Belle Foret N110 01 Bridge Kitchen Faucet Review by Celinda Solecki
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It’s not often a reviewer gets to praise both the appearance and working of a faucet. Usually there’s some compromise involved. But when it comes to the Belle Foret BFN110 01 bridge faucet there’s no need. It’s an ideal blend of fine function and good looks.
Two Handle Bridge Faucet
The Belle Foret BFN110 01 may not have a name that falls trippingly off the tongue, as Shakespeare would say. But he didn’t know much about faucets, either. There’s no reason not to admire its features, though.
First and foremost is the basic type: a two handle bridge faucet. This is both an old and a new idea. The bridge faucet style has been around for more than a century. Yet, for generations, it fell out of fashion probably because faucets are subject to the whims of taste just as everything else is.
In one sense, though, it’s been with us all along. After all, if you look at the components of the average faucet while ignoring the sink – i.e. get the view above and below simultaneously – the bridge is there, in a way. You’ve got two inlets, hot and cold. You’ve got a central pipe in the faucet that’s fed by both hoses. That’s the bridge design in a nutshell.
The difference here is that the bridge for the BFN110 01 is explicit, all above the sink. The result is a style that never really goes out of style. That’s particularly true here, at least for some of the finishes. I confess I’m not fond of the chrome version (BFN110 01 CP). I’d say much the same thing about the stainless steel (BFN110 01 SS), to a lesser degree.
That “modern” look doesn’t fit this classic design well. I put modern in quotes because, after all, chrome finishes have now been around for well over 70 years. Still, we associate classic designs with the Downton Abbey period, well before the 1940s when chrome came into wide use.
I think this style of faucet works much better in bronze. Especially nice is that you have two options: oil rubbed bronze (BFN110 01 ORB) or tumbled bronze (BFN110 01 TB). Either finish suits this faucet perfectly.
The physical dimensions of the BFN110 01 fall short of a true Victorian or Edwardian design, in my view. The spout height is just 12 1/8″ and the aerator clearance is a modest 9 5/16″, while the spout reach is only 8″.
The mental image we tend to have of those late 19th century/early 20th century designs are of faucets that reach higher and extend farther. Still, for a modern kitchen with a modest sink size, this could be ideal.
Equally nice for us contemporary kitchen appliance users, all the latest modern technology has been incorporated in this classic design from the past. That includes a ceramic disc cartridge. That component will likely last longer and function better than any other part of the faucet. Only the up-to-the-minute diamond-coated ones in some other models surpass them and those models typically cost a lot more.
One thing that might surprise you on first picking it up prior to installation is the weight. It’s not massive – a little over 9 lbs – but it feels like lead when you first hold it. Fear not, there is no lead used in the construction, just brass and the finish material. In any case, it’s nice and solid when you hold it. And that solidity extends to the feel you experience when you turn the handles or swivel the spigot. Very smooth.
You’ll get plenty of water out of the central pipe, too, a feature cooks and others will really appreciate. At 2.2 GPM you can fill a pot in a jiffy. When it comes time to clean up, the water shushing out at 60 PSI will rinse the pan off in even less time.
The Belle Foret N110 01 requires a 4-hole installation. The first three are for the faucet itself, the fourth for the sprayer. There’s also an optional soap dispenser. You can get it in any matching finish.
The sprayer is one weakness in the Belle Foret BFN110 01, though. It’s a fairly mundane design and works only so-so well. It looks decent but the thumb button and size are ordinary. If you have long fingers like I do you’re probably not going to be thrilled.
Worse than the size of the wand and type of control, the sprayer simply isn’t that well manufactured sometimes. It drips a bit after use on some units, sometimes for several seconds. That means a little wiping up of the sink afterwards. Not good.
Another minor annoyance of mine is the color of the center component. That’s a very boring white/gray in the bronze versions. Black or dark brown would’ve integrated better with the bronze versions. But that’s me. Your taste might very well differ.
That’s a bit of a disappointment in a faucet that, in every other way, is of very high quality. The faucet itself is made to very accurate tolerances and things fit together very exactly. You’ll not see any leakage from the faucet itself. The swivel is firm and leak-tight but doesn’t require excess strength to move.
The Belle Foret BFN110 01 is a beautiful bridge faucet that will fit any kitchen where you’re looking for a classic design. Whether you’re aiming at Victorian/Edwardian or just a sense of high style, the look is superb. Fortunately, it functions equally well apart from the sprayer, which is good but not great. Overall, it functions smoothly and reliably, thanks to quality parts and good manufacturing.