The Difference Between Kitchen Faucets & Bar Faucets

Kitchen and bar faucets are similar in a lot of ways. In fact, a bar faucet is considered a subgroup of the kitchen faucet category. Although, manufacturers have yet to clearly draw a line of separation between the two, we can clearly see a pattern between these two faucet types.

The main difference between a kitchen and a bar faucet is that the kitchen faucet is larger in stature since it’s meant to be used with larger kitchen sinks. For 2 handle applications, kitchen faucets come in a 8″ widespread while the bar faucets are of the 4″ centerset variety.

It’s logical to assume that since Kitchen faucets are larger, that they have a taller and a longer spout than a bar faucet. But what exactly is the difference in those measurements? Are there applications where you can use either type of faucet? Thankfully, we’ve done the research so you don’t have to.

Average Height Difference between Kitchen & Bar Faucets

The Spout height of a kitchen or a bar faucets is measured from the deck area where the faucet is mounted to its highest point. For a pull down faucet, that is usually the top of the arc on a goose neck spout.

Since manufacturers do not have a clearly defined line of separation between the two. We took it upon ourselves to gather the data of the most popular kitchen faucet manufacturers and draw up our conclusion.

Based on our numbers, Kitchen faucet were on average 1.75″ taller than the bar faucets of the same family. These results are a sum of Kitchen and bar faucets from the most popular brands in the industry: American Standard, Delta, Grohe, Hansgrohe, Kohler & Moen.

Here are the results for each brand we researched.

As you can see, some brands prefer to have taller pull out bar faucets than others.

These numbers only reflect bar faucets with pull out sprays. We decided to stick to those as they are the only types that have a large sample size for both categories and can be compared to the one another since the configuration is identical.

The bar faucets that do not have a built in spray hose tend to be even shorter. For example, the Delta Trinsic line has a standard bar faucet that is a 2.5″ shorter than the larger prep faucet of the same family.

Average Spout Reach for both Kitchen & Bar Faucets.

The spout reach is the dimension from the center of hole on the deck to the center of head of the water spout. The dimensions of the spout reach has quite an impact on the overall visual space taken up by a faucet. Taller faucets tend to have longer spout in order to look more proportional.

Based on our data, the average kitchen faucet is 1.71″ is longer than their bar faucet counterpart. This result is when comparing pull down kitchen faucet vs Pull Down Bar faucets. The difference would be even larger if we were to compare the kitchen faucet to the traditional bar faucet type with no spray.

Here are the results by brand.

As you can see, brands like Grohe, Hansgrohe & Kohler have bar faucets with much longer spouts than the rest. Delta, Moen & American Standard have much shorter spout. However it’s important to note that American Standard only have three faucets that fit our criteria and one of these faucets, the Pekoe, is an outlier with the shortest spout on our list at 5.75″.

Can you use a Bar faucet as a Kitchen Faucet?

For single hole applications, bar faucets can be used as a kitchen faucet alongside smaller to medium size sinks. However, not all bar faucets are large enough to work in those spaces. A good rule of thumb is to stick to Bar faucets with pull down sprays as they have to be bigger by design.

As you may have noticed from our numbers above, bar faucets with a spray may be smaller in stature but they’re not that far off from most kitchen faucets. In addition, there is some overlap. This is to say that some bar faucets, like the Grohe Zedra, have dimensions closer to the average kitchen faucet.

The Grohe Zedra’s spout at 15.25″ is only 1.04″ shorter than the average kitchen faucet, while its spout, at 7.94″ long is only, .80″ shallower than the mean of a standard main sink faucet.

In our experience, Bar faucets work best with alongside medium size single bowl sinks or smaller. Their spouts are simply not long enough to accommodate a double bowl. A good rule of thumb is if your cabinet base is 27″ or smaller, then you most likely have a medium to small single bowl sink.

