Photo Courtesy of Moen
If you've had any exposure whatsoever to plumbing fixtures you've probably come across the Moen name. From a design by entrepreneur Al Moen in the late 1930s the Moen company has grown to become a major producer of residential faucets and other home products. In fact the company touts itself as the number one faucet brand in North America.
One characteristic that distinguishes Moen products from it's competitors, particularly where kitchen faucets are concerned, is the sheer number of styles you have to choose from. All told there are close to fifty different collections. You'll certainly see similarities among some of them but there are definite differences too, even if they're just subtle changes to the shape of the handle or the position of the spout.
Moen Pot Filler - Photo Courtesy of Moen
From a buyer's perspective one key feature and benefit that's prevalent among all Moen faucets is the limited lifetime warranty. They're warranted against drips, leaks and finish defects. If your faucet starts leaking or drips you get the parts necessary to repair it free of charge.
On a more technical note, Moen faucets use a one-piece washerless cartridge. That cartridge is the key component that controls the flow of water. What's significant about this design is that are no washers, springs or other parts to break or wear out. That means there's less chance of developing leaks or drippy faucets.
To that end here are the key innovations you'll find with Moen faucets and how they might enhance your kitchen experience:
Moen Kleo - Photo Courtesy of Moen
It's also designed to be easier to operate. Moen reports that tests show their design requires 40% less pulling effort than other pull-down faucets. However keep in mind that if the cabinet below your sink is chock full of cleaning bottles and other obstructions there's a good chance that any pull-down faucet hose will stick or get hung up on whatever's down there.
Moen Lindley - Photo Courtesy of Moen
Align Collection - Photo Courtesy of Moen
Moen recently introduced two new entries to their kitchen faucet collections. The first is the Align™ faucet.
While it has the the high-arc spout typical of many kitchen fixtures it has noticeably modern styling. The handle and faucet body are devoid of the softer curves of more traditional or transitional pieces.
It's offered in both a pull-down configuration or as a standard spout with a traditional side sprayer. The spout travels a full 360 degrees which offers greater reach to more areas of your sink and it comes with both the Duralast cartridge and Reflex hose action.
Finishes include chrome and SpotResist stainless steel.
STO Collection - Photo Courtesy of Moen
The other most recent offering is the STO™ (yes, it's all caps) collection. At first glance you might think it's the same as the Align faucet. Both exhibit a modern, minimalist style. However if you look closely you'll see that the spout on the STO product has a more pronounced bend or "U" shape, where the end of the spout is oriented almost straight down.
The significance of that particular characteristic is that the water stream exiting the spout might not be directly over your sink drain, depending on how far back you mount the faucet from the edge of the sink. With this type of faucet you'll want to be sure you're ok with its "reach" and where the water hits your sink. You don't want excessive splashing and you also want sufficient room between the water stream and the back wall of the sink for rinsing pots and pans.
As a comparison here's a how the STO faucet compares to a more conventional high-arc faucet. Notice the difference in angle where the water exits. However keep in mind that STO has a longer reach (9" vs 7-7/8" in this example). This may be nit-picking a bit but it's something to consider based on your faucet/sink setup.
Moen's tag line of "buy it for looks, buy it for life" isn't too far off the mark since most of us want a faucet that looks good. And given the number of designs that Moen offers you can't argue that they don't provide a good selection.
When it comes to specific Moen faucets, there are two that I like for their style (easily compatible with a range of kitchen styles) and features, not to mention that they get good marks from users. With both of these fixtures the handle can be mounted on the right or left side of the faucet, whichever you prefer. You or your installer will just have to pay attention during installation to make sure the water connections are correct for whatever side the handle is mounted on.
These two faucets I'm speaking of include the Arbor collection, shown on the left, and the Level collection on the right.
There's obviously more to choose from if these two styles don't jibe with your tastes though these models receive good marks from previous buyers.