with the money you'd spend on these? To me, it's much too much money for what it is, but really only you can answer that (and DH of course).

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 12:56PM
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Like Poohpup, I went with the traditional pulldown faucet, but I almost went with the Towson because I really love it. What made the difference for me is that I did not want a side sprayer because otherwise I would have had five holes on the counter (faucet, sprayer, soap, airswitch and instahot). I think the Towson is a gorgeous faucet. It also has the benefit of not being quite as tall as the faucet that Poohpup and I have.

From a functionality point of view, I must say that this is the most solid, well-built faucet I have ever seen, hands down. You can't go wrong with Waterstone. And it is made in the USA!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 2:39PM
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JMHO, but I think it's a bit too much. And I don't think the contemporary strip of bs material you mention will look good with that at all. To me, that faucet needs something more traditional or "old world" looking.

Maybe I'm misreading this, but is your choice of that faucet effecting whether or not you get a prep sink? Pardon me, but that makes no sense to me. I would go for the function of a prep sink any day of the week regardless of how pretty a faucet is. The function of a prep sink outweighs any attractive form, in my book. There are plenty of attractive faucets costing thousands less than the Waterstone which will look great and allow you a valuable prep sink.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 3:07PM
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I think that faucet is very pretty. Very very pretty.

I also think it's overkill. It screams, "Look at me! I'm the focal point of the kitchen!"

If that's your style, go for it and don't let anyone talk you out of it. Love your kitchen and be happy with your choices.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 3:49PM
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I am sorry, but I find it too busy with all those hinges, and potentially a cleaning chore (my bathroom faucets have lots of nooks and crannies, and are a pain to clean). Also I don't like a separate side sprayer because the water pressure is not as good as an integrated sprayer, and you have to hold down the lever to spray. You also might end up with a little "forest" of fixtures at your sink if you are planning on an instant-hot or the like. More to clean around.

If you love it, go for it, I am only giving MHO, FWIW. Also, Waterstone has some stunning faucets. Do any of the others appeal to you?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 6:56PM
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Sorry, when I wrote my post, I didn't see your later post where you linked another Waterstone faucet. I like it better, but still have to say that my issue is that I find my bathroom faucets (Rohls) with their similar nooks and crannies and teeny ledges and tiny ribs to be a pain to clean. My bathroom faucets also have a "handle cap" like the Waterstone you linked (mine say "hot" or "cold" on a white background), and miniscule gunk gets just under the cap.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 7:10PM
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Apologies in advance, but since you asked:

(1) It's ugly (IMHO), and
(2) Side sprayer would be a deal breaker for me.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 7:25PM
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It looks like it belongs in a high school science lab. No thanks, and especially not since it's expensive.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 8:32PM
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Butt ugly and a pain in the butt to keep clean.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 9:24PM
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I really happen to like the science lab look of it (I think the counter in the photo augments that, and yours wouldn't necessarily), but not the creases and crevices to clean... I also think that, though it is strongly styled, it's not too heavy, visually, so don't really think it would demand that much attention in the kitchen, but be like very cool, metal, dangly earrings instead. If you've seen anyone with cool, dangly earrings, they are seldom wearing plain clothing! ;-)

But as a faucet, which I often grab onto with sticky or gooey hands, the cleaning issues would turn me away, and Palimpsest, among his other good points, mentions places to have leaks, etc. All that would be the deal-breaker, even if I could afford the price.

I've never understood that whole "one clown" theory people like to throw around here. Personally, if I went to a circus with just one clown, I'd be bored to tears.
LOL. I love this!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 9:39PM
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"the cleaning issues would turn me away"

same here. easy care / cleaning is very high on my list.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 12:17AM
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Is that a poem of some sort?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 12:23AM
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It reminds me of a dental drill. So no, I wouldn't want to evoke the dental chair in my kitchen as its not my favorite place to be.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 6:32AM
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mtnrdredux -- LOL! I guess I'm a poet and I don't know it;
you are so right: it does look like a Gardenweb kind of poem, an ode to a faucet.
Maybe we should have an iambic pentameter challenge on GW,
or the mandate that all posts should be in sonnet form,
or concrete poems -- the possibilities are endless.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 9:50AM
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I don't know why I love that faucet so much! I think I just like that it looks old and different. Not too worried about cleaning. We have no minerals in our water. And I clean the faucet at least once a day because we do handle so much raw cat food. I clean, clean, clean surfaces, faucets, door knobs, DW handles, etc., constantly.

If we get down to what is best functionally, a touch-free faucet would be best. But right now, they all look way too modern for our house. Our kitchen connects to the dining room and fully opens to family room both of which are full of family antiques the dh will never let me get rid of.