The Pull Down Bar Faucet is a newer phenomenon

Traditionally, the bar faucet has only been a much smaller faucet tucked away on a secondary sink as a utility piece. Today, as kitchens are trending toward a larger open space, having the bar faucet as decorative piece is becoming more and more common.

As a result, faucet manufacturers have taken advantage of this trends by offering matching pull down sprays bar faucets. However, not all companies have fully adapted just yet.

Some manufacturers like Kohler & Grohe only offer very few options. They tend to focus more on non spray bar faucets. They each offer a 3 pull down spray bar faucets, while Moen & Delta offer 11 each.

Kohler does not actually call theirs a pull down bar faucet. They simply see it as a smaller pull down kitchen faucets. The bar faucet category section on their website only contains the non spray version.

The Delta Trinsic non spray bar faucet is called the Trinsic “True Bar Faucet”. This is an indication that the bar faucets with a spray hose are a new trend trying to break the mole of the smaller traditional style bar faucet types.

Another brand, Hansgrohe, differentiates between the two types by calling the spray type a “Prep faucet”, while the bar faucet moniker is reserved for only the ones without a pull down spray.

2 Handle Bar Faucet vs 2 Handle Kitchen faucet

Like the single handle version, two handle bar faucets also tend to be have a shorter spout both in height and reach. However the most glaring difference between two handle bar faucets and kitchen faucets is the hole spread.

Bar faucets almost always have a 4″ hole spread, while kitchen faucets have an 8″ spread. This again highlights the fact that bar faucets are designed to be used in smaller spaces while standard faucets are used in your main working area.

In addition to smaller areas in the kitchen, the 2 handle bar faucets is known to be used in a wide variety of applications. You have most likely seen in one in the following settings

  • Laundry area
  • Restaurant hand sink
  • Common areas in an office.
  • Common areas in an apartment building
  • Utility Room

As a matter of fact, before the past decade or so, the bar faucet was known more for these auxiliary applications instead of being a secondary kitchen faucet. With the advent of larger open area kitchens, bar faucets have morphed from their utility beginnings to now becoming more of a kitchen staple in many new kitchen remodeling projects.

Bar Faucet vs Beverage Faucet

If you’re shopping for a bar faucet, there is a high likelihood that you’ve come across these tiny faucets with a thin water spout. They may at first look like a smaller bar faucet but chances are they are beverage faucet.

Besides the smaller size, the major difference between a bar faucet and a beverage faucet is that the beverage faucet only has a cold line that’ equipped with a filtration system. There are versions that come with a hot side that only provides near boiling water temperature for coffee, soups & hot tea.

These “under the sink” filtration systems restrict the flow of water coming in. As a result, the beverage faucets have a much lower flow rate than a standard bar faucet. Most beverage faucets provide a flow rate of 0.5 – 0.75 gallons per minute while a standard bar faucet is typically at 1.75 to 2.5 GPM.

The lower flow rate is a perfect application for the beverage faucet’s limited use cases: filling cups of drinking water, or hot beverages.

On the other hand, standard bar faucet is intended for a variety of use cases. Therefore, the higher flow rate is a necessity. A flow rate under 1 GPM is simply not good enough to wash dishes, clean the sink and fill large pots of water.

Using Bar faucet as a beverage faucet.

You can use a standard bar faucet as a beverage faucet but it has its limitations. You can add a filter to the cold water line to use it as your main source of drinkable water. However, you can’t add an instant hot water tank as this type of faucet is not designed for near boiling water temperature.

It’s important to note that the filtration system available to a standard bar faucet is often more limited. Since this filter has to be able to meet the higher flow rate of a bar faucet, the type of particles it can remove is limited.

The image above provides two examples from the same brand of filters. The one on the left has a flow rate of 2 GPM and is compatible with a bar faucet. As you can see it only removes Chlorine odor, Chlorine taste and sediment, while the filter for the beverage faucet can remove the same and some additional elements like lead & VOCs.


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