Kitchen Faucet

When we updated our kitchen waaaay back over a year ago, we had big intentions to upgrade everything. Pantry, faucet, lighting, storage. However…by the time we finished the projects we did take on, we had run out of time and money. Womp womp. Those last few little projects got put in the “next time” category, and we told ourselves that they would be the next things to be tackled. A year plus passes, and it’s a sad day when you look at your beautiful counters, sink and backsplash, and shake your head at your old kitchen faucet marring the beautiful otherwise finished space. (OH, or caulking the back of the sink, totally failed to complete that one too!)

photo 4(4) photo 5(2)

Kitchen faucets are a big decision. It’s the most used item in the kitchen. From cooking and cleaning, to filling the dogs water bowl. That sink and faucet get used all day long. I wanted to make the right decision on our kitchen faucet.

We had several considerations when faucet shopping. Firstly, we have a cabinet right above our sink (that could not be raised, as it sits asymmetrical to the sink). That cabinet severely limited our faucet height, and we needed to choose a faucet that was not too tall. Secondly, the white farmhouse sink is a bit high maintenance when it comes to cleaning. Its got a nice flat bottom, but food tends to hang about, not making its way to the drain. Our current pull out faucet is incredibly helpful for giving the sink a quick rinse, and keeping everything clean.

With that in mind, our faucet options were now limited to shorter faucets with pull out sprayers. This takes probably 75% of kitchen faucets out of the running!

After some pretty big deliberations, and weeks of himming and hawing, we had narrowed it down to two Riobel faucets.

The modern but classic FE101, with sleek pull out sprayer, single temperature and water lever, swivelling spout and two spray settings.

Riobel FE101C
Riobel FE101C


OR the BR400x classic yet refined bridge faucet with flat cross handles and side sprayer.

Riobel BR400XC
Riobel BR400XC

I loved loved loved the bridge faucet, but El Granto wasn’t a fan of the dual temperature adjustments and I was worried about drilling so many holes into my ceramic sink, and about how in style they would be in a few years. Bridge faucets are a big fad right now, and I was worried they would be the next mason jar or chevron.

After several restless nights sleep, I finally pulled the trigger, and ordered the FE101. We installed it in less than 15 minutes (it had a magical wrench free installation), and for the last month we have been putting it to the test.


All of its mechanisms are smooth and responsive. The temperature and water control handle move with the slightest touch, and water can be easily adjusted for filling up things (like water bottles) where I tend to make a huge mess if the water is on full blast.

The swivel is smooth and the faucet stays where its placed, even when it is off to one side.


The pull out sprayer is easy to use, and the end has a ball bearing, so the directional control is incredible. The sprayer also has a magnet so it pops itself back in place when the sprayer is retracted. To change between sprayer settings, there is a hidden switch on the sprayer. When activated the stream of water turns to a nice spray that is perfect for washing vegetables.


The faucet itself is chrome, which adds a lot of sparkle to the kitchen. We have under cabinet lighting, and the faucet catches the light and just glows. The chrome does easily show fingerprints, but a quick wipe with a tea towel and its spotless. Our last faucet had a lot more water spots on it, as the only way to turn it off was to reach your hand above the faucet. As your hands are wet, you were perpetually dipping onto the faucet. With our faucets controls on one side, any water drips fall to the sink deck, and not on the faucet. This has made keeping it looking good a lot easier.

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We have really run the faucet through its paces. From washing the smoker grill, to filling up watering cans and buckets. The hose on the sprayer is long enough that I can set the dogs water bowl on the counter and fill it up without having to put it in the sink. It has performed very well. We only had to make one modification. The sprayer water line is quite long, and was getting caught on the bottom of the P trap. To fix it, we changed the position of the hose weight, and it hasn’t gotten stuck in the last few weeks.

Also, I only managed to spray water all over the kitchen ONCE by accident. When I placed the sprayer back in, I did it so the spray was facing to the side, not down. When I turned the sink on again, a jet of water shot everywhere. Lesson learned; don’t point your guns at things you don’t intent to shoot.


All in all we are very happy with our faucet choice. We are just wishing we made this decision when we renovated the kitchen. It also classes up the joint! Bye bye builder basic faucet, and hellllo pretty lady!

If you haven’t heard of Riobel, you should check them out. They are an awesome Canadian company producing some pretty fabulous faucets. You can check out their dealer locator.

What do you think of our new sink candy? Have you installed a kitchen faucet?


Disclosure: We partnered with Riobel on this project, but all opinions, typos and missing commas are of course our own.



We have a sink!

Thanks everyone for your help in the great sink debate of 2013. We finally made up our minds, and headed out to Ikea to pick up our sink this past weekend. Or should I say we coerced a good friend to drive us to Ikea using Swedish meatballs as a bribe.