Thank you all for your views. It has been interesting. I think it is definitely a love it or hate it piece.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 10:10AM
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I like it, but I was just lusting after some kitchen measuring cups that look like beakers. ;)

What I don't like is $5,000 for everything... I too would have second doubts at that price point. I would wait this one out and see if your strong first opinion is there in a few months. I very strongly wanted a bridge faucet for my kitchen. Two years later, I'm over it. I do love the look, but it is annoying to clean around all the holes in the counter and they take up a lot of room. With all that said, I'm not sure anyone could have talked me out of it at the time...

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 11:23AM
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Measuring cups that look like beakers???? Oh, please tell me more!

One of the things I've found interesting from this discussion is the cleaning. Specifically about grabbing a faucet with dirty (sticky, gooey) hands. One of the reasons I insisted on having a faucet with a single control was because I'd have the ability to turn my faucet on and off with one hand. If I have filthy hands, I hit the soap dispenser with the back of my hand, turn on the faucet with the back of my hand and wash my hands before grabbing said faucet. My faucet doesn't get very dirty (meaning in the sticky gooey sense) because I'm generally using it with pretty clean hands. It seems like the faucet would be a mess an awful lot of the time if I didn't do that. Don't get me wrong, I still clean the faucet regularly, especially after handling raw meat, etc, but it doesn't ever look dirty.

Interesting hearing people's opinions. We're all so different. That Karbon (Carbon?) Kohler faucet that so many drool over? I think that has to be one of the ugliest faucets I've ever seen. I always shake my head when people describe it as the one true faucet. I guess it would be a boring world if we were all the same. Hmmm . . . that brings us back to that one clown thing. lol

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 11:57AM
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Poohpup... haha. I didn't expect anyone to be interested. They were on Joss & Main (or one of the other similar sites,) but I don't see them on now. They were glass and looked too breakable for my kitchen, so I passed.

RE: your comment about the single control.... I have the same approach as you on my prep sink, but how the heck do I get DH/others to follow suit?! :) sigh.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 12:24PM
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Just to be clear on the $5K issue, when I say "faucet configuration," I mean that's the cost of the faucet set up for the kitchen sink, the faucet set up for the prep sink, and the HW tank and cold water filtration system underneath.

Is the faucet expensive? Yes. But if you are honest about the math, you can spend that at Kohler nowadays. Poopup mentioned the Kohler Karbon. You can drop a grand on that faucet alone, and with little effort. I try not to delude myself when shopping, and count right down to the connection hoses. The Waterstone faucet alone, in the finish I want, is $1100.

Now, I can simply re-use what I have -- a Moen faucet from their old Show House line, very middle of the road -- and save myself $5K in the reno. But that's giving up a new prep sink, the HWD, and faucets all around that I would love. Still, for $5K, I gotta really, really love 'em. That's what I'm struggling with.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 8:21PM
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I also went with a WS single lever in the front- even DH can't make a total mess out of the area - although he does try with the soap dispenser - I can't get him to pump before wetting his hands and he is a bit of a germophobe, so washes frequently - but the WS cleans up quickly.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 8:48PM
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Either the whole site is under populated lately or the Kitchen Forum is more tolerant. This thread has been up for 24 hours and not one person has suggested that if you have $5000 extra that you should not be selfish and replace a working faucet, you should give it to charity. That's what usually happens in Decorating & Design if you talk about spending "too much" (whatever that is) on a sofa or something. :)

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 9:05PM
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MizLizzie, are you sure there isn't anywhere around that you can see one? You could try calling Waterstone and see if they have someone reasonably close by that sells their product. But be prepared because if you love it this much sight unseen, you'll be madly in love when you see it in person. This is coming from someone who thought it was ugly before seeing it in person.

No question, Waterstone faucets are expensive. But they're also very well made. Their quality is evident. I bought mine because I wanted a very good quality faucet and I loved the look of the Tranditional PLP. After the kitchen in my previous home was remodeled due to extensive water damage caused by a faucet that burst ($27,000 in damage!), I was willing to spend more for a good faucet. There are several faucets out there in this price range.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 9:41PM
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I like it, but it reminds me of a pot filler. I'd rather have my $5k in the bank or go on a nice vacation with that money.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 8:35AM
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Poohpup, our three local Ferguson's showrooms sell Waterstone, but not one of them has it on display. Very frustrating. But you know what -- I think I will call. I'll be traveling a good bit over the next few weeks. Who knows?

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 9:12AM
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OK, I'm confused. Why does the existence of a prep sink depend on exactly this faucet? Sounds like you have good reason for a prep sink (kitties and all...) but you could also have a prep sink without this particular faucet, yes?

