Food preparation areas are popular additions to kitchens, and the prep-sink faucet is playing an ever-larger role as an essential kitchen tool.

"If you're doing more cooking — which people are — you need tools and places to do these activities," says Kathleen Yates, group product manager for Moen faucets. "You need a faucet that works for those activities."

Homeowners may be unaware that prep-sinks and faucets are even an option for expanding their kitchen work space. But several manufacturers, such as Delta, Moen, Kohler, American Standard, Price Pfister, and Danze, offer faucets designed specifically for auxiliary use, sized in proportion to the smaller sinks generally used in these areas.

The primary kitchen faucet is still the main work area, but "people want another faucet for specific use, such as veggie prep, a wet bar, or plant potting," says certified kitchen designer Sara Ann Busby of Elk Rapids, Mich. Prep faucets are also ideal for hobby areas that may require a water source, such as gardening.

Most manufacturers make prep faucets that either match or coordinate with their standard faucets, both in style and finishes. They also offer features that match standard kitchen faucets for functionality, such as pull-out sprays (some with multiple spray action), pivoting heads, and water filtration systems.

According to Jeff Pratt, sales manager for Danze, a prep faucet's function is always important, but the fixture has to look good, too.

And although prep sinks and faucets tend to be smaller in scale than the main kitchen sink and faucet, many designers are choosing to install full-sized sinks and faucets in these areas. "The value is that they can divide the work space up to give two different, or even three or more, prep areas or task areas, allowing many people to work in the kitchen," Busby says.

"Adding functionality is always a trend," says Danette Goen, product development manager for Delta Kitchens. "Anything that can make the homeowner's workload any easier is going to have a real selling benefit."

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