I have to say he should have been rewarded with more than meatballs, as braving Ikea on a Saturday is torture. As we shuffled past strollers, overflowing carts and bright blue bags, parents dragging children, and domestic arguments over duvets we managed to weave our way to the kitchen department and put our name on a list for help. While Ikea is essentialy self serve, that stops at the kitchen department. Each and every kitchen item from bases to doors, appliances to sinks needs to be ordered through an Ikea associate. They type in your item, and print you out an order form, that you take to the cash register and scan. You pay for your items, then head to (another line) to pick up your items from the warehouse. So for our single sink, we had to wait in the same line as the people ordering a whole kitchen. Surprisingly, it wasnt that bad.  For a month the sink  had been sold out at all GTA Ikea’s (Etobicoke, North York and Vaughan) and only (far away) Burlington had a few. In a twist of good fate, Etibicoke got 4 in on Friday, and we hustled to make one of them our sink. We got our precious order form, and waited through the lineups to finally procure our sink.


So which sink did we choose? Did we go for the farmhouse sink or the square stainless?

Drumroll please….


Ikea Domsjo Farmhouse Sink
Ikea Domsjo Farmhouse Sink

We ended up going with the farmhouse as we thought it would be the most appropriate in our home. We have strayed towards the traditional in our decor, with our moldings, styling and trim work. So we felt the more modern sink may be a smidge out of place. We heard some great comments from you wonderful readers, and the things that pushed us over the edge were that we did in fact already have a whole lotta stainless going on with our appliances, and the nice contrast that the sink would give with our (soon to be) dark grey counters. Your complete love of the farmhouse also made us feel a lot more comfortable with our decision.

We loaded the (very large) sink into the (small) hatchback of Chris’ car, and headed home. Now the sink is currently hanging out in the dining room, waiting install after our new counters are built!

sink trunk
An Ikea Domsjo sink will fit in the back of a Mazda 3

Speaking of counters, we’re hoping to get started work on them next weekend. We are super excited to get started, but a bit nervous as well. This project involves some kitchen demo, plumbing, and a lotta planning before we can even start.

I will speak a bit more next week about our planning and prep work, then expect quite a few posts as we work through the process from start to finish.


Sink Hunting

I really want to get started on our DIY kitchen concrete counters (which by the way, I’ve been doing a ton of research on, and I think I found the most awesome product ever. More on that soon.) However, before we can even think of making the new countertops, we need to find a new sink.

This is the sink we own:

Ikea Boholmen 1 1/2 bowl inset sink with drainer
Ikea Boholmen 1 1/2 bowl inset sink with drainer
Our Kitchen
You can spy it to the right of the stove

I hate this sink. Yes, I know hate is a strong word, but this sink deserves it. I have a itty bitty kitchen, and this sink takes up a large amount of real estate for being such a tiny sink. The 1 1/2 bowl thing is useless. The small sink on the left is shallow and used solely for rinsing vegetables. The larger (and I say larger in relative terms) sink is okay, but still not large enough to wash a large pan or fill a stock pot.

The drainer, while useful for draining wet dishes, it always has a wet dish hanging out on it, cause why would you dry the dish and put it away if you could just leave it? It also takes up a lot of space on the counter.

To give perspective, here is our entire kitchen.

The Kitchen
Yep, that’s the whole kitchen. See how much counter space I have? See how much the tiny sinks + draining board take up?

So when the new counters get made, that sink is out. It’s headed to Craigslist, hopefully to find a new home where its owners actually love it. (Oh and don’t even get me started on that backsplash, it will be outta here not long after the sink & the counters.)

Time to shop for a new sink. We have an Ikea 24″ sink cabinet, which is small. A double bowl is really out of the question. For those of you aghast at that decision, read Carol Reed’s post about single vs double sinks. While you’re at it, read her post on the advantages to Ikea kitchens.

Having such a small Ikea sink cabinet  means buying an Ikea  sink made to fit into that cabinet would be the easiest choice. I have looked at all the big box stores, all the special order sinks online, but realistically I haven’t found anything that can beat my Ikea options. Have you priced out a farmhouse sink lately?! I love you Kohler, but you are not in my budget.

So Ikea it is.

I have narrowed it down to two sinks.

OPTION A.) Shiny McSinkerson

Bredskar Single-bowl inset sink $249
Ikea Bredskar Single-bowl inset sink $249

Modern looking Stainless sink. Simple design, nice price tag. Would like it better if it was undermount, but drop in isn’t that bad. (I have never owned an undermount sink, so I am used to the crumbs.) It also has the look of a square edge sink, but without the actual square edges, which from reading reviews online I’ve heard are the pits.


OPTION B.) Goin to the Farm

Ikea Domsjo Farmhouse Sink
Ikea Domsjo Farmhouse Sink $249

I love the look of a farmhouse sink mixed with a more contemporary and/or industrial looking kitchen. I love the apron front, and the single hole means we can re-use our current faucet until we can save up for a new one. It’s also made to fit our current sink cabinet, so install will be pretty easy. Oh, and did I mention the price? $249! Have you priced out a farmhouse sink lately? This ones gonna be hard to beat.

Shiny McSinkerson vs. Goin to the Farm

Whats your vote? El Granto loves the farmhouse sink all the way. I am still a bit torn. Not to mention, the farmhouse is sold out in every Ikea close to us, so getting it will mean a rental car trip to Ikea Burlington.

Do you have any experience with either of these sinks? I hear glasses/dishes can break really easily in the Farmhouse sink, and that it can also get scratches. Is it worth it?