Maybe separating this into 2 decisions would help. 1. Do I want a prep sink? 2. Which faucet and other components shall I use for both sinks? Then price out components accordingly.

Just a thought!


    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 9:22AM
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Dilly, you've voiced one of my concerns. It will kinda look like a deck mounted pot filler.

Palimpsest, I understand some people will say that. But there is another contingent that will pillory a person for not buying American, and in that case, Waterstone is the only game in town so far as I know. You simply cannot appease everyone.

I will happily pay more to buy American, because I think it matters. And $5K is a fraction of what my husband and I give to charity each year. That said, I am a notorious cheapskate/coupon-cutter/wholesale club shopper in every way. (Which is, in part, why we can afford to do what we want to our kitchen, and afford our charitable endeavors.)

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 9:42AM
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There is no good way to answer an either/or question where one choice is butt-ugly ;)

I've never had or used a waterstone faucet, so I'm just judging looks. I like the "gantry" version a lot better than this version. The tall sprayer somehow balances out the zigzag - or maybe when there's more, it becomes cool. This version - dunno, it looks like a pot filler to me too.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 10:35AM
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Lizzie- you are most generous and if you can afford it, go for it or a different Waterstone. My dutchie DM (pa Dutch frugal) felt the Waterstone and said you have to get this faucet. But DM, it is 3 times my faucet budget - her response is you get what you pay for.
I did get the PLP 5400- I thought the style was better in our kitchen and I wanted the spray latch feature.
I think I might have seen your faucet at Baldwin brass in west reading pa - but it might not be there anymore or maybe it was my imagination.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 11:55AM
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I think it's a very striking faucet. It would look fantastic in a steampunk kitchen. I agree the real question is whether it goes well with your overall design look.

Sometimes we fall in love with things that play well with others. But sometimes....they don't. Only you can decide whether it fits. If it does, then get it. It'll make you happy every time you look at it.

But if it isn't quite "right", then don't. There are a lot of kitchen things I've seen on this forum that I think are fabulous and I lust after them, but not with my current kitchen.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 5:16PM
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I used the Waterstone Tradtitional Potfiller and Annapolis faucets throughtout my kitchen, panty, and laundry rooms. It was important to me to have a cohesive look with the filtered water dispenser and potfiller, in which Waterstone was one of the few manufacturers that had all my components in one suite. As well, they offer so many color options (I went with oil rubbed bronze throughout my home and discovered that every manufacturer`s version of it was slightly or sometimes quite different.) Superb quality on Waterstone, 5 years later still a happy customer.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 6:34PM
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Thank you, trishloewen. That is it, exactly. I'm more than a little OCD. If I add the prep sink, I will not be able to live with things that don't coordinate and there are very faucet makers with complete suites.

If you have pics, I would love to see them. Annapolis is another of my favorites.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 8:28PM
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i vote for using it! i like it and think it would be very functional. though out of the towson suite, i would go for the gantry instead, which seems more functional with the built-in spray and would reduce the number of holes in your counter.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 11:40PM
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I love it---there's something about it that combines the look of great functionality with overall good looks that appeals to me. I would have to be able to actually handle them and put them through their paces first, though, before I would give up the pull down faucet for a side sprayer. I'm willing to be persuaded, however.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 12:14AM
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I absolutely love Waterstone and I 100% concur with Poohpup - be prepared to be smitten when you see them in person. They are hard to find in stores and distributors. The couple of Fergusons I went to just had a few of the little filtration faucets on display. After a lot of hunting, I did find a retail store that caters to the higher end bath and kitchen market. It was a bit of a trek to get there but absolutely worth the trip. They had five of the full size faucets and several filtration faucets on display, and a board with all 31 finish samples.

But the best part was seeing the magnificent gantry in person. It was gasp-worthy.

The fit and finish is wonderful and substantial. I was set on the 5500 Traditional pulldown....but after seeing the would probably be on the overwhelming "hey I'm the only thing in this kitchen that you need to look at" side. But boy oh boy is it gorgeous.

Since the OP was several months ago, I'm wondering what MizLizzie decided?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 9:45PM
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I think it's beautiful

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 10:02PM
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You know, I haven't decided. I still love it. I still want it. But we have decided -- I think -- to gut our kitchen rather than upgrade it. So I am still waiting on all the costs to roll in. I've found a much cheaper filtration set up that looks very much like the Towson version. I think I can pair it with a Franke for a fraction of the price.

Part of my problem is I want the hot-cold filtration faucet on my prep sink to match whatever goes on my main sink. And there are so very few manufacturers that do sets like that. Waterstone, and Newport Brass, which I know nothing about.

I know it has been a while, so it anyone has suggestions for a mfg I might have missed, would love to hear it.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 11:20AM